12/20/18 – CCC&TI creates pipeline to ASU

Posted on: December 21st, 2018 by admin


December 20, 2018


By Virginia Annable



Students at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute can now get ensured transfer admission to Appalachian State University under a new program that strengthens the pipeline from the community college to the four-year university.


A new agreement between the schools allows students to apply for a program called Aspire Appalachian, and if accepted they will be able to transfer to Appalachian State after completing their associate’s degree at CCC&TI in three years or less with at least a 2.5 GPA, according to the memorandum of understanding signed by the schools’ leaders.


The program not only gives students ensured admission, it also eliminates the application fee when applying for transfer and gives students access to student services at ASU, CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said.


“It’s a big, big step,” Poarch said. “It’s a monumental step because it paves the way to Appalachian for our students and it removes barriers.”


Many students who come to CCC&TI hoping to transfer to ASU after earning their associate’s degree aren’t always confident they’ll be accepted to ASU, Poarch said. With the agreement, if they’re accepted into Aspire Appalachian and maintain a good GPA, students don’t have to worry.


The agreement is also a good option for students who were not accepted to ASU right out of high school or who can’t afford to attend ASU for all four years.


“It gives us the opportunity to talk to students who don’t have the grades, money or confidence to go (to ASU) right away,” Poarch said.


There are similar programs between a few community colleges and universities in the eastern part of the state, but this is the first of its kind in western North Carolina, Poarch said. ASU does not have similar agreements with other community colleges. CCC&TI already provides the largest percentage of transfer students to ASU — about 100 students each year.


Poarch thinks the new agreement will bring more students to CCC&TI because it’s a clear path to ASU.


“I think there will be students all over who come to us with aspirations of going to Appalachian,” he said.


If students in the Caldwell County Schools want to go to ASU, this is another path to take, said Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of the Caldwell County Schools.


“It is a wonderful opportunity for students,” Phipps said.


The agreement is also a step in strengthening CCC&TI’s relationship with ASU, Poarch said. The agreement has started other discussions of more collaboration between the schools, he said.


“I think for me the most exciting thing it speaks to … is the collaboration and partnership between CCC&TI and ASU,” Poarch said. “There’s strong collaboration and working relationship with an existing goal of assisting students.”

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