SANFORD - Two Central Carolina Community College staff members visited the White House and the Department of Education on April 4-5 to showcase plans for its $9.2 million First in the World grant project, awarded in October 2015.
Dr. Brian Merritt, Vice President of Student Learning and Chief Academic Officer, made a presentation in the White House about the plans for the grant to an audience that included Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell. Merritt and project co-director Sarah Hoffarth also visited the Lyndon B. Johnson Education Building to engage with other project directors and learn about the Department of Education's goals and expectations.
Nationwide, only two First in the World validation grants were awarded to test, at a broad scale, college student interventions supported by significant evidence. The First in the World program was designed to support President Obama's goal for the United States to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.
CCCC's First in the World grant titled "Carolina Works" will help spread the proactive success coach model to nine additional North Carolina community colleges to improve student outcomes statewide while also helping CCCC continue to refine its success coach/advising practice locally.
In Spring 2013, Central Carolina hired a team of success coaches who collaborate with faculty and staff to provide individualized academic and personal support for students who need it the most. Success coaches use an innovative early alert/advising system that uses predictive analytics powered by Aviso Coaching, LLC that helps coaches provide intervention for students who could benefit most from the support.
Since 2012, Central Carolina has increased its persistence rate by almost 12 percent, and credential completion has increased from 23 percent to 41 percent.
"At Central Carolina, we are committed to engaging students as full partners in the learning process. We are innovative with our approaches to working with students, and we are thrilled about this opportunity to work and learn from expert partners and nine other North Carolina community colleges to improve our student learning environment," said Dr. Merritt.
National expert Jobs for the Future will serve as an advisor and advocate for the project. JFF seeks to design and drive the adoption of innovative and scalable education and career training models and systems that leads from college readiness to career advancement. JFF also develops and advocates for federal and state policies needed to support these solutions.
Dr. Derek Price, President of DVP-PRAXIS, will serve as the independent evaluator for the grant. Dr. Price is the former Director of Higher Education Research for the Lumina Foundation for Education and has extensive experience as a higher education research. The Carolina Works project design will model a research study by Bettinger & Baker (2011) titled, "The effects of student coaching in college: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student mentoring." That study found proactive success coaching to increase retention 14 percent for a control group over a 24-month period.
The nine partner colleges are Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Carteret Community College, Cleveland Community College, College of the Albemarle, Isothermal Community College, Pamlico Community College, Randolph Community College, Roanoke Chowan Community College, and Southwestern Community College.
Central Carolina Community College offers a wide variety of programs at its three campus locations and multiple instructional locations throughout Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties in North Carolina. Within these programs, students can earn associate degrees or college transfer credits, diplomas, or certificates.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the website www.cccc.edu.
Dr. Brian Merritt, CCCC Vice President of Student Learning and Chief Academic Officer, recently made a presentation in the White House about the plans for the grant to an audience that included Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.
CCCC First in the World project co-director Sarah Hoffarth visited the White House and the Department of Education on April 4-5.