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Leaders from UNC and Robeson Community College in Lumberton have announced a new partnership to improve opportunities for students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina.
The partnership is an expansion of the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, or C-STEP, a program that has helped hundreds of students enroll at Carolina since its launch in 2006.
With this agreement, Robeson becomes the 10th partner school to join the program, which also includes Alamance and Carteret community colleges and Durham, Fayetteville and Wake technical community colleges, among others.
Through C-STEP, talented low and moderate income high school and community college students who enroll in one of the program’s partner colleges are guaranteed eventual admission to Carolina if they are admitted to and complete the community college portion of the program successfully.
“We are excited about our new partnership with C-STEP,” said Pamela Hilbert, Robeson Community College president. “This partnership will open new doors of opportunity for hard-working students, many of whom are from a diverse population, throughout Robeson County and help improve the prosperity of our community for years to come.”
“Carolina will be a better place because of the talents and perspectives brought by more students from Robeson County,” said Stephen Farmer, UNC’s vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admission. “We look forward to working with RCC to help students excel at Carolina, thrive here and ultimately graduate, thus achieving their goals of better lives for themselves and their families.”
Students invited to participate in C-STEP agree to earn an appropriate associate degree and participate actively in the program. While pursuing their associate degrees, C-STEP offers students special events, advising and transition and support services both at their home college and at Carolina. The program also provides transition and support services once students have enrolled at Carolina and are pursuing their bachelor degrees.
The program was launched with the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in an effort to enable more community-college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina. Approximately 800 transfer students enter UNC annually, with about 25 percent coming from North Carolina community colleges.
C-STEP currently serves almost 580 students; 489 of those already have enrolled at Carolina and 271 have graduated. The remaining students are expected to enroll after completing their community college courses. The average C-STEP graduate GPA is 3.0, and 2016’s overall graduation rate to date is 79 percent. Recent C-STEP graduates have become nurses, teachers, lawyers, university administrators and entrepreneurs.
Current partners include Alamance Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Carteret Community College, Central Carolina Community College, Craven Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Sandhills Community College and Wake Technical Community College.