Chapter 115D.

Community Colleges.

Article 1.

General Provisions for State Administration.

115D-1. Statement of purpose.

The purposes of this Chapter are to provide for the establishment, organization, and administration of a system of educational institutions throughout the State offering courses of instruction in one or more of the general areas of two-year college parallel, technical, vocational, and adult education programs, to serve as a legislative charter for such institutions, and to authorize the levying of local taxes and the issuing of local bonds for the support thereof. The major purpose of each and every institution operating under the provisions of this Chapter shall be and shall continue to be the offering of vocational and technical education and training, and of basic, high school level, academic education needed in order to profit from vocational and technical education, for students who are high school graduates or who are beyond the compulsory age limit of the public school system and who have left the public schools, provided, juveniles of any age committed to the Juvenile Justice Section of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety by a court of competent jurisdiction may, if approved by the director of the youth development center to which they are assigned, take courses offered by institutions of the system if they are otherwise qualified for admission.

The Community Colleges System Office is designated as the primary lead agency for delivering workforce development training, adult literacy training, and adult education programs in the State. (1963, c. 448, s. 23; 1969, c. 562, s. 1; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; 1985, c. 479, s. 68; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1998-202, s. 4(p); 2000-137, s. 4(s); 2001-95, s. 5; 2005-77, s. 1; 2011-145, s. 19.1(l); 2017-186, s. 2(ggggg).)

 

115D-1.1: Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 7.1A(f), effective January 1, 2012.

 

115D-1.2: Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 7.1A(f), effective January 1, 2012.

 

115D-1.3. Accreditation of secondary school located in North Carolina shall not be a factor in admissions, loans, scholarships, or other educational policies.

(a) For purposes of this section, the term "accreditation" shall include certification or any other similar approval process.

(b) The State Board of Community Colleges shall adopt a policy that prohibits any community college from soliciting or using information regarding the accreditation of a secondary school located in North Carolina that a person attended as a factor affecting admissions, loans, scholarships, or other educational activity at the community college, unless the accreditation was conducted by a State agency. (2011-306, s. 2.)

 

115D-2. Definitions.

As used in this Chapter:

(1) The "administrative area" of an institution comprises the county or counties directly responsible for the local financial support and local administration of such institution as provided in this Chapter.

(2) The term "community college" is defined as an educational institution operating under the provisions of this Chapter and dedicated primarily to the educational needs of the service area which it serves, and may offer

a. The freshmen and sophomore courses of a college of arts and sciences, authorized by G.S. 115D-4.1;

b. Organized credit curricula for the training of technicians; curricular courses may carry transfer credit to a senior college or university where the course is comparable in content and quality and is appropriate to a chosen course of study;

c. Vocational, trade, and technical specialty courses and programs, and

d. Courses in general adult education.

(3) The term "institution" refers to any institution established pursuant to this Chapter.

(4) The term "regional institution" means an institution whose service area as assigned by the State Board of Community Colleges includes three or more counties; provided, however, any institution receiving funds as a regional institution on May 1, 1987, shall continue to receive funds on that basis.

(5) The term "State Board" refers to the State Board of Community Colleges.

(6) The "tax-levying authority" of an institution is the board of commissioners of the county or all of the boards of commissioners of the counties, jointly, which constitute the administrative area of the institution.

(7) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 564, s. 1.

(8) "Vending facilities" has the same meaning as it does in G.S. 111-42(d), but also means any mechanical or electronic device dispensing items or something of value or entertainment or services for a fee, regardless of the method of activation, and regardless of the means of payment, whether by coin, currency, tokens, or other means. (1963, c. 448, s. 23; 1969, c. 562, s. 2; 1973, c. 590, s. 1; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; c. 553; c. 896, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 1; 1983, c. 761, s. 104; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 169; 1987, c. 564, s. 1; 1999-84, s. 1; 2005-103, s. 4; 2006-203, s. 35.)

 

115D-2.1. State Board of Community Colleges.

(a) The State Board of Community Colleges is established.

(b) The State Board of Community Colleges shall consist of 21 members, as follows:

(1) The Lieutenant Governor or the Lieutenant Governor's designee shall be a member ex officio.

(2) The Treasurer of North Carolina or the Treasurer's designee shall be a member ex officio.

(3) The Governor shall appoint to the State Board four members from the State at large and one member from each of the six Trustee Association Regions defined in G.S. 115D-62. The initial appointments by the Governor shall be made effective July 1, 1980, or as soon as feasible thereafter. In order to establish regularly overlapping terms, the initial appointments by the Governor shall be made so that three expire June 30, 1981, three expire June 30, 1983, and four expire June 30, 1985. Each subsequent regular appointment by the Governor shall be for a term of six years and until a successor is appointed and qualifies. Any vacancy occurring among his appointees before the expiration of term shall be filled by appointment of the Governor; the member so appointed shall meet the same residential qualification, if any, as the member whom he succeeds and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of that member.

