The University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved a plan Feb. 21 to ease the path for students moving from N.C. community colleges to public universities.
The agreement between the UNC system and community colleges would help students seeking to transfer from community colleges into a four-year program. It's designed to help students like Will Love, who earned his associate degree while working for ASMO and is now one of approximately 400 students enrolled in ECU's B.S. in industrial technology program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
Focused on increasing student success, the revised agreement between the two bodies establishes foundational courses that will transfer to all UNC campuses; requires coursework that helps students map their path from community colleges to universities; and guarantees full transfer credit and entry as juniors for all community college students who complete an AA or AS degree before transferring to a UNC campus.
Approximately 3,600 of all students attending East Carolina University during the fall semester transferred to ECU from a North Carolina community college.
Nearly 1,000 North Carolina community college students transferred to ECU in academic year 2012-13 alone, which is twice the number compared to 10 years ago, according to a report by the Board of Governors released in August. Nearly one in four of the new students who enrolled at ECU in 2012 were coming from a community college in the region.
“While it is important to continue to enhance our relationships with the community college system, this agreement will add additional support to students who choose to transfer to ECU and other UNC institutions,” said John Fletcher, ECU’s associate provost for enrollment services. “ECU is aggressively working to establish recruitment and admission policies that will best serve our transfer student population.”
ECU offers multiple programs created in partnership with community colleges across the region and state. They include:
B.S. in Industrial Technology – The College of Technology and Computer Science offers this degree program for students with an associate degree in applied science. Students can take classes for two years and graduate with a bachelor’s in one of eight concentrations: architectural technology, mechanical technology, industrial distribution and logistics, information and computer technology, industrial supervision, manufacturing systems, bioprocess manufacturing or health information technologies. More than 400 students were enrolled in the program this semester.
Partnership East – This College of Education teacher training program accepts transfer students from 20 community colleges in eastern and central North Carolina who then complete a bachelor’s degree full time, part time or online. Close to 200 students are currently enrolled at ECU through Partnership East, earning degrees in elementary education, middle grades education or special education.
Eastern North Carolina Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (ENC RIBN) – A partnership between ECU and five area community colleges, the College of Nursing program aims to increase the number of nurses with bachelor degrees to care for the complex health care needs of patients and to expand the pool for future faculty and advanced practice nurses. The 31 students enrolled take most of their course work at the community college before finishing their senior year at ECU.