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Pearson Releases Global Learner Survey (NCACCT Business Partner)

Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Pearson Report: Learners around the world see Covid-19 as a major turning point for modern education

Pearson, the world’s learning company, released a study in August that said more than three out of every four learners globally say the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed education as we know it. Those findings appear in the second annual Global Learner Survey, which captures the opinions and views of learners worldwide.

The survey shows learners believe it’s unlikely there will be a return to the pre-COVID world of entirely full-time, in-person work and learning. As they come to terms with this new reality, learners want schools and governments to address inequality in the learning experience, and desire digital skills they believe they will need to thrive in the new economy.

Pearson conducted the study during the pandemic with Harris Insights & Analytics, giving learners in seven countries the opportunity to voice their opinions on primary, secondary and higher education; and careers and the future of work. The poll surveyed more than 7,000 people, ranging in age from 16 to 70. Now in its second year, Pearson’s Global Learner Survey is the most comprehensive global public opinion survey of its kind.

“As learners adjust to a world forever altered by a pandemic, we felt that it was more important than ever that we hear their voices. They understand that the future of work and learning is now a dynamic mix of online and in-person experiences,” said John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson. “Learners are resilient, so they are learning and moving forward in new ways to seize that opportunity, no matter what the future holds.”

The Global Learner Survey’s top findings included:

  1. A belief that COVID-19 is revolutionizing education and work. 88% of learners globally say online learning will be a permanent part of primary, secondary and higher education moving forward. 77% say the pandemic already has permanently changed the way people work, with 90% saying people must become more comfortable working remotely and in highly digital environments. 82% say the pandemic will give rise to new kinds of jobs, and nearly three out of every four say it will result in rethinking of their career paths.
  2. Conflicting feelings about universities, especially when it comes to returning students to campuses this fall. While 75% of Americans think reopening universities is vital to a healthy economy, most are conflicted about how to do it safely, with 64% of Americans saying colleges and universities are risking the lives of students by reopening this fall. 84% globally believe that university students can still have a good experience this fall with a mix of in-person and online learning.
  3. A broader increase in trust and confidence in educators and education systems, because of how they responded to COVID-19. Two-thirds of people globally said their education system did a good job adjusting to the pandemic. In fact, this year more people globally (54%) said education systems are providing a quality experience than a year ago (49%).
  4. A desire to see education systems do more to address inequality. Even though learners continue to believe education delivers opportunity, they worry that opportunity is not equal, with 88% saying they want schools to do more about the inequality. In the U.S., 71% of people say that the pandemic has made them more likely to support student loan relief or government-funded, free-tuition programs.
  5. An acceptance of online education that includes a desire to see it improved. 88% of learners globally want educational institutions to maximize the learning experience through technology, though 67% say the education community uses technology less effectively than other industries, such as healthcare or banking. Given the choice to invest in public education, the survey’s global respondents said they would prioritize technology for underserved learners, followed by ensuring schools are better prepared for online learning.
  6. A strong interest in attaining digital skills to thrive through and beyond the pandemic. More than half of respondents said they are in need of new digital skills because their job status has changed, with 89% saying they need digital skills, such as virtual collaboration and data analysis to move forward in this economy. Indeed, 77% of people say working remotely has taught them they need different skills than what was needed while working in an office. Around the world, 71% intend to keep working remotely in the future.

