Alternative school students learn about the benefits of college transfer

June 20, 2018
Durham Tech advisor Lea Bingham discusses college transfer options with alternative school students.

Attending community college for two years then transferring to a four-year college or university can offer a lower-cost option with more personal attention for students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, a college expert told students attending Durham Literacy Center’s youth education program June 19.

“The choice depends on your personal goals and circumstances and whether you need a job fast versus whether you’re working on a long-term plan,” said Lea Bingham, assistant dean of university transfer at Durham Technical Community College.

“Universities are very interested in transfer students,” she said. “You’ve already proven yourself. They know you’ll be a successful college student because you’ve already completed something.”

Bingham’s workshop for students at DLC is part of a series of college readiness activities Made in Durham partners offer students who are nearing completion of their GED to help them pursue a post-secondary credential. Many lack role models or family members who have experience preparing for or attending college.

Made in Durham’s college readiness initiative fills that gap, providing a curriculum and support that helps students set goals, learn about options, visit colleges, fill out applications and financial aid forms, and overcome barriers to pursuing and persisting in a post-secondary program.

Durham Tech’s Arts, Sciences and University Transfer Program enrolls more than 2,000 students each year in its associate of arts, associate of fine arts, associate of engineering and associate of science programs, Bingham said. More than 300 students transfer to public and private universities each year and are among the successful students on campus.

Many N.C. institutions offer special programs that help talented lower-income students transfer to their schools. Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP), for instance, a partnership between Durham Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, admits selected students for transfer during their junior year after completing an associate’s degree at Durham Tech or other community college. They support the student all four years with mentoring and resources.

For more information on college transfer, contact Bingham at (919) 536-7200, ext. 8004 or binghaml@durhamtech.edu, or visit https://www.durhamtech.edu/transfer/index.htm.

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