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CCCC Wins $50,000 in Global Ed Tech Competition

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06.29.2022College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College has been named one of 30 winners in the Learning Engineering Tools Competition, a search for promising new education ideas, technologies and platforms.

Central Carolina Community College will receive $50,000 to develop and refine a unique software resource to help students better understand areas of study and how they align to all possible career and job options. Students will use this specially-designed software when they enroll to match their areas of interest to the college's workforce and curriculum options so that students save time and money. CCCC advisors and students will find this resource invaluable in ensuring that all students are better informed of their options.

The competition is supported by Schmidt Futures, Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin, Walton Family Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment, Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The competition was administered by Georgia State University and The Learning Agency.

"We are excited to build upon our work to help our students make informed decisions about all of the options at CCCC," stated Scott Byington, CCCC Associate Vice President for Onboarding and Advising and one of the project leads along with CCCC Director of Admissions Adam Wade. "Everyone should be able to pursue additional workforce and curriculum opportunities that make sense for each person's goals and career plans. We are proud to be developing and refining tools to help students do that with the help of the Global Ed Tech grant."

Winning teams include entrepreneurs, learning scientists, educators, and researchers from around the world. With missions ranging from accelerating literacy and math skills for K-12 learners to creating tools that will accelerate the learning science research process, the educational tools developed by the teams have the potential to impact over 4 million students by the end of 2022. According to estimates calculated by each team, more than 40 million students within the next three years will benefit from these tools.

"By leveraging key advances in computation, this group of winners will help solve some of our nation's biggest education problems," said Kumar Garg, the Vice President of Partnerships at Schmidt Futures. "It is energizing to work with organizations, which have the potential to dramatically improve outcomes for so many students at scale."

The competition received more than 800 entries from 60 countries. The 30 winners come from institutions and organizations across North America, the Caribbean, Australia, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Prizes range from $50,000 up to $250,000 per team. In addition, the winning teams will share insights from their work with external researchers to facilitate experimentation to improve learner outcomes and better understand student learning.

Prizes were granted to teams along four competitive tracks:

  • Accelerate learning in elementary and secondary literacy and math.
  • Transform K-12 assessments in both cost and quality.
  • Facilitate faster, better, and cheaper learning science research.
  • Drive improvements in adult learning that boost middle class wages.

A full list of winners and their projects can be found at

This is the second year of the Learning Engineering Tools Competition. In 2021, the Tool Competition awarded $1.5 million to 18 teams around the world. Plans are already under way for another competition in 2023.

Tools Competition Background

The Learning Engineering Tools Competition 2021 consisted of three rounds of proposal evaluations and pitches before a panel of judges that included philanthropists, education technologists, teachers and researchers. The goal of the tools competition is to spur the development and deployment of technologies to maximize learning over time. The competition also aims to mitigate learning loss in K-12 students, reduce educational disparities experienced by students of color, and provide alternative higher education pathways for all adults, but particularly low-income workers.

In order to be considered for a prize, each proposal had to address a pressing learning goal connected to one of four broad educational categories:

  • Accelerated learning in literacy and math. Tools that help students achieve or exceed proficiency in grade-level literacy or math skills.
  • Transform K-12 assessment in both cost and quality. Tools that improve the quality of assessment to better meet the needs of educators, students and families while reducing the time or cost to develop or administer them.
  • Drive improvement in adult learning. Tools that increase effectiveness or reach post-secondary education or skill training to prepare adults for the changing economy
  • Facilitate faster, better, and cheaper learning science research. Tools that accelerate learning science research by facilitating A/B testing and RCTs, improving research design, promoting replication, or releasing knowledge/data for external research.


For more information on Central Carolina Community College - which is dedicated to providing pathways to achievable dreams, visit