NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: APRIL 5, 2013


North Carolina's four recipients of the ACT's College and Career Readiness Campaign awards were recognized at the State Board of Education's meeting this month. North Carolina is one of seven states (others are Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Wisconsin) participating in the campaign's inaugural year, which celebrates achievement and creates awareness around the goal of college and career readiness for all.

The College and Career Readiness Campaign awards recognize – across the education and workforce continuum – exemplary college and career readiness efforts of a high school student, a high school, a community college and an employer. North Carolina's award recipients are:

  • Jaquesha Stokes, Student Readiness Award. Stokes is a senior at Mt. Tabor High School (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools). She is an honor student and a scholar athlete.
  • Parkland High School, College and Career Transition Award. Parkland High School (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools) has more than 1,200 students with more than 70 percent receiving free or reduced lunch. Students' end-of-course and VoCATS proficiency have improved significantly in addition to the graduation rate.
  • Edgecombe Community College, Career Preparedness Award. Edgecombe Community College has developed a program with Edgecombe County Public Schools that offers WorkKeys to high school, college and GED students. Over a 3-year period, 70 percent of students have earned a Certificate of Career Readiness. WorkKeys skills training also has been conducted with local businesses for the past eight years, and over 90 profiles have been completed for local and regional employers.
  • Catawba Valley Community College, Workplace Success Award. Catawba Valley Community College fosters an environment focused on academic excellence, globalization and diversity, economic and workforce development, and student and community engagement. The school was one of three recipients in the country selected by the Kauffman Foundation to pilot an entrepreneurship education program called Innovation Fund America.

State Superintendent June Atkinson congratulated the award recipients saying the State Board of Education and Department are committed to graduating students prepared for the next step in life. “Our READY initiative is designed to promote success after graduation. By gaining the knowledge and skills needed in higher education or the workplace, students can be confident that they will have a bright future in whatever path they choose,” Atkinson said.

A national selection committee comprised of education and workforce development leaders will review all state recipients and select one honoree per category for national recognition. Recipients will be recognized at the ACT National Gala on College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C. in May.

About ACT
ACT is an independent, nonprofit organization with a 54-year history of generating data-driven assessments and research. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, and with offices throughout the world, ACT is trusted for its continual development of next-generation assessments that determine college and career readiness and provide the most advanced measure of workplace skills.

ACT defines college and career readiness as the knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year courses at a postsecondary institution such as a 2- or 4-year college, trade school, or technical school.

To learn more about ACT, go to

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.