In order to accelerate the good work underway across the state, myFutureNC is working to create the space for the education and workforce sector leaders (K-12, community colleges, UNC colleges, private colleges and workforce entities) at the state and local levels to collaborate on high-impact strategies, especially those that affect students at key transition points in the education continuum. Equally as important, myFutureNC is working to align educational attainment with the demands of the state’s employer community. These efforts will help to ensure all North Carolinians are adequately equipped with the skills necessary to fill high demand, high growth jobs that pay living wages and to meaningfully contribute to society.
Outside of the education and business communities, myFutureNC educates and supports philanthropic and legislative decision-makers in efforts to ultimately align resources with attainment-focused initiatives. By encouraging public-private investments and collaborative philanthropic endeavors, myFutureNC can buoy the efforts already underway to increase educational attainment.
CCRG is a collaborative effort led by the NC Community College System (NCCCS) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to increase high school student readiness for college. This program front-loads remedial coursework for high school students who are at-risk of not entering credit-bearing courses in a postsecondary institution. High school students will complete modules identified by NCCCS prior to high school graduation in English/literacy and math courses.
The Informed Decision-Making Collaborative (IDMC) is a North Carolina initiative bringing together partners vested in the state’s education longitudinal data system. This actionable working group of leading practitioners in the state will engage to help move raw data to informed policy in order to benefit our students and state. Partners include: Governor’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Government Data Analytics Center, North Carolina Community College System, Education Policy Initiative at Carolina, myFutureNC, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Department of Public Instruction, UNC System, The Hunt Institute, and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
The IDMC began working together in February 2020 to collaboratively create a cross-sector research agenda that uses data from the North Carolina Education Longitudinal Data System to inform policy and practices across the pre-kindergarten through workforce (P20-W) education spectrum. The research agenda is an evolving document that will be informed by stakeholders and by the lessons learned as use cases are carried out to better understand the tools, data systems, and processes needed to answer identified questions.
myFutureNC and Carolina Demography collaborated to launch the myFutureNC Educational Attainment Dashboard. The dashboard shows North Carolina’s progress toward the state’s overall 2 million by 2030 goal for postsecondary educational attainment, as well as 18 educational performance indicators. These indicators span the education continuum, capturing key transition points for students from NC Pre-K through college completion and into the labor market.
To help local North Carolina communities develop action plans grounded in data, myFutureNC State and County Attainment Profiles were created to highlight attainment levels and performance on key myFutureNC metrics. The county profiles are intended to facilitate decision-making on local priorities to increase attainment by highlighting county and regional performance and specific opportunities for improvement.
Go to the Attainment Dashboard
myFutureNC is committed to ensuring efforts to increase postsecondary attainment in North Carolina are rigorous and evidence-based. While numerous stakeholders are involved in data improvement efforts across the state, few have focused on the development and evaluation of strategies to increase postsecondary attainment and education-to-labor market alignment. Recognizing this gap, myFutureNC is working to identify and facilitate adoption of evidence-based policies and practices that drive improvements in educational attainment for all, with a focus on steps to understand and close gaps in opportunity/access, quality, and/or outcomes across student subgroups. myFutureNC aims to highlight research that demonstrates evidenced-based practices, that if implemented with fidelity, will ultimately lead to increases in postsecondary attainment and economic prosperity for North Carolinians.
North Carolina First in FAFSA is a myFutureNC collaborative that focuses on increasing the number of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA application. Increasing the FAFSA completion rate is a fundamental step in our state’s efforts to meet our postsecondary attainment goal. FAFSA completion is required for Pell grant eligibility, as well as in-state needs-based grants and other scholarships. Students who complete the FAFSA are more likely to enroll in higher education, recognizing that college may be an affordable opportunity for them as well.
In response to COVID and declining levels of FAFSA completion, myFutureNC launched a statewide FAFSA Frenzy campaign in June 2020. The campaign engaged statewide partners and informed strategy for ongoing FAFSA initiatives, and helped to secure additional Finish the FAFSA Data Sharing Agreements. Currently, 662 or 97% of public high schools have signed data sharing agreements, a more than 55% increase in the number of data sharing agreements since June 2019.
NC First in FAFSA, a myFutureNC collaborative with Carolina Demography, College Foundation of North Carolina, College Advising Corps and Hunt Institute, developed a statewide FAFSA Tracker hosted on a publicly accessible website which displays updated data on the overall percentage of FAFSA completions at the state, district and high school levels. Additionally, the collaborative launched the inaugural NC First in FAFSA Challenge, and is leveraging connections to reach underrepresented populations and increase overall awareness of the tools and resources available to support students and families.
Learn more on NC First in FAFSA
The NC Community College System, in partnership with myFutureNC, engaged all education and workforce sectors to define non-degree credentials that lead to high-growth, high-demand occupations that pay a living wage.
The core team, made up of NC Community College System, myFutureNC, NC Business Committee for Education, NC Department of Commerce, NC Works Commission, NC Department of Public Instruction, and local NC Workforce Development Boards are working to define and incentivize high-quality, non-degree credentials recognized by employers that help workers in North Carolina obtain in-demand living wage jobs. As part of their work, the team is also working to identify the list of credentials that will count toward the educational attainment goal and working with education partners on workforce alignment.
myFutureNC is a core partner of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ 2020 Presidential Task Force for the Pathways Initiative, NC Counties Guiding Our Next Generation to Brighter Futures. The mission of the Pathways Initiative Task Force is to develop strategies for counties to reduce the rate of disconnected youth (youth ages 16 to 19 who are not in school nor working). During task force meetings, the group sought to better understand the issue of disconnected youth and to begin to determine how counties can pull different levers to affect change. The task force worked closely with experts to identify several successful county-led efforts and factors that influence youth engagement. The report includes examples of programs throughout the state that have shown promise in keeping youth engaged in their journey from education to career.
Read the NCACC Pathways Report
Local collaboratives will play a critical role in reaching North Carolina’s educational attainment goal by establishing local goals, identifying strategies and priorities to meet these goals, and working as partners of myFutureNC.
The myFutureNC regional impact team works to engage local communities to support
opportunities for growth efforts, utilizing data from resources such as myFutureNC county attainment profiles to initiate conversations around establishing local attainment collaboratives and goals. In addition, myFutureNC is cataloging current local promising practices to support dissemination, scaling, and replication of impactful strategies across the state. During 2021, the regional impact team aims to catalyze at least one local collaborative in each region in order to drive progress towards the state’s attainment goal. Work underway includes the development of a roadmap and toolkits to support the expansion or establishment of local attainment collaboratives.
The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government, myFutureNC, and with the generous support of the John M. Belk Endowment are launching a two-year pilot program that supports 10 local educational attainment collaboratives across North Carolina that seek to significantly increase the number of students successfully complete post-secondary credentials of value in the workforces: a degree, credential, or certification.
Applications are now being considered through March 29, 2021.
Ready to explore the establishment of a local attainment collaborative? Reach out to Melissa Caperton, email@example.com, to schedule a discussion regarding the opportunity and potential next steps.
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