Final Evaluation Report for Independent Transfer Pathways in North Carolina Project

Generously Supported by the Teagle Foundation
Hope Williams in office with Thomas Siith signing document
President of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Hope Williams and former president of the North Carolina Community College System Thomas Stith sign the articulation agreement in psychology and sociology in April 2021.
Two-year colleges are a gateway to higher education. Serving their local communities and offering flexible learning opportunities at low to no cost, these institutions draw a highly diverse student body. While many of these students aspire to transfer to a four-year institution and earn a baccalaureate degree, a large number struggle to achieve this goal. The complex transfer process places barriers in students’ paths at both the sending institutions (community colleges) and the receiving institutions (four-year colleges and universities), so the promise of transfer is seldom fulfilled.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) have long aimed to repair this broken promise. Serving independent, predominantly nondoctoral colleges and universities, our two organizations see great mutual benefit in supporting community college transfer into our institutions to increase enrollments, support local communities, and provide students with a transformative liberal arts education that culminates in a timely baccalaureate degree. With generous funding from the Teagle Foundation, CIC and NCICU set out in 2019 to increase transparency in the transfer process and build a framework for student support, beginning with enrollment at a community college through graduation from a four-year institution, with a focus on two degree pathways in sociology and psychology.

We are deeply proud of the work achieved in the last four years through a strong collaboration between our institutions and the North Carolina Community College System. Despite the onset of a global pandemic in in its early months, the project not only generated the promised articulation agreements for these two pathways, but also built a stronger culture of transfer based on trust and a shared commitment to serving the students of North Carolina. We owe this success to the enthusiastic participation of faculty members and administrators at 14 community colleges, one independent two-year college, and 15 independent colleges and universities, as well as excellent leadership from staff at CIC and NCICU.

It is our hope that this project, and the accompanying report, will serve as a model for future initiatives to revitalize and improve transfer processes from community colleges to independent four-year colleges and universities, particularly those that aim to build longstanding, statewide agreements. As we highlight in the ensuing pages, forging relationships based on trust and mutual respect—within campuses, between similar institutions, and across sectors—benefits everyone, particularly the millions of students who enroll in a community college with the dream of eventually earning a baccalaureate degree.

Marjorie Hass signature
Marjorie Hass
Council of Independent Colleges
A. Hope Williams signature
A. Hope Williams
North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities