Kaitlyn Putnam, a 2018 Smoky Mountain High graduate, is excited to attend the University of North Carolina in fall 2020 through the C-STEP program. The deadline for high school seniors to apply for the C-STEP program at SCC is April 1.

For Kaitlyn Putnam, attending UNC Chapel Hill seemed like a dream out of her reach.

When the 2018 Smoky Mountain High School graduate heard about the C-STEP program offered at Southwestern Community College, her dream soon became reality.

“I fell in love with Chapel Hill’s campus, but never imagined going there because I assumed my grades may not be high enough,” said Putnam. “Now it is like a dream come true to be able to attend such a well-known university. My goal is to one day become a physical therapist, and I can’t wait to achieve that at Chapel Hill.”

C-STEP is an agreement that UNC Chapel Hill has with 13 community colleges statewide that guarantees admission into the university upon completion of an associate degree and by maintaining a 3.2 GPA for the duration of the student’s time there.

“C-STEP is looking for smart, motivated, service-oriented and courageous students who hope to change their community and the world,” said Deanne Oppermann, C-STEP coordinator at SCC. “We are currently accepting applications for high school seniors in our region until April 1, and this is an incredible opportunity to get guaranteed admission into a great school.”

The C-STEP program has already served more than 800 students across the state since it began.

For more information on the C-STEP program, contact Oppermann at deanne@southwesterncc.edu or check out www.southwesterncc.edu/news/carolina-student-transfer-excellence-program-c-step.