To view the findings of the Global Learner Survey, including full findings for the US visit:

More About Pearson

Pearson Education is committed to student affordability, access and achievement. Today, students pay an average of $110 per traditional print textbook. In a “digital first” marketplace, Pearson projects average prices will range from $29 (for a typical e-textbook) to $69 (if packaged with courseware or other learning tools). In addition, Pearson will continue to expand access to its traditional textbook rental program, which costs students an average of $60 per title. Overall, students can expect to pay between 30-60% less for textbooks by leveraging some or all of these affordable options. Thank you again for the opportunity to support your Association. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the future. We also always welcome the opportunity to collaborate with individual institutions to deliver a wide range of education solutions that enhance access, affordability, and quality. For more information visit:

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Fayetteville Tech CC Trustee Billy Wellons

Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

William Wellons

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Fayetteville Technical Community College Trustee Billy Wellons

By Ashley Blizzard, NCACCP/NCACCT Communication Coordinator & Events Manager

A member of Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Board of Trustees for 17 years now, Billy Wellons admits that the college’s board and the Executive Board of the NC Association of Community College Trustees are the only two boards on which he now serves. The reason? Because he feels they really make a difference.

Wellons, who is in the real estate, development, property management, hotel and Harley Davidson business, is no stranger to board participation. However, after having served on many boards over the years, he finally made the conscious decision to only serve where he knew he could make an impact. The community colleges, he had discovered, was where that could occur.

Wellons said serving on the college’s board has given him a deeper perspective of what is around him. He has seen the years of opportunities and challenges faced by students and communities alike. It has been fulfilling for him to see students succeed and then become important contributing factors to the economy and to society.

Two major concerns Wellons sees the community colleges facing now are both finance related. First, he sees where community colleges need ongoing funding from the state. Secondly, Wellons believes community colleges need to be able to maintain flexibility in our financial services to an ever-changing population. “People are always moving and shifting…and they need support and encouragement. That’s part of what we do in our community college system. We help families face difficult circumstances [they] face in life,” said Wellons.

Community colleges are important to Wellons because he has seen the value community colleges provide to its students. Wellons shared a story in which one of his own employees was encouraged to go back to school when the employee attended his daughter’s graduation at FTCC. At the commencement ceremony, Wellons was one of the speakers. Wellons was unaware that because of his speech, his own employee made the decision to enroll at the community college to further his education. Cases like that prove the importance of community colleges to Wellons. Wellons said that deciding to go to the community college provides hope and greater opportunities for personal and professional fulfillment for those who may not have the resources necessary for success.

As a trustee, Wellons was surprised to learn how the community college accepts everyone—young and old, single parents, working parents, and those who may be challenged academically or financially. “We educate and train people to do real work in all trades and form our local communities and economy,” said Wellons. One thing that has really surprised Wellons is when the college has had its students speak at events and the students share how the school has treated them like a family. “The students really appreciate that,” he said.

During Covid, Wellons admits that keeping that sense of family and community has not been easy because the college is doing it from an absentee mentality. However, proper funding certainly helps. He praised the numerous online classes the college provides, even before the pandemic. Due to the fact that so many of FTCC’s students are in the military, many of its students are stationed all over the world. The ability for the college to provide them flexible, online classes with accommodating professors has given those students that sense of community.

Wellons is most proud of the way in which FTCC works with Fort Bragg. Wellons said the Fort Bragg Army General calls the college a “force multiplier” with the work the school does to train and educate our military. In military terms, the force multiplier is the factor that gives people or weapons the skills necessary to make greater achievements than they would without it. “At the heart of all of it, our people work in concert with our community that forms the magic that makes it all happen,” said Wellons. For the 17 years he has been on the college’s board, he said they have never had a trustee who had his/her own agenda. He is proud the college has a president and board who “work hard in working together.”

Wellons’ advice to new trustees strongly relates to the pride he has in his FTCC board. “Don’t come on the board unless you are serious about being a good trustee,” he says. “Don’t do it just because it’s an appointment. Come in with an attitude of harmony.” He also says to be involved and participate. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wellons said advice he would share with new trustees is that you have to be flexible, you have to listen to your leadership, and you have to be creative and innovative. He said trustees have to demonstrate they care.

In order for the college to accommodate new technologies, one advancement Wellons would like to see at FTCC is a continued refinement and development of its information technology infrastructure. He would also like to see that FTCC’s faculty and staff are people who have been in the “real world” so they can share that experience with the students. Lastly, Wellons wants to continue to have the best equipment for instruction purposes. In a nutshell, he said, “We want to lead the way!”

