North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has received a $1.5-million gift from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in support of the Aggie Commitment Trailblazer Scholars (ACTS) program.

ACTS is a STEM Pathways program for students transferring from 11 community colleges in North Carolina to N.C. A&T. The program will support full in-state tuition scholarships, transfer-centric learning communities, mentoring, a co-advising student success model, experiential learning opportunities and work strategy planning.

“The ACTS program is about student success and STEM pathways, but it is also about equity in opportunities for STEM degrees,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “As part of our diversity and inclusion efforts at A&T, we are committed to removing barriers to access so that all students have opportunities to succeed.”

A&T examined internal data as well as information from state and national sources to develop a student-centered program to meet the diverse needs of community college students who transfer into STEM majors.

“We are proud of the work happening at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and appreciate our partnership to help students move from associate to undergraduate degrees, especially in the STEM fields” said Marilyn Foote-Hudson, executive director of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.

Alamance Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Davidson County Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Johnston Community College, Richmond Community College, Rockingham Community College and Wake Technical Community College have worked with A&T to identify best practices for successful transfer, retention and graduation.

As part of a statewide program, ACTS team members will work with similar programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University to share best practices in support of community college transfer students. Additionally, A&T will expand its ACTS partnerships to include other North Carolina community colleges with which articulation and dual enrollment agreements are in place.