A welcome change in UNC credit transfer rules

February 24, 2014 

No one has ever claimed that the rules that govern transferring into the University of North Carolina system were easy to follow. But for the state’s community college students, the process has been a lot more confusing than it needed to be. The truth is, something should have been done about it long ago, but at least leaders of the two systems have moved to clarify the process.

It took two years and 500 people from the community college and university systems working on it, but now at least a better plan is in place. There now are 24,000 students in the UNC system who started their higher education at a community college.

Some community college students were uncertain as to what courses they needed to take and what courses would transfer to UNC system schools. Now, the system will establish “foundational” courses that can transfer to all system campuses.

Community colleges have become critical in offering special job training for people who were flummoxed by the Great Recession. Beyond that, however, they have become feeders for the UNC system, which is only appropriate because the primary mission of both systems is to serve the residents of North Carolina.

The state’s community colleges are more than technical training schools; they prepare students for four-year schools and do so much less expensively for students who would have trouble affording the tuition and expenses at a four-year college. Universities often find community college transfer students to be the best students in terms of work ethic and motivation.

So it’s to the UNC system’s benefit to make it easier for those students to sign on. And it’s better, in the long run, for North Carolina.

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