Associates-degree graduates of South Piedmont Community College can earn a bachelor’s at Wingate University for $2,500 per year or less, thanks to a growing partnership between the two educational institutions. The new Gateway Scholarship was announced recently by South Piedmont President Dr. Maria Pharr and Wingate University President Dr. Rhett Brown.
Pharr said. “There have always been some common agreements between community colleges and universities, but we wanted to look at things more creatively and strategically to better serve the students in our communities.”
Already, articulation agreements between the state’s Community College System and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities meant that SPCC students could take courses with the confidence that their credits would transfer to four-year granting institutions. But the new partnership takes transferability a step further. Pharr said, “We are breaking down barriers that exist to traditional transfer between public community colleges and private universities. We are making the transfer process more efficient for our students by exploring credit for prior learning, providing honors credit and seeking easier transfer processes.”
Dr. Brown said the collaboration is a result of both schools’ commitment to Anson and Union Counties.
“When we care about our community and think about cradle-to-career and all of our educational needs, we thought we should get together and work on this and see where we could collaborate,” Brown said. He defined the goal as breaking down barriers that keep students from achieving their dreams.
“Whether it is cost or transferability or time-to-degree, we’re trying to tackle these issues together,” he said.
Funding to help bring students’ out-of-pocket annual costs down to $2,500 or less includes federal aid, the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship and support from donors such as the Braswell Trust in Wadesboro.
To qualify for the WU/SPCC Gateway Scholarship, students must have an associates degree from South Piedmont Community College and complete the FAFSA or financial responsibility form as applicable.