CULLOWHEE – Future Tri-County Community College students who complete their associates’ degrees will find it easier to add a four-year university degree, thanks to an agreement signed Tuesday (May 24) with Western Carolina University.
The agreement offers TCCC students a “New Entry” program to Western. That means students can take a sequence of courses designed to help them make a successful transition to the university. In addition, there will be an on-site coordinator at TCCC who can provide advice and guidance for the transition to Western.
“Our intention is to smooth the transition from community college to Western,” said Pat Brown, Western’s dean of distance and continuing education.
New Entry is important for two reasons, said Western Chancellor John Bardo, who signed the agreement with TCCC President Norm Oglesby. “First, we will know what students are most likely to transfer to Western, and we can begin to build a relationship with them. These students can become comfortable with our campus before they begin taking classes at Western. Secondly, our on-site coordinator can provide guidance and advice that may help students avoid lost time and unnecessary expense when they transition to Western,” Bardo said.
Oglesby called the agreement an important development for students in the Tri-County area. “This new program will motivate students to keep their grade point averages up and stay in school so that they will be able to meet Western’s admissions requirements while they’re still at Tri-County. Thank you for reaching out to us,” Oglesby said.
New Entry students at TCCC will be offered a series of one-credit hour courses through each of their four semesters at the community college. When they complete those courses and their associates’ degrees, they will be eligible for admission to Western.
Catherine See, a former TCCC student and recent graduate of Western, called the program a great idea. “I wish it had been in place when I was at TCCC,” See said. “It will be especially valuable for people who wouldn’t otherwise think of going on to college for a four-year degree.”
Under its longstanding partnership with TCCC, Western already offers bachelor of science degrees in entrepreneurship, elementary education and birth to kindergarten through courses offered on site at TCCC. Online programs in nursing and education are planned for fall 2005. The New Entry program offers student even more choices to advance their education.
For more information about Western’s programs at TCCC, call the Division of Distance and Continuing Education at (800) 928-4968 or (828) 227-7397, or go online to http://edoutreach.wcu.edu.