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Catamount Trailblazer Program

A Guaranteed Transfer Program to Western Carolina University

The Catamount Trailblazer Program provides a direct-entry pathway for A-B Tech Community College students into Western Carolina University.  This agreement will help provide a seamless transition for A-B Tech graduates interested in furthering their education at Western Carolina University.

Catmount Trailblazer Program


Each year, more than 100 qualified students transfer from A-B Tech to WCU to pursue degrees in more than 120 majors, minors, and concentrations including education, engineering, criminal justice, forensic science, nursing, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and psychology, just to name a few.

Western Carolina University offers some Distance Education degree completion programs in addition to programs offered on the main campus in Cullowhee. The Biltmore Park Instructional Site in Asheville also allows some undergraduate degree completion programs.

Eligibility Requirements

To participate in the Catamount Trailblazer Program, students must meet several conditions, including:

  • Be a currently enrolled student at A-B Tech Community College  in a degree-seeking capacity.

  • Submit WCU Application for Admission and records by the university deadline.

  • Submit application fee or waiver and fulfill all commitment action steps.

  • Be in good standing at A-B Tech and other institutions attended.

  • Demonstrate good citizenship and conduct.

  • Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 at A-B Tech and a minimum GPA of 2.20 in the most recently completed academic term.

  • Earn an associate’s degree from A-B Tech in a college transfer program or in an applied program for which an articulation agreement exists.

  • Enroll at WCU within one academic year (within the next two regular terms or fall/spring semesters) of completion of the associate’s degree.

  • Submit the Catamount Trailblazer Application Form

    • This is in addition to applying to WCU

Although the Catamount Trailblazer Program does guarantee admission to WCU for those A-B tech graduates who meet the requirements, it does not guarantee admission into a specific degree program. Some programs of study at WCU have their own programmatic admission criteria, standards, policies, processes and deadlines.


  • Those that complete an A.A. or A.S. at AB-Tech are guaranteed admission to WCU, provided all eligibility requirements above are met.

  • The onset of the NC Promise tuition plan, which reduces the cost of in-state tuition to $500 per semester at WCU has resulted in a significant increase in the number of students transferring to WCU from community colleges.

  • The Program affords A-B Tech students access to information about academic programs, faculty, and staff at the WCU Campus who will facilitate their transition to WCU.

  • This program prioritizes the ability to receive admission, financial aid, and orientation communications early in the transition process, which sets AB Tech students up for maximum success at both institutions.

Apply Now

  1. Submit the Catamount Trailblazer Application Form
  2. Click here to submit your appropriate application to WCU:
  3. Visit our transfer information page on what to submit, scholarships, and other resources for transfer students at

Beth Owenby, M.B.A.


 Contact Information

Interested? Contact Us!

Beth Owenby, M.B.A.
Western Carolina University Regional Assistant Director
A-B Tech Bailey Building
Schedule an Appointment



AB Tech Community College


Steven Heulett
AB Tech University Transfer Advising Coordinator
(828) 398-7184

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