NCICU Distributes $115,200 in UPS Scholarships

NCICU has received $115,200 and distributed UPS Scholarships to assist 36 students, one student attending each of the private colleges and universities in North Carolina. The scholarships were made possible by a grant through the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) from the UPS Educational Endowment which UPS directed in 1953 to private college students attending colleges in North Carolina.

“The Council of Independent Colleges has managed the UPS Endowment since 2010, continuing the role of providing a scholarship to each college in what are now all State Councils,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams. “The UPS scholarships provide crucial funds for students, assuring their access to a transformative college education.”

Nationally, CIC distributed more than $1.4 million in student scholarships through the UPS Endowment to make private colleges and universities more affordable and accessible to underserved students.

“The Council of Independent Colleges is proud to support nearly 450 low-income, first-generation, minority, and new American students in 26 states through the CIC/UPS Scholarships,” said Marjorie Hass, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “Through our partnership with NCICU, these scholarships help individual students pursue their education at one of North Carolina’s superb independent colleges and universities.”

The UPS Scholarships Program has made a private college education possible for more than 21,000 low-income, first generation, and minority students and has had a transformative impact on individuals, families, and communities across the country.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, the UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. The foundation’s philanthropic approach centers on four focus areas: health & humanitarian relief, equity and economic empowerment, local engagement, and planet protection. To UPS, giving means combining employees’ skills, passion and time with the company’s logistics expertise, transportation assets, and charitable donations to make a measurable difference in society.

About the Council of Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 758 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. CIC also conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers in the United States. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

Click image for full content

$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions

 

Independent College Fund Raises $2.3M

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), a division of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) has raised $2.3 million in its 2020-21 fundraising campaign (May 2020-April 2021), according to director, Colleen Kinser.

The funds provided $611,284 in scholarship support to students at North Carolina’s 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. In addition, the ICFNC has seen an increase in the number of named scholarships that are available to North Carolina students based on specific criteria.

Those scholarships are:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC
Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
Burlington Industries Foundation Scholarship
CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
Clancy & Theys Construction Co. Scholarship
Dominion NC Power Scholarship
ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
North Carolina Sherriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future
Generations
Truist Foundation Scholarship
Workforce Development Opportunity Scholarship

“These companies and individuals have been so supportive of our independent college students. Some have been contributing to the fund for more than 60 years,” said Kinser. “Their generosity has had a profound impact – 156 students will benefit from a named scholarship during the 2021-22 academic year, and hundreds of additional students will benefit, from the general scholarship funds we raise for the campuses to distribute.

Donations for programs totaled $319,470 and support NCICU events such as its annual Ethics Bowl, and the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium.

In addition, more than $1.4 million in in-kind gifts was received, the majority provided by SAS in donations of software and training support for 30 NCICU campuses.

Independent College Fund Raises $2.3M

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

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$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions

 

NC Sheriffs’ Association Establishes Scholarships

The North Carolina Sheriffs Association (NCSA) has established the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship for students at 26 private colleges and universities in North Carolina that will be administered by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

Recipients, who must be North Carolina residents, will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Priority will be given to students whose parent or guardian has served in law enforcement, or the scholarship will go to a student majoring in criminal justice or a related program.

Colleen Kinser, Director of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina expressed appreciation for this scholarship support, “We are thankful for this partnership with NCSA to assist qualifying students who want to pursue a career in law enfocement and to give back to the dependents of those who are already serving our community. We are looking forward to working with NCSA to administer these funds.”

Recipients of the scholarship will be chosen by the financial aid office at the university that the student plans to attend or is currently attending. Applications are available from the university’s financial aid office, and after completion, should be returned to the university’s financial aid office.

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

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$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions

 

Virtual Counselors Tour Scheduled

North Carolina’s 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities will be showcased via a virtual Counselors Tour July 12-29. Each afternoon, Monday-Thursday, high school counselors from around the state of North Carolina and the nation will learn about the academic programs, campus life, and uniqueness of the institutions.

The virtual format, implemented because of the pandemic, replaces an annual weeklong bus tour, which traditionally fills up on the day the registration is announced. “The virtual format may limit participants’ ability to see the campuses firsthand,” said coordinator Rebecca Leggett, “but it allows so many more counselors to participate in the tour and to get a look at North Carolina’s higher education options and unique attributes for students.”

In addition to 45-minute presentations by each institution, panel discussions featuring campuses’ students and faculty, and a focus on College Affordability are offered to participants. Keynote speakers, including Cris Charbonneau, director of Advocacy & Engagement, myFutureNC; Thomas Stith, president, NC Community College System; and Geoff Coltrane, senior education advisor, Office of the Governor, will be featured on Monday of each week.

To view the schedule or to register for the tour, go to https://ncicu.org/ncicu-2021-counselors-tour/.  For additional information, contact Ms. Leggett at [email protected].

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

Click image for full content

$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions

 

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

Click image for full content

$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions

 

NCICU Chair Honored by Governor

Wake Forest University President and Chair of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Nathan O. Hatch has been awarded the highest honor for state service granted by the Office of the Governor for achievement and service, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper presented the award to Hatch March 29 during North Carolina of Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual meeting of presidents. Hatch had been nominated for the award by NCICU President Hope Williams.

In presenting the award, Governor Cooper recognized Hatch for his leadership.

“Dr. Hatch, when you think about what your career at Wake Forest University — what it has meant to the University, to the Winston-Salem area, to the state as a whole, to this country and to the world — you have a lot to be proud of.”

Hatch has served as Wake Forest’s president for nearly 16 years, and as NCICU chair for four years. He plans to retire on June 30.

“Dr. Hatch’s leadership at Wake Forest University and with NCICU, including the last four years as chair of the NCICU board, has been dedicated to access and success for students, to support of faculty and expansion of academic programs, and to innovation leading to economic growth for our state and our citizens,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “He is most deserving of this award.”

Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Persons named to The Order become North Carolina “Ambassadors” with their names and award dates recorded on a Roster maintained by The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society.

ALL NEWS

Queens University of Charlotte Repeat Ethics Bowl Champion

For the second consecutive year, Queens University of Charlotte is champion of the statewide Ethics Bowl, an annual event organized by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The event was held Feb. 9-10 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university's winning 2024 NCICU Ethics Bowl team
Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo with the university’s winning 2024 NCICU Ethics . (c) Robert Witchger

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Thanks to sponsorships, the event is self-funded. That means there is no cost to students or campuses. “We are very grateful to our sponsors,” Williams said. “Several new sponsors this year also had representatives attend the event and serve as judges. They really enjoyed the experience.”

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary [to some],” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

The 2024 participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine’s University, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

NCICU Announces Recipients of NC Sheriffs’ Association Scholarships

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents. The association is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

NCICU, NC Community Colleges sign Early Childhood Education transfer agreement

Early Childhood educators with associate degrees from North Carolina community colleges will now have seamless transfer opportunities to many private North Carolina four-year colleges. The opportunities result from Friday’s [August 18] signing of a joint agreement by the State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

The State Board of Community Colleges approved the proposal for a Uniform Articulation Agreement between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System at the August 18 board meeting – expanding transfer opportunities for students pursuing careers in early childhood education.

The agreement promotes educational advancement for students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at community colleges that want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten (BK) teaching licensure program or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related Early Childhood Education Field from select independent colleges and universities in the state.

Picture of Dr. Jeff Cox, NC Community Colleges, and Dr. Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities
Dr. Jeff Cox, left, president of North Carolina Community Colleges System, and Dr. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities, at the signing of the Early Childhood Education transfer articulation agreement.
“Early Childhood and Birth to Kindergarten are critical stages in children’s development. We want to ensure our North Carolina teachers in these vital areas receive the best education to be able to help children learn and grow,” said Dr. A. Hope Williams, president, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. “NCICU is pleased to approve this articulation agreement with the North Carolina Community College System to enrich and streamline support and increase transfer options for these teachers.”

The agreement will increase opportunities for applied associate degree early childhood educators who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees and create a more seamless – and guaranteed – transfer process for community college early childhood education students.

“This is a milestone day for our system and for our state,” said Dr. Lisa Eads, Associate Vice President of Programs at the North Carolina Community College System. “There is a critical need for early childhood professionals in North Carolina. With the signing of this agreement between NCCCS and NCICU, we are demonstrating our commitment to early childhood professionals serving children and families in our state.”

This coordinated approach should increase ECE to BK student retention and persistence and reduce time-to-degree completion. The agreement will increase the number of teachers with four-year degrees with a BK licensure and support non-teaching positions that may not require licensure, including Smart Start, Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, and other public, private or non-profit organizations.

Students are required to meet applicable admissions criteria for the institution of their choice, including but not limited to minimum GPA and Praxis scores (only required for teacher license track).

“The North Carolina Community College System is dedicated to building talent pipelines for critical professions and industries in our state and early childhood is certainly a vital need for our state and our economy,” said System President Jeff Cox. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible to get high-quality education and preparation for these careers.”

For many years, NCICU and the System have been working together to increase opportunities for transfer students, and this agreement is a product of that collaborative work. All 58 community colleges are approved to offer this program and are included in this agreement.

31 NC Educator Prep Programs Implement the Science of Reading

In 2022, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) established a taskforce to begin work on a groundbreaking initiative to revamp reading instruction in Educator Prep Programs (EPPs) at NCICU institutions based on the science of reading.

The science of reading is a research-backed approach, focusing on fundamental reading skills such as phonics and explicit teaching methods which offer significant benefits to young students, particularly for struggling readers. By diving deep into the mechanics of how we learn to read, from the intricacies of brain science to effective teaching strategies, the science of reading promises to bring about a transformative shift in literacy rates.

To help research, develop, and implement support systems that assist faculty to fully align their college courses with the science of reading, the Goodnight Educational Foundation provided a two-year grant to NCICU. With those funds, subgrants were distributed to all 31 EPPs on NCICU campuses to redesign literacy courses and internships. Through their work over the past year and a half, all 31 EPPs have revised their courses and most of them have added new courses and learning experiences. Deans and faculty members came together this summer to report on their progress and share initiatives that have been implemented to date.

For example, one college used some of the subgrant funds to connect with local elementary schools, building a mobile tutoring lab that they took to those schools to aid struggling readers. Another created a series of intensive workshops with its local elementary schools to aid first grade students in phonological awareness, and to demonstrate how best to intervene with struggling readers. Another institution partnered with a local K-12 school which specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. Together, they developed a 10-hour asynchronous course that engages future teachers in a deep dive into content that will enable them to support readers with the challenge of breaking the alphabetic code.

“We recognize that reading and comprehension are keys to student achievement at all levels of education,” said NCICU president, Hope Williams, “and we are so impressed with the collaboration among EPPs and the innovative ideas they have developed and implemented for the Science of Reading curriculum at the 31 NCICU Educator Prep Programs.”

The NCICU Task Force has been developing a Faculty Teaching Toolkit, an online database that includes handouts, videos, and readings to help faculty across the state learn and teach the science of reading.

Through this new initiative, NCICU seeks to pave the way for a future where every student, regardless of their background or learning challenges, can become a confident, proficient reader. It is a bold move in education and a significant step towards enhanced literacy in North Carolina.

Williams Receives Trailblazer Award

NCICU president, Hope Williams, has been awarded the Trailblazer Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network.

“The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is delighted to recognize Dr. Hope Williams with our Trailblazer Award for her sustained and outstanding contributions to advancing women in higher education,” stated Amy A. Overman, assistant provost and professor at Elon University, and state chair of the Network. “Hope’s record of advocating for equity has shaped our state’s higher education landscape in important ways.”

