North Carolina Wesleyan College and Cape Fear Community College have announced a partnership to provide two bachelor’s degree programs on Cape Fear’s Wilmington campus. The initial offerings include courses toward the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Elementary Education.
“We signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with Cape Fear, which is the state’s fifth largest community college and a dynamic force in higher education,” said NC Wesleyan President James Gray. “Starting in January 2012, we will expand our reach.”
Gray said, “Partnering with Cape Fear gives Wesleyan an unmistakable footprint in far Eastern North Carolina. We are one of the leaders in adult education in our part of the state with facilities in Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, and the Research Triangle. With this announcement and others to follow, we intend to be the dominant force in adult education in the entire eastern half of the state.
“This agreement is good news for both full-time students and working adults who want to continue their education,” said CFCC President Eric McKeithan. “Having another option for a bachelor’s degree is a welcome addition to the outstanding educational opportunities already available for residents in our area.”
Wesleyan has begun recruiting adjunct professors from the Wilmington area to teach the relevant courses and by mid-October, a full-time educational coordinator will be located on the CFCC campus to recruit and advise students interested in these degrees. The coordinator will assist with registration paperwork, direct students to sources for financial aid, and oversee the total program.
Classes will begin in spring 2012 with year-round rolling admissions. All of the related courses will be taught by Wesleyan faculty on the downtown Wilmington campus of CFCC. Each course will be offered one night each week for 8 weeks with a mix of classroom and online experiences. This schedule is designed to allow students to attend full-time, but also, to meet the needs of working students who may choose to go to school on a part-time basis. The elementary education degree provides state licensure for students who complete those requirements. Tuition is comparable to the state university system and financial aid is available for qualified individuals.
Research indicates that more than 40 percent of all higher education enrollments are students age 25 and older. As a result of changing demographics, that number is expected to increase to more than 50 percent of the higher education market within five to 10 years. Gray reported that adult programs at NC Wesleyan have grown from an average of 681 over the last 3 years to more than 800 enrolled in spring 2011. The college is gearing up for even more adult enrollment for the 2011-12 school year.
The two colleges are committed to maintaining high quality degree programs. An advisory committee comprised of representatives from each institution will meet regularly to review and assess the partnership. The committee will make recommendations for adjustments as needed.
“We are very pleased about participating in this alliance with Cape Fear,” said Dr. Evan Duff, vice president for adult programs at NCWC. “Having bachelor’s level courses on the community college campus will allow CFCC graduates and others with associate degrees to make a smooth transition to NC Wesleyan College. Working together, the two institutions will enhance educational opportunities in the southeast region of our state”
Individuals seeking more information should visit the NC Wesleyan College website www.ncwc.edu/adult or call 1-877-867-NCWC (1-877-867-6292).