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State Doc Pick of the Week : Performance Measures for Student Success

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performance measures for student success title pageThe 2016 Performance Measures for Student Success came out in August of 2016. This is the North Carolina Community College System‘s major accountability document that comes out annually. The purpose of this document is to inform both colleges and the public on the performance of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.

Some of the performance statistics include basic skills student progress, student success rate in college-level English and Math, first year progression, curriculum student completion, licensure and certification passing rate, college transfer performance, and also an appendix with other performance measures and tables.

You can view, download, print, and save this document here.

End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

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End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

Greetings old friends of North Carolina’s online encyclopedia, the NCpedia — and new and future friends too!

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

After several months of planning, design, programming and testing, NCpedia now has a brand new and updated user interface as of this morning. Same great content — no change there — but with an entirely new look and feel and user experience.

The site traces its history back before the dawn of the web, to frequently asked questions and then brochures created by librarians at the State Library to answer those questions.

Eventually those questions found their way into HTML pages in the 1990s, and then they coalesced into an encyclopedic collection called the eNCyclopedia.  By 2009, the content had grown to several hundred pages — and the site needed to find a new home in a content management system that allowed for expansion, search and a better user experience. The encyclopedia got a new home in Drupal and a new name — and NCpedia was launched.

NCpedia before the reno!

NCpedia before the reno!

Since that time, the content has expanded by more than 26,000 entries, including more than 6,500 encyclopedia articles and the more than 20,000 record volume of the North Carolina Gazetteer (an annotated index of North Carolina place names).  And more than 7,400 images have been incorporated along with maps and interactive features like timelines.  By 2015, it was time for the home to get a reno!

NCpedia is still in Drupal — but the site has received an entire remodel to improve usability, search and find features, and the overall user experience.  We hope you like it!

And if you would like more information about the history of NCpedia, please visit the “About NCpedia” page on the website: http://www.ncpedia.org/about.  We’ve even included some snapshots of the early days and how far the digital encyclopedia has come.  Today the site includes more than 7,000 articles and more than 7,400 images and receives more than 4 million visits per year.

Check it out!

Kelly Agan, Digital Projects Librarian

State Docs Pick of the Week : Conservation Gardener

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Conservation Gardener title pageConservation Gardener is a, new, semiannual periodical published by the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The goal of this serial is to help people “better understand, appreciate and conserve North Carolina’s natural heritage and build a more sustainable relationship with the natural world”.

In it, you will find articles, pictures, and guides all related to conserving plants and appreciating nature. Some topic examples that you may find include citizen science, wildflowers, garden sustainability, conserving habitats, and other various information and guides related to garden conservation and nature. You can also find information on events held by the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

You can view, download, print, and save this new periodical here.

December 7, Marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II and a new NCpedia biography: the first service person from Western North Carolina killed

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December 7, Marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II and a new NCpedia biography: the first service person from Western North Carolina killed

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on U.S. military installations at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and the U.S.’s official entry into the war on December 8.

NCpedia recently published a new entry on a young gentleman from Yancey County named Weldon Burlison. At barely age 30, Burlison was the first reported World War II casualty from western North Carolina and one of the first reported service personnel from North Carolina who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 4, 1941.  Burlison began his military service in the Marines in 1934 and served there for four years.  Following an honorable discharge at the end of his tour in 1938, he immediately re-enlisted, this time in the Army Air Corps (today the U.S. Air Force).  At the time of the attack, Burlison was stationed at Hickam Field at Pearl Harbor.

Drawing from Weldon Burlison's August 5, 1941 letter to Elsie Edwards. From the military collection of the State Archives of North Carolina. Used with permission.

Drawing from Weldon Burlison’s August 5, 1941 letter to Elsie Edwards. From the military collection of the State Archives of North Carolina. Used with permission.

Weldon Burlison’s story, although the details we have are relatively few, came to NCpedia through the State Archives of North Carolina.  The Archives’ military archivist, Matthew Peek, received a very small collection of materials about Burlison that included primarily a few newspaper articles and his obituary in the Yancey Record along with a few letters and postcards shared between Burlison and a friend, Elsie Edwards.  One of the letters was written by Elsie Edwards just a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sends her heartbreaking hope that her friend is O.K. Burlison would of course never receive her letter, and it would take several weeks for the envelope and its contents to make it through the military mail, only to be returned to her marked “deceased.”  Here is an excerpt from the NCpedia entry, including her heart-rending words:

On the morning of December 8, 1941, after hearing the news about Pearl Harbor and knowing where Burlison was stationed, Elsie Edward wrote a two-page, heart-breaking letter to him, hoping he is safe and alive. Elsie began her letter by saying “Of course I have a million things on my mind these days. Right now the uppermost thought is ‘I wonder if Snook is safe, if he’s really all right’.” After noting that Americans had abandoned plans for Christmas in order to pray for those military personnel at Pearl Harbor, Edwards wrote, “And let me tell you Weldon, I am one of your many friends who is praying for you!” She would finish writing the letter by 5 focusing on information related to previous correspondence, but finished her letter saying, “I don’t know of very much to say right now. I can’t even be sure you will receive this but I hope you do.”

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