Leaders of Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College met Tuesday to sign a memorandum of understanding that guarantees admission to WCU for all SCC graduates who satisfy criteria spelled out in the document.
WCU Chancellor Kelli Brown and SCC President Don Tomas established the Catamount Compass Program during a signing ceremony in WCU’s Robinson Administration Building.
To participate in the Catamount Compass Program, students must meet several conditions, including submitting WCU applications, records and fees by the university deadline, being in good standing at all institutions attended, and enrolling at WCU within one academic year of completion of the associate degree.
The Catamount Compass Program guarantees admission to WCU for those SCC graduates who meet the requirements. It does not guarantee admission into a specific degree program. Some programs of study at WCU have their own programmatic admission criteria, standards, policies, processes and deadlines.
“This new memorandum of understanding is an important tool in providing well-defined directions for SCC graduates who are looking to further their education just down the road at Western,” Brown said.
The agreement also represents the latest step in a history of collaboration between the university and SCC, which was the second-largest feeder institution for students transferring to WCU for the fall 2019 semester. Of the 818 students who transferred to WCU this fall from community colleges, 105 of them – or 12.8 percent – came from SCC.
“Our Jackson Campus is a five-minute drive from Cullowhee, and the vast majority of our college transfer graduates go directly to WCU,” Tomas said. “We’re all here today to serve our students, and I’m gratified that this agreement will contribute to their success.”
The WCU-SCC memorandum of understanding follows a similar agreement between Western and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in July. Additional agreements with other community colleges are in the works, said Phil Cauley, assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment.