Community colleges have served as a pathway to recovery in the lives of some North Carolina citizens. The local academic settings provide for more supportive interactions between student and educators as well as among a diverse population of students. And because they are more affordable to many, they have become by default the best setting for a person whose life has been interrupted or has been difficult because of experiencing a disabling or potentially disabling condition. However, we learned recently that our state’s community college leadership have been considering rule changes that would allow a college not to admit a person based on subjective information or perception. This was done, it is said, in response to the shootings at Virginia Tech two years ago.
So advocates began contacting each other and the press regarding the rule language. It turns out that Disability Rights North Carolina knew about this and responded with their own letter in November, but now the issue is hot and live (the community college board voted about this on Friday, January 21st), and several organizations, including NAMI NC, NC Mental Hope, and NC CANSO have also written and shared their letters.
If the Rules Review committee for the community college board does not reconsider, we will need to move this for the attention of the legislature. We’ll keep you posted!