Mars Hill University and Southwestern Community College Create Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise

Graduates of Southwestern Community College who want to take the next step by earning a bachelor’s degree now have a direct pathway to do so at Mars Hill University. Mars Hill University President Tony Floyd and Southwestern Community College President Don Tomas signed paperwork creating the Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise during an event on the Southwestern campus in Sylva. Southwestern serves Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, and the Qualla Boundary.

The program provides a streamlined process for Southwestern’s associate degree graduates to enroll at Mars Hill. 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 issues which can arise when transferring.

The Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise gives Southwestern students access to information about academic programs, faculty, and staff at Mars Hill who will facilitate their transition to MHU. 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.

Southwestern 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 Mars Hill, and enroll at Mars Hill within one academic year after receiving their associate degree.

Students interested in the Mountain Lion-Southwestern Promise may contact Carolyn Kuzell, associate director of admissions at Mars Hill University, at ckuzell@mhuledu or (828) 689-1589; or Kristan Blanton, director of enrollment management at Southwestern Community College, at or (828) 339-4255.