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Advisory Boards Provide Guidance for Edgecombe Programs

More than 200 business, industry, and health care leaders and Edgecombe Community College faculty gathered on the Tarboro campus Tuesday night for Advisory Board Night.

The annual event was held February 25.

ECC advisory boards consist of professional leaders, community members, and faculty who are experts in the subject area of their board. More than 70 businesses and organizations are represented on the boards.

Dr. Sharon Morrissey, executive vice president/chief academic officer at the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), provided the keynote address on statewide student success goals and the Completion by Design project.

In 2011, North Carolina was one of four states selected to participate in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Completion by Design Initiative that targets community colleges to significantly increase student completion and graduation rates.

Over the last several years, the NCCCS has been “looking deeply at how we can help students complete their programs more effectively and efficiently,” Morrissey explained.

Priorities developed by the NCCCS include “better alignment of programs with workforce needs,” she said. “We redesigned about 80 curriculum programs so there are structured pathways leading to industry-recognized certifications.”

Also, she pointed to the development of “stackable credentials with multiple entry and exit points” so that students may complete a program, enter the workforce, and return to college for additional training.

Advisory boards are in place for 25 program areas of the college, such as early childhood education, industrial and technical trades, and the Small Business Center. Six to 10 members sit on each board.

“You bring what is current in the workplace to Edgecombe faculty in a very important way,” Morrissey said, thanking advisory board members for their service.