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UC Guarantee: New partnership to create path and plan for every Union County student after high school

A partnership between Union County Public Schools, South Piedmont Community College and Wingate University aims to make sure every student graduating from high school has a clearly defined, affordable, and easily accessible plan that leads to a meaningful career.

UCPS students and their families will receive information regarding career and college pathways as early as elementary school. As students progress through each grade, they will be presented with opportunities tailored to their interests and supported by SPCC, Wingate, and local employers.

As part of the UC Guarantee, students can choose which path best fits their academic interests and supports their individual talents. The three educational institutions already partner through the Career and College Promise, Road2Wingate, TeachUCPS, and Wayfind. The UC Guarantee will help all Union County Public Schools students navigate future plans regardless of whether they pursue an apprenticeship, a certification, workforce training, a career in the armed forces, or an associate or bachelor's degree.

South Piedmont and Wingate University already offer the Gateway to Wingate scholarship, which allows students who earn an associate degree from South Piedmont to transfer to Wingate to earn a bachelor’s for no more than $2,500 per year. A new option to the existing partnership is the WU 100 whereby any UCPS student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher is eligible to receive at least a $100,000 grant awarded over four years to attend Wingate University.

“By communicating to students and parents about pathways earlier, we are breaking down barriers and misconceptions. We don’t want any student to be overlooked when it comes to their educational attainment or options for higher education pathways,” said Dr. Andrew Houlihan, UCPS superintendent.

“We are essentially creating a continuous highway for lifelong learning with on and off ramps to show students they are never limited to one path but can customize their plan so it's the right fit, at the right time, for them,” said Dr. Maria Pharr, SPCC president.

This initiative aligns with the goal of myFutureNC which is to ensure that 2 million North Carolinians will have a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential by 2030.

“I believe this is better than any current education initiative in the state. Being intentional and working together ensures there is a plan for every public school student in Union County. In turn, more people will be at their highest earning potential over their lifetime creating a better future for themselves and their families. That is community changing,” said Dr. Rhett Brown, Wingate University president.

To learn more about the UC Guarantee, parents and students can attend upcoming workshops at either South Piedmont or Wingate. Details for those events will be posted at: