Cultivating College Access: Otter Pathways
REACH is an acronym for Racial Equity for Adult Credentials in Higher Ed. For this project, NC will join a national network with five other states (CA, CO, NY, TX, VA) focused on increasing credential attainment, especially short-term, high-value credentials, for Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American adult learners. This project will run from September 2021 through May 2023.
In essence, REACH OTTER PATHWAYS aims to provide an opportunity to gain success, both in the classroom and professionally, by increasing credential attainment for Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American learners who are 25 years and older.
NC’s REACH program has three components.
- The first component of the program is applying an equity lens. The goal is to help college faculty and staff better understand how college organization, policy, and practice can be used to reduce educational attainment gaps by race/ethnicity.
- The second component of the program is building structured, sequenced credential pathways. Building off the work of Guided Pathways, REACH will provide support to colleges to further develop credential pathways and extend those pathways to include adult basic education, continuing education, workforce credentials, certificates, and associate’s degrees, with clear on and off ramps to jobs in high-priority local economic sectors.
- The third component of the program is bundling and sequencing the student supports that will enable adult students of color to succeed in the identified programs. This work will focus on mapping out how and when to best provide different support services to adult learners of color to have the strongest impact on their academic progress and credential completion.
The focus of REACH OTTER PATHWAYS are Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American learners who are 25 years of age and older.
This collaborative is driven by several partners and coordinated by Education Strategy Group in conjunction with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois with generous support from the Lumina Foundation and John M. Belk Endowment. The North Carolina System Office is providing project coordination, funding, and technical assistance.
Collaborators at Alamance Community College include the President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Curriculum, Vice President of Workforce Development, Director of Academic and Career Readiness, Dean of Applied Engineering, Faculty Instructors, and Vice President of Student Services.