“Free” community college?

Our neighbors in Tennessee invented “free” community college. In 2014, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam launched the Tennessee Promise – two years of tuition-free community college for Tennessee high school graduates.  Tennessee uses lottery money to create a “last-dollar” scholarship that pays a student’s tuition after federal and other aid have been tapped.1 More than 33,000… READ MORE

UNCG/GTCC/ACC: Building expectations for a 4-year degree

GREENSBORO – There are fancy names for the partnerships UNC Greensboro announced last week to make it easier for students from Guilford Technical Community College and Alamance Community College to transfer to UNCG and earn bachelor’s and in some cases master’s degrees.1 But for UNCG Provost Dana Dunn, it’s about building expectations – especially among… READ MORE

“That’s fine with us.”

FAYETTEVILLE – Fayetteville State University Chancellor James Anderson dismisses any suggestion that there’s something wrong with starting out at a community college. “One of the misperceptions about the relationship between a community college and a four-year institution is that they’re competing,” Anderson says in the accompanying video.  “In actuality, that’s not the case. “They’re a… READ MORE

Community colleges: Crucial in multiple ways

RALEIGH – They’re the Swiss Army knife of higher ed:  Whether it’s preparing students to attend a four-year institution, training for a trade or training customized for a local employer, community colleges prepare students for many, many different tasks. In an era of rising university tuition and shifting skill demands from employers, they have become so… READ MORE

The good and bad of the 2017-19 state budget

RALEIGH (June 28, 2017) – Today the NC General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the 2017-19 state budget that legislators approved last week. To be sure, there are things to like in the budget. There are raises for public school teachers of almost 10% over two years.  There’s partial restoration of the NC… READ MORE

NC budget: Positive short-term, threatening long-term

RALEIGH (June 22, 2017) – At first glance, the budget compromise unveiled this week by legislative leaders seems encouraging. It would grant K-12 public school teachers an average raise of 3.3% this year and 9.6% over two years.  It would give significant raises to K-12 principals, a priority of the group BEST NC. It would… READ MORE

A long-term slide in NC education spending

RALEIGH – Since the mid-2000s, North Carolina has seen a general decline in expenditures per student in our K-12 public schools, community colleges and public universities. Likewise – despite a modest bump the past few years – the state’s rank in average K-12 teacher salaries has declined since 2000. Figures on average teacher salaries released… READ MORE

McColl: Community colleges touch more people

CHARLOTTE – The man who built Bank of America says North Carolina’s community colleges have been vital to the state’s business community – and to his own career. Community colleges serve as “a tremendous adjunct” to the university system, because they allow “working people to get an education that they otherwise might not get,” Hugh… READ MORE

Teacher and student

PINEHURST – Ed Spitler started out as a community college student.  And through five degrees and 19 years teaching civil engineering technology and surveying, that’s where his heart remains. Spitler, a Sandhills Community College alumnus, began teaching at Sandhills in 1997 after he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology at UNC Charlotte. He… READ MORE