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UNC Charlotte welcomes N.C. transfer students

Joan Lorden
UNC Charlotte

From Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC Charlotte, in response to the Q and A in this space with CPCC President Tony Zeiss (April 12):

For many N.C. students, the most effective route to a baccalaureate degree is through a community college. We see this at UNC Charlotte, where transfer students make up 43 percent of our undergraduate student body.

Because of the importance of this educational path, I would like to clarify one of the points made in Dr. Tony Zeiss’ Q&A with the Observer. Dr. Zeiss indicated that students transferring to the UNC system might find themselves forced to repeat (and pay for) a course they had already passed at a community college. While I cannot speak for all UNC institutions, our experience at UNC Charlotte suggests that this is a rarity. A systematic review of community college general education transfer courses revealed that only a handful of these courses were not accepted at UNC Charlotte for general education credit, and we’ve just fixed those.

The partnership between North Carolina Community Colleges and the University of North Carolina System is defined in part by a Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. Dr. Zeiss stated correctly that the current CAA does not specify how a course taken at a community college will transfer to a particular university. Recognizing that many curricular changes have taken place since the CAA was adopted, the NCCC and UNC systems have established a joint committee to revise the CAA. This committee is refining the CAA so that community college students can better navigate the transfer process.

Equally important are the relationships community college students develop with the university they plan to attend. UNC Charlotte has been a statewide leader in welcoming transfer students. In addition to one-on-one admissions counseling, we offer community college students a variety of tools to simplify the transfer process, including online Transfer Guides for individual programs and an online Transfer Credit Advisor that allows students to see exactly how courses will transfer from community colleges to UNC Charlotte.

We are also in the third year of the Passport Program, a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and our most recent initiative to smooth the transition from community college to UNC Charlotte by providing coordinated transfer advising at both institutions.

Students considering an N.C. community college as the starting point for their collegiate experience should feel confident that we are ready and willing to work with them to ensure that courses they complete will be fully recognized.

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