Degrees Matter! 2.0 is a cross-sector initiative based at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro that was established in 2013 to aid in addressing Guilford County's urgent need for a better educated workforce to increase economic opportunities. Degrees Matter! 2.0 formed as a partnership between higher education institutions and the community to cultivate ideas, convene leaders, and connect existing best practices that could be spread and scaled to increase adult degree completion.
To aid in the development of a well-educated and prepared workforce, both the cities of Greensboro and High Point have come together to create a culture of learning that will help prepare residents to be career ready. To do this, an educational continuum has emerged from early childhood through an initiative called "Ready for School, Ready for Life," to "Say Yes to Education," a K-12 initiative designed to get students to and through college, to "Degrees Matter! 2.0", the postsecondary completion initiative designed to help get adults back into college to finish their degrees couple with apprenticeship efforts of the Triad Workforce Solutions Collaborative. These efforts are aligned to strengthen the community and to work together to create a community prepared for the future.
Degrees Matter! 2.0 will provide one-on-one and group advising sessions to employees of business partners and members of the community directly on on financial aid, financial literacy and FAFSA/scholarship assistance, academic assistance, getting "college-ready", applying for college, exploring careers, selecting the right college and enrolling in college. Specially trained advisors will seek to create a life-changing impact on clients starting with the first interaction continuing through degree completion. Additionally, Degrees Matter! 2.0 will partner with area higher education institutions, business, and the faith-based community to focus specifically on the residents of Guilford County (ages 25 and above) to help identify and work with individuals who have at least 60 credit hours towards a college degree/credential. The vision of Degrees Matter! 2.0 is to promote a culture of education that helps improve the quality of life for residents of Guilford County.
Dr. Jason J. Caldwell assumed the role as the Executive Director of Degrees Matter! in October of 2016 after previously serving as the Associate Director, Volunteers & Advising. Dr. Caldwell has worked in the faith-based community as an educational advocate for over a decade, and served as an instructor for Student Academic Success and Foundational Studies at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro. Dr. Caldwell has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Management of John Wesley University. Dr. Caldwell has published on intercultural management and presented at the international SIETAR conference, as well as at the NC Community College Conference on "Adult Degree Attainment" and most recently at the NC Convening for Adult Learners Conference on the barriers that keep adults from completing their degrees.
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