The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Please mind the NCGAP

The program will allow UNC-system schools to accept less competitive students on the condition they attend an N.C. community college for two years before transferring to a constituent institution with the intention of improving the system’s six-year graduation rate.

A report presented to the board March 3 predicted the ability of NCGAP to achieve its goals based on a 2009 study of N.C. public high schoolers.

The first stated goal of the program is to help more students obtain baccalaureate degrees in a shorter amount of time, but the report said there is no evidence the program will achieve that goal.

The UNC-system Board of Governors voted to approve the report and consider options for the program’s implementation, but not without concern from some board members.

Board Member Marty Kotis said he had reservations about the 2009 study and consequently voted against accepting the report.

“It was difficult to determine if that cohort actually intended to attend the university,” Kotis said. “There were a fair amount of assumptions made in selecting that cohort.”

The State Board of Community Colleges also voiced strong concerns regarding the study.

Chairperson of the State Board of Community Colleges Scott Shook wrote a letter to the N.C. Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee criticizing the report.

“Clear conclusions about the potential impact of NCGAP should not be drawn based on the 2009 cohort data analysis,” Shook wrote.

And Linda Weiner, vice president of engagement and strategic innovation for N.C. Community Colleges, said implementing NCGAP could prove to be more of a challenge for universities than community colleges.

“From a community college point of view, the implementation and the requests made of NCGAP are more what we do everyday, which is to take students from where they are, enroll them into quality educational programs, move them to whatever their goal is and then move them on into career or college,” she said.

Still, Kotis said a program like NCGAP is a good idea as long as it is implemented properly.

“When you look at the success rate of community college graduates that do transfer over into the N.C. system, it’s a pretty high graduation rate,” he said.

Weiner said she is optimistic about the two systems working together for successful implementation.

“We have made a lot of progress in working with our partners at the University of North Carolina to help develop a clear articulation agreement, to help put success programs in place for our students, reworking developmental education and many other things.”

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