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NCCCS, UNC Improve Transfer Agreement

Revised CAA Goes into Effect for New College Transfer Students This Fall

Dr. Linwood Powell (not pictured), State Board of Community Colleges Chair, says the new comprehensive articulation agreement will continue the community college system’s “legacy of providing hope and opportunity to North Carolinians who walk through our doors.”

RALEIGH–The State Board of Community Colleges and University of North Carolina Board of Governors signed a revised Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) on Friday to improve transfer between the state’s public higher education systems.

The revised agreement, driven by an increased focus on student success and the growing number of N.C. community college students transferring to the state’s public universities, will save students and their families time and money. It will also stretch tax dollars by offering students a more direct pathway to career and educational success.

“The new CAA illustrates the commitment of both the N.C. Community College System and the University of North Carolina System to student success and goal completion,” said Dr. Thomas Gould, PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs. “It encourages both associate degree and baccalaureate degree completion and provides clear and guaranteed pathways for students to achieve their educational and professional goals.”

For more than 15 years, North Carolina community college students planning to transfer to a UNC campus have been guided by a 1997 joint agreement that outlines how course credits transfer between the two systems. As years passed, general education requirements evolved and students increasingly found that some credits did not count toward their major programs of study, resulting in delays in degree attainment and added costs for students and their families.

Under the revised agreement, community college students will enter transfer pathways with clearly-defined goals and an understanding of how earned transfer hours fit into university requirements. Additionally, the revised agreement:

• Identifies foundational courses that will transfer to all UNC campuses to meet general education requirements;

• Improves transfer student success by requiring coursework that helps students map their academic pathway from community colleges to universities; and

• Encourages community college students to complete an Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree before transferring to a UNC campus by guaranteeing entry as juniors with full transfer credit.

“Once again, North Carolina is serving as a national model for positive and productive educational collaboration that serves the best interests of our students, our citizens, our communities, and our state,” Gould said. “Pitt Community College is proud to be a part of this historic initiative, and we look forward to working with our UNC partners to implement this agreement.”

Hundreds of faculty and administrators from North Carolina’s 58 community colleges and 16 UNC campuses weighed in on the design and development of the revised transfer agreement, which goes into effect for new college transfer students this fall. Students currently enrolled in an AA or AS program will continue under the existing agreement as long as they remain continuously enrolled.

“Nearly 24,000 students who began their studies at a community college are now undergraduates on a UNC campus, accounting for more than half of all UNC transfer students,” said UNC President Tom Ross. “By working together, UNC and the N.C. Community Colleges can continue to grow that number and better meet North Carolina’s future workforce needs.

“This revised agreement is an important step forward in streamlining the transfer process and providing opportunities for more North Carolinians to attain a baccalaureate degree.”

Dr. Scott Ralls, president of the N.C. Community College System, said the revised articulation is another step in the state’s history of higher education progress.

“Ensuring the success of this revised articulation agreement will mean we have to be more vigilant, sharing and analyzing data on student success, examining what we can do independently and collaboratively to expand and improve on this agreement,” Ralls said.