Creating pathways to student success

Agreement allows clear pathway to a four-year social work degree

(GREENSBORO, NC) - The leaders of Bennett College and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) officially signed a co-admission agreement, giving GTCC students a clear pathway from an Associate in Arts (AA) degree to a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Bennett College. The signing was held prior to the start of Bennett's Board of Trustees' meeting 8 a.m. Thursday, April 17 by Bennett President Rosalind Fuse-Hall and GTCC President Randy Parker. Representatives from both institutions also were present.

Bennett signing 041714 (14) Large Web viewBennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall and GTCC President Randy Parker.

After assessing the first major to include in the agreement, both colleges recognized the rising demand and interest in the social work field at their respective institutions and wanted to ensure that a student graduating from GTCC would have every opportunity to continue their education and further their career at Bennett College.  

"Students graduating with a bachelor of social work degree can work in various settings throughout their career, and they are not pigeon-holed into a certain box. Social workers can work with children, families, health care entities, and state and federal government," said Dr. Jan Laughinghouse, assistant professor and coordinator of the Social Work Program at Bennett. "Social workers are people workers and we see them in such positions as public policy advocates, case managers, therapists, and mediators."  

President Fuse-Hall is thrilled about this opportunity to partner with GTCC in executing this agreement. "This co-admission offers opportunities beyond the current articulation agreement, including those with other institutions. When a student applies and is admitted into the co-admission program, she will enjoy an expansion of her educational choices, ease of transition between institutions, a seamless admission process, and financial aid and student services support.  We feel sure this process will increase a student's likelihood of completing her associate and bachelor's degrees."

Bennett signing 041714 (19) Large Web view

"Today's co-admission agreement further supports one of GTCC's major initiatives to increase completion and graduation rates for students through Completion by Design, a Bill & Melinda Gates   initiative that GTCC is leading across the nation and the state," said Randy Parker. "This co-admission agreement opens more doors for our students and provides them with a clear pathway to a bachelor's degree at Bennett College and an opportunity to pursue a promising and fulfilling career in the social work field. GTCC is committed to delivering quality educational programs through our partnerships with institutions like Bennett."

This is the first co-admission agreement between GTCC and Bennett College and the second co-admission agreement GTCC has signed with an area educational institution within the last year. In March 2013, GTCC signed a co-admission agreement with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's College of Engineering.

Under the new agreement, select students will be co-admitted to both GTCC and Bennett College simultaneously and will offer a variety of benefits including:  

  • Improve student access to undergraduate education
  • Expand educational choices that best meet each student's academic, social, career, and financial needs
  • Improve associate and baccalaureate degree graduation rates
  • Ease student transition between both institutions
  • Provide ready access to comprehensive support services for student success, regardless of student location
  • Increase individualized assistance for students who are evaluating career opportunities and designing educational programs
  • Coordinate seamless administration for admission, financial aid and other student support services
  • Improve accessibility of information for student success
  • Create greater awareness of connections between Bennett College, GTCC and K-12 partners
  • Share faculty expertise and create joint faculty development opportunities
  • And promote student learning through sound educational practices and expanded educational opportunities.

This partnership also provides the following benefits to students:

  • Coordinated federal and financial aid disbursement
  • Waived application fee for Bennett College
  • Tuition discount at Bennett College
  • Special scholarship opportunities for co-admitted students
  • Coordinated student and academic services
  • Early advising and orientation programs
  • Early registration
  • Students who maintain established academic standards move seamlessly to Bennett College to complete upper-division coursework
  • Develop and support mutual beneficial co-curricular program (e.g. internships, research opportunities, student clubs) to promote engagement and persistence.
  • One application
  • Joint library service
  • On-site academic advising
  • On-campus housing
  • Access to computer services
  • Access to honors program
  • Coordinated degree completion

According to Ms. Karen Green, Bennett's vice president of enrollment management/college registrar, "this is an opportunity for the student to take her education beyond the two-year college degree at an affordable rate. Students will save on tuition by completing the first two years at a community college for a lower cost."

Bennett signing 041714 (12) Large Web view

Furthermore, Guilford County Schools graduates who are accepted to the co-admission program also will have the opportunity to apply for GTCC's Completion by Design scholarship provided they meet the required criteria. The Completion by Design scholarship was designed specifically for Guilford County high school graduates who have been accepted to participate in GTCC joint admission programs.  

GTCC students interested in the co-admission program with Bennett College must submit a formal application and meet a series of requirements. For more information, please contact the GTCC Admissions office at 336-334-4822.

The co-admission agreement is expected to take effect in the 2014-2015 academic year.

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BENNETT COLLEGE was founded in 1873 as a small, private, historically Black liberal arts college for women. The College offers women an education conducive to excellence in scholarly pursuits; preparation for leadership roles in the workplace, society, and the world; and life-long learning in a technologically advanced, complex global society. As a United Methodist Church-related institution, Bennett College promotes morally grounded maturation, intellectual honesty, purposeful public service, and responsible civic action. Bennett College defines an educated woman as one who is not only academically prepared for the next step in her educational training and serious about learning, but who is also open to intellectual expansion, accepting of diversity, and strong in her determination to serve humanity.

GUILFORD TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from four major campuses and three specialized centers. Learn more at

- Carla Kucinski/GTCC
APRIL 17, 2014