State Board of Community Colleges Approves New Courses for Growing IT Sector

State Board of Community Colleges Approves New Courses for Growing IT Sector

Friday, August 19, 2022 - 3:29pm

The Courses Will Be Offered throughout the Great 58 to Provide Pathways to High-Demand Careers that will Help Fuel the State's Economic Engine 

RALEIGH – The N.C. State Board of Community Colleges (NCSBCC) today at its planned meeting approved 19 new credential-aligned short-term workforce development courses, including 15 to support the state’s fast-growing information technology (IT) sector. The courses were developed to provide short-term training opportunities leading to industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-demand, family-sustaining wage careers.

The courses will help colleges address significant workforce needs for certifications such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Google Data Analytics, Google IT Automation with Python, Google Project Management and ESRI: GIS Fundamentals. The courses are designed as a gateway to further education and career advancement opportunities at the Great 58 community colleges and within the high demand fields. Creating pathways for students in short-term training areas will provide support to the Tar Heel State's growing economy. The system continues to work with IT employer partners and expects additional certification-aligned courses leading to credentials in the future.

At the August meeting, the State Board also approved the allocation of $3.75 million to support the Finish Line Grant program. This program, initially started in 2018 as a partnership between the Department of Commerce and community colleges, provides emergency financial aid to community college students who are halfway to completing a certificate or degree and face an unanticipated emergency. The program will transition from the Department of Commerce to the N.C. Community College System on Oct. 1, 2022. More information on Finish Line Grants can be found on the NCCCS website and will be updated regularly during the program transition.  

The State Board of Community Colleges reviewed and provided feedback on a draft of the new System Strategic Plan. To develop the strategic plan, the State Board of Community Colleges, the System Office, and leaders across the community colleges engaged in comprehensive environmental scanning, prioritizing, and planning. With the strong support of the State Board of Community Colleges, the process involved regional listening sessions to hear from community college presidents and trustees, discussions with students and businesses, and planning teams with representation across the community college system and with customers and partners. The State Board of Community Colleges is expected to review and approve a final version of the 2022-2026 strategic plan at its September 2022 State Board Planning Meeting.

The State Board of Community Colleges also reviewed and approved the annual Performance Measures for Student Success report, the NCCCS’s major accountability document that provides the basis for which performance funding is awarded to colleges. The report serves to inform colleges and the public on outcomes associated with the students served. The measures focus on various college core functions, including adult literacy, academic progression, student persistence, graduation, workforce preparation and university transfer. The report shows increases in student progress in basic skills, curriculum student completion, and college transfer performance.

The State Board approved the fiscal year 2022 annual report for ApprenticeshipNC, which outlines tremendous growth for Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) statewide. The report shows industries of advanced manufacturing, construction and healthcare experienced the highest number of new program registrations with 23%, 20% and 16%, respectively. Participants served totaled 13,377 in FY 2022, with the highest numbers being in Healthcare (3,112 apprentices served), Construction (3,005 apprentices served), and Energy (2,240 apprentices served). Through funding provided by the N.C. General Assembly in November 2021, ApprenticeshipNC managed a $2 million statewide marketing campaign with community colleges located in and serving tier one and two counties. The marketing funds were used to create awareness of additional funding that would be available for employers located in underserved counties to recruit high school and other prospective workers between the ages of 16 and 25 in certain high-demand careers. Marketing funds were distributed to 44 of the Great 58 community colleges and all marketing items were cobranded with ApprenticeshipNC.

The State Board approved the annual report for the Economic Development Customized Training section, which continued its mission of providing training for new and expanding industries throughout the state. In fiscal year 2022, Customized Training served 14,104 trainees in 222 projects spending $5.4 million in training costs. Customized Training also served 551 industries and 8,833 trainees, spending $2.9 million in focused industry training. The total expenditures for Customized Training, including regional trainers and a media developer, was $9.1 million, serving almost 23,000 trainees for an average training cost per trainee of $399. Customized Training served on 17 industry clusters with Metals/Iron/Steel, Pharmaceutical/Medical, Textiles/Apparel, and Transportation being the highest cluster at 23 or more projects each. 

In a meeting in closed session, the board discussed the administrative process for the selection of a permanent president to lead the NC Community College System. A bipartisan presidential search committee consisting of 10 board members plus four other individuals was appointed by Board Chairman Burr Sullivan. The board discussed the need for a qualified search firm that is experienced in higher education leadership searches and voted unanimously to approve the hiring of such a firm. The search committee will interview prospective search firms in the coming weeks and will go through the procurement approval process required by the state of North Carolina for such a selection. The search committee will keep the board and the public up to date throughout the process. 

Bill McBrayer Receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Catawba County native and long-time board member William "Bill" McBrayer was presented the The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the most prestigious award presented by the governor of North Carolina, at the State Board meeting held Friday, Aug. 19, in the Caswell Building in downtown Raleigh.

McBrayer, who was born and raised in Forest City, N.C., attended Isothermal Community College and is a 1985 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University. For the past 34 years, he has worked in the state's renowned furniture manufacturing industry and currently serves as the Human Resources manager at Lexington Home Brands. 

McBrayer was instrumental in the creation and formulation of the N.C. Furniture Academy at Catawba Valley Community College, an industry-driven training program that prepares students for the technical skill demands of North Carolina's modern furniture manufacturing industry. The academy serves as a model for other organizations in workforce development. 

McBrayer has served on the State Board of Community Colleges since 2015, serving in many leadership roles such as board vice chair and chair of various committees. His dedication to the community college system led him to visit the majority of the campuses of the Great 58 community colleges across the state to provide support and counsel in many different capacities. 


About the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges (NCSBCC)

The SBCC is organized and operates in accordance with N.C. General Statute 115D-2.1, as amended by Session Law 2021-90. The Board has 22 members, 18 who are appointed to six-year terms, and four ex officio members (State treasurer, lieutenant governor, commissioner of Labor and N.C. Student Government Association president). Meetings occur the third Thursday and Friday of each month, with the exception of June and December. Read more.