When asked about his hobbies, Wellons’ first response was, “How long have you got?” His hobbies vary widely and include collecting guns and knives, bird hunting, his ownership of 20 Tennessee Walking Horses, photography (although he enjoyed it more before digital photography became popular), and a love of all kinds of music. For 10 years, Wellons was even part of a rhythm and blues band (named the Men of Distinction) that headlined for numerous Motown groups.

His favorite place to relax is at a family farm in Falcon, NC. There he can hunt, fish and ride his Tennessee Walking Horses. Wellons also said he relaxes when he rides motorcycles, which he has been doing since he was 18 years old. A partner and owner in two Harley Davidson dealerships, Wellons said he has had two very memorable vacations. The first vacation was when he was 20 years old and his dad took his family on a 30-plus day international trip that began in London. Wellons and his family traveled as far east as Moscow, as far south as Cairo and ended the trip in Switzerland with stops along the way that included Paris, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rome and Athens.

His other memorable vacation was when he and one of his best friends rode 12,680 miles over the course of 40 days…on motorcycles! Their route began in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where they traveled into parts of Canada, then back into the United States where they journeyed across the northern states of the United States, back into Canada and then to California. Then after making several other stops that included Lake Tahoe and the Salt Lake Flats, they traveled to Milwaukee and joined 350,000 people for the 100th anniversary celebration of Harley Davidson.

In spite of the fact that it sounds like Wellons has “done it all,” he actually does have something left on his bucket list. He would like to rent a house and spend a couple of weeks in a village on the coast of Italy.

Some of the best advice Wellons ever received came from his dad. Wellons stated that throughout his life, he was always worried about his competition. However, Wellons said his dad told him that if he got up before everyone else and if he worked harder than everyone else, he would beat the competition every time. Wellons also said his dad would not ever accept the words, “I can’t.” According to Wellons, that mentality has given him a positive attitude that he could do what he wanted to do. Lastly, Wellons’ dad told him, “Put God first, family second, work hard, and you’ll be a good man.”

Wellons has several life accomplishments of which he is proud. First, he is an Eagle Scout. Second, he is the only one in his family who graduated college. He is also proud of his accomplishments as a businessman. Finally, Wellons said he is proud of his hard-working wife, who has owned her own hair salon for 28 years, as well as his two sons and one daughter.

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Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Wayne Community College Trustee Veda McNair

Posted on: April 14th, 2020 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Wayne Community College Trustee Veda McNair

By Ashley Blizzard, NCACCP/NCACCT Communication Coordinator & Events Manager

Veda McNair, known around Spring Creek High School as “The Main Thing Lady” because she encourages her Success Coach students to keep education as “the main thing” in their lives, often suggests the community college as an option for students after graduation. McNair has been employed in the education field for more than 40 years. A former elementary school principal, McNair says she often runs into students she knew growing up in the schools where she was principal. Many former students would often tell her that Wayne Community College had played a large part of their education beyond high school. This is when her interest in community colleges began. Therefore, in 2005, when McNair was asked to serve on Wayne Community College’s Board of Trustees, she was more than happy to oblige.

McNair said that being on Wayne Community College’s board has allowed her to see “the other side” of community colleges—not just how they educate their communities. Being a trustee has shown her how community colleges partner with local businesses, school systems, military bases, and communities. It’s also shown her how the colleges can affect local economies and economic development. “When I see [these] partnerships, I feel a sense of pride that I’m a part of this,” said McNair.

