Higher Education

Duke University

University of Pennsylvania Provost Vincent Price will take over as Duke University’s new president on July 1, 2017. Duke’s Board of Trustees made the selection Friday morning.

Price told the Duke community on Friday afternoon that the institution is ready to face a watershed moment for research universities.

"Duke is perfectly poised," he said, "to seize unparalleled new opportunities and possibilities to thoughtfully deploy technology in redefining our work."

Under his presidency, Price said that Duke will become a model for diversity and inclusion in higher education.

"Every member of our community belongs," he said. "If we share our differences vigorously and respectfully, we are all the more stronger, intellectually and socially."

Duke's current President Richard Brodhead announced in April that he would step down after 13 years at the helm. The search for his successor included 100 nominees and 25 potential candidates, according to trustee Jack O. Bovender, who led a search committee of 19 trustees, faculty, students, administrators, and alumni.

In a statement, he called Price “a transformative scholar, a dedicated educator and an experienced executive at a very complex institution not unlike Duke.

Elizabeth City State University

After more than half a decade of declining enrollment at Elizabeth City State University, UNC system leaders are convening a working group to focus on boosting student numbers at the historically black university.

Campbell University
Campbell University

Campbell University opened its doors to two new schools this week, welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.

Photo of a ball and chain with "student loans" written on it
thisisbossi / Flickr

Forty-two million people in the United States owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, according to a recent report from Reveal radio program in conjunction with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

In 2014 in North Carolina, 61 percent of students graduating from public and private four-year institutions graduated with loans amounting to an average of $25,000 per individual, according to The Project on Student Debt. The privatization of Sallie Mae and the continued disinvestment in public higher education at the state level contribute to the problem.

The UNC-system saw its highest enrollment ever last fall, and data show minorities are driving the system's growth.

Photo: Jim Rose, regional president of Yadkin Bank in Raleigh, speaks before a crowd at the launch of the Connect NC campaign
Jorge Valencia

Governor Pat McCrory made his first public speech for a bond referendum on Tuesday, urging North Carolina voters to approve $2 billion in borrowing for public service investments such as building new science education and research facilities on college campuses, new facilities for the National Guard, and sewage renovations in small towns.

A picture of the Shaw University sign.
Daderot / Wikipedia

A group of Shaw University alumni is suing two trustees, alleging mismanagement and conflict of interest.

Shaw alumnus  and attorney Christopher Young filed the lawsuit in North Carolina's Eastern District Court against Board Chairman Joseph Bell, Jr. and immediate past chairman Willie Gary.

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt (second from left) meets with service members May 20, after announcing two new university programs to serve current and former military personnel.
Melanie Busbee/UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill becomes the 11th public university in North Carolina to open a  campus veterans center.

A student veterant leaning over his desk.
Carly Swain / UNC-Chapel Hill

Fifteen military veterans are wrapping up a week-long academic training bootcamp at UNC-Chapel Hill designed to help them transition easier into college. It's part of a national program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.

Lara Taylor, director of Carolina's orientation, says some vets come straight from service, while others have been out for a few years.

Student and teachers work in a physics lab at Central Piedmont Community College. Many first-generation students are low-income, and community colleges are the most affordable option for working towards a degree.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / Flickr Creative Commons

When Judith Rosales visited UNC-Chapel Hill as a high school student through the Scholars' Latino Initiative program, she liked what she saw, but didn't quite know if there was a place for her at any college or university.

"I was never very confident that I would be able to go to college...it was really intimidating," Rosales told Frank Stasio of WUNC's The State of Things. 

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

The state’s higher education institutions had a $63.5 billion impact on the state’s economy in the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to a new study. 

Higher education leaders say the report shows that the North Carolina’s institutions of higher education are providing a strong return on investment for students and taxpayers.

It notes that taxpayers invested $4.3 billion to support higher education in 2012-13, and received a $17 billion return.

Megan Malkowski with hands raised, 2011
Will Folsom / Flickr/Creative Commons

All this week, many area colleges and universities are waiving their application fees. Costs usually run between $40 and $100 per application, so for those students who are applying to several schools, the savings can be substantial. Don't wait till the weekend, though. The special program ends on Friday, Nov. 14.

Here is a complete list of participating colleges and universities:

Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan
NC General Assembly/US Senate

    

As the midterm elections get closer, education is a prominent topic in North Carolina’s congressional races. 

