UNC Chapel Hill Opens New Pathway to RichmondCC Students
Sept. 20, 2019 - Richmond Community College students will now have the opportunity to participate in the renowned Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, known as C-STEP, in order to earn guaranteed admissions to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
C-STEP is a groundbreaking co-admission program that provides a pathway for low- and moderate-income high school and community college students to transfer into Carolina. To participate, students first enroll in an associate’s degree program at a partner college and earn a 3.2 GPA on all required coursework. Students may then apply to the C-STEP program and, once all the required coursework is complete, transfer seamlessly to UNC-Chapel Hill as a junior.
RichmondCC became the 14th community college to partner with C-STEP and Carolina as both schools celebrated the official signing of this partnership Thursday at the Cole Auditorium.
“This new partnership between RichmondCC and UNC-Chapel Hill will provide many people in Richmond and Scotland counties a new and exciting path toward a Carolina degree, while enriching their academic and personal experience,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College president. “Our college is proud to support UNC-Chapel Hill’s innovative efforts to expand access for our students to attend this world class university, saving them money and improving their chance to succeed. If your dream has always been to go to Carolina, C-STEP at RichmondCC can now make that dream come true.”
Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, emphasized the support that C-STEP transfer students receive when they come to Carolina.
“The point of C-STEP is to help people feel at home. The point of C-STEP is to help remarkable students understand how remarkable they are and to help them feel at home the very first minute they step foot onto the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill,” Farmer said. “This is the 14th year of C-STEP. Richmond Community College is our 14th partner and soon to be our best. We are going to do great things together.”
The program provides C-STEP students with transition and support services, such as dedicated academic advising from the moment of enrollment at RichmondCC all the way to and through UNC-Chapel Hill. C-STEP students also receive mentoring and networking opportunities and special seminars to help them feel fully accepted, academically prepared and fully engaged in the UNC-Chapel Hill campus community.
A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a past president of the RichmondCC Foundation Board of Directors, David Wood spoke highly of his alma mater, as well as the growth and strides made by RichmondCC over the past decade. Woods said the accomplishments of both schools “go hand in hand.”
“It pleases me greatly to be able to stand here today and know that there are so many students who will now be able to join the Carolina Way. It truly was the best experience I’ve ever had,” Wood said.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Sen. Tom McInnis, who was instrumental in opening the door for RichmondCC to be a C-STEP partner.
“Anytime we can advance opportunities and chances for a better life for folks living in rural communities of North Carolina it’s a great day,” the senator said. “There’s no greater chance to help somebody than to take the chance to move education forward in North Carolina at every level, and we’re going to do it with this program.”
Enrollment in C-STEP
RichmondCC students who are selected to participate in this program must be on the path to earning an Associate in Arts degree and must actively participate in the required UNC-Chapel Hill campus events within the C-STEP program. To apply a student must have earned less than 30 transferrable hours at the time of application and complete the online application with required documentation.
For RichmondCC students to qualify for and remain in the C-STEP program, they must meet several requirements to earn a place in Carolina’s College of Arts & Sciences:
- Maintain 3.2 GPA
- Abide by Carolina’s honor code
- Participate in C-STEP Programming
- Take 12-15 credit hours per semester (excluding summer) in a RichmondCC university transfer program
- Have regular meetings with the RichmondCC’s C-STEP advisor
RichmondCC students can apply in October and April. High school seniors can apply in April of their senior year. Go to www.richmondcc.edu/coadmission to find out more about the C-STEP Program. Interested students can also contact Dr. Mirian Watts, C-STEP advisor, at (910) 410-1823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
C-STEP is part of Carolina’s commitment to accessibility and affordability, a core value of the UNC-Chapel Hill. The University strives to meet the full demonstrated need of all students eligible to receive federal financial aid through a combination of grants, scholarships, and loans. C-STEP students are also eligible for the Carolina Covenant, a landmark program that enables low-income students to graduate debt-free.
C-STEP currently serves almost 950 students, and 730 of those have already enrolled at Carolina. The remaining students are expected to enroll after completing their community college courses. As of 2019, the average C-STEP graduate GPA is 3.0 and the overall graduation rate is 81 percent.
With the addition of RichmondCC, C-STEP partners include Alamance Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Carteret Community College, Central Carolina Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Craven Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Robeson Community College, Sandhills Community College, Southwestern Community College and Wake Technical Community College.