“I am honored to receive this award from such outstanding women leaders across our state’s higher education continuum, including NCICU, the UNC System and the NC Community College System, said Williams. “North Carolina’s ACE Women’s Network is integral to providing a support system to develop and encourage women’s leadership in higher education to the benefit of students, colleges and universities, and the entire state.”

The North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is a part of, and shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) leadership programs. As such, the NC ACE Network seeks to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support women in higher education careers in North Carolina.

NCICU Spring 2023 Newsletter

Click image for full content

$2 Million Contributed to Independent College Fund

The Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC), the fundraising arm of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) received $2 million in cash and in-kind donations during its annual campaign which ended April 30, 2023.

The iBELONG MALE MENTORING PROGRAMSM received additional funding this year from Wells Fargo which has allowed the program to include four additional campuses and for expansion beyond two years. Sponsorships also allowed NCICU to provide an iBELONG Student Conference and Career Workshop hosted at Livingstone College.  The iBELONG program is designed to increase the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of male students of color.

Program funds also support NCICU’s annual Ethics Bowl and numerous administrative group workshops provided each year for the 36 colleges and universities under the NCICU umbrella. This year, in addition to event sponsors, all  Ethics Bowl campus teams were sponsored.

“This year we are seeing a greater connection between students and the corporate community through programmatic funding,” said ICFNC director, Colleen Kinser.  “We are excited to see where these relationships will lead in terms of internships and careers. Thanks to the support of generous donors, NCICU will continue to administer student enrichment programs that address the significant challenges employers are facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse domestic and global workforce.”

A continued focus on raising scholarship funds will help students pursue their educational goals during the 2023-24 academic year.  The donors have contributed to the following scholarships during this campaign:

These include:

  • Albemarle Foundation
  • Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund Scholarship
  • Broyhill Family Foundation Scholarship
  • CIC/UPS Education Endowment Scholarship
  • Clancy & Theys Scholarship
  • Dominion NC Power Scholarship
  • ICFNC Advisory Board Corporate Scholarship
  • Jeff and Jan Stoddard Scholarship for Hope
  • North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Thomas & Ashley Varnadore Scholarship of Optimism in Future Generations

The $2 million raised also includes funds for the newly established STAR Scholarship. The Student Teacher Assistance for Retention (STAR) Scholarship will help fill the shrinking teacher pipeline as students are developed into professional educators. The funds will provide financial support to college seniors who are enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) with priority given to students of color to increase diversity in the classroom.

In-kind support was received from Google Ad Grants and from SAS.

Governor Cooper’s Budget Provides Funds for NCICU

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his proposed budget this week which includes strong support for education, including $31 million for NCICU campuses and students. The Governor’s budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly from the Executive Branch and has been presented to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

The Governor’s recommendations to the General Assembly include:

  • $5m in additional recurring funding for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS.)  If enacted, this would increase the NCNBS from $91.1m to $96.1m in recurring funding.
  • $10m in non-recurring funds for assistance to NCICU institutions for Growing the Healthcare Workforce.
  • $16m in non-recurring funds from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to assist NCICU HBCUs and MSIs with their critical infrastructure needs.

“On behalf of our 36 independent colleges and universities, I want to thank the Governor for his support of our colleges and universities and, especially, our students,” said NCICU president Hope Williams. “North Carolina families are still recovering from the pandemic and the additional financial aid will be critical in making college possible for many students. In addition, we are committed to responding to the state’s significant need for more healthcare professionals which these funds would support. We also deeply appreciate the recommendation of funds to address infrastructure needs at our minority-serving institutions to support their historic missions.”

The budget also includes an average 18% teacher raise over the biennium, a $1 billion plan to support mental health, and major funding for childcare, job training, and economic development.

The General Assembly’s budget is being crafted first in the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by April 6 before being sent to the Senate, which will also pass a budget before the two chambers meet jointly in conference committee to determine the final budget plan.

