Led by Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), the North Carolina cadre includes the three largest community colleges in the state, a medium-sized suburban college, and a small rural college. This composition reflects the nature of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges and has the potential to expedite the possibilities to scale this initiative across the state system. Together, the five colleges serve approximately 82,000 students, or nearly one quarter of all community college students in the state. Across the cadre colleges, the percentage of students referred to developmental education ranges from 55% to 87%, and 50% to 74% of students receive Pell funding.
Colleges from the North Carolina Cadre
- Guilford Technical Community College
(Guilford County, North Carolina)—Managing Partner
- Central Piedmont Community College
(Mecklenburg County, North Carolina)
- Davidson County Community College
(Davidson and Davie Counties, North Carolina)
- Martin Community College
(Martin County, North Carolina)
- Wake Technical Community College
(Wake County, North Carolina)
What This Work Means for Our Cadre
From Dr. George R. (Randy) Parker, President of Guilford Technical Community College (Managing Partner)
“The entire planning team, composed of representatives from all five colleges and the system office, has worked effectively over the past year and produced an outstanding implementation plan. I particularly want to recognize the leadership of my fellow presidents at the other four community colleges and the support of Dr. Scott Ralls, President of the North Carolina Community College System. As we enter the implementation stage, our campus involvement has increased in all areas and at all levels. The timing of this new focus on completion could not be better. We are facing increasing pressures from regulatory and legislative bodies to improve our student success rates. The trend towards performance measures coupled with performance funding is clear and on a fast track. But, more important, we owe it to our students to focus all of our efforts more effectively so that they can achieve their goals to complete credentials that secure them gainful employment or successful transfer.”
The North Carolina cadre is redesigning the areas of developmental education, programs of study, intensive advising, and student management technology. The cadre plans to leverage multiple ongoing college and state initiatives in conjunction with its Completion by Design work.
Beginning with the three most popular programs at each college, the cadre will redesign academic programs of study to reduce the number of hours required to obtain a credential, and better align course-taking patterns with student learning outcomes and workforce needs. The cadre plans to roll out the updated degree requirements for the first group of programs in fall 2013. Initially, students will explore career options while finishing their developmental and early general education requirements. After selecting a subject area of interest, students will complete their elective credits in that subject area, guided by advisers and/or faculty mentors. The North Carolina cadre will continue to work with the four-year colleges in the state to strengthen articulation agreements and ensure alignment with major requirements for a bachelor’s degree.
At the state level, the cadre plans to leverage current work to develop new placement methods and course structures for developmental students, including high school grade point average thresholds for placement, modularized versions of the developmental math courses developed by the state system office, and forthcoming modularized English/reading courses. Along with these statewide changes, the Completion by Design colleges have obtained waivers to eliminate many developmental prerequisites, thus allowing students to take high-level developmental courses alongside their college requirements.
To support students in their academic programs, the cadre colleges are planning to implement variations on an intensive advising model, providing consistent support and continuity for students from entry through transfer or completion. At intake, students will attend a mandatory orientation, at which they will meet with advisers to discuss placement, registration, and programs of study, and then complete a required student success course. Students will meet with their advisers at regular intervals throughout their academic career, allowing advisers to be proactive in supporting their progress through programs of study. The cadre colleges also plan to develop a faculty/industry mentorship program to help students prepare for their transitions into four-year colleges or the workforce.
To implement their major Completion by Design reforms, the North Carolina cadre hopes to acquire and incorporate a new student management system to monitor student registration and advising activities. This system will detail the academic plan each student determined with his/her adviser, and alert both students and advisers when students deviate from their plans. Students will also use this system to register for courses.
For more information, contact:
R. Edward Bowling
Director, Completion by Design
(336) 334-4822 x 50057