ERIC Number: EJ873899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 9
Meeting the Challenge in Rural North Carolina
Barwick, Joseph T.
Community College Journal, v74 n6 p10-14 Jun-Jul 2004
If the nation's economy over the past 10 years can be described as a roller coaster, North Carolina was riding in the first car. The 1990s offered the promise of North Carolina's moving to the forefront of the nation's prosperity, since it outranked most states on many positive indices and outranked other southern states on most of them. North Carolina's jobless rate hovered around 4 percent throughout most of the decade, and real personal income grew from $23,600 to $27,935 (in 2001 dollars), an 18 percent increase. However, the state's rising prosperity hid some significant threats, just as it did in the nation as a whole. During the same decade, poverty in North Carolina increased by over 15 percent, more than twice the rate of the rest of the country. Just as state leaders were starting to recognize that North Carolina could be defined as two states--an urban/suburban state with rapidly expanding economies, as well as a rural state with lagging economies--everything went downhill at the turn of the 21st century. In 1999, North Carolina had the 12th lowest unemployment rate in the country. By the end of 2002, it had the 5th highest. The state was hit particularly hard by the loss of jobs to offshore companies, but it was also hit by a series of devastating hurricanes. Hurricanes Fran and Floyd alone caused $12 billion in losses to state businesses and agriculture. The state's system of community colleges was created in the late 1950s and early 1960s to help North Carolina transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy. However, never in the history of these colleges has their impact been felt more strongly than in the last several years as community colleges struggled with their respective communities to deal with this reversal of fortune. This article discusses how North Carolina's rural community colleges use innovative practices to enrich and contribute to the state's faltering economy.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Income, Rural Areas, Economic Factors, Poverty, Unemployment, Natural Disasters, Business, Agriculture, Educational Innovation, Economic Climate, Educational History, Educational Practices
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/bookstore
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina