Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Rural Community College Program Aims to Close Equity Gaps


Tuesday, April 12, 2022   

An initiative based at North Carolina State University aims to help the state's rural-serving community colleges close equity gaps and strengthen student outcomes.

Community college enrollment is down nationwide, but North Carolina is so far resisting the trend, with a slight increase in total student head count this year.

Audrey Jaeger, executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research and professor at NC State University, said the Rural College Leaders Program is designed to help community colleges remove systemic barriers and boost completion rates, specifically among low-income and students of color in rural communities.

"We identified a cohort of 10 rural community college leaders," Jaeger explained. "Who were willing to look at data, who were willing to engage with us over the next two and a half to three years."

According to a report released last month by the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges, more than half a million credit and noncredit seeking students were enrolled in a community college between 2019 and 2021, supporting more than 300,000 jobs and contributing more than $19 billion to the state's economy. The State Board of Community Colleges plans to meet next week.

Jaeger noted participating institutions will closely track a series of metrics.

"How are new students doing in English and math classes? How many are retained past the first semester? How many continue past the second semester?" Jaeger outlined.

Community colleges primarily serve students of color, low-income, adult, first-generation and single-parent students. Jaeger pointed out dips in enrollment mean individuals are less likely to return to school to obtain a degree or certification, which could lead to a better job.

"So, disproportionately they serve more of those students," Jaeger remarked. "And when enroll numbers decline, disproportionately more of those students are not enrolled in college."

According to the state board, the number of students enrolled in community college jumped slightly between 2020 and 2021, but overall is still down by 13% from before the pandemic.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

get more stories like this via email
In calling Florida's new 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional, Florida Circuit Judge John Cooper said, "Florida passed into its constitution an explicit right to privacy that is not contained in the U.S. Constitution." (fotodigitalmunioz/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Northern Plains Resource Council is holding presentations on soil health at farms and ranches across Montana. (Northern Plains Resource Council)


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Proponents of a consumer-owned utility say as Maine works to improve the power grid, it is important to hold power companies in the state accountable. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

Social Issues

By Sarah Melotte for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection for the Public News Service/Daily Yonder Collabor…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021