(4) The General Assembly shall elect eight members of the State Board from the State at large in the following manner:

a. In 1980, the Senate shall elect three members, one of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1981, one of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1983, and one of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1985. In 1985, the Senate shall elect two members to serve terms expiring June 30, 1991. Each subsequent regular election by the Senate shall be for a term of six years and until a successor is elected and qualifies.

b. In 1980, the House of Representatives shall elect four members, one of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1981, one of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1983, and two of whom shall serve a term expiring June 30, 1985. In 1985, the House of Representatives shall elect two members, to serve terms expiring June 30, 1991. Each subsequent regular election by the House of Representatives shall be for a term of six years and until a successor is elected and qualifies.

c. Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 227, s. 5.

d. The initial elections by the two houses of the General Assembly shall be held on or before July 1, 1980.

e. Any vacancy occurring among the members elected by the two houses of the General Assembly before the expiration of term shall be filled when the General Assembly next convenes. The member then elected shall be elected by the same house that elected the member whom he succeeds, and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of that member.

f. At each session of the General Assembly held in an odd-numbered year, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall assign to either a standing or a special committee of that house the duty of receiving from the members of that house nominations of persons to be considered by that house for election to the State Board. The chairmen of the two committees shall jointly determine a common final date for receiving nominations from members of that house, and a common date for reporting to their respective houses their nominations for the State Board. Each committee shall screen the proposed candidates for nomination as to their qualifications, background, lack of statutory disabilities, and willingness and ability to serve if elected. Each Senator and each Representative may nominate only one candidate. When the nominating process is closed, each committee shall list all candidates and shall separately vote "aye" or "no" on each candidate to determine whether that person shall be listed as a nominee of the committee. The verbal vote of a majority of those members of the committee present and voting shall constitute one nominee of the committee. An individual cannot be a candidate for nomination to more than one place. If a sufficient number of candidates is submitted to each committee, then each committee shall nominate at least two persons for each place to be filled by that chamber, otherwise each committee shall nominate at least one person for each place to be filled by each of the House of Representatives and the Senate. No person may simultaneously be a candidate for election by both houses, and if one is nominated in both houses, he shall determine by which house he shall be nominated and so advise the chairman of both committees. The two houses shall, by joint resolution, fix a common date and time for the election of members of the State Board. At the election session in each house, the committee shall report its list of nominees with the term of office indicated for each nominee. The ballot in the House of Representatives shall also include the names of all other persons nominated by a member of that house who are determined by the committee to be qualified for the offices, with the committee's list of nominees being clearly set out on the ballot. No additional nominations shall be received from the floor. Each house shall then proceed to an election of the State Board. In order to be chosen, a nominee shall receive the votes of a majority of all members present and voting.

When each house has chosen one person for each place to be filled on the State Board, the chairman of the committee shall make a motion for the simultaneous election of those persons by that house to the indicated positions and for the indicated terms. The vote shall then be called electronically. If a majority of those voting shall vote "aye," persons named in the motion shall be declared to have been elected. Each house may adopt rules consistent with this section with respect to the election by that house of members of the State Board.

(5) The person serving as president of the North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association shall be an ex officio member of the State Board. If the president of the Association is unable for any reason to serve as the student member of the State Board, then pursuant to the constitution of the Association, the vice-president of the Association shall serve as the student member of the State Board. Any person serving as the student member of the State Board must be a student in good standing at a North Carolina community college. The student member of the State Board shall have all the rights and privileges of membership, except that the student member shall not have a vote.

(b1) Upon receipt of a referral from the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement in accordance with G.S. 163A-156(m) concerning a member of the State Board of Community Colleges, the principal clerk of the house of the General Assembly receiving the referral shall immediately refer the matter to the appropriate education committee of that house. That committee may recommend to that house a resolution providing for the removal of the Board member. If the committee's proposed resolution is adopted by a majority of the members present and voting of that house, the public servant shall be removed and the seat previously held by that Board member becomes vacant.

(c) No person may be appointed or elected to more than two consecutive terms of six years on the State Board.

(d) No member of the General Assembly, no officer or employee of the State, and no officer or employee of an institution under the jurisdiction of the State Board shall be eligible to serve on the State Board. No spouse of a member of the General Assembly or of an officer or employee of the Community College System or of an institution under the jurisdiction of the State Board shall be eligible to serve on the State Board. No person who within the prior five years has been an employee of the Community Colleges System Office shall be eligible to serve on the State Board.

(e) The Governor shall convene the membership of the State Board on July 1, 1980, or as soon as feasible thereafter. The State Board at that meeting shall elect from its appointed or elected membership a chairman and such other officers as it may deem necessary.

(f) At its first meeting after July 1, 1981, and every two years thereafter, the State Board shall elect from its membership a chairman and such other officers as it may deem necessary.

(g) The State Board of Community Colleges shall meet at stated times established by the State Board, but not less frequently than 10 times a year. The State Board of Community Colleges shall also meet with the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina at least once a year to discuss educational matters of mutual interest and to recommend to the General Assembly such policies as are appropriate to encourage the improvement of public education at every level in this State; these joint meetings shall be hosted by the three Boards according to the schedule set out in G.S. 115C-11(b1). Special meetings of the State Board may be set at any regular meeting or may be called by the chairman. A majority of the qualified members of the State Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(h) Whenever any vacancy shall occur in the appointed membership of the State Board, the chairman shall inform the appropriate appointing authority of the vacancy.

(i) The State Board of Community Colleges may declare vacant the office of an appointed or elected member who does not attend three consecutive scheduled meetings without justifiable excuse. The chairman of the State Board shall notify the appropriate appointing or electing authority of any vacancy. (1979, c. 896, s. 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 5; 1981, c. 47, s. 8; c. 474; 1983, c. 311; c. 479, ss. 1-3; 1985, c. 227, ss. 1-5; c. 428; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1102, s. 2; 1991, c. 83, s. 1; 1993, c. 69, s. 2; 1995, c. 192, s. 1; c. 470, ss. 3, 4; 1997-456, ss. 18, 19; 1999-61, ss. 1, 2; 1999-84, s. 7; 2006-31, s. 1; 2006-201, s. 2(c); 2007-278, s. 3; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

115D-3. Community Colleges System Office; staff.

The Community Colleges System Office shall be a principal administrative department of State government under the direction of the State Board of Community Colleges, and shall be separate from the free public school system of the State, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction. The State Board has authority to adopt and administer all policies, regulations, and standards which it deems necessary for the operation of the System Office.

The State Board shall elect a President of the North Carolina System of Community Colleges who shall serve as chief administrative officer of the Community Colleges System Office. The compensation of this position shall be fixed by the State Board from funds provided by the General Assembly in the Current Operations Appropriations Act.

The President shall be assisted by such professional staff members as may be deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter, who shall be elected by the State Board on nomination of the President. The compensation of the staff members elected by the Board shall be fixed by the State Board of Community Colleges, upon recommendation of the President of the Community College System, from funds provided in the Current Operations Appropriations Act. These staff members shall include such officers as may be deemed desirable by the President and State Board. Provision shall be made for persons of high competence and strong professional experience in such areas as academic affairs, public service programs, business and financial affairs, institutional studies and long-range planning, student affairs, research, legal affairs, health affairs and institutional development, and for State and federal programs administered by the State Board. In addition, the President shall be assisted by such other employees as may be needed to carry out the provisions of this Chapter, who shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 126 of the General Statutes. The staff complement shall be established by the State Board on recommendation of the President to insure that there are persons on the staff who have the professional competence and experience to carry out the duties assigned and to insure that there are persons on the staff who are familiar with the problems and capabilities of all of the principal types of institutions represented in the system. The State Board of Community Colleges shall have all other powers, duties, and responsibilities delegated to the State Board of Education affecting the Community Colleges System Office not otherwise stated in this Chapter. (1963, c. 448, s. 23; 1971, c. 1244, s. 14; 1975, c. 699, s. 5; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; c. 896, s. 3; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 859, s. 35.2; 1983, c. 479, s. 4; c. 717, s. 26; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 164; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 955, ss. 19, 20; 1987, c. 564, s. 2; 1993, c. 522, s. 6; 1999-84, s. 8.)

 

115D-4. Establishment of institutions.

The establishment of all community colleges shall be subject to the approval of the General Assembly upon recommendation of the State Board of Community Colleges. In no case, however, shall favorable recommendation be made by the State Board for the establishment of an institution until it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the State Board that a genuine educational need exists within a proposed administrative area, that existing public and private post-high school institutions in the area will not meet the need, that adequate local financial support for the institution will be provided, that public schools in the area will not be affected adversely by the local financial support required for the institution, and that funds sufficient to provide State financial support of the institution are available. (1963, c. 448, s. 23; 1965, c. 1028; 1971, c. 1244, s. 14; 1977, c. 154, s. 1; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; c. 896, s. 4; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 1; 1983, c. 717, ss. 27-27.2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 955, s. 21; 1987, c. 564, s. 3; 2006-203, s. 36; 2009-229, s. 1.)

 

115D-4.1. College transfer program approval; standards for programs.

(a) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 288, s. 1, effective September 1, 1995.

(b) The State Board of Community Colleges may approve the addition of the college transfer program to a community college. If addition of the college transfer program to an institution would require a substantial increase in funds, State Board approval shall be subject to appropriation of funds by the General Assembly for this purpose.

(c) Addition of the college transfer program shall not decrease an institution's ability to provide programs within its basic mission of vocational and technical training and basic academic education.

(d) The State Board of Community Colleges shall develop appropriate criteria and standards to regulate the addition of the college transfer program to institutions.

(e) The State Board of Community Colleges shall develop appropriate criteria and standards to regulate the operation of college transfer programs.

(f) The Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina shall report to each community college and to the State Board of Community Colleges in accordance with G.S. 116-11(10b) on the academic performance of that community college's transfer students. If the State Board of Community Colleges finds that college transfer students from a community college are not consistently performing adequately at a four-year college, the Board shall review the community college's program and determine what steps are necessary to remedy the problem. The Board shall report annually to the General Assembly on the reports it receives and on what steps it is taking to remedy problems that it finds. (1987, c. 564, s. 4; 1995, c. 288, s. 1; 1999-84, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 8.2(a).)

 

115D-5. Administration of institutions by State Board of Community Colleges; personnel exempt from North Carolina Human Resources Act; extension courses; tuition waiver; in-plant training; contracting, etc., for establishment and operation of extension units of the community college system; use of existing public school facilities.

(a) The State Board of Community Colleges may adopt and execute such policies, regulations and standards concerning the establishment, administration, and operation of institutions as the State Board may deem necessary to insure the quality of educational programs, to promote the systematic meeting of educational needs of the State, and to provide for the equitable distribution of State and federal funds to the several institutions.

The State Board of Community Colleges shall establish standards and scales for salaries and allotments paid from funds administered by the State Board, and all employees of the institutions shall be exempt from the provisions of the North Carolina Human Resources Act. Any and all salary caps set by the State Board for community college presidents shall apply only to the State-paid portion of the salary. Except as otherwise provided by law, the employer contribution rate on the local-paid portion of the salary, to be paid from local funds, shall be set by the State Treasurer based on actuarial recommendations. The State Board shall have authority with respect to individual institutions: to approve sites, capital improvement projects, budgets; to approve the selection of the chief administrative officer; to establish and administer standards for professional personnel, curricula, admissions, and graduation; to regulate the awarding of degrees, diplomas, and certificates; to establish and regulate student tuition and fees within policies for tuition and fees established by the General Assembly; and to establish and regulate financial accounting procedures.

The State Board of Community Colleges shall require all community colleges to meet the faculty credential requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for all community college programs.

(a1) Notwithstanding G.S. 66-58(c)(3) or any other provisions of law, the State Board of Community Colleges may adopt rules governing the expenditure of funds derived from bookstore sales by community colleges. These expenditures shall be consistent with the mission and purpose of the Community College System. Profits may be used in the support and enhancement of the bookstores, for student aid or scholarships, for expenditures of direct benefit to students, and for other similar expenditures authorized by the board of trustees, subject to rules adopted by the State Board. These funds shall not be used to supplement salaries of any personnel.

(a2) The State Board of Community Colleges shall comply with the provisions of G.S. 116-11(10a) to plan and implement an exchange of information between the public schools and the institutions of higher education in the State.

(a3) The State Board of Community Colleges shall adopt the following rules to assist community colleges in their administration of procedures necessary to implement G.S. 20-11 and G.S. 20-13.2:

(1) To establish the procedures a person who is or was enrolled in a community college must follow and the requirements that person must meet to obtain a driving eligibility certificate.

(2) To require the person who is required under G.S. 20-11(n) to sign the driving eligibility certificate to provide the certificate if he or she determines that one of the following requirements is met:

a. The person seeking the certificate is eligible for the certificate under G.S. 20-11(n)(1) and is not subject to G.S. 20-11(n1).

b. The person seeking the certificate is eligible for the certificate under G.S. 20-11(n)(1) and G.S. 20-11(n1).

(3) To provide for an appeal through the grievance procedures established by the board of trustees of each community college by a person who is denied a driving eligibility certificate.

(4) To define exemplary student behavior and to define what constitutes the successful completion of a drug or alcohol treatment counseling program.

The State Board also shall develop policies as to when it is appropriate to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles that a person who is or was enrolled in a community college no longer meets the requirements for a driving eligibility certificate. The State Board also shall adopt guidelines to assist the presidents of community colleges in their designation of representatives to sign driving eligibility certificates.

The State Board shall develop a form for the appropriate individuals to provide their written, irrevocable consent for a community college to disclose to the Division of Motor Vehicles that the student no longer meets the conditions for a driving eligibility certificate under G.S. 20-11(n)(1) or G.S. 20-11(n1), if applicable, in the event that this disclosure is necessary to comply with G.S. 20-11 or G.S. 20-13.2. Other than identifying under which statutory subsection the student is no longer eligible, no other details or information concerning the student's school record shall be released pursuant to this consent.

(b) In order to make instruction as accessible as possible to all citizens, the teaching of curricular courses and of noncurricular extension courses at convenient locations away from institution campuses as well as on campuses is authorized and shall be encouraged. A pro rata portion of the established regular tuition rate charged a full-time student shall be charged a part-time student taking any curriculum course. In lieu of any tuition charge, the State Board of Community Colleges shall establish a uniform registration fee, or a schedule of uniform registration fees, to be charged students enrolling in extension courses for which instruction is financed primarily from State funds. The State Board of Community Colleges may provide by general and uniform regulations for waiver of tuition and registration fees for the following:

(1) Persons not enrolled in elementary or secondary schools taking courses leading to a high school diploma or equivalent certificate.

(2) Courses requested by the following entities that support the organizations' training needs and are on a specialized course list approved by the State Board of Community Colleges:

a. Volunteer fire departments.

b. Municipal, county, or State fire departments.

c. Volunteer EMS or rescue and lifesaving departments.

d. Municipal, county, or State EMS or rescue and lifesaving departments.

d1. Law enforcement, fire, EMS or rescue and lifesaving entities serving a lake authority that was created by a county board of commissioners prior to July 1, 2012.

e. Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams (REACT) under contract to a county as an emergency response agency.

f. Municipal, county, or State law enforcement agencies.

g. The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety for the training of full-time custodial employees and employees of the Division required to be certified under Article 1 of Chapter 17C of the General Statutes and the rules of the Criminal Justice and Training Standards Commission.

h. Repealed by Session Laws 2017-186, s. 2(hhhhh), effective December 1, 2017.

i. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians law enforcement, fire, EMS or rescue and lifesaving tribal government departments or programs.

j. The Criminal Justice Standards Division of the Department of Justice for the training of criminal justice professionals, as defined in G.S. 17C-20(6), who are required to be certified under (i) Article 1 of Chapter 17C of the General Statutes and the rules of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission or (ii) Chapter 17E of the General Statutes and the rules of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission. The waivers provided for in this sub-subdivision apply to participants and recent graduates of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Fellows Program to obtain certifications for eligible criminal justice professions as defined in G.S. 17C-20(6).

(2a) Firefighters, EMS personnel, and rescue and lifesaving personnel whose duty station is located on a military installation within North Carolina for courses that support their organizations' training needs and are approved for this purpose by the State Board of Community Colleges.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 8.12(a), effective July 1, 2011.

(4) Trainees enrolled in courses conducted under the Customized Training Program.

(5) through (9) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 8.12(a), effective July 1, 2011.

(10) Elementary and secondary school employees enrolled in courses in first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

(11) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-360, s. 10.6, effective July 1, 2013.

(12) All courses taken by high school students at community colleges, in accordance with G.S. 115D-20(4) and this section.

(13) Human resources development courses for any individual who (i) is unemployed; (ii) has received notification of a pending layoff; (iii) is working and is eligible for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (FEITC); or (iv) is working and earning wages at or below two hundred percent (200%) of the federal poverty guidelines.

(14) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 8.12(a), effective July 1, 2011.

(15) Courses providing employability skills, job-specific occupational or technical skills, or developmental education instruction to certain students who are concurrently enrolled in an eligible community college literacy course, in accordance with rules adopted by the State Board of Community Colleges.

(16) Courses provided to students who are participating in a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program that meets all of the following criteria:

a. Meets one of the following:

1. Is a registered apprenticeship program recognized by the United States Department of Labor.

2. Is a pre-apprenticeship program recognized and approved by the State agency administering the statewide apprenticeship program.

b. Has a documented plan of study with courses relating to a job-specific occupational or technical skill.

c. Requires the participants in the program to be North Carolina high school students when entering the program.

The State Board of Community Colleges shall not waive tuition and registration fees for other individuals.

(b1) The State Board of Community Colleges shall not waive tuition and registration fees for community college faculty or staff members. Community colleges may, however, use State or local funds to pay tuition and registration fees for one course per semester for full-time community college faculty or staff members employed for a nine-, ten-, eleven-, or twelve-month term. Community colleges may also use State and local funds to pay tuition and registration fees for professional development courses and for other courses consistent with the academic assistance program authorized by the State Human Resources Commission.

(b2) Beginning February 1, 2018, and annually thereafter, the State Board of Community Colleges shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on the number and type of waivers granted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(c) No course of instruction shall be offered by any community college at State expense or partial State expense to any captive or co-opted group of students, as defined by the State Board of Community Colleges, without prior approval of the State Board of Community Colleges. All course offerings approved for State prison inmates must be tied to clearly identified job skills, transition needs, or both. Approval by the State Board of Community Colleges shall be presumed to constitute approval of both the course and the group served by that institution. The State Board of Community Colleges may delegate to the President the power to make an initial approval, with final approval to be made by the State Board of Community Colleges. A course taught without such approval will not yield any full-time equivalent students, as defined by the State Board of Community Colleges.

(c1) Community colleges shall report full-time equivalent (FTE) student hours for correction education programs on the basis of contact hours rather than student membership hours. No community college shall operate a multi-entry/multi-exit class or program in a prison facility, except for a literacy class or program.

The State Board shall work with the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety on offering classes and programs that match the average length of stay of an inmate in a prison facility.

(d) Recodified as G.S. 115D-5.1(a) by Session Laws 2005-276, s. 8.4(a), effective July 1, 2005.

(e) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-84, s. 3, effective May 21, 1999.

(f) A community college may not offer a new program without the approval of the State Board of Community Colleges except that approval shall not be required if the tuition for the program will fully cover the cost of the program. If at any time tuition fails to fully cover the cost of a program that falls under the exception, the program shall be discontinued unless approved by the State Board of Community Colleges. If a proposed new program would serve more than one community college, the State Board of Community Colleges shall perform a feasibility study prior to acting on the proposal.

The State Board of Community Colleges shall report on an annual basis to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, on all new programs it approved during the year. The report shall include the specific reasons for which each program was approved.

(g) Funds appropriated to the Community Colleges System Office as operating expenses for allocation to the institutions comprising the North Carolina Community College System shall not be used to support recreation extension courses. The financing of these courses by any institution shall be on a self-supporting basis, and membership hours produced from these activities shall not be counted when computing full-time equivalent students (FTE) for use in budget-funding formulas at the State level.

(h) Whenever a community college offers real estate continuing education courses pursuant to G.S. 93A-4.1, the courses shall be offered on a self-supporting basis.

(i) Recodified as G.S. 115D-5.1(c) by Session Laws 2005-276, s. 8.4(a), effective July 1, 2005.

(j) The State Board of Community Colleges shall use its Board Reserve Fund for feasibility studies, pilot projects, start-up of new programs, and innovative ideas.

(k) Recodified as G.S. 115D-5.1(b) by Session Laws 2005-276, s. 8.4(a), effective July 1, 2005.

(l) The State Board shall review and approve lease purchase and installment purchase contracts as provided under G.S. 115D-58.15(b). The State Board shall adopt policies and procedures governing the review and approval process.

(m) The State Board of Community Colleges shall maintain an accountability function that conducts periodic reviews of each community college operating under the provisions of this Chapter. The purpose of the compliance review shall be to ensure that (i) data used to allocate State funds among community colleges is reported accurately to the System Office and (ii) community colleges are charging and waiving tuition and registration fees consistent with law. The State Board of Community Colleges shall require the use of a statistically valid sample size in performing compliance reviews of community colleges. All compliance review findings that are determined to be material shall be forwarded to the college president, local college board of trustees, the State Board of Community Colleges, and the State Auditor. The State Board of Community Colleges shall adopt rules governing the frequency, scope, and standard of materiality for compliance reviews.

(n) The North Carolina Community Colleges System Office shall provide the Department of Revenue with a list of all community colleges, including name, address, and other identifying information requested by the Department of Revenue. The North Carolina Community Colleges System Office shall update this list whenever there is a change.

(o) All multicampus centers approved by the State Board of Community Colleges shall receive funding under the same formula. The State Board of Community Colleges shall not approve any additional multicampus centers without identified recurring sources of funding.

(p) The North Carolina Community College System may offer courses, in accordance with Article 17D of Subchapter V of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, to individuals who choose to enter the teaching profession through residency licensure.

(q) Repealed by Session Laws 2009-451, s. 8.9, effective July 1, 2009.

(r) The State Board of Community Colleges shall develop curriculum and continuing education standards for courses of instruction in American Sign Language and shall encourage community colleges to offer courses in American Sign Language as a modern foreign language.

(s) The State Board of Community Colleges may establish, retain and budget fees charged to students taking an adult high school equivalency diploma test, including fees for retesting. Fees collected for this purpose shall be used only to (i) offset the costs of the test, including the cost of scoring the test, (ii) offset the costs of printing adult high school equivalency diplomas, and (iii) meet federal and State reporting requirements related to the test.

(t) The purpose of the first semester of the Gateway to College Program is to address additional support to successfully complete the program. Students may need to take developmental courses necessary for the transition to more challenging courses; therefore, the State Board of Community Colleges shall (i) permit high school students who are enrolled in Gateway to College Programs to enroll in developmental courses based on an assessment of their individual student needs by a high school and community college staff team and (ii) include this coursework in computing the budget FTE for the colleges.

(u) The State Board of Community Colleges shall direct each community college to adopt a policy that authorizes a minimum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student. The policy may require that the student provide written notice of the request for an excused absence a reasonable time prior to the religious observance. The policy shall also provide that the student shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.

(v) Community colleges may teach curriculum courses at any time during the year, including the summer term. Student membership hours from these courses shall be counted when computing full-time equivalent students (FTE) for use in budget funding formulas at the State level.

(w) The State Board of Community Colleges shall review, at least every five years, service areas that include counties assigned to more than one community college to determine the feasibility of continuing to assign those counties to more than one community college. The State Board shall revise service areas as needed to ensure that counties are served effectively. The first review and any revisions shall be completed no later than March 1, 2016, and the State Board shall report its findings and any revisions to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee no later than March 1, 2016. All subsequent reviews and revisions shall also be submitted to the Committee.

(x) In addition to the evaluation of cooperative innovative high schools by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C-238.55, the State Board of Community Colleges, in conjunction with the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall evaluate the success of students participating in the Career and College Promise Program, including the College Transfer pathway and the Career and Technical Education pathway. Success shall be measured by high school retention rates, high school completion rates, high school dropout rates, certification and associate degree completion, admission to four-year institutions, postgraduation employment in career or study-related fields, and employer satisfaction of employees who participated in the programs. The Boards shall jointly report by March 15 of each year to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.

(y) The State Board of Community Colleges shall adopt a policy to be applied uniformly throughout the Community College System to provide that any student enrolled in a community college who is a National Guard service member placed onto State active duty status during an academic term shall be given an excused absence for the period of time the student is on active duty. The policy shall further provide all of the following:

(1) The student shall be given the opportunity to make up any test or other work missed during the excused absence.

(2) The student shall be given the option, when feasible, to continue classes and coursework during the academic term through online participation for the period of time the student is placed on active duty.

(3) The student shall be given the option of receiving a temporary grade of "incomplete (IN)" or "absent from the final exam (AB)" for any course that the student was unable to complete as a result of being placed on State active duty status; however, the student must complete the course requirements within the period of time specified by the community college to avoid receiving a failing grade for the course.

(4) The student shall be permitted to drop, with no penalty, any course that the student was unable to complete as a result of being placed on State active duty status. (1963, c. 488, s. 23; 1967, c. 652; 1969, c. 1294; 1973, c. 768; 1975, c. 882; 1977, c. 1065; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; c. 896, ss. 5-7; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 1; 1981, c. 609; c. 859, s. 35.1; c. 897; c. 1127, s. 43; 1983, c. 717, s. 28; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, ss. 45, 46; 1985, c. 479, s. 67; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 955, s. 22; 1987, c. 282, s. 34; c. 564, ss. 8-10, 12, 33; c. 763, s. 1; 1989, c. 162; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 915, s. 1; c. 1066, s. 91; 1991, c. 689, ss. 44, 48; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 880, s. 4; 1993, c. 170, s. 2; c. 321, ss. 111, 117(e); c. 492, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, s. 18.4; 1995, c. 288, s. 2; c. 324, s. 16.4; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, ss. 17.4, 17.7(a); 1997-443, ss. 9.5, 9.6(a), 11A.118(a); 1997-507, s. 4; 1998-111, s. 3; 1998-202, s. 4(q); 1999-84, ss. 3, 9; 1999-243, s. 9; 2000-137, s. 4(t); 2001-111, s. 1; 2001-427, s. 9(b); 2001-487, s. 47(e); 2004-124, s. 8.4; 2005-193, s. 1; 2005-198, s. 3; 2005-247, s. 3; 2005-276, ss. 8.4(a), 8.6; 2005-395, s. 25; 2006-203, s. 37; 2007-154, s. 2(a); 2007-484, ss. 29(a), 35; 2008-107, ss. 8.11, 8.17, 8.18; 2009-208, s. 1; 2009-451, ss. 8.8, 8.9, 8.11(d), (e); 2009-570, s. 42; 2009-575, s. 5; 2010-31, ss. 8.3(d), 8.4(a), 8.11; 2010-112, s. 2; 2010-113, s. 1; 2011-145, ss. 8.2(b), 8.12(a), (b), 8.13, 19.1(h), (k), (l), 31.2; 2011-391, s. 18(a), (b); 2012-83, s. 41; 2012-142, ss. 8.3(a), 8.8; 2013-360, ss. 10.4(b), 10.6, 10.12, 10.15(a); 2013-382, s. 9.1(c); 2014-115, s. 28(e); 2015-167, s. 2.5; 2015-241, ss. 8.41(k), 10.2(a), 10.5(a), 10.6(a), (b); 2016-94, ss. 10.3(a), 10.4(a); 2017-57, ss. 7.22(g), 9.8(a), 9.10(a), (c); 2017-155, s. 2(a); 2017-186, ss. 2(hhhhh), 3(a); 2017-189, s. 6(g); 2017-212, s. 2.1; 2018-5, s. 17.1(c); 2018-97, s. 5.1.)

 

115D-5.1. Workforce Development Programs.

(a) Community colleges shall assist in the preemployment and in-service training of employees in industry, business, agriculture, health occupation and governmental agencies. Such training shall include instruction on worker safety and health standards and practices applicable to the field of employment. The State Board of Community Colleges shall make appropriate regulations including the establishment of maximum hours of instruction which may be offered at State expense in each in-plant training program. No instructor or other employee of a community college shall engage in the normal management, supervisory and operational functions of the establishment in which the instruction is offered during the hours in which the instructor or other employee is employed for instructional or educational purposes.

(b) through (d) Repealed by Session Laws 2008-107, s. 8.7(a), effective July 1, 2008.

(e) There is created within the North Carolina Community College System the Customized Training Program. The Customized Training Program shall offer programs and training services to assist new and existing business and industry to remain productive, profitable, and within the State. Before a business or industry qualifies to receive assistance under the Customized Training Program, the President of the North Carolina Community College System shall determine that:

(1) The business is making an appreciable capital investment;

(2) The business is deploying new technology;

(2a) The business or individual is creating jobs, expanding an existing workforce, or enhancing the productivity and profitability of the operations within the State; and

(3) The skills of the workers will be enhanced by the assistance.

(f) The State Board shall report on an annual basis to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on:

(1) The total amount of funds received by a company under the Customized Training Program;

(1a) The types of services sought by the company, whether for new, expanding, or existing industry.

(2) The amount of funds per trainee received by that company;

(3) The amount of funds received per trainee by the community college delivering the training;

(4) The number of trainees trained by the company and community college; and

(5) The number of years that company has been funded.

(f1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Board of Community Colleges may adopt guidelines that allow the Customized Training Program to use funds appropriated for that program to support training projects for the various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(f2) Funds available to the Customized Training Program shall not revert at the end of a fiscal year but shall remain available until expended. Up to ten percent (10%) of the college-delivered training expenditures and up to five percent (5%) of the contractor-delivered training expenditures for the prior fiscal year for Customized Training may be allotted to each college for capacity building at that college.

(f3) Of the funds appropriated in a fiscal year for the Customized Training Programs, the State Board of Community Colleges may approve the use of up to eight percent (8%) for the training and support of regional community college personnel to deliver Customized Training Program services to business and industry.

(g) The State Board shall adopt guidelines to implement this section. At least 20 days before the effective date of any criteria or nontechnical amendments to guidelines, the State Board must publish the proposed guidelines on the Community Colleges System Office's web site and provide notice to persons who have requested notice of proposed guidelines. In addition, the State Board must accept oral and written comments on the proposed guidelines during the 15 business days beginning on the first day that the State Board has completed these notifications. For the purpose of this subsection, a technical amendment is either of the following:

(1) An amendment that corrects a spelling or grammatical error.

(2) An amendment that makes a clarification based on public comment and could have been anticipated by the public notice that immediately preceded the public comment. (2005-276, s. 8.4(a), (b); 2005-445, s. 3; 2008-107, s. 8.7(a); 2009-451, s. 8.14(c); 2009-523, s. 2(b); 2009-570, s. 41; 2010-96, s. 14; 2011-183, s. 79.)

 

115D-5.2. Commercial fishing and aquaculture classes.

(a) The General Assembly urges all community colleges serving the coastal area of the State to offer classes on commercial fishing and aquaculture.

(b) The North Carolina Community Colleges System Office shall provide technical assistance to these colleges on offering such classes.

(c) The North Carolina Community Colleges System Office shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on any fiscal and administrative issues it identifies that limit colleges' ability to offer such courses. (2015-63, ss. 1, 2(a), (b).)

 

115D-6. Withdrawal of State support.

The State Board of Community Colleges may withdraw or withhold State financial and administrative support of any institutions subject to the provisions of this Chapter in the event that:

(1) The required local financial support of an institution is not provided;

(2) Sufficient State funds are not available;

(3) The officials of an institution refuse or are unable to maintain prescribed standards of administration or instruction; or

(4) Local educational needs for such an institution cease to exist. (1963, c. 448, s. 23; 1979, c. 462, s. 2; c. 896, s. 8; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 1.)

 

115D-6.1: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115D-6.2: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115D-6.3: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115D-6.4: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115D-6.5. Notice of noncompliance; appointment of an interim board of trustees.

(a) Notice. - The State Board of Community Colleges is responsible for assuring that boards of trustees of the community colleges comply with applicable State laws, rules, and sound fiscal and management practices, as defined in State Board policy. In addition to any actions taken by the State Board under G.S. 115D-6(3), if the State Board finds that a board of trustees of a community college has willfully, or as a result of gross negligence, failed to or refused to comply with applicable State laws, rules, and sound fiscal and management practices, the State Board may issue a written notice to the board of trustees of its findings and direct the board of trustees to take remedial action immediately to address those findings upon receipt of the notice. If the State Board finds the college needs assistance with taking remedial action, the State Board may also appoint an advisory committee to provide support and recommendations to the college. At a minimum, the advisory committee shall consist of representatives of the State Board of Community Colleges, the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents, and the System Office, and each party shall appoint its representative to the advisory committee.

(b) Resolution. - If, after receipt of the notice issued under subsection (a) of this section, a board of trustees willfully, or as a result of gross negligence, persists in refusing or failing to comply with the State laws, rules, or sound fiscal and management practices identified in the notice, the State Board of Community Colleges may adopt a resolution, upon approval of at least two-thirds of the members of the State Board attending the meeting in which the resolution is considered, to vacate the terms of the leadership of the board of trustees to include, but not limited to, chair and vice-chair. The respective appointing authorities shall appoint trustees to fulfill the vacated terms and shall not appoint members whose terms were vacated pursuant to this section. If, after the removal of the leadership of the board of trustees, a board of trustees willfully, or as a result of gross negligence, persists in refusing or failing to comply with the State laws, rules, or sound fiscal and management practices identified in the notice, the State Board of Community Colleges may adopt a resolution, upon approval of at least two-thirds of the members of the State Board attending the meeting in which the resolution is considered to vacate the terms of the full board of trustees. Prior to adopting either resolution, the State Board shall consult with the appointing authorities of the board of trustees and representatives of the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees and the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents regarding the proposed resolution. The State Board shall only exercise this authority as an extraordinary remedy utilized in the most extreme circumstances and after all of the following remediation actions have been taken without correction of the identified problems:

(1) The State Board has clearly delineated the failures to comply with applicable State laws, rules, or sound fiscal and management practices.

