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RCCC offering solutions for students wanting to jumpstart their college education

SALISBURY – As many new and returning college students wrestle with decisions about higher education, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College abounds with opportunities for students whose goal is to earn a four-year degree.

The college has hundreds of courses that transfer into the University of North Carolina’s 16 universities and dozens of independent (private) colleges and universities. Rowan-Cabarrus offers quality online classes and degrees, as well as individualized transfer advising support to help students every step of the way. Many of these online degrees are fully transferable, and Rowan-Cabarrus has staff members who are dedicated solely to working with transfer students and the universities that accept them to ensure a smooth and seamless journey.

With safety concerns about living on large university campuses and many universities opting for a fully virtual format, Rowan-Cabarrus offers a high-quality option with a great faculty-to-student ratio and can be an ideal solution for students who want to start or continue their learning close to home.

“The expert faculty and their commitment to both their students and to their respective fields is one of the most rewarding parts of attending college at Rowan-Cabarrus,” said Executive Director of Transfer and University Partnerships Jenn Selby. “Our instructors are top-notch, with faculty holding degrees from some of the most esteemed graduate programs in the country. They conduct research, publish articles and books, and regularly contribute to their professional fields while leading students into the future through education. In fact, many of our part-time faculty members teach the exact same courses at universities that they do at Rowan-Cabarrus, which is something people often do not realize.”

It’s not too late to sign up for a class, or an entire program, at Rowan-Cabarrus this spring. Applying is always free, and the College’s spring semester begins on January 8.

“My concern is for the students who are choosing to stay home instead of following their original plan to move away to college – I don’t want them to lose their interest in earning their college degree,” said Vice President of Academic Programs Michael Quillen. “Although now is certainly a difficult time, it is also the perfect time to work toward that baccalaureate degree without having to move away. Our team at Rowan-Cabarrus is here to help students in that exact situation, be they recent high school graduates, or current university students taking off a semester, or who are unsure of their spring plans due to the pandemic. We are poised to welcome these students, support them, and help them achieve their goals.”

Transfer courses are not just for recent high school graduates or current university students.  There are also many adults who have used the past few months to revisit their personal goals, and some are realizing they want to earn their four-year degree. Rowan-Cabarrus can assist these adult learners in getting back into the swing of being a student.

“In the past, people used to think of the community college as the technical college – the place where you learned a trade. We still excel in technical education, but what people are realizing is that we are also a leader in transfer programs for students who want to go on to a four-year university,” Selby said. “By beginning their academic careers with us, students save tremendous amounts of money while receiving personalized levels of instruction and student support, and it prepares them for a strong transition when they are ready to transfer.”

In recent years, North Carolina’s community colleges have worked closely with public and private universities across the state to ensure that students can take courses at the same level of rigor and expertise, but at a fraction of the cost, and then successfully transfer to a four-year university when the time is right for them. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has a growing emphasis on serving the transfer student, from dedicated one-on-one transfer advising to a new virtual Transfer Center and a Transfer and University Partnership team that is focused on forming relationships with universities and making sure those credits transfer.

In 2019 alone, almost 300 students from the community transferred into UNC system schools.  That does not include students who transferred to private or out-of-state colleges. UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, and UNC Wilmington are three of the most popular transfer universities for students at Rowan-Cabarrus. One of the most exciting recent partnerships is the new Learn Local, Grow Local transfer partnership that ensures over 50-plus degrees seamlessly transfer from Rowan-Cabarrus to Catawba College, with some students eligible for large scholarships.

“Working with the folks at Catawba College has felt like working with family, and I am so proud that our colleges are working together to help students in our community,” RCCC President Carol Spalding said. “Our next initiative is to create a transfer agreement with Livingstone College so that students can stay right here in their hometown and have their choice of transfer options.”

Rowan-Cabarrus offers fully transferable degrees in Liberal Arts, Science, Engineering, Visual Arts, Early Childhood Education, Nursing, and more. Courses this spring are being offered in a variety of ways – including online at the student’s own pace, online with set meeting times, and limited in-person courses.

Time is a gift, and while the times are uncertain, one thing is for sure – now is a great time to work toward the career you always wanted.

For more information, please contact Jenn Selby at jenn.selby@rccc.edu or visit www.rccc.edu/transferprograms. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

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