news-category: Transfer Pathways

Blue Ridge Community College and Gardner-Webb Sign Transfer Agreement for Cybersecurity Program

Dr. William Downs, left and Dr. Laura Leatherwood sign the agreement
Photos by Cyrus Richer / GWU Photo Staff

Contract Simplifies Transfer Process for Blue Ridge Graduates Entering GWU’s Degree Completion Program

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Officials at Gardner-Webb University and Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) in Flat Rock, N.C., signed a transfer agreement on Nov. 4 between the two schools’ cybersecurity programs. GWU’s new online Bachelor of Science program in cybersecurity begins in the 2023 Spring Semester. Through this plan, BRCC graduates with associate degrees in information technology-cybersecurity have direct admission into Gardner-Webb’s Degree Completion Program.

This new arrangement adds to previous transfer agreements established between Gardner-Webb and Blue Ridge on Oct. 10, 2019. “Think about how the world has changed since Gardner-Webb and Blue Ridge last sat down to sign an agreement of this magnitude,” observed GWU President Dr. William Downs. “Both institutions have survived a global pandemic and a tumultuous economic rollercoaster, and both have come out stronger on the other side. Now we’re ready to renew our commitment to making high-demand degrees both affordable and accessible to our students. Any day we can strengthen or extend partnerships is a good day, and this is a very good day for the students of our region.”

Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura Leatherwood agreed and noted, “As partners in higher education, we at Blue Ridge Community College are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Gardner-Webb University through the formation of two new information technology and cybersecurity pathways. This agreement will ultimately give students a clear path into a segment of the workforce that is critical to the success of all industries.”

Also in attendance from Blue Ridge were Vice President for instruction Kathy Allen, and Faculty Chair, Business Programs Jana Hosmer. Representing Gardner-Webb were Associate Vice President for Enrollment Mavia Lee, Director of Admissions Alex Carroll, and Dean of Adult and Distance Education Elizabeth Pack.

Gardner-Webb’s bachelor’s program, cybersecurity concentration, is offered within the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. The fully-online option allows students to complete their degrees in a flexible environment with professors who are accessible and available.

Courses provide training in programming languages, operating systems, computer and network security, database management, data communications, and cybercrime.  Program curriculum is based on National Center for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) guidelines for Cyber Defense programs.

In addition, most of the cybersecurity classes are designed to correspond to specific CompTIA (The Computing Technology Industry Association) certifications. Classes include topics to help prepare students for CompTIA A+, Server+, Network+, Security+ and PenTest+ exams; however, these exams are not a requirement of the program.

About Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College is a comprehensive community college within the legislatively created North Carolina Community College System that serves Henderson and Transylvania Counties. Blue Ridge Community College empowers individuals with knowledge and skills to enrich our communities and build a competitive workforce.

About Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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