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SCC and Mars Hill University create Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise

SYLVA – Graduates of Southwestern Community College who want to take the next step in their education by earning a bachelor’s degree now have a direct pathway to do so at Mars Hill University.

MHU President Dr. Tony Floyd and SCC President Dr. Don Tomas signed an agreement, creating the Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise during an event at SCC’s campus in Sylva.

The program provides a streamlined process for Southwestern’s associate degree graduates to enroll at MHU. It’s designed to help students navigate the intricacies of admissions criteria, determine which community college credits will transfer to the four-year institution, fulfill general education requirements and address other potential issues that may arise when transferring.

The Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise gives SCC students access to information about academic programs faculty and staff at MHU who will facilitate their transition to the university. They will be able to receive admission, financial aid, registration and orientation communications early in the transition process, which will set them up for maximum success at both institutions.

“This partnership expands our students’ opportunities to pursue higher education,” said Dr. Tomas. “We’re pleased to offer this pathway that makes it easier for our students to transfer their credit to a respected regional university like Mars Hill.”

SCC students will need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average, earn an associate degree in a college transfer program or in an applied program for which there is an articulation agreement with MHU, and enroll at MHU within one academic year after receiving their associate degree.

Students interested in the Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise may contact Kristan Blanton, Director of Enrollment Management at SCC at or 828.339.4255 or Carolyn Kuzell, Associate Director of Admission at MHU at or 828.689.1589.


For more than 55 years, Southwestern Community College has served Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties, and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina by providing a wide range of educational options for residents in all stages of life.

SCC has been ranked among the nation’s Top 10 community colleges six times in the last 15 years – including a No. 1 ranking in’s listing of the “Best Community Colleges & Trade Schools of 2020.”

Through a supportive learning environment, Southwestern offers more than 40 degree programs (including more than 90 credentialing options, 28 of which are offered online) in Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences/College Transfer and Career Technologies.

A variety of community resources – including the Small Business Center, Workforce Continuing Education and Career Services – are also available.

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