Local News

Easley to expand N.C. college-access program

Posted February 25, 2009 3:33 p.m. EST

— Former Gov. Mike Easley has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand North Carolina’s Learn and Earn college-access program to other states.

The Learn and Earn initiative includes 60 Learn and Earn high schools that allow students to earn college credits, free online college credit courses for high school students from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina Community College systems and the EARN scholars program, which provides eligible students the opportunity to attend college debt-free.

The program was recognized nationally by the Harvard University Innovations in American Government awards.

Easley will support the Gates Foundation’s state education strategies and plans for educational innovation. The foundation has a goal of doubling the number of students completing college to guarantee America’s success in the world economy. He also plans to consult on state efforts in pre-kindergarten education.

Easley’s partnership with the Gates Foundation resulted in the creation of over 100 new early college and redesigned high schools across North Carolina during Easley’s two terms as governor.