“The community college is probably one of the best kept secrets” [in education], according to McNair. While she is appreciative of the support community colleges receive from local and state governments, she feels the value of our community colleges sometimes isn’t realized by our citizenry and those who hold the purse strings. That has surprised McNair during her time as a trustee. She said some of our citizens and leaders do not realize the impact our community colleges have getting our citizens trained and qualified to go into the workforce. According to McNair, community college transfer students out-perform their counterparts at four-year colleges. She also states that Wayne Community College, in particular, has very high completion rates for programs offered.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, McNair has been concerned about funding for salary increases. “We are lagging behind other educational institutions. If we’re going to keep high-level faculty, we’re going to need to pay them accordingly,” she says. Salary increases for faculty and staff is one of the top two issues she sees facing North Carolina community colleges right now. The other issue she sees is that community colleges need support for programs like the Guided Pathways Initiative that can get students trained and educated so they can go into the workforce. (For more information on these programs, go to

North Carolina’s community colleges are important to McNair because they offer an “extremely quality education at an extremely affordable price. The cost to attend community colleges is much lower compared to four-year colleges—and in some cases you can go right into the workforce with the training you need,” says McNair.

The pride McNair feels about Wayne Community College can easily be heard in her voice when she speaks about the school. She says that since the COVID-19 virus, she has been proud to see how everyone at the college is so prepared for this pandemic. McNair said the college has sanitized the facility and has plans in place to provide instruction remotely for students. She said they are discussing how the students who do not have internet access or computers can still receive instruction. She also said there are plans in place so that employees can work and be paid. McNair stated, “This took a lot of advance planning on the part of the administration under the leadership of our most capable president, Dr. Thomas Walker.”

McNair said she is most proud of the high level of performance by the students at Wayne Community College. In essence, she is proud of Wayne Community College’s “report card,” stating that its “performance data is great, especially when compared to colleges of a similar size.”

Advancements McNair would like to see at the college include completing two building projects, one of which has already begun. Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school is making sure construction continues on its new automotive building (while being consistent with social distancing requirements, of course). The school also has plans for an advanced manufacturing center. This project has not yet begun. However, McNair is hopeful that work on that project will begin as soon as the automotive building is completed.

As with most, if not all community colleges, McNair would also like to see enrollment increase, as well as expansion of the early middle college. She would love for the colleges to offer different programs that include a lot of training for high school students, whom she believes greatly benefit from this program.

To any new trustees out there, McNair offers this advice: “Be like a sponge and soak up as much information as you can. Go to committee meetings, board meetings, and functions and be an advocate for [your] college.” To be able to make informed decisions, McNair suggests asking questions at committee meetings and getting college staff (including the president) to clarify items that need to be further explained.

When she is not attending to college business, McNair enjoys exercising. She also enjoys doing things for her husband, who is not physically able to help with some of the day-to-day operations of the house like cooking. Additionally, McNair enjoys traveling and music; she even sings and plays a little piano.

To unwind, McNair loves bargain shopping. She admits that she takes great satisfaction in competing for a good bargain, be it furniture or clothes. When she visits places outside of her Goldsboro home, she enjoys finding a great deal on something that she can remember that visit by. However, it must be “at a real good price!”

McNair’s best vacation ever was in 2015 when she and a group of high school students visited five European countries. This was her second visit to Europe; she had gone previously in 2008. However, she really enjoyed the 2015 trip because she was visiting places where she could not be reached by phone; nor could she reach others. She says the trip was the “thrill of her life.” McNair’s bucket list does not include visiting anywhere new, but rather she would like to learn to swim and to improve her piano playing.

The best advice McNair has ever received came from a college professor. She says that following this advice is critical to being a good leader. His advice was, “Separate the trivial many from the critical few.” McNair also appreciated advice shared by Ron Edmonds, an educator and researcher of essential qualities of effective schools. Edmonds’ advice was this: “We already know enough about how to effectively educate all children. The question is: Why so far we haven’t?” McNair likes this advice because it makes educators reflect on the practices used and consider if they have used all the available tools to help children learn.