The school is located along state highway 150 in Guilford County.
Jeff Tiberii

One of the nation's oldest military schools is located just a few miles northwest of Greensboro. Oak Ridge Military Academy recently began its 163rd academic year. However, for a time it looked as though the school was going to close. In the face of growing competition, low enrollment and unstable leadership, the academy changed course.  And for now Oak Ridge marches on.

This week North Carolina Public Radio is looking at school communities. This is the fourth installment of a five-part series.
 

The Fostering Bright Futures program helps former foster care children transition into college.
Wake Tech Community College

Last year, it looked unclear if Keilia Scott would be able to complete the cosmetology program she began at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh. A foster child since the age of 15, Scott struggled in her teen years without family support.

She moved to nine different homes and each transition meant adaptation to a new family, new rules and a new school. Scott admits she was rebellious and ran away from several homes. The system eventually  placed her in a locked facility out-of-state.

A picture of a mortarboard hat and dipolma.
aadl / Flickr

A program at Wake Tech Community College is working to help young people aging out of the foster care system transition into college.

Michelle Blackmon is the program coordinator for Fostering Bright Futures. She said kids often don't acquire the same life skills in foster care, or have the same support, that makes going to college easier for kids who grow up with family.

The price of a college education is soaring in America; so is the amount of student loan debt. President Obama has proposed regulations that would cap student loan payments at 10 percent of a graduate's income, and according to the latest Labor Department data, about a third of recent college graduates are either underemployed or jobless.

Alexandra Zagbayou smiling
studentudurham.org

Alexandra Zagbayou was born in Montreal but returned to her father's homeland of Ivory Coast when she was 4 years old. Six years later, her family fled because they feared political persecution in the tense years before the country's civil war.

"We thought we would be in the U.S. for a summer. The summer turned into 15 years," she said.

The family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Zagbayou learned English by reverse engineering her school's French classes.

Later, her parents returned to Africa while she and her sister stayed in Raleigh with their aunt and uncle. A few years after that, their uncle was killed.

Zagbayou's older sister became her primary guardian while she worked hard to finish high school and secure funding for college. 

One summer, Zagbayou taught dance classes to homeless and displaced youth. This was when she first began to process her own challenging life experiences. She realized not only that she related to her students, but that she had come out the other side. 

Today she helps run the Durham-based college-access organization, Student U. The program empowers students to pursue their own educational journeys despite diverse challenges. 

North Carolina A&T School of Nursing
North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T's nursing degree program is in peril after the UNC Board of Governors decided to temporarily suspend enrollment.

In 2010 and 2011, fewer than 75 percent of A&T's nursing school passed the National Council Licensure Examination on the first try.  That could have terminated the program, but the Board of Governors gave the nursing school two more years to get passing scores above 85 percent.

The Old Well at UNC-Chapel Hill.
unc.edu

The athletic program at Carolina came under scrutiny when academic advisor and tutor Mary Willingham made her research on athlete literacy public.

Duke University
Duke University

Since 2010, the number of American Indian students in the UNC system has been declining.

Today, there are 87 American Indian students in a student population of 19,000 undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Unsung Founders Memorial, UNC-Chapel Hill
Don McCullough / Flickr.com

Tim McMillan is a senior lecturer at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill's Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.  He is also the creator of The Black and Blue Tour.  In 2001 Tim was teaching a seminar called “Defining Blackness” when he realized how much of UNC’s  own racial history went overlooked.  He started the Black and Blue tour of the UNC campus to help people gain a more nuanced perspective. He knows these conversations can make people uncomfortable.

ECSU.edu

Elizabeth City State University could drop several common degree programs such as history, political science, physics and philosophy. An ECSU faculty member, who asked not to be named, confirmed staff has been told several programs are on the chopping block.

Bailey Karpa

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Department of Education has reported a steady decline in the numbers of students who drop out of school before graduating. It says the rate dropped from 12 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2011.

But a stark figure remains: On average, about one million students leave every year before graduation.

In this special program, American Graduate: Crossing the Stage, host Dick Gordon looks at ways – some innovative and some traditional – that educators are trying to keep students in school and help them succeed in the careers they choose.

Local County Board of Elections meetings are usually quiet, lightly attended affairs. But in Watauga and Pasquotank Counties, recent meetings have been acrimonious and highly partisan.

Last month, the Watauga County Board of Elections moved a polling site off of the Appalachian State University campus. Across the state, the Pasquotank County Board of Elections denied a college student a chance to run for local office. Both decisions were decried by Democrats as efforts to suppress the votes of young people. Since this spring, all local Boards of Elections are Republican-majority.

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