Press Releases

NCC, NCWU, and NCPS sign Nash County Education Network Partnership

Photo of Dr. Evan D. Duff, NCWU President, Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt, NCC President, Dr. Steve Ellis, NCPS Superintendent shaking hands. Positioned left to right.

Dr. Evan D. Duff, NCWU President, Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt, NCC President, Dr. Steve Ellis, NCPS Superintendent

On Nov. 7, Nash Community College (NCC), North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) and Nash County Public Schools (NCPS) signed a partnership agreement that ensures an affordable and extensive pathway from completion of high school to obtainment of a bachelor’s degree, known as the Nash County Education Network.

The partnership is effective Nov. 7, with a formal start in January 2024. A signing with NCC President Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt, NCWU President Dr. Evan D. Duff and NCPS Superintendent Dr. Steve Ellis at NCWU’s campus celebrated the occasion.

“We are committed to keeping our best and brightest in Nash County,” said Dr. Duff. “These are the communities’ local talent, and we are prideful of our ability to have people live here, shop here and grow here.”

The partnership will assist a student in a seamless pathway to attend NCC after graduating high school and then set up to attend NCWU for an undergraduate degree for less than people might believe.

“There is a misconception that as a private university, NCWU is just too expensive to attend, but that’s not true,” said Dr. Hunnicutt. “We have set up an excellent pathway plan that sees students complete their academic journey from high school, through NCC and ultimately NCWU for less than $20,000.”

The partners anticipate a future byproduct setup pathway that involves various industries that will connect students who complete this program with designated interviews to get jobs at any of the institutions’ workforce partners.

“It is very rare to have such a strong and extensive partnership between the K-12 school system, a public two-year and a private four-year, but here in Nash County, we see no other way than to capitalize on all of our resources, mend them together and provide the absolute best quality of education of Nash residents for a fraction of the cost,” said Dr. Duff.

NCPS and NCC have an impactful College and Career Promise partnership that allows high school students to complete dual enrollment courses at NCC, where students can earn dual credit and meet high school graduation requirements with college courses. The CCP Program at NCC includes four university transfer pathways and 23 Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways.

“This pathway will have a profound impact on our public school system and our students’ futures. It opens doors to higher education and career opportunities that were once out of reach for many,” said Dr. Ellis.

These exclusive opportunities are tailored for Nash County students who complete their associate degree at Nash Community College, reinforcing the strategic educational journey from local classrooms at NCPS to the business world, including internships and job placements.

“We don’t have an intention to expand to additional educational institutions,” said Dr. Duff. “We are here to support our students and our community; this opportunity is exclusive to Nash County talent.”

Qualification for NCEN depends on a variety of academic and economic factors. To qualify for the $20,000 or less tuition, the student must be in good academic standing upon graduation from NCC. The student must also be fully Pell-eligible, an NC resident and a commuter student at NCWU.


About the Nash County Education Network:

The Nash County Education Network (NCEN) is a transfer program for Nash County Public School graduates who plan to continue their education at NCC, with the educational goal of fulfilling their undergraduate degree at NCWU. This pathway is formally established spring 2024 to ensure that graduates from both NCPS and NCC are automatically eligible for admission to one of NCWU’s undergraduate degree programs. Tuition will be capped at $20,000 in total for completion of both an NCC associate degree and an NCWU bachelor’s degree*. These students will also be offered access to academic advising and financial aid counseling by NCWU prior to enrollment at NCWU. Participants in the NCEN will also be offered access to any events on NCWU’s main campus in Rocky Mount, NC, at no cost.