DPS, Durham Tech announce partnership to ensure 1 in 4 DPS students graduate with associate degree or workforce credential 

Durham Public Schools (DPS) and Durham Tech announced a major new partnership with the goal of ensuring that 25 percent of Durham Public Schools students will complete a Durham Tech workforce credential or associate degree by the time they graduate high school.  

DPS and Durham Tech have committed to putting in place key strategies and supports to ensure that at least 500 students each year are graduating graduate with an associate degree in addition to their high school diploma, or a credential that will enable them to enter the workforce immediately. This goal is unparalleled in the state. 

“This reflects a commitment to meet specific goals over the next five years, to remove barriers and create more equitable educational attainment for all students,” Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga said. 

Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton said the partnership will be transformative for education in Durham. 

“We are being intentional in our approach to ensure that obstacles are removed and pathways are created for all students to have the option to graduate high school with a workforce credential or an associate degree,” he said. “Our strategies to achieve our goal of 25 percent include teaching college courses in the high schools, working with families to map out pathways to workforce credentials and college degrees, and addressing the costs of books and transportation. We must provide easy-to-understand information about our programs and ensure all high school students understand that postsecondary education is possible and a pathway to opportunity for them.” 

One of the key strategies of the partnership includes placing Durham Tech instructors in 11th-grade high school classrooms. The initiative will launch at Riverside in the 2023-34 school year, then followed by the other high schools. 

Under North Carolina’s Career and College Promise (CCP), public high school students are able to take community college courses tuition-free. This provides high school students seamless dual-enrollment educational opportunities to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer or provide entry-level job skills.  

“This partnership between Durham Technical Community College and Durham Public Schools can be a model in North Carolina for how to build a strategic goal that is a win-win while keeping the focus on students,” said Dr. Jeff Cox, incoming president of the North Carolina Community College System. “There is tremendous opportunity for our state when we create more opportunities for high school students to earn college credentials or to graduate with the confidence and benefits of completing college-faculty taught courses." 

Durham Tech is currently enrolling interested students. Visit durhamtech.edu, go to the dual-enrollment tab and sign up for an information session under the CCP tab, or contact college liaison Tevin Jones.