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Ability to transfer NC community college credits increases opportunities

Posted May 26

Through coordination with four-year North Carolina universities and the public school system, community college students can transfer credits from one school to another, as well as earn credits while still in high school.

This article was written for our sponsor, North Carolina Community Colleges.

Through coordination with four-year North Carolina universities and the public school system, community college students can transfer credits from one school to another, as well as earn credits while still in high school.

Around half of those receiving bachelor’s degrees in North Carolina received at least some of their credits from a community college. And each year thousands of high school students earn transfer credits from community college that can be used toward their high school diplomas and higher education degrees.

"Students taking advantage of the dual enrollment College Transfer option do so in order to get a jump-start on their college coursework," Lisa Chapman, senior vice president of programs for the North Carolina Community College System, said. "The community college courses transfer readily as credit for equivalent courses at all public universities in North Carolina as well as at most of the independent and private universities, while also counting towards credit requirements for their high school diploma."

High School Credits at Community College

The N.C. Community Colleges' Career and College Promise Program allows high school students to finish high school while achieving an associate's degree at the local community college.

The classes are free to take for high school students, and the credits are good toward both high school and college degrees. Students utilizing this program are sometimes able to receive a high school diploma and their associate's degree the same year.

A recent article in the Richmond County Daily Journal highlighted three high schoolers who took enough credits to achieve this.

Hailey Bass, Mikhaila Hudson and Jelisa Robinson took enough college credits through the program to complete an associate's degree. They can now transfer all those credits to any of the 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system -- including UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina and Appalachian State -- and 24 of the 36 private colleges and universities in the state.

"High school students who wish to take advantage of a College Transfer dual enrollment pathway are eligible as a junior or senior with a weighted [grade point average] of 3.0 on their high school classes, in addition to demonstrated college readiness in the core areas of reading, English, and math," Chapman said. "In order to maintain this eligibility, they need to continue working towards a high school diploma while maintaining a 2.0 GPA in their college courses, as well."

Transferring Credits between Colleges

This same transfer of credits also applies to those taking the classes on a community college campus after high school graduation.

The UNC system and the N.C. Community College System are governed by a state law requiring them to cooperate on certain matters. The agreement, called the "Comprehensive Articulation Agreement," requires full acceptance of transfer credits from community colleges to the state’s universities.

These classes can therefore achieve the same core requirements of state schools while not having to pay their higher tuitions for the first two years.

"The North Carolina Community College System has a strong working relationship with its North Carolina senior institution partners," Chapman said. "We have had a statewide comprehensive articulation agreement since 1997."

For those wanting to transfer North Carolina Community College credits to a high school or to another state college, this agreement makes these transfers possible.

High schoolers will need to make sure they are enrolled in the proper programs and meet eligibility, but those already with a high school diploma can take community college courses and then transfer them to any UNC campus and to most private colleges and universities, as well.

This article was written for our sponsor, North Carolina Community Colleges.

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