Queens University of Charlotte Wins NCICU Ethics Bowl

Queens University of Charlotte is the champion of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) 12th Annual Ethics Bowl. The Queens team faced Wingate University in the final round. The theme this year was Ethics in Contemporary Society, and the topic debated in the finals concerned voting rights.

Queens had faced Campbell University in the semifinals, as Wingate met Montreat College. The case for that round considered the ethics of removing Russia from the Security Council of the United Nations. Additional topics covered during the initial four-rounds of competition included Germline Editing, Food and Energy Shortages, Artificial Intelligence and Our Changing World, and Mental Health.

“All the participants demonstrated a high level of understanding of and insight about the complex issues presented,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was apparent that they had done significant research in preparation for the Ethics Bowl. Judges and moderators of the event said the students’ commitment to the
integrity of the event and the issues in the case studies presented instills them with great faith in these future leaders.”

Sixteen of North Carolina’s private colleges competed in the event which was held at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh. More than 60 corporate, nonprofit, legislative and community leaders served as judges and moderators for the two-day event.

At a banquet held Friday evening at the NC Museum of History, Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Engagement, told participants that to be a citizen of the United States is to choose to live ethically.

Participating colleges and universities were: Barton College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Mars Hill University, Methodist University, Montreat College, NC Wesleyan University, Queens University of Charlotte, University of Mount Olive, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is supported by sponsorships allowing students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.

16 Colleges to Explore Ethics in Contemporary Society

Artificial intelligence, mental health, and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) in the art world are a few of the topics that may be debated under the umbrella of Ethics in Contemporary Society as part of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) annual Ethics Bowl. Students from 16 private college and university campuses across North Carolina will participate in the event on February 10 and 11 at the North Carolina Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

 “This is NCICU’s 12th annual Ethics Bowl, and the first in-person event since 2020.

The broad theme of Ethics in Contemporary Society presents timely and important topics for discussion,” said NCICU president Hope Williams.

 “The Ethics Bowl is both academically challenging and an individually rewarding experience for our students,” she continued. “Determining ethical responses to complex situations leads to personal awareness and valuable discussion among team members and participating business and community leaders.”

 Each Ethics Bowl team has four-to-six student members. A campus coordinator works with the students to help them prepare for the competition which consists of four rounds over the two days, plus semi-final and final rounds. In each round, a specially developed case study outlining a complex ethical situation related to the theme will be presented to the teams for debate. Each match is awarded to the team that makes the most sound, persuasive presentation.

 Three judges and one moderator participate in each match. Approximately 60 business, non-profit and government professionals have volunteered to fill those roles.

 A banquet for campus participants, judges, moderators, and sponsors will be held Friday evening at the North Carolina Museum of History. Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of NC Campus Engagement, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. NC Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities that champions civic and community engagement in higher education. 

Garvin has worked with the organization for 18 years and was named executive director in 2015. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African and African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Garvin is a former White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Garvin also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forum and co-chairs the State Summits & Networks Subcommittee of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.  

The NCICU Ethics Bowl is made possible by sponsorships that allow students to participate at no cost to themselves or their institutions.  

“Students consistently cite the NCICU Ethics Bowl as a highlight of their college experience,” Williams said. “We deeply appreciate the corporate and civic leaders who make this event possible through financial contributions and by volunteering their time as judges and moderators.”

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR TEAM SPONSORS

Barton College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Campbell University
– Sponsored by SageView
Catawba College – 
Sponsored by Catawba College Alumni Association
Chowan University – 
Sponsored by Southern Bank Foundation
Gardner-Webb University
– Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert
High Point University
– Sponsored by the Wren Foundation
Johnson C. Smith University
– Sponsored by Duke Energy
Livingstone College – Sponsored by Duke Energy
Mars Hill University – Sponsored by NC Electric Cooperatives
Methodist University – Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas
Montreat College
– Sponsored by Coca-Cola Consolidated 
NC Wesleyan University  Sponsored by Mindstream
Queens University of Charlotte – Sponsored by BHDP
University of Mount Olive – Sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle Company
William Peace University
 Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Wingate University
– Sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions