The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Outside hands off

The UNC system does enough to support students graduating from N.C. community colleges, and it shouldn't be forced to admit them.

According to The Associated Press, an outside consultant's recent report recommends that the UNC system guarantee every N.C. community-college student a spot at one of the 16 UNC-system schools upon completion of a two-year associate general-education degree program.

State legislators should not interfere with the UNC system's admissions autonomy by requiring it to accept any particular group of students.

The state's community college system contains more than 779,000 students this year. Does the UNC system have enough room for the students who would wish to transfer after receiving a degree? It's not difficult to see that any bill to require admission of these students would tax the entire system.

Additionally, to make admitting these students compulsory would be to suggest that a community college degree alone is enough to gain acceptance to a UNC-system school. But that's not the case.

There undoubtedly are plenty of community college students about to complete associate degrees who are worthy of transferring somewhere in the UNC system - but the choice of whether or not they do should be left to schools, not lawmakers.

The burden of proof for admittance should lie with the applicant, as it always has. Why should a student with an community college associate degree be able to bypass the process to which all others are subject?

UNC-system schools already have enough to deal with, numbers-wise, and any compulsory acceptance policy would seriously infringe upon the system's freedom to admit those students whom it sees fit.

Meanwhile, according to the AP, a task force of UNC and community colleges wants the General Assembly to appropriate $6.5 million in 2005 for community colleges to hire advisers to help students learn how to transfer. That's a very large sum of money to devote entirely to additional advisers to aid students. If students are interested in transferring, they should find out for themselves how their community-college credit would translate into credit at a UNC-system school.

It would be much more logical to use the money to improve the state's community college system in general. The system is in dire need of more funds.

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