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Education briefs: All-county jazz clinic, concert set for Friday and Saturday

Nineteen Rowan Salisbury high school students have been chosen to participate in an All-County Jazz Clinic and Concert to be held Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 at Salisbury High School. The clinic and concert are made possible with an Arts and Cultural Development Grant from the Rowan Arts Council.

The clinic will be conducted by Benjy Springs, Trumpet Instructor and Band Director at Greensboro College.

Selected through an audition, the students will rehearse with Springs all day Friday and Saturday
morning and present a concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Salisbury High School Auditorium. The public
is invited and admission is free.

Registration open for high school equivalency/GED prep at RCCC

SALISBURY – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will hold orientation sessions in March for anyone seeking to earn a High School Equivalency/General Education Diploma

The Rowan-Cabarrus College & Career Readiness team provides instruction at all levels, in subject areas including reading, writing, math, science and social studies, to prepare students to take the High School Equivalency Assessment/GED.

Orientation dates are March 24 to 30 at either North Campus at 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd. S. in Salisbury or South Campus at 1531 Trinity Church Rd. in Concord. Classes are held Monday through Thursday, at 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 6 to 9:30 p.m., or online.

For more information or to register, please call North Campus at (704) 216-3507 or South Campus at (704) 216-7192. For online classes, call 704-216-3785. You may also visit www.rccc.edu/precollege/hse-registration-form/ for more information or to register.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

RCCC invites community to stem open house 

KANNAPOLIS – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College invites the community to its ninth annual STEM Open House, where adults and children of all ages will delight in exploring interactive exhibits showcasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the College’s North Carolina Research Campus building.

“This is one of our favorite nights of the year,” said Dr. Carol Scherczinger, Rowan-Cabarrus dean of arts and sciences. “It’s such a joy for us to see people of all ages engage with creative exhibits that ignite their curiosity. There is truly something for everyone, and this year we have some new features in addition to returning favorites.”

Food trucks will be part of this year’s lineup so that families can break for dinner and stay to take in more of the evening’s exhibits.

Visitors to the STEM Open House also are invited to tour the College’s new Advanced Technology Center building, which officially opened with a ribbon-cutting in December 2019. The 60,000-square-foot building houses state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom space for programs such as mechatronics and engineering. Visitors can also meet Vector, our resident robot, who is on hand to offer directions, answer questions and, on occasion, show off his dance moves. Area high schools have been invited to bring students to enjoy the STEM Open House exhibits on April 3 from 9 a.m. until noon.

For more information about the event, or to inquire about bringing a school group, please contact Crystal Ryerson at 704-216-3560 or Emily.Baldwin@rccc.edu. The STEM Open House will be held on the North Carolina Research Campus at 399 Biotechnology Lane, Kannapolis. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.

Local Crosby Scholar advocates on Capitol Hill

SALISBURY – Class of 2016 Crosby Scholars alum and North Rowan Highschool graduate, Jaylen Brown traveled to Capitol Hill earlier this month to strategically advocate for policies that promote postsecondary access and success. On March 2 to 3, Brown was joined in Washington D.C. by 50 college students from around the country for NCAN Hill Day, which comprised of advocacy training and skill-building sessions to prepare for meetings with members of Congress and congressional staff. Brown was also joined by Crosby Scholars High School Outreach Specialist, Subrina Hough.

The National College Attainment Network, through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted the two-day event and offered travel support for this project in order to increase student voices in the political process and to encourage Congress to drive equitable postsecondary access and completion. Crosby Scholars was selected as a recipient for the 2020 NCAN Member Advocacy Grant to participate in this event and other opportunities related to higher education advocacy work.

Equity gaps remain in postsecondary education, with students from low-income backgrounds only half as likely to complete a postsecondary certificate or degree by age 26 as high-income students. Moreover, students of color and those who are the first in their family to attend college experience disproportionately lower rates of postsecondary success.

Slated to graduate with his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science this May from Winston-Salem State University, Brown knows first-hand how federal policy initiatives have helped and also sometimes hindered students from completing post-secondary education.

Brown shared that one of his fellow classmates who was a great student and on track to graduate was selected for FAFSA verification, an audit-like process that roughly half of eligible Pell Grant recipients are selected to undergo. His friend found the verification process too difficult to navigate and ultimately it prevented them from returning to school. An estimated 28% of Pell-eligible applicants abandon the aid process after being flagged for verification.

With the right pre-college advising, financial aid, and mentoring, students of color and students from low-income backgrounds succeed at higher rates, whether through a two-year or four-year degree or high-quality certificate program. To fully close the attainment gap between students from low-income families and their upper-income peers, NCAN promotes equitable, practical solutions to make higher education more affordable. NCAN stresses that Congress can remove barriers to post-secondary access and completion by ensuring even more students benefit from federal student aid.

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