A few things “The Main Thing Lady” is proud of include her career in education (which also included the little-known fact that McNair coauthored an article on new teacher training for a national journal on staff development) and the many lives she has touched during her career. Additionally, she is proud to be a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honorary society of women educators.

McNair has been married to her pastor husband for almost 44 years. She has two grown children—a daughter and a son—and one grandchild.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: NCACCT Secretary/Treasurer Grayson Whitt

Posted on: February 20th, 2020 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: NCACCT Secretary/Treasurer Grayson Whitt

By Ashley Blizzard, NCACCP/NCACCT Communication Coordinator & Events Manager

“Listen to learn,” and “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” Those are the two pieces of advice Grayson Whitt, NCACCT’s Executive Board Secretary/Treasurer, would give to a new community college trustee. Considering Whitt has been a trustee at Rockingham Community College (RCC) for 17 years, he ought to know a thing or two about the protocol of being a trustee.

Whitt became involved with the community colleges when he was asked to serve on RCC’s foundation board, a position he enjoyed for the nine-year allowable limit. As a banker (now vice president/business development officer of First National Bank in Eden), serving on the foundation board seemed to be a natural fit. When he was appointed a trustee of the college, however, he was not familiar with the governance of the community college system. Learning how community colleges work was a big learning curve for him. Additionally, he quickly realized that the definition of a community college trustee was not “someone who meets with other trustees for one hour a month.” Being a trustee was more work than he had anticipated; the position was certainly more than just “ceremonial.”

Whitt has found state regulations to be the hardest part of being a trustee. For instance, it has surprised him how long a community college construction project can take due to the extensive requirements on publicly funded building projects. “That wouldn’t work in the private sector,” said Whitt.

According to Whitt, community colleges really need to be concerned with enrollment right now. To ensure continued success for our community colleges, the colleges must continue to have increasing enrollment for students. “In my profession,” said Whitt, “I see how [community colleges] benefit all types of individuals at a very reasonable cost. I’ve seen people [attend community colleges] and come out doing well without a lot of student debt.” Increased enrollment will help ensure colleges receive the appropriate and necessary state funding to continue to offer a quality education at a reasonable price.

When asked about advancements he would like to see at his own college, Whitt said he would like to see increased enrollment and more scholarships being offered in the area of workforce development.

Something he is most proud of about RCC is that they are trying to get a building under construction that would be solely dedicated to workforce development. The county has shown its support of this project by approving a 25-cent sales tax for this $20 million, 40,000 square-foot building. Whitt is hopeful the project will begin soon.

Outside of the community college and banking arenas, Whitt enjoys working out, which he does at least four days a week at 5:00 in the morning. He also likes to play golf and follow football and basketball at his alma mater, Elon University. As he puts it, his favorite way to relax is “very simple.” He likes to go to North Myrtle Beach, which he does regularly, and listen to good music and play golf.

When recalling his best vacation ever, Whitt said it was when his family took a trip to Key West, Florida. He, his wife, Connie, and two teenage (at the time) children enjoyed unwinding there. “It’s one of the most laid-back places I’ve ever been in my life,” said Whitt.

One thing Whitt would really like to check off his bucket list is seeing Elon University’s basketball team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) playoffs. Admitting that this bucket list item is “weird,” he commented, “I don’t need to go to Spain. I’m a simple person.” Whitt has had Elon basketball tickets for over 30 years.

Readers would probably be surprised to learn that Whitt is a former 9th grade biology teacher. Just out of college, he survived this undertaking for an entire day, after which he realized that teaching was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. As a teacher, he was hopeful he could also coach. However, the offer of becoming the assistant junior varsity basketball coach alongside his 9th grade biology teacher status was not enticing enough to keep him in the classroom.

Another likely unknown fact about Whitt is that he is a certified soccer referee (although he no longer actively referees). His son wanted to become a soccer referee, so they both became certified and refereed for weekend travel soccer teams.

