From the Rocky Mount Telegram
N.C. Wesleyan College and Cape Fear Community College will offer two bachelor’s degree programs on Cape Fear’s Wilmington campuses. After months of planning and coordination between the two schools, more than 30 students have begun their first classes leading to careers in business administration or elementary education.
Wesleyan recruited adjunct professors from the Wilmington area to teach the relevant courses and hired Katie Farrell as the full-time educational coordinator to recruit and advise students interested in these degrees. All instructors have a minimum of a master’s degree with many having earned doctorate degrees. In addition, some of Wesleyan’s full-time faculty will teach occasionally in Wilmington.
Farrell oversees the total program and expressed excitement about the launch of the first classes. N.C. Wesleyan President James Gray joined her to welcome the first group of students.
“I am delighted to work with these great students, who are eager to take advantage of the opportunity to complete their degrees through this unique program that is designed for the convenience of the adult learner,” Gray said.
An additional 60 students are in the process of applying for the program, which offers year-round rolling admissions and course completion in an eight week cycle, Farrell said. The first course offerings include: Business Communications, Religion, Books for Children and Psychological Development in Childhood. The next term begins in early March.
Each course will be offered one night each week for eight 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 prefer to attend on a part-time basis. Tuition is comparable to the state university system. Financial aid is available for qualified individuals.
Students will have access to Smarthinking, an online tutoring service, and the N.C. Wesleyan College library has coordinated with the Cape Fear Community College library to teach and assist students with information literacy skills. The elementary education degree provides state licensure for students who complete those requirements.
“It is exciting to see this partnership come to fruition,” said Dr. Evan Duff, vice president for adult programs at N.C. Wesleyan. “The level of interest we have received demonstrates the need for more educational programs that accommodate working adults in eastern NC. Wesleyan is proud to be meeting those needs.”
Duff said the college has agreements with several N.C. community colleges which allow students with associate degrees to transfer credits to Wesleyan’s four-year programs. However, he pointed out that delivering the classes on Cape Fear’s northern and downtown campuses is a new approach.
“This is the first partnership in several years where we’re physically offering the degrees on their campus and accommodating their students,” Duff said. “So, this is a different approach for Wesleyan.”
Many students with an associate’s degree in applied science from Cape Fear Community College’s vocational programs have some difficulty finding four-year colleges that accept their credit hours, Duff said. The N.C. Wesleyan program allows students to transfer up to 64 credit hours from many of the AAS degrees, which is the maximum a four-year school can accept for a two-year degree.