Archive for October, 2021

Pearson – Creating Better Student Learning Experiences (NCACCT Business Partner Article)

Posted on: October 19th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments


Partnering with Community Colleges to Create Better Student Learning Experiences
By Pearson, an NCACCT Business Partner

Today’s students are digital natives who expect quality and affordability in all of their products and services. In education, quality means that their products and services will help them achieve positive outcomes in the classroom, or wherever they choose to learn. It’s our goal to create learning experiences that surpass their expectations and help them succeed.

One way we are meeting this goal is by partnering with hundreds of higher education institutions, including many in North Carolina, to support campus Inclusive Access programs. As you may know, Inclusive Access is a digital-first program that institutions can implement with support from their bookstore to provide reduced-price high-quality eBooks and other materials to students on the first day of class.

Now in its seventh year, Pearson’s Inclusive Access has become a popular program for students, faculty, administrators and bookstores. In large part, this is because it has helped create simpler more equitable learning experiences by easing access to textbooks and learning materials.

Affordability is an important part of the learning experience and campuses that use Inclusive Access have helped students save hundreds of millions of dollars on course materials since 2015. On average, students in this program get up to seventy percent off of traditional print materials. We are very proud to work with Community Colleges and other partner institutions to achieve this success.

Another important feature that Inclusive Access partners offer to students is the assurance that they will have all of their required materials on the first day of class. Traditionally, eighty percent of students delay purchasing their required courseware. Research shows that early access to materials correlates with higher grades and completion rates.

Delivery of course materials on the first day of class is great for students AND instructors. Far too often, instructors struggle to retain students or help them succeed simply because they purchase materials too late. Giving students materials on the first day of class will help them have a successful start. It puts all students on equal footing so that some don’t get stuck waiting for financial aid or shipping, or shopping for books. This simple approach gives instructors a better chance to retain students and help them succeed throughout the semester. Our research from one major Inclusive Access university partner shows 70% of students started their assignments by the first day of class, compared to just 2% in 2014.

In addition, instructors enjoy the academic freedom to choose the content and eBooks they want. Inclusive Access instructors also enjoy the ability to assess engagement via digital courseware reports in our eBooks. They can track student progress so that they can decide where and when students need more support. This is critically important in the world of digital and hybrid instruction.

Last, college bookstores play an important role in the student experience. As courseware is rapidly transitioning to digital, Inclusive Access allows college stores to establish a sustainable approach to digital course material distribution that offers students greater convenience and consistent pricing. It allows bookstores to lower direct costs, and save students more.

In particular, we’re very proud of our many Community College partnerships. Together, we have created some of the most effective Inclusive Access programs for students. Here’s just one example. A Community College partner in Mississippi experienced a rise in graduation rates of 8% and a rise in retention of 10% since they implemented their Inclusive Access program. There was a 17% increase in gateway math student success. All told, these students saved 68% percent on their materials. There are many similar stories.

All of these examples go back to our goal – creating better student learning experiences that will help them succeed and graduate. Thank you for the opportunity to let us share how we are working with institutions to provide products and services that benefit students, instructors, and hundreds of colleges and universities.

For more information, go to Pearson | The world’s learning company | US.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: SBCC Chairman Burr Sullivan

Posted on: October 19th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

State Board of Community Colleges Chairman Burr Sullivan

With a mind for business and a heart for education, Burr Sullivan has hit the ground running as the new Chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges.  He was elected Chairman in September for a two-year term, and he is optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for the System and its students.

A native of West Virginia, Sullivan graduated form Marshall University and became an Army officer in May 1968.  He served in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader and then came to North Carolina where he earned an MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His was the sixth graduating class at UNC-CH’s MBA Program, now Kenan-Flagler.

His career led him to Lexington where he served as a division controller for Burlington Industries –one of the largest and most diversified manufacturers of textile products in the world.  He worked on the financial side of the company and then launched his own business venture in 1979 with the purchase of Dorsett Printing Corporation, which made packaging products for manufacturers in the Southeast, then around the country, and then all over the world as global markets opened.

Sullivan sold the company in 2007 and tried to retire, but says “that was the most boring six months of my life.”   Then, local business leaders came calling.  He was asked to lead the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce to a better economic situation as it was struggling during the recession at that time.  He is credited with ultimately saving the Chamber in Lexington from closing its doors.  It took him two years to turn things around, but he stayed there six more years because he enjoyed building coalitions among business partners and liked working with young people.

He quickly discovered that one of the strongest business partners – and strongest economic drivers – in the Lexington area was Davidson County Community College (now Davidson-Davie Community College).    Under his leadership, the Chamber worked with the community college to determine the best customized training programs needed to optimize the success of larger businesses in the area.  He also directed other businesses to the Small Business Center, which Sullivan lauds as a key tool to helping smaller companies grow, thrive, and learn new skills.  Sullivan was recognized by Davidson-Davie CC with an honorary degree in May, 2021 for his 50 years of community service.

At the state level, Sullivan was asked by then NC Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco  and the General Assembly to serve on the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee (EIC), which evaluates potential Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) projects and makes decisions on business recruitment incentive funding.

“Serving on the EIC was truly an eye-opening experience,” Sullivan said.  “It was amazing to see how community colleges were so important to new companies that were considering a move to the state.  In fact, that was the first question:  ‘Can your State deliver a trained workforce to my business?’   We heard that over and over.  And, ultimately, it’s the community colleges that enable North Carolina to deliver that trained workforce so that our state can recruit businesses and bring jobs to the state—-or help existing industries expand.”

As the new leader of the State Board of Community Colleges, one of his first priorities is to schedule regional meetings for individual State Board members  and senior staff to travel throughout North Carolina to engage local Trustees, Presidents and other community college leaders and  hear what they believe to be the System’s future priorities.

“We want to get input at these regional meetings to help us to develop a new  Strategic Plan for the System, which will begin in July 2022 and continue through July 2026,” Sullivan said.  “The State Board is a group of volunteers, like the local Boards of Trustees are volunteers.  We all come to the table wanting to help people and impact their lives in a positive way.”

More information will be distributed in the next few weeks about the regional meetings.  “We will be learning by listening and interacting” Sullivan said.  “The State Board wants to learn more about opportunities/challenges facing our colleges, and we want our colleges to learn more about our Board.     If we can all continue to work collaboratively for the same goals of supporting our colleges and our students, then I know that we can make a real difference – TOGETHER.”

2021 Leadership Seminar Documents

Posted on: October 7th, 2021 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The following are the Handouts from the presentations at the 2021 Leadership Seminar:

Final Report from the NCCCS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

DEI Task Force Final Report

Orientation for New Trustees

Effective Board and Trustees 

General Luncheon Session – John Davis Political Report

Political Trends and Public Policy Implications

Finance 101

FTE, Funding Formulas, What does it all mean?

Issues Impacting Rural Community Colleges

Rural Colleges Presentation