Nash Community College was invited on behalf of the North Carolina Community College System to present an update to legislators in December regarding its successful developmental curricula redesign. System President Dr. Scott Ralls asked NCC President Dr. Bill Carver to share about the college’s progress in the redesign of developmental Math and English courses as part of the statewide Developmental Education Initiative. The goal of the state policy initiative is to accelerate student completion and success throughout the North Carolina Community College System.
Nash Community College has experienced particular success in this endeavor. “We refer to the developmental classes as fundamental because the Math and English skills obtained in the redesigned modules are truly fundamental to students’ future success,” President Bill Carver said. In fall 2013, student persistence in Developmental Math classes was 95 percent, up from an estimated 47 percent in Fall of 2011 when the reforms began in earnest. Over the same period, student persistence in Developmental English increased from an estimated 59 percent to 85 percent. “We are pleased with the improvement being made in fundamental studies as a result of the redesigned coursework. In order for students to progress to higher modules, persistence must increase,” he said. In the fall 2013 semester, 73 percent of NCC students in fundamental Math courses progressed to the next level, up from an estimated 53 percent in Fall of 2011. The reforms in fundamental English just began in Fall 2013, but that semester 78 percent of the students in the highest level fundamental class progressed to curriculum classes, as opposed to an estimated 56 percent overall progression rate in Fall 2011.
This month, in a second visit with members of the General Assembly, representatives from Nash Community College’s Board of Trustees, student body, administration and staff delivered a resolution urging the leaders to support North Carolina’s economic prosperity through the investment in the Community College System. Nash Community College aids North Carolina in increasing its competitive advantage by developing and training a quality workforce essential to economic prosperity, and also assists families by providing high-quality, cost-effective, relevant education and training for advanced careers. An increased investment will help Nash continue to support employers in closing the skills gap, and thereby create opportunities for expansion and retention.
Nash Community College students and administrators challenged the group to invest in North Carolina’s future by authorizing an investment of $32 million in the State’s community colleges to fund a fourth tier of instruction that will prepare students for immediate employment in higher-paying jobs in the health sciences, engineering, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and biotechnology fields. This investment will enable the college to continue meaningful workforce preparation. The call to action further requested an increase in funding at all tier levels to help the college in continuing to improve the quality of instruction and student support and ensuring all programs have the resources necessary for the twenty-first century economy.
Additionally, college representatives requested that the General Assembly recognize the importance of Nash Community College faculty and staff by appropriating funds to support a salary increase reflecting the value they provide to the State as highly trained, experienced and dedicated employees who are essential to student success, but whose salaries are significantly less than the national average.