Degrees Matter! will expand services with Belk Endowment grant

Posted on March 13, 2015

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A UNCG-led effort to increase the number of adults in Greensboro and High Point with college degrees just got a major boost from the John M. Belk Endowment.

The Charlotte-based charitable foundation awarded $125,000 to Degrees Matter!, a community partnership that is housed within the UNCG Office of Research and Economic Development.

With its new funding, Degrees Matter! will hire a volunteer coordinator to train coaches, who will in turn help connect adults with some college background to college programs.

“We are honored to call the John M. Belk Endowment our partner,” said Steve Moore, managing director of Degrees Matter! “Their investment and trust help us build our volunteer capacity to reach many more residents of our great community. We can better connect lifelong learning to a thriving economy by working together to increase the percentage of Guilford County residents with high-quality degrees and advanced credentials.”

Degrees Matter! is a shared partnership between UNCG, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Opportunity Greensboro, and The United Way of Greater Greensboro. It works to increase degree attainment by engaging, connecting, and supporting the more than 67,000 Greater Greensboro and High Point residents who have attended college but not finished a degree.

Degrees Matter! was one of only nine organizations to receive one of the new Belk Endowment grants, which totaled $9.6 million. Awardees included community colleges and their partners across North Carolina that are helping students complete degrees that lead to sustainable wages and strengthen the state’s workforce.

“The Endowment will continue to invest in their efforts to get more students through credentialing programs equipped with skills they need to excel in the jobs of tomorrow,” said Belk Endowment executive director Kristy Teskey. The funding marks the Endowment’s first full year of grant making under its expanded mission to increase access to and completion of post-secondary education for underrepresented students, with the ultimate goal of keeping North Carolina competitive.

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