Governor Cooper Announces $2 Million Grant to Support College and Career Readiness

(Press Release from Gov. Cooper’s website)

On Thursday, November 9th, Governor Roy Cooper visited Walter M. Williams High School in Alamance County to announce a $2 million grant to support college and career readiness programs in middle and high schools through Communities In Schools of North Carolina.

(Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) is a leading partner in providing Integrated Student Supports, or wraparound services, to propel student success in more than 300 schools across the state. Based directly inside schools, student support specialists connect students and their families to evidence-based services and supports, as well as critical educational and community-based resources, to increase attendance, improve behavior, enhance coursework, and engage more parents and families in student success. Tailored to each student’s specific needs, student support specialists create personalized toolkits for success and an educational experience where students can learn, thrive and power the future. Learn more at

The action will be funded through statewide funds from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The grant will pilot the Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates program to assist students in middle and high school with graduating and preparing for a career.

“Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates will help ensure that our young people have the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and live productive, rewarding lives,” Gov. Cooper said.

With this grant, Communities In Schools will pilot the Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates program, which will include two models: a model for seven high schools across the state and a model for six middle schools in Nash County, called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). These models will identify the best strategies for helping students prepare for college and career.

High School Model

North Carolina will offer a student-centered college and career readiness program in seven high schools for the 2017-2018 school year.

Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates is part of the national network, Jobs for America’s Graduates, and will continue its mission to achieve high outcomes in graduation and employment rates, resulting in increased college access and completion.

In 2016-2017, 95 percent of students in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program graduated high school, and 90 percent had a full-time job placement after graduating.

The College and Career Specialists, will serve in the following schools:

  • Concord High School—Cabarrus County Schools
  • Henderson County Career Academy—Henderson County Schools
  • Northwest Halifax Collegiate and Technical Academy—Halifax County Schools
  • Purnell Swett High School—Robeson County Schools
  • Wallace-Rose Hill High School—Duplin County Schools
  • Walter M. Williams High School—Alamance-Burlington School System
  • Wilkes Central High School—Wilkes County Schools


Middle School Program

In addition to the high school model, the Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates program will support six middle schools offering the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) model.

AVID is dedicated to closing the achievement gap while equipping students with the skills necessary to succeed academically and socially. Students in the AVID elective receive daily instruction focused on academic strategies in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organizational skills and critical reading to develop a culture of college readiness while being supported in school and life.

The AVID program will be offered in Nash County in the following schools:

  • Parker Middle School
  • Edwards Middle School
  • Southern Nash Middle School
  • Nash Central Middle School
  • Red Oak Middle School
  • Tar River Academy.


It appears Governor Cooper is keeping his promise to make education a main focus of his administration.

Cover photo from the News&Observer article on the NC budget

Article photo from Governor Cooper’s press release

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Hi, I'm Raymond T. Palma, and I am currently a Junior at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina. My email is