Durham News

First Eagle Connect students move in

Durham Tech students in the brand new three-year pilot program Eagle Connect moved into their dormitories on N.C. Central’s campus Wednesday.

The program is a partnership between NCCU and Durham Technical Community College and will allow 26 students to live on NCCU’s campus, while taking classes at Durham Tech. They will pay Durham Tech tuition and NCCU room-and-board.

The two Durham campuses are less than a mile apart.

The students in the program fell just short of the university’s admission requirements but hope to earn their associate’s degree and transfer to NCCU in two years.

“It’s a historic day on our campus to have the launch of that program be official with this move-in, so we have a lot of be proud of,” Chancellor Debra Saunders-White said.

The university of about 8,100 students has a six-year graduation rate of 42 percent. More transfer students would likely to boost that figure since freshmen have a higher dropout rate.

“This will give students the opportunity to really earn an associate’s degree in those first two years and really make a nice transition,” Saunders-White said. “These are kids that really want a bachelor’s degree, but this is a pathway in order to help them achieve that.”

The students will be required to take a one-credit course called College Transfer Success that emphasizes study skills, organization and critical thinking.

Tracy Mancini, dean of arts sciences and university transfer at Durham Tech, said students and their parents were excited as they arrived on campus.

“Being able to live here on campus and experience residential life and all the other wonderful benefits of college while at Durham Tech will keep them motivated,” she said. “We really think it’s going to help with complete persistence for these students because they know they’re really close to matriculating here.”