Black College in North Carolina Taking an Active Role in Local K-12 Education

North Carolina Central University, the historically black educational institution in Durham, has launched an innovative program to help alleviate the teacher shortage in Durham public schools. The university is currently “lending” 13 professors to Southern High School to teach calculus, biology, and other advanced courses. The professors have agreed to teach for one semester at the high school. In return, the public school system has agreed to pay the university $150,000 for the professors’ services.

In addition to sending faculty to teach at the high school, graduate students are assigned to each class with a university professor. These graduate assistants can help with classwork and are available for student tutoring. The university has made its science laboratories available to the high school students.

The university is also contributing to public K-12 education with the establishment of the Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School. The school is located on the North Carolina Central campus. About 246 students are now enrolled in the high school. The university spent $1.6 million to renovate a wing in a School of Education classroom building to house the school. The curriculum is heavily oriented toward mathematics and the sciences. Students take college-level courses enabling many of the graduates to achieve sufficient credits to enter college as juniors.

The school is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It also receives financial support from the state of North Carolina.

The school is named after a 1937 Spelman College graduate who was active in political and civic affairs in the city of Durham for many decades until her death in 1998.