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Fayetteville Technical Community College and East Carolina University approved a new student transfer agreement Tuesday, deepening the College’s partnership with the four-year institution involving future FTCC graduates. 

Called the “Pirate Promise,” the program is for students in their first year of coursework at a community college. The promise allows students to attend special events and receive advising assistance before applying to the university in Greenville, NC, according to the program’s website. Other support includes access to ECU’s library resources, application fee waiver, and joint financial aid counseling between both institutions for students. The program recognizes dozens of associate degrees for future students such as science, fine arts, engineering, applied science and even early childhood education.

“A relationship has been created that provides far more opportunities for our students early on to engage with ECU faculty and staff as they continue forward in the latter two years in the baccalaureate process,” FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen said. “They get a great start here and then, with ECU, their success is almost assured.”

ECU’s Interim Chancellor Dr. Ron Mitchelson added, “This agreement represents the next step in our longstanding partnership with Fayetteville Technical Community College. The transfer pathway is great option for students, who stand to save a significant portion of their overall cost for earning a four-year degree, and it benefits both ECU and its partnering colleges. We find transfer students to be well prepared for life and class at ECU, and we welcome them as Pirates!”

More than 30 community colleges within the North Carolina Community College system have signed the Pirate Promise.


From left to right, FTCC’s Senior Vice President for Academic & Student Services Dr. Mark Sorrells and FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen after signing the “Pirate Promise” student transfer agreement offered by East Carolina University.

FTCC and ECU’s partnership began more than a decade ago, with FTCC graduates who earned associate degrees and continued onto ECU, earning bachelor degrees in areas such as science construction management and industrial technology. The Pirate Promise also guarantees students will excel in a global society, according to the signed agreement.

“ECU has taken a lot of our students who go into their computer advanced technologies division,” said Dr. Mark Sorrells, FTCC’s Senior Vice President for Academic & Student Services. “East Carolina is a leader at the four-year institution level with online learning. A lot of our students can complete their four-year degree primarily in their local community.”

Other four-year institutions with which FTCC has signed new or expanded transfer agreements in recent years include William Peace University in Raleigh, Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs and The University of Mount Olive in its namesake town – all in North Carolina. Keen noted the Pirate Promise is the continuation of educational opportunities for FTCC students at ECU.

“We are pleased and proud to be a part of the Pirate Promise,” Keen said. “We’re important. They’re important, but together, both are far more important.”

FTCC has had students and faculty graduate from East Carolina University in recent and past years. Here are some of those success stories:

Sarah Bammel, a 2019 ECU graduate and future graduate of FTCC 

Shea Middleton, a 2018 FTCC graduate and future ECU engineering program graduate