Two people shaking hands
Pathway to Excellence will let students start a degree at UNC-Wilmington just down the road at BCCC. Pictured: UNC-Wilmington Chancellor Jose Sartarelli with BCCC Dean of Arts & Sciences Lisa Hill.

Pathway to Excellence Offers Quick Route to UNC-Wilmington

One of the fastest growing public universities in North Carolina is now within reach of residents of Beaufort County. The new Pathway to Excellence will offer co-admission to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Beaufort County Community College, meaning that students can begin their bachelor degree at UNC-W close to home at BCCC. The program opens up new opportunities to students and can save them over $10,000 on their education.

UNC-W has long been a destination for transfer students graduating from BCCC. The university ranks among the top three in the UNC system for graduation. With popular programs such as marine biology, the Watson School of Education, the Cameron School of Business, and a new coastal engineering program starting soon, the university offers the bachelor’s programs that many BCCC students seek, set not far from the beach. The university has grown by 30 percent recently, and it is currently building new dorms to accommodate it.

“This a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Lisa Hill, dean of arts and sciences. “We have sent students to UNC-W for creative writing, nursing, business and film studies. Co-admission guarantees our students that we will not lose credits or time when they transfer.”

BCCC continues to add co-admission programs that offer its students concrete paths to their destinations after earning their associate’s degrees. The college has two existing co-admission programs: Pirate Promise with East Carolina University, and PackTrac with N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. With Pathway to Excellence, students who earn an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science are guaranteed admission to UNC-W if they have a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in transferable, college-level coursework from BCCC.

“This is not an automatic program,” said Hill. “Students must meet with an advisor to join the program. Once enrolled, students will have a UNC-W advisor as well as a BCCC advisors to ensure success in Pathway to Excellence. Last year, we rolled out Pirate Promise, and we have 28 students who are working toward degrees at ECU. This will give our incoming students one more pathway to choose from.”

UNC-Wilmington offers a variety of support for transfer students. During the fall of 2018, the university had 16,747 transfer students. With an average class size of 20 and an 18-1 student faculty ratio, the college is an easy transition for students coming from a community college like BCCC. The college offers activities to immerse transfer students in campus life, including a beach day pizza party. In the last year, transfer students received $300,000 in merit-based scholarships.

With tuition and fees only costing $951 a semester compared to $3,545 a semester at UNC-Wilmington, students can expect to save at least $10,376 in tuition and fees alone. This does not include savings from living at home and opportunities to work existing jobs.

Students can enroll in Pathway to Excellence through Lisa Hill (252-940-6223), Kimberly Jackson (252-940-6252), or meet with a UNC-Wilmington representative on March 18 or April 8 on BCCC’s campus. Registration for all summer and fall classes begins on March 18.