CPCC, UNC partner to make transferring credits easier

02/24/2014 6:02 PM

02/25/2014 7:26 AM

Transferring from community college to University of North Carolina system schools can be tough, especially since students are never quite sure which credits will transfer. A new agreement between the two systems will give students a better chance of receiving credit for their community college courses.

Vishal Naik enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College two years ago, set on transferring to N.C. State University to study biomedical engineering. It was cheaper that way, but in some ways it was a gamble.

“You’re always talking to students ahead of you or out of school after they’ve already transferred, asking, ‘Hey, did this class transfer?’ ” Naik said.

Many community college classes do transfer, but often only as electives.

Then a student is stuck spending money on taking a second math class or writing course. Also, which courses transfer varies throughout the UNC system.

“What’s really monumental with the new agreement is faculty at the community colleges working with faculty leaders with UNC universities have outlined a group of courses that will be guaranteed course-to-course transfers to all 16 of the UNC institutions,” said Scott Ralls, president of the North Carolina Community College System.

About 40 classes, such as American literature or calculus, will count toward a college’s general education requirement. Some of these courses had to be tweaked to give UNC system schools the confidence that they do, indeed, cover the material they expect their students to know.

The limit is 36 credit hours, unless students get an associate degree. Then they’re guaranteed junior status at UNC colleges.

Jeff Lowrance of Central Piedmont Community College said the agreement is a good first step, but he’d like to see more courses automatically transfer.

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