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UNCW and CFCC Partner to Build Better Educational Pathways

CFCC President Jim Morton (left) and UNCW Chancellor Aswani K. Volety

UNCW Administration holds a meeting with Cape Fear Community College Administration for its Pathway To Excellence Partnership in James Hall on January 23, 2022. The Pathway to Excellence Program is a partnership between UNCW and Cape Fear Community College and is a pathway for guaranteed admission to UNCW for students completing transferable, college-level coursework from Cape Fear Community College. PHOTO BY: BRADLEY PEARCE/UNCW

Wilmington, NC — The University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College are renewing their efforts to make it easier for students to transfer from the community college to the university.

UNCW Chancellor Aswani K. Volety and CFCC President Jim Morton met this week with the CFCC/UNCW Pathway Partnership Group, a joint committee of nine representatives from both institutions, charging them to create a strong infrastructure for better pathways, policies and practices that reduce barriers for students moving from one institution to the other.

“The student need is there, and the community landscape is right,” Dr. Volety said. “The committee will help both institutions think bigger as we reinvent existing programs to better serve CFCC students seeking to transfer to UNCW while also meeting the increasing workforce needs of our region.”

The PPG has three specific goals: to replace the existing Seapath program with a new, robust program that provides clear, equitable, and effective pathway options; to explore a direct admit program for qualified CFCC students to be directly admitted to UNCW; and to identify additional opportunities for collaboration to include career and technical education pathways.

“CFCC and UNCW continue to enhance our partnership to provide high-quality educational pathways for our community,” said Morton. “We are immensely proud of the many services and resources we can provide our students on their journey to obtaining a degree. This continued relationship will also boost our ability to retain North Carolina residents after graduation, ultimately increasing our educated workforce and our ability to recruit jobs and companies to our area.”

CFCC and UNCW believe the efforts of the committee will impact enrollment. Current enrollment trends show the number of CFCC students transferring to UNCW is growing. In fall 2022, UNCW admitted 95% of the nearly 450 applications received from CFCC students.

The top five intended majors from CFCC students are psychology, communication studies, business administration, nursing and biology. PPG will help establish better means of communicating the requirements for these and other majors to both students and school counselors. Ideas raised at the meeting included implementing new web resources, toolkits, and academic counseling support to ensure each student is scheduling the required classes for their selected major. The committee also plans to collaborate on outreach strategies to engage community members seeking academic credentials.

Led by Brandon Guthrie, vice president of academic affairs at CFCC, and Dr. Stefanie Norris, UNCW’s director of transfer partnerships, PPG will meet monthly to ensure progress is being made toward the goals.

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