Leaders of Western Carolina University and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College met Monday, July 8, to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions of higher education that guarantees admission to WCU for all A-B Tech graduates who satisfy specific requirements spelled out in the document.

WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown, who officially took office a week prior to the signing ceremony, and A-B Tech President Dennis King affixed their signatures to the document establishing the Catamount Trailblazer Program.

The direct-entry admission program, Catamount Trailblazer Program, which derives its name from the mascots for both institutions, builds upon the existing North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement governing the transfer of credits between the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina System.

The memorandum of understanding follows a gathering earlier this year of six community college leaders at WCU to discuss ways that two- and four-year institutions can work better together to provide a more seamless transition for students seeking additional higher education opportunities.

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Originally published July 8, 2019.