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CCC&TI, Appalachian State University Announce Aspire Appalachian Co-Admission Program Agreement

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute President Dr. Mark Poarch and Appalachian State University Chancellor Dr. Sheri Everts sign the Aspire Appalachian Co-Admission Program agreement on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building on Appalachian State’s campus in Boone.

Leadership from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI) and Appalachian State University have announced a new co-admission agreement that will create a seamless pathway for students who want to start at CCC&TI and complete their degree at Appalachian State.

The Aspire Appalachian Co-Admission Program will provide students who complete a two-year associate degree at CCC&TI with a 2.25 GPA or higher with guaranteed admission to Appalachian State to finish their undergraduate degree. Joined by Appalachian State Chancellor Dr. Sheri Everts for the signing ceremony on Appalachian’s campus on Wednesday, Dec. 12, CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch described the agreement as “monumental.”

“I want to thank Chancellor Everts, Provost Kruger and the entire leadership team at Appalachian State University for your vision, for your leadership and for your partnership,” Poarch said. “This is a monumental day for Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. It’s great to be able to demonstrate the collaboration and strength we have in Western North Carolina.”

This past fall, 1,278 transfer students enrolled at Appalachian — seven out of 10 came from a community college.

Describing Aspire Appalachian as an important collaboration, Everts said the agreement represents a continuation and strengthening of the partnership between the two institutions.

“Our strong transfer student numbers are due in large part to the intentional work we do with community colleges,” Everts said. “Appalachian is nationally recognized for the support we provide our transfer students, which leads to their academic success. The completion rate for Appalachian’s graduating students who transferred after graduating from N.C. Community Colleges is more than 20 percent above the national average.” 

The agreement, which goes into effect immediately, will create a pathway from CCC&TI to Appalachian State that includes academic and financial aid advising support for students, which will prepare them for a successful transition from community college to the university.

Aspire Appalachian students will have up to three years to complete the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate in Applied Science degrees before enrolling at Appalachian State. Aspire students will also benefit from waived application fees at Appalachian State, coordinated financial aid programs, coordinated degree completion and on-site admissions and academic advising.

As co-chair of the Higher Education Task Force for My Future NC, a statewide commission on educational attainment, Everts said she is working with education professionals across the state to address issues of increasing access to education — and decreasing achievement gaps.

“As part of this work,” she said, “the commission is addressing transfer pathways from community colleges to four-year institutions. I am extremely proud to see this strategy put into action through this agreement between CCC&TI and Appalachian.”

Students seeking additional information or wanting to apply for the Aspire Appalachian Co-Admission Program can contact Dennis Seagle, CCC&TI director of enrollment management, at 828-726-2705, or Dr. Kim Van Wie, director of Student Services at the CCC&TI Watauga Campus in Boone, at 828-297-2185, or Jane Rex, director of Appalachian State’s Office of Transfer Services, at 828-262-7465.