Albemarle, NC - Associate-degree graduates of Stanly Community College can earn a bachelor’s at Wingate University for $2,500 per year or less, thanks to a new partnership between the two institutions. The Gateway Scholarship was announced Tuesday by Wingate University President Dr. Rhett Brown and Stanly Community College President Dr. John Enamait.

At the signing event on Stanly Community College’s Albemarle campus, Enamait called the agreements “monumental.”

“I would like to say how much I appreciate Wingate working with us. We appreciate you recognizing the value of Stanly Community College to Stanly County and the region,” he said, commending faculty and administrators at both institutions for their work on articulation agreements.

“The college and our students in Stanly County will recognize the fruits of these labors,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t see the immediate results of our efforts, but this is an easy one to really understand the implication for our students and for workforce development.”

Dr. Brown shared, “When we care about our community and think about cradle-to-career and all of our educational needs, we know that collaboration is key. We couldn’t be more pleased to work with Stanly and tackle issues together – whether cost, transferability or time-to-degree.”

He said doing so will help the state close its educational attainment gap. According to the nonprofit myFutureNC, some 67 percent of jobs across the state require a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential, but only 49 percent of North Carolinians ages 25 to 44 have that level of education. In Stanly County, fewer than one in five residents in that age range holds a bachelor's degree or higher.

Carolina Demography data shows that 54 percent of Stanly County high school students enroll in a postsecondary institution within a year after graduating, 3 percent fewer than in their peer counties. But once enrolled, more Stanly students persist to their second year (77 percent versus 73 percent), and their six-year graduation rate also exceeds that of peer counties.

“We already serve a significant number of students from across Rocky River and look forward to opening the door for more of them to build on the success they’ve achieved at Stanly Community College,” Brown said. “Our state needs 2 million people with postsecondary degrees or certificates by 2030. We believe the Gateway Scholarship is part of the solution."

In addition to the Gateway Scholarship agreement, Brown and Enamait signed articulation agreements aimed particularly at smoothing the pathways for students seeking bachelor’s degrees in human services, psychology and accounting. Funding to help bring students’ out-of-pocket annual tuition costs at Wingate down to $2,500 or less includes federal aid, the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship and support from generous donors.

To learn more about the Gateway Scholarship, email Valerie Graham at, (704-233-8103) or the SCC Eagle’s One-Stop at (704-991-0123).