Project Kitty Hawk Launches Online Degree Programs

    by Zack Ezzone, staff writer for the Triangle Business Journal

    A major initiative to expand access to online education in North Carolina is launching its first degree programs.

    State lawmakers in 2021 allocated $97 million to Project Kitty Hawk to support online degree programs at UNC system schools in an effort to reach more adult learners. The UNC system has a goal of enrolling 45,000 non-traditional college-aged students by 2027, double the current number of about 22,000.

    The organization has built out an online platform intended to help universities in various areas, such as admissions, marketing, coaching and curriculum design. While Project Kitty Hawk operates the platform, the universities run the courses and degree programs.

    “We are the utility for the institutions to attract, admit, retain and get students to persist to graduation,” said Will Zemp, CEO of Project Kitty Hawk.

    Project Kitty Hawk is working with groups like the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce to make sure the degree programs are aligned with workforce needs.

    The first degree programs recently launched at North Carolina Central University in Durham: an informational technology degree program; and one that helps registered nurses earn a bachelor of science in nursing.

    Project Kitty Hawk has another program through N.C. Central, a bachelor of business administration, that will soon launch, and an additional four degrees coming online with East Carolina University: programs for psychology; criminal justice; information and cybersecurity technology; and multidisciplinary studies.

    The organization plans to add a third university by the end of June 2025 and another two in both fiscal years 2027 and 2028. This timeline would give Project Kitty Hawk partnerships with seven universities by the end of June 2028.

    To read the full story, please visit the Triangle Business Journal’s website.

    Photo above: North Carolina Central University