June 22, 2018 12:04 PM
N.C. State has a new plan to admit more graduates from eight regional community colleges, widening the pipeline of students on a more affordable path of higher education.
This fall, about 120 students will start on a community college campus, with an automatic acceptance later at N.C. State University. Once they earn a two-year associate’s degree, they can transfer, having had help along the way from NCSU advisers.
The participating community colleges, all within 60 miles of Raleigh, are: Durham Tech and Wake Tech, as well as Alamance, Central Carolina, Johnston, Nash, Vance-Granville and Wilson community colleges.
The program is targeted to low- and moderate-income students from families with income of about $50,000 or less. Students are advised to maintain a 3.0 grade point average in community college to make the jump, said Louis Hunt, N.C. State’s senior vice provost of enrollment management and services.
“I think people are seeing this as a very viable pathway,” Hunt said. “We’re really seeing that shift now. The community college is a great way to save money.”
The number of students transferring from community colleges to the UNC system is on the rise, from 7,905 in fall of 2015 to 10,264 in fall of 2016. That trend is likely to continue as the university system pursues a goal of educating more low-income and rural students, and the community college system seeks to boost its enrollment numbers.
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