No longer is the “typical” college student necessarily a fresh-faced high-school graduate who immediately zips through four years at State U. and enters the work force.
That “typical” student, in fact, is harder and harder to define.
Some 40% of college students today are 25 or older.1 And in the last 10 years, the number of students who transfer into the University of North Carolina System has grown from less than 13,000 to more than 17,000 a year – that growth has occurred almost exclusively among community-college transfers.2
Today’s student might be a single mom who somehow – through sheer will power and sleeplessness – completes her associate’s degree in nursing at a community college and decides to shoot for a BSN while still working her shifts.
He might be a veteran who wants a certificate in cyber-security after he completes his tour.3
She might be a young rural student who’s really good at math, but who’s never set foot on a college campus because no one in her family went to college.4
We need to connect those would-be students with our public colleges and universities – help them picture themselves there and give them the skills required for tomorrow’s jobs – if we are to share the economic mobility and community viability that higher education helps provide.
The UNC System’s strategic plan aims to make higher education available to more underrepresented populations.5
You can hear discussion of strategies to do that at “Aim Higher, Achieve More,” a forum from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.
Participants will include:
- Governor Roy Cooper;
- NC House Speaker Tim Moore;
- NC Sen. Michael Lee, Co-Chair, Senate Higher Education Appropriations Committee;
- UNC President Margaret Spellings;
- Acting NC Community College System President Jennifer Haygood; and
- Central Piedmont Community College President Kandi Deitemeyer, who will serve as moderator.
The event is sponsored by the Higher Education Works Foundation with support from Bank of America.
You can register here!
5 https://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/unc_strategic_plan.pdf, pp. 7-12.