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Catamount Compass Program leads SCC graduates to WCU

Don Tomas and Kelli Brown

Don Tomas, president of Southwestern Community College, and WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown recently renewed a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.

By Julia Duvall

Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown and Don Tomas, president of Southwestern Community College, recently met to sign a renewal of the memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that are just a few miles down the road from one another.

“We want to continue to make the process of transferring to WCU as smooth as possible for the graduates of all our community college partners across the region and the state,” Brown said. “Renewing this memorandum of understanding is an important tool in providing SCC graduates with the resources and access to continue their higher education journey, just down the road in Cullowhee."

The renewal will take effect from 2024-2029.

“Our students are the top priority at SCC and this agreement is a tremendous benefit to all our students who wish to continue their education after completing their associate degrees by transferring to WCU,” Tomas said. “Knowing that it’s possible to complete a bachelor’s degree without leaving our area is significant to the students we serve. We value our continued strong relationship with Western Carolina University and I’m grateful to everyone on our team at SCC who worked with their counterparts at WCU to extend this memorandum of understanding.”

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

  • Be a currently enrolled student at SCC 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 SCC and other institutions attended.
  • Demonstrate good citizenship and conduct.
  • Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 at SCC and a minimum GPA of 2.20 in the most recently completed academic term.
  • Earn an associate degree from SCC 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 degree.

Although the Catamount Compass Program does guarantee admission to WCU for those SCC 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.

For more information about how to transfer to WCU, visit  

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