Gardner-Webb Improves Transfer Process for Elementary Education Students

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University Completes Degree Agreement with Cleveland Community College

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University and Cleveland Community College (CCC) have formed a partnership that will ease the transfer process for students who seek to complete an elementary education degree with coursework at both institutions.

Officials for both schools signed an agreement to create a seamless track for students who begin their school-age education associate’s degree studies at CCC and complete them in an elementary education bachelor’s degree program at Gardner-Webb. The agreement, called Pathways to reference the structured path of study between the two schools, formalizes a degree partnership that already exists between GWU and CCC.

“We are excited about this partnership and look forward to providing CCC candidates with the opportunity to continue their education and become elementary education teachers,” shared Dr. Lane Wesson, GWU School of Education professor and coordinator of elementary education for Gardner-Webb’s Degree Completion Program (DCP). “It is a wonderful opportunity for School of Education faculty to work with candidates from CCC and facilitate their continued development into knowledgeable educators who will directly impact children.”

The education Pathway announcement comes just months after the schools completed similar degree completion agreements for accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship, industrial management and nursing students.

“The addition of the GWU Education Pathway enables students who wish to complete their education locally to do so,” offered Dr. John Lattimore, who worked to help establish the partnership and serves as dean of business and allied health at CCC. “For students who wish to pursue an elementary education degree at Gardner-Webb, the Pathway provides a roadmap for the courses that will transfer from our school-age education program directly into Gardner-Webb. As a result, students are less likely to take unnecessary courses at CCC, if they work closely with their academic advisor.”

One of the challenges for transfer students at all schools is ensuring that community college coursework will count at a four-year institution, reminded Dr. Ben Leslie, GWU provost and executive vice president. Students will save time and money thanks to the partnership because Pathways reduce course repetition and loss for transfer students, officials said, adding that more CCC students transfer to Gardner-Webb than any other university.

“Gardner-Webb has always welcomed students who choose to complete their first two years of study at a North Carolina community college,” Leslie added. “Pathway agreements are simply a way of ensuring the best possible outcome for transfer credits. It gives community college students confidence that the courses they are taking will not only transfer, but also count toward their major.”

Established in 1965, Cleveland Community College provides diverse and accessible learning opportunities to meet the educational and training needs of its community. For more information, visit

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).