The Impact of Education on Business and Life with Guest Catherine Truitt, Chancellor WGU North Carolina
The Impact of Education on Business and Life - Guest Catherine Truitt, Chancellor WGU North Carolina
North Carolina workforce challenges
- Job growth in North Carolina is projected to outstrip population growth by 2024.
- North Carolina will need 2 million more people with post-secondary degrees by 2030 to fill the state’s overall workforce demands.
- We can’t just rely on in-migration, we need to do a better job of education our citizens.
- Currently, only 49% of the population have a post-secondary degree.
- If North Carolinians can’t fill those job openings, businesses may relocate elsewhere
Why post-secondary education matters
- The average national salary for high school graduates is $35K per year. According to Smart Asset, individuals with an associate degree earn an average of $41K per year, those with a bachelor’s earn an average of $59K per year, and those with a master’s earn an average of $70K per year.
- In North Carolina, only 22% of high school students obtain a bachelor’s degree by age 24. Only 15% will do so at a UNC institution.
- More than 645,000 adults in North Carolina have some college credit but no degree.
TALKING POINTS (Continued)
The student debt problem
- The student debt load in the United States is currently over $1.6 trillion dollars
- Individuals who carry a large student debt are more likely to postpone getting married, and making major purchases like a home or car. All of this impacts the local economy.
- A study by the American Association of University Women found that while women comprise 56 percent of enrolled college students nationally, they hold 65% of outstanding student debt
- According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 1.2 million North Carolinians have student debt; the average debt per student is $26,526
- From 2008 to 2018, North Carolina had the second largest increase in student loan debt
- 3% of student loan borrowers in North Carolina are in severe delinquency
Competency Based Education
TALKING POINTS (Continued)
- Start at a community college. NC has the third largest community college system in the country.
- Borrow only what you need, not how much you qualify for
- WGU’s Responsible Borrowing Initiative has reduced student loan debt for its students with loans by 30%, saving them more than $400 million; WGU students’ loan default rate is less than half the national average (4.2% vs. 10.1%)
- Explore competency-based learning, which gives you credit for what you already know and lets you accelerate at your own pace
- Avoid for-profit colleges, which have been known to employ predatory lending practices aimed at low-income residents, African Americans, women, servicemembers, and veterans.
- You might not need a college degree, but you definitely need to learn and demonstrate skills. According to a recent report from the U.S. Chamber foundation, employers are increasingly more interested in skills than in college diplomas. The Foundation’s research finds that competencies—defined as knowledge and skills that can be observed, measured, or otherwise assessed—take precedence over academic credentials in the modern economy.
- Explore micro-credentials, which are very common in the IT industry. EdX recently introduced two MicroBachelors programs, including a MicroBachelors in Information Technology Career Framework in partnership with WGU. This program consists of three courses at a total cost of around $1,500 and earns credits that are stackable toward a degree.
Catherine Truitt, Chancellor, Western Governors University North Carolina
Catherine serves as the Chancellor for WGU North Carolina, a nonprofit, 100% online university dedicated to changing lives through higher education.
Prior to joining WGU, she served as Associate Vice President of University and P-12 Partnerships at UNC General Administration. Catherine and her team worked to strengthen our educator pipeline and support our public colleges of education through a “students-first” lens committed to improving educational outcomes for all of North Carolina’s children.
From 2015 to 2016, Catherine served as Senior Education Advisor to Governor Pat McCrory. In this role, she coordinated policy for all facets of public education. From pre-K through the UNC system, Catherine worked to ensure all North Carolina students receive the high-quality education they need to be college- and career-ready in a global economy.
Between 1998 and 2012, Catherine practiced her passion for high-impact teaching in varied educational settings over twelve years spanning grades 4 through 12. After teaching literature at a public high school in the Seattle area, Catherine moved to Chicago where she co-founded a K-8, parent-run, private school on Chicago’s South Side followed by four years teaching in the British school system. After returning to the United States, Catherine settled in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she taught American literature to eleventh graders at West Johnston High School in Johnston County.
In 2012, Catherine joined the International Center for Leadership in Education, where she served nationally as a turnaround coach in underperforming public schools.
Catherine lives in Cary with her husband Jeff, an attorney and Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves. They have three children in Wake County public schools. She is committed to the core belief that all people have a fundamental human right to maximize their potential.
To learn more about WGU NC, go to www.wgu.edu
Set Objectives and Take Action
Take Action and Get Results
Results and Involvement Part 1
Results and Involvement Part 2
View the Future and Embrace Success
STRIVE For Success
Success is a verb, an action, not a noun. It is a journey, not a destination. Measuring success in terms of forward momentum or progress makes sense. You strive for success. You take action, make decisions, and get others actively involved. Truly successful businesses (and people) accumulate financial wealth as a product of their journey. Wealth is a by-product of serving others in a way that they are willing to exchange financial assets for your products or services.