N.C. A&T On Point Newsletter

VOL. 2 / NO. 7 / SEPTEMBER, 2019

Chancellor's Message
Chancellor's Message

From Competition to Transformation
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N.C. A&T Chancellor Martin Sr.When I joined North Carolina A&T just over 10 years ago as chancellor, I posed a simple question to faculty and staff in my first campus speech: Do we want to compete?

That was not rhetorical. Enrollment had been on a decline for several years and, though A&T has a storied history and tens of thousands of fervently supportive alumni, it was not on a sustainable path. We needed to embrace new challenges in higher education and step up to meet them.

The answer from my colleagues was a resounding and enthusiastic Yes. So we got to work.

A decade later, our university is in a far better place, not only competing with other research universities around the country, but winning. We are attracting new students in record numbers with increased academic profiles, graduation and retention rates are increasing, and we continue to earn support from private investors and corporate partners.

As we have moved into this new era for A&T, a new ambition has emerged: No longer content simply to compete, we are now positioning ourselves for transformation. The possibilities within that are exciting and energizing, to say the least.

We embrace the opportunity to become the model for what a 21st century historically black, land grant, research university can be. We are eager to build on our successes in social mobility, in enrolling and graduating students of color, and in educating students from rural and low-income backgrounds. We are working to build on our national leadership in STEM education and in graduation of more African American students in a range of disciplines than any university in America.

We are guided in this by a refreshed strategic plan that charts aggressive new goals, replacing many that we set in 2011 and surpassed years ahead of schedule. As with that plan, our assessment of progress will be continuous, and our reporting out, transparent.

Our commitment is stronger than ever. We look forward to what A&T will become as the diligent work that brought us this far targets new goals that will take us ever further down the road to preeminence.

Chancellor Martin addresses the Faculty & Staff InstituteChancellor Martin addresses the Faculty & Staff Institute to start the fall term.

- Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr.

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A&T Rising: Rankings Ascent Continues
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Three Freshman Students sitting on the Aggie bench

With the arrival of the new school year came another fall ritual: publication of multiple influential university and college rankings. And those annual listings held plenty of good news for North Carolina A&T.

In the nation’s best-known rankings, U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2020” issue, A&T broke into the top-tier numerical rankings for National Universities for the first time, tied with a small group of schools at no. 281. While hundreds of other universities are included in that listing, only the top 292 are ranked.

In the same issue’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities rankings, A&T retained its no. 1 position among all public HBCUs and moved up to no. 6 overall, after having been tied for 7th last year. Perhaps even more importantly, A&T’s peer score moved up to 4.5 on a 5-point scale, second nationally only to Spellman College in Atlanta, the no. 1 school overall on the HBCU list. That is a measure of A&T’s quality as assessed by leaders of other HBCUs around the country.

A&T also ranked 66th nationally on the “social mobility” index, which measures the university’s success in educating students from low-income backgrounds and graduating them into professions that significantly change their lifetime prospects for financial success.

Money magazine’s annual “Best Colleges” issue also shone a positive light on A&T. Among all North Carolina campuses included in the issue, A&T was ranked most affordable based on raw costs with no financial aid factored in, and no. 3 nationally on the same measure. A&T alumni also showed up with the third-highest average early career salary of any campus in the University of North Carolina System: $51,118.

“It’s one thing for us to share information about A&T with prospective students, but when well-known publications like U.S. News and Money validate our claims with rankings that position us so strongly among our peers, that takes the conversation to another level,” said Jameia Tennie, director of Undergraduate Admissions for A&T. “We’re glad to be where we are and committed to doing the work to enhance those rankings further in the years ahead.”

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These Three Things

Undergraduate Surge: Healthy Trends
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New Student InductionMembers of the entering class assemble for New Student Induction.

North Carolina A&T’s steady and strategic growth continued this fall, setting another institutional record for enrollment with 12,556 students and establishing A&T as the nation’s largest historically black university for the sixth consecutive year.

But as is often the case with data trends, some of the even more interesting stories emerge from beneath the topline. These three undergraduate student trends represent particularly good news for A&T both now and going forward:

  • Undergraduate enrollment surpassed 11,000 for the first time. The new undergraduate headcount of 11,039 significantly exceeds the 10,000 goal by 2020 set for A&T in the university’s previous strategic plan. The new plan envisions a total headcount of 14,000 by 2023, and A&T is well positioned to meet that mark.

  • A&T continues to attract exceptional freshman in record numbers. Applications not only increased by 29 percent for the entering class, students who enrolled carried an average GPA of 3.56, average SAT of 1,053 and average ACT of 20. The number of students with GPA of 4.0 – 4.5 grew by 17 percent, and students with a GPA of 3.5 – 4.0 by 35 percent.
  • Many entering freshman came to the university with college credit, with more than 31 percent of new students with credit beginning their A&T career classified as sophomores or juniors.

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A&T Goes to Washington
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Chancellor Martin speaks with a Spectrum News reporter prior to a major panel discussion at the National HBCU Braintrust conference.

With North Carolina A&T’s growing emergence on the national stage comes a new university commitment to growing its impact in the nation’s capitol.

A&T is no stranger to Washington. For more than a decade, it has been one of the University of North Carolina System’s top three research campuses, logging records in funding for the past three years in a row; the supermajority of that funding comes from federal agencies – the most competitive arena for scientific grant funding. A&T’s funding comes from a wide variety of federal sources, from the National Science Foundation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A&T’s growth as a research institution and its status as America’s largest HBCU are creating unique opportunities for the institution to show leadership in the capitol on funding, policy and strategy issues in collaboration with lawmakers, education associations and peer institutions.

Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. led a university delegation to Washington earlier this month including administrative leaders and students who took part in the National HBCU Braintrust meetings, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation conference and HBCU Week. Martin also took part in a meeting of the President’s Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, of which he is a member, as well as discussions with media outlets interested in A&T’s increasingly singular story of success.

“It’s important to our university that we cultivate awareness and understanding in Washington, and that we’re engaged in significant conversations there that have a direct impact on our institution and our peers,” said Martin. “More than ever, we are embracing the challenges and opportunities that come with our national position and working to see that A&T, our students and faculty realize the full benefits of what is available to us.”

Data Points
Data Points

Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr.

Erin Hill Hart
Todd Hurst Simmons

Kimberly "Nikki" Pressley

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: High 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.