Leadership from Wilkes Community College and Appalachian State University have announced a new agreement designed to help create a seamless pathway for students who want to begin studies at WCC and complete degree requirements at ASU.

“This most recent alliance with the community college is one of many early inclusion and college access partnerships we have with Wilkes County,” said Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts. “Providing an open door to higher education for North Carolinians is a role we are proud to fulfill and one that is essential to our state’s workforce and economic development.”

Aspire Appalachian is a co-admission program through which students from WCC who meet the eligibility requirements and complete the program are guaranteed admission into ASU, where they can study to earn a bachelor’s degree. Eligibility requirements for the program include at least a 2.25 grade point average and the completion of a two-year associate program from WCC.

ASU also offers students participating in Aspire Appalachian academic and financial aid advice to help maximize their educational achievements and minimize student debt.

Appalachian Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Heather Hulburt Norris said, “We are excited to offer uninterrupted access to a four-year degree for Wilkes Community College students through the Aspire Appalachian program. This program will allow students to further their academic interests and prepare to enter the workforce as critical thinkers and doers.”

WCC President Dr. Jeff Cox stated, “I am really excited to be able to tell all of our Wilkes Community College students that if they follow the Aspire program guidelines, they will be guaranteed admission to Appalachian when they complete their associate degrees at Wilkes Community College.”

Cox added, “Our students who do transfer to App State are very successful when they get there. We just have to get more students in that transfer pipeline to finish their bachelor’s degrees, and this program will help us reach that goal!”

This past fall, 70% of 1,459 transfer students who enrolled at ASU came from a North Carolina community college. The degree completion rate for students who transferred to Appalachian after graduating from North Carolina community colleges is more than 20% above the national average.

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