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The Daily Tar Heel

Network Would Ease Transfers

Although many states, including North Carolina, have transfer credit agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions, this proposal would create a course-to-course agreement that would have national implications, allowing students to transfer more easily to schools in other states.

The transfer credit agreements specify which community college course credits will transfer to four-year colleges, helping students complete their college educations without the delays often caused by transfer confusion.

Philip Day, chancellor of the City College of San Francisco and coordinator of the plan, said the program will help erase a racial gap between the percentage of black and white students who graduate from a four-university.

Day added that the number of college graduates has increased overall since 1970, but the number of black student graduates has failed to keep pace.

He said the plan, which targets black students at community colleges who want to earn a baccalaureate degree from a four-year university, will help make up the racial difference in graduation rates.

Advocates of the plan said students who transfer into four-year institutions their junior years will not increase enrollment but will replace those who have withdrawn from college. The plan aims to enable more blacks to graduate with baccalaureate degrees.

No N.C. college is participating in this national initiative.

"Given that there are pressures on North Carolina and we are hard pressed to educate 50,000 North Carolina students, it is not to our advantage to solicit new students from out of state," said Gretchen Bataille, UNC-system vice president of academic affairs.

But Audrey Bailey, N.C. Community College System spokeswoman, said anything that allows community colleges to help their students succeed is positive. "While our focus is on continuing education and work-force training, our focus on transfers is growing," Bailey said.

This initiative also hopes to link high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions together and create joint admissions agreements to motivate and guide students into the network.

Day has applied to the Ford Foundation, Mott Foundation and Met Life Foundation and said he hopes to tap into federal funding to gain monetary support.

"The problem with funding is getting the network established, but once it gets started, I think the institutions will make the commitment."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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