The UNC System2023-10-11T16:49:39+00:00

Making More Opportunities for Adult Learners

The University of North Carolina (UNC) System is one of North Carolina’s greatest assets—a model for public higher education around the world. For over two centuries, it has made North Carolina’s economy stronger, its people more knowledgeable, and its culture richer.

Through our partnership with the UNC System, Project Kitty Hawk is committed to increasing access to career-expanding education for working adults across the state to improve professional prospects and quality of life.

The UNC System Mission

The UNC System is one of the most valuable public higher education systems in the country. North Carolina introduced the nation to the concept of a public university, and the state continues to lead the way in the arena of higher education.

In North Carolina, all the public educational institutions granting four-year degrees are part of the University of North Carolina System. The multi-campus system encompasses 16 universities and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students.

The consolidation under one governing board has accelerated North Carolina’s four fundamental higher education objectives: to foster the development of a well-planned and coordinated system of higher education; to improve the quality of education; to extend educational benefits beyond campus borders; and to encourage efficient and effective use of the state’s resources.

In addition to its formal teaching role, the UNC System has a long-standing commitment to research and public service. The state and its people also reap the social and economic benefits of the UNC System’s affiliated institutions including PBS North Carolina, The University of North Carolina Press, UNC Health, cooperative extension and research services, nine area health education centers, and myriad other University programs and facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since the General Assembly made an up-front investment necessary to launch Project Kitty Hawk, what long-term fiscal obligations can legislators expect from Project Kitty Hawk?2023-10-11T16:48:41+00:00

Project Kitty Hawk is designed to be a self-supporting initiative beyond the initial $97 million investment that was requested from the General Assembly. By 2026-27, the nonprofit organization will be expected to cover its operating costs with the revenue generated through its partnerships with UNC System institutions, and without an additional investment from the state.

The financial model suggests that Project Kitty Hawk may generate revenue beyond its costs in subsequent years. This would create an opportunity to reinvest surplus in improving services, lowering participation costs, and keeping tuition and fees affordable for students. Additionally, the model assumes no enrollment growth funding from the state for credit hours supported by Project Kitty Hawk. Instead, a special provision calls for tuition revenue generated by Project Kitty Hawk to be treated as an institutional trust fund. Tuition and fees will be competitive with other online providers.

Is Project Kitty Hawk a vendor or a partner?2023-10-11T16:48:47+00:00

Project Kitty Hawk partners with UNC System institutions to support online programs that serve adult learners. This collaborative partnership can vary based on the institution’s goals and needs within the online space.

Is Project Kitty Hawk another university?2023-10-11T16:48:52+00:00

No. Project Kitty Hawk is an affiliated nonprofit that provides services to existing UNC institutions that wish to develop or expand online programs for adult learners. Those services will include market analysis data, program design, access to a technology platform, marketing and communications, enrollment counseling, and student success coaching. Additionally, all programs will bear the partner institution’s brand, and students will receive their education and credentials from that institution.

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