Central Piedmont Community College and Western Carolina University (WCU) announced today the launch of the Catamount Connection Program a new direct pathway to a four-year degree for Central Piedmont students.
Dr. Kelli R. Brown, Western Carolina University chancellor, and Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president, met at WCU to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that guarantees admission to the university for Central Piedmont associate degree graduates who satisfy certain requirements.
The memorandum launches the Catamount Connection Program. The program's purpose is to create a direct pathway for Central Piedmont graduates to acquire an affordable and accessible four-year degree from WCU. As Deitemeyer announced, "Central Piedmont is excited and proud to partner with Western Carolina University to provide our students a seamless admissions pathway to the university. This program represents a wonderful opportunity for Central Piedmont students."
Brown said she wants to ensure students from Central Piedmont have immediate access to the affordability and quality of WCU. "It is so critical for students to see that if they want to go to a four-year college, but went to a two-year college, they have a pathway to that four-year institution," Brown said. "Western Carolina University is an NC Promise school; the affordability is there and, of course, the quality is always there. There are great advantages for us to have this memorandum of understanding, given that we are a quality four-year institution."
Deitemeyer is equally thrilled to provide WCU as an option for their graduates. "We know our students will be well-prepared here and well-cared for at WCU," she said. "In Cullowhee, they will enjoy challenging classes taught by superb faculty, a beautiful campus and a learning environment that fosters exploration, innovation and excellence. This program offers Central Piedmont students a great destination for pursuing a bachelor's degree."
Students who wish to participate in the Catamount Connection Program must satisfy the following conditions:
- Be a currently enrolled student at Central Piedmont, in a degree-seeking capacity
- Submit a WCU application for admission and records by WCU deadlines
- Submit the application fee or waiver, and fulfill all commitment action steps
- Be in good standing at Central Piedmont and other institutions attended
- Demonstrate good citizenship and conduct
- Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 at Central Piedmont and a minimum GPA of 2.20 in their most recent term
- Earn an associate degree from Central Piedmont in a college transfer program or in an applied program for which an articulation agreement exists
- Enroll at WCU within one academic year of completion of the associate degree
"This transfer pathway also is a wonderful example of higher education partners in North Carolina working together to broaden access to a bachelor's degree and greater opportunities beyond," Deitemeyer explained. "It has been well documented that North Carolina and its workforce and economy need more individuals with bachelor's degrees. The Catamount Connection program addresses this need directly."