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WENTWORTH, N.C. — When we learn together, we build a brighter future. That educational goal is the fuel behind why Rockingham Community College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are joining forces. The two announcing a co-admission partnership to help students smoothly transition from the community college to UNCG.

“Aiming our joint educational resources at rural areas to make it easier for students to seamlessly move through that pipeline really is a key contributor to the future economic development of the state,” UNCG Provost Dana Dunn said.

“I feel very strongly about the business and industry are going to make it to these rural areas, and we need to have an educated and a trained workforce to support that initiative,” Rockingham Community College VP for Academic Affairs Sheila Regan said.

Natalie Horton just got her associate’s degree and is pursuing an engineering degree in the Charlotte area.

“More and more jobs are looking for people with a college degree,” Horton said.

Like many students at RCC, she chose the community college because it’s close to her Eden home and affordable. But if students want to take the next step in their education, she thinks this partnership is perfect.

“It’s great to have a clear, clean cut pathway with people, faculty, staff and counselors who are willing to guide you every step of the way,” Horton said.

And other students agree it would help branch out their education.

“I mean if I went to a university, my poor mama bless her heart, I would be calling her every day, and I think it gives you more of an aspect of getting into the real world,” first-year student Madison Sutton said.

The new relationship would give RCC students who sign up for the Spartan Passage access to scholarships, UNCG amenities and resources and waives the application fee to the university, among other benefits.

UNCG has a similar relationship with Alamance Community College and Guilford Technical Community College.