Finally, Whitt says that he has not missed a home football game at Elon University in over 20 years. He says he would have attended more, but he knew attending his children’s sporting events as they grew up was more important. However, he did add, “I’ve probably missed a few weddings I should have gone to!”

Whitt is most proud of his family—his wife of 38 years, and his son and daughter, who are both college graduates. “I know it’s generic, but it’s true,” he says. Both of his children live in Greensboro. His son works in supply chain management, and his daughter is a second-grade teacher.

NCACCT Business Partners

Posted on: November 20th, 2019 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The NCACCT greatly appreciates our Business Partners!

For more information regarding business partnerships, please contact Ashley Blizzard at

Moseley Architects

Moseley Architects is among the southeast’s most trusted public sector architects, offering exceptional design to higher education clients. Since their inception 50 years ago, the firm has earned a reputation for quality, reliability, and responsiveness. With dedicated and creative professionals spread among the firm’s nine locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, they work to routinely deliver functional, efficient, and appealing solutions within rigorous budgets and schedules. Additionally, they offer experience and service gained through their work on over 100 collegiate projects. This includes extensive campus planning, programming, and design experience in a broad portfolio of collegiate projects, including academic, research, recreation, athletic, arts and student life.  The firm is committed to working with clients on projects featuring high performance and sustainable design, with 80 LEED certified projects (ranging from basic to platinum certification). For more information visit:


Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP (CSH Law) is a North Carolina-based law firm with attorneys serving clients statewide with offices located in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington. Founded in 1992, we advise and represent clients in all stages of litigation before federal and state courts in North Carolina, as well as select administrative agencies. We have built a reputation as a firm of tough-minded and tenacious trial lawyers who will work with clients at all stages of the litigation process, from avoiding incidents that may lead to law-suits to navigating the complex state and federal court systems. Our services cover 27 different practice areas including education law, business law, employment law, elder and estate planning, medical malpractice, family law, worker’s compensation and more. We have handled more than 100,000 matters in North Carolina.  For more information visit: 


Register as an NCACCT Business Partner

2019 ACCT National Legislative Summit – NC Events

Posted on: February 1st, 2019 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

For those attending the 2019 ACCT National Legislative Summit in Washington DC, we hope to see you at the following events just for North Carolina attendees:

North Carolina Reception on Monday, February 11
Join your fellow trustees, presidents and community college leaders from across the state at the annual North Carolina reception hosted by NCACCT. The reception will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, February 11, in the Congress Room. The Congress Room can be found on Level 4 of the Marriott Marquis hotel

Meeting with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on Tuesday, February 12
North Carolina trustees and presidents will have the opportunity to meet with our state’s two Senators and discuss issues important to community colleges at the federal level. The meeting with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis will be held from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-G11.  Please allow additional time to get through security when entering the building.

Register for the 2018 Leadership Seminar

Posted on: June 26th, 2018 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

2018 Leadership Seminar Page Header


Registration is now open for the 2018 Leadership Seminar, to be held September 5 to 7 in Asheville!  Click here for more information or to register.

2017 Leadership Seminar Presentations

Posted on: November 30th, 2017 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The following are from the PowerPoint presentations from the 2017 Leadership Seminar:

Orientation for New Trustees

“Effective Board and Trustees” by Dr. Frank Sells

NCACCA (Attorney’s Meeting) – August 24, 2017

“The Game of Risk” by Mr. Chris Campbell

Religious Accommodations” by Mr. Chad Donnahoo


2013 Law/Legislative Seminar: Mr. Tony Almeida’s Blueprint Presentation

Posted on: April 30th, 2013 by nprivette No Comments

Mr. Tony Almeida, Senior Advisor to Governor McCrory for Jobs and the Economy, was the Breakfast Session Speaker at our 2013 Law/Legislative Seminar in April. Many attendees asked for copies of his Blueprint Powerpoint presentation. The powerpoint can be found on our Resources & Links page.