(2) The advisory committee appointed consistent with subsection (a) of this section has met with the President of the college and the local board of trustees to discuss the problems in question and to assist the community college in question to resolve them.

(3) The State Board has vacated the terms of the leadership of the board of trustees, but the identified problems continue to persist.

(4) The State Board has issued a final warning providing the college with a deadline to resolve the identified problems.

(c) Interim Board Assumption of Powers and Duties. - The adoption of the resolution to remove the full board under this section shall have the effect of vacating the terms of all of the members serving on the board of trustees. Notwithstanding G.S. 115D-12, the State Board of Community Colleges shall appoint an interim five-member board of trustees for a period not to exceed 12 months with input from the advisory committee listed in subsection (a) of this section. To preserve local autonomy, the appointing authorities of the local administrative area of the community college under G.S. 115D-12 shall make recommendations to the State Board on the appointment of the members to the interim board of trustees. All appointees to the interim board of trustees shall be residents of the administrative area of the institution for which they are selected or of counties contiguous thereto with the exception of members provided for in subsection (a) of G.S. 115D-12, Group Four. At the end of the period of service of the interim board of trustees, a board of trustees for the community college shall be appointed in accordance with G.S. 115D-12. Initial terms of members of the new board of trustees shall be staggered to align with the remainder of the vacated terms of the members of the board of trustees.

(d) Notice to the General Assembly. - Within 60 days of the adoption of the resolution to remove the full board under this section, the State Board shall report to the General Assembly in accordance with G.S. 120-29.5 on the adoption of the resolution, the interim board of trustees appointed by the State Board, and any legislative recommendations necessary in regard to the future governance of the community college.

(e) State Board Policy. - The State Board of Community Colleges shall adopt any policies necessary to implement the provisions of this section. (2018-92, s. 1(a).)

 

115D-7. Establishment of private, nonprofit corporations.

The State Board of Community Colleges shall encourage the establishment of private, nonprofit corporations to support the community college system. The President of the Community Colleges System with the approval of the State Board of Community Colleges, may assign employees to assist with the establishment and operation of such nonprofit corporation and may make available to the corporation office space, equipment, supplies and other related resources; provided, the sole purpose of the corporation is to support the community college system.

The board of directors of each private, nonprofit corporation shall secure and pay for the services of the State Auditor's Office or employ a certified public accountant to conduct an audit of the financial accounts of the corporation. The board of directors shall transmit to the State Board of Community Colleges a copy of the annual financial audit report of the private nonprofit corporation. (1987, c. 383, s. 1; 1999-84, s. 10.)

 

115D-8. Repealed by Session Laws 1999-84, s. 4.

 

115D-9. Powers of State Board regarding certain fee negotiations, contracts, and capital improvements.

(a) The expenditures of any State funds for any capital improvements of existing institutions shall be subject to the prior approval of the State Board of Community Colleges and the Governor. The expenditure of State funds at any institution herein authorized to be approved by the State Board under G.S. 115D-4 shall be subject to the terms of the State Budget Act unless specifically otherwise provided in this Chapter.

(b) Notwithstanding G.S. 143-341(3), the State Board of Community Colleges may, with respect to design, construction, repair, or renovation of buildings, utilities, and other State-funded property developments of the North Carolina Community College System requiring the estimated expenditure of public money of four million dollars ($4,000,000) or less:

(1) Conduct the fee negotiations for all design contracts and supervise the letting of all construction and design contracts.

(2) Develop procedures governing the responsibilities of the North Carolina Community College System and its community colleges to perform the duties of the Department of Administration and the Director or Office of State Construction under G.S. 133-1.1(d) and G.S. 143-341(3).

(3) Use existing plans and specifications for construction projects, where feasible. Prior to designing a project, the State Board shall consult with the Department of Administration on the availability of existing plans and specifications and the feasibility of using them for a project.

(c) The State Board may delegate its authority under subsection (b) of this section to a community college if the community college is qualified under guidelines adopted by the State Board and approved by the State Building Commission and the Director of the Budget.

(d) The North Carolina Community College System shall use the standard contracts for design and construction currently in use for State capital improvement projects by the Office of State Construction of the Department of Administration.

(e) A contract may not be divided for the purpose of evading the monetary limit under this section.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, the Department of Administration shall not be the awarding authority for contracts awarded under subsections (b) or (c) of this section.

(g) The State Board shall annually report to the State Building Commission the following:

(1) A list of projects governed by this section.

(2) The estimated cost of each project along with the actual cost.

(3) The name of each person awarded a contract under this section.

(4) Whether the person or business awarded a contract under this section meets the definition of "minority business" or "minority person" as defined in G.S. 143-128.2(g).

(h) The provisions of G.S. 143-341(3) shall not apply to a capital improvement project funded with non-State funds if the State Board of Community Colleges determines that the college has the expertise necessary to manage the project unless the assistance of the Office of State Construction is requested. (2009-229, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 8.19(a).)

 

115D-10. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115D-11. Reserved for future codification purposes.