N.C. A&T On Point Newsletter

VOL. 2 / NO. 1 / January 2019

Chancellor's Message
Chancellor's Message

A Year of Performance
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N.C. A&T Chancellor Martin As a public, land-grant university, North Carolina A&T has a commitment to educational opportunity and student success that we trace back to our earliest days, when we were established in 1891 as one of what were then known as the “people’s colleges.”

In the 1800s, land grant colleges represented a break from a history of higher education being available only to privileged elites. As expressed in their establishing legislation -- the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 -- land grant institutions were created “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.”

We were particularly pleased when we recently receive our first progress report on the University of North Carolina’s strategic plan for 2017-2022, “Higher Expectations.” Focused heavily on student populations too often overlooked in higher education, “Higher Expectations” sets forth ambitious individual goals for all 17 constituent institutions of the UNC System in concert with each institution. At A&T, we not only exceeded all of our first-year goals, we surpassed several “stretch goals” not due for another three years.

What does this mean for our university and our students? Under the plan, one of our goals calls for A&T to enroll 4,775 low-income students by 2021-22. We surpassed the goal significantly, with 5,152 low-income students enrolled in 2017-18. A related goal called for A&T to graduate 943 low-income students in the first year of the plan. Again, we exceeded expectations with 1,008 low-income graduates in 2017-18.

N.C. A&T Guaduates Like others before them, these graduates will benefit from A&T’s nationally recognized leadership in vertical social mobility – our preparation of students for careers that have the ability to significantly change their economic circumstances.

We performed similarly in other goal areas – rural student enrollment and graduation, five-year graduation rates, undergraduate degree efficiency, meeting critical workforce needs and institutional research productivity. Each speaks to a dimension of our land grant mission, and our abiding commitment to ensure that A&T continues to be a beacon of opportunity for students from all backgrounds, places of origin and financial statuses.

Nearly 128 years after that commitment was originally made, its importance and potential is every bit as relevant. We look forward to continuing to see it manifest in the lives of our students in 2019 and in the years and decades to come.  

- Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr.

+ To learn more about North Carolina A&T, please visit iTunes and subscribe to the On Point with Chancellor Harold L. Martin podcast.
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Aggies in the Spotlight at NSA
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Members of NSA leadership and select A&T alumni from NSA join Chancellor Martin, center, in a December meeting on the A&T campus.

In recognition of North Carolina A&T’s longstanding and growing partnership with the National Security Agency, the NSA this month trained a prominent spotlight on the university through the recently launched “Featured School Series” on the agency’s website.

As the feature points out, A&T has been working for more than 20 years with NSA, which is an intelligence agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. Nearly 70 A&T graduates are now employed by NSA, and A&T is one of the agency’s 16 hiring and recruitment Campus Ambassador Program schools across the country.

NSA and N.C. A&T: Partnering for a Diverse Workforce

A significant portion of A&T’s relationship with NSA stems from the College of Engineering, where civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science and electrical engineering comprise four of the top seven majors for A&T graduates hired by the agency. But the agency’s growth and development means that today it hires from a broad range of disciplines, including the liberal arts and other non-technical areas.

In addition to sending graduates to NSA, A&T is home to the Center for Cyber Defense, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education designated by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The center provides education and training g programs that prepare students to become professionals and leaders in information assurance.

“N.C. A&T contributes to the diversity of our workforce and provides degree programs that are comprehensive, multidisciplinary and relevant to our mission,” said George C. Barnes, deputy director of NSA. “Academic partnerships are so vital to national security that NSA invests more than $100 million annually in support of academic partner programs, including educational grants, research and recruitment efforts.”

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A Bowl Game to Celebrate
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N.C. A&T Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship.

The North Carolina A&T football team thrilled Aggie fans in December with its second-consecutive season culminating in a Celebration Bowl win and its third in four years. The impact of that high-profile game continues to be felt well into the new year.

Played before a national television audience, the Celebration Bowl is both the first game of the college bowl season and the symbolic national championship for historically black colleges and universities. A&T earned its berth by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, while Alcorn State punched its ticket by taking the Southwest Athletic Conference title.

With Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium as its setting, the game drew nearly 2.35 million viewers on the ABC TV network and nearly 32,000 in-stadium fans.  Those viewers and fans were privy to messages not just about the A&T football team, but about the university itself, delivered via channels ranging from news coverage to social media to a halftime ad that showed off some of the university’s most attractive dimensions.

By the time the Aggies had wrapped up a thrilling 24-22 victory, the impact was only beginning. Retail sales of A&T-licensed branded gear jumped in December, as did undergraduate applications for admission, social media followers, traffic to the A&T website and more. Those trends have continued into this year and show no signs of slowing.

It should be noted that football also provides a major stage for another highly visible part of the Aggie family that also enjoyed a big holiday season – the Blue & Gold Marching Machine. Shown to its best effect not only in Atlanta, but also the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day when its Cold Steel drummers took part in a 60-member HBCU drumline, the band was voted the nation’s top HBCU Sports Band for the second year in a row.

At its best, athletics serves as a great front door to the university, exciting prospective students and many others to step inside and see what the rest of A&T has to offer. We’re proud that the A&T football team not only achieved another championship season in 2018, but accomplished that broader strategic aspiration just as successfully.

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Lab Report

Getting to the Source of Campus Food Insecurity
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University and student government leaders

One in three college students doesn’t get enough to eat, and as many as 1 in 10 go an entire day without a meal, according to a study released in 2018 by researchers at Temple University and the Wisconsin Hope Center. Food insecurity certainly touches students in Greensboro, which has ranked in recent years as a food desert.

The N.C. A&T Office of Student Development, Student Government Association and other partners took a stand against campus hunger this month when they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Aggie Source, a food and personal care item pantry for students. Staffed primarily by students, Aggie Source is located in the university’s former student health center, close to both on-campus housing and off-campus apartments catering to A&T students.

The ribbon cutting touched off an avalanche of good will on social media, with students and alumni, as well as parents and family members of students, applauding the development and looking for details on how to support the pantry.

“I'm glad this was started. I remember being a student and choosing to further my education despite not having food and necessities,” wrote one such alumus on Facebook. “I got my degrees, but I also swore I would help others in that situation. This is very much needed, and I'll be donating to it.”

Aggie Source officially opens Feb. 5. For information on how to make a food or cash donation to Aggie Source, click here.

Data Points
Data Points
North Carolina A&T’s Performance Agreement with the UNC System established ambitious goals for A&T within the system’s strategic plan. Here are highlights on how A&T performed in Year 1. 
2,514 rural students
Exceeded 2021 goal of 2,422
470 rural graduates
Exceeded 2017-18 goal of 440 
5,152 low-income students
Exceeded 2021 goal of 4,775
1,008 low-income graduates
Exceeded 2017-18 goal of 943
$64.3M in sponsored research
Exceeded goal 2017-18 goal of $60.9M

Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr.

Erin Hill Hart, Interim
Todd Hurst Simmons

Yvonne L. Halley

Tonya D. Dixon
Jordan M. Howse
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a land-grant university that is ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity.

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N.C. A&T is an AA/EEO employer, and it is an ADA compliant institution; thus, facilities are designed to provide accessibility to individuals with physical disabilities.