Serving All North Carolinians

When Carolina’s senior assistant director of admissions Rebecca Egbert looked at a North Carolina map, she saw the traditional mountains-to-sea footprint but also noticed something was missing.

The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP), Egbert noticed, only covered a portion of the state.

“You could tell that the program has been centered in central and eastern North Carolina,” Egbert said. “We were anxious to move further west. We want to cover as much of our state as we possibly can.”

Thanks to a new partnership between Carolina, C-STEP and Southwestern Community College  — located about 45 minutes southwest of Asheville — that westward expansion is happening. Southwestern was the 11th community college to join C-STEP, a program that helps community college students gain admission to Carolina.

“Access to higher education is a huge priority in this area because we are a rural area,” said Deanne Opperman, a chemistry instructor and C-STEP program coordinator at Southwestern Community College. “To have our students be able to enter in at Chapel Hill is going to be life-changing for this community.”

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