news-category: Transfer Pathways

Gardner-Webb and Cleveland Community College Sign Transfer Agreement for Exercise Science

a student conducts a test with another student in the exercise science lab

Program Simplifies Process for CCC Students to Complete Bachelor’s Degree at GWU 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Officials at Gardner-Webb University and Cleveland Community College (CCC) in Shelby, N.C., recently signed an agreement to establish a transfer admission promise program for CCC students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in the Traditional Undergraduate Program at Gardner-Webb. Students who receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in health and fitness science at CCC will be able to transfer seamlessly to Gardner-Webb.

Dr. William Downs
Dr. William Downs

“Any day that we find a new and constructive way to partner with our neighbors at Cleveland Community College is a good day for Gardner-Webb,” affirmed GWU President Dr. William Downs. “Given the growing demand for graduates with expertise in exercise science, health and fitness, this transfer agreement between our two institutions should be attractive to students and should help fill an important societal need.” 

Students interested in the program must meet admission requirements at CCC and Gardner-Webb. The Bachelor of Science in exercise science at Gardner-Webb will prepare students for graduate studies in physical and occupational therapy, and Physician Assistant programs. The degree is also for students who want to go into the strength and conditioning field, mostly in college athletics, but anywhere in the fitness industry. Additionally, Gardner-Webb offers a dual enrollment, where students can obtain their master’s degree in strength and conditioning one year after completing the bachelor’s degree.

“With the addition of the Associate in Applied Science in Health and Fitness Science at Cleveland Community College, it is important that we set up agreements and pathways like this one with Gardner-Webb,” said CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst. “We believe in helping our students reach their full potential and be successful, whatever success looks like for them. Partners like Gardner-Webb help us fulfill that mission.”

Dr. Jason Hurst

For students outside of the AAS degree in health and fitness science at CCC, the “Bulldog Bound: Direct Entry Admission Program” that was signed in the fall of 2020 is another co-admission program designed to simplify the process for successful CCC students who plan to transfer to GWU after completing a qualifying associate degree.

Students who participate in “Bulldog Bound” gain access to information about Gardner-Webb’s academic programs and access to faculty and staff who will facilitate students’ transition. Students will also receive communications related to admission, financial aid, registration and orientation early in the transition process. Interested CCC students complete a brief, online form through CCC to express their interest in the program, and there is no fee to participate.

For more information about the AAS in health and fitness science transfer program and the “Bulldog Bound: Direct Entry Admission Program,” email transfer counselor Molly Allison at [email protected]

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, 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

About Cleveland Community College: Established in 1965, Cleveland Community College drives student success and economic impact for individuals and businesses in our community through diverse education and training opportunities. Located in Shelby, North Carolina, CCC offers a variety of associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates leading to career and college transfer opportunities as well as customized industry training programs and continuing education courses. Visit

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