New VGCC partnership with KARTS makes education more accessible
Vance-Granville Community College recently launched a new partnership with KARTS, the public, rural transportation system, to help students travel to and from any of the college’s four campuses at no cost. Through the partnership, the college will use grant funds and donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund to pay for students to use KARTS.
“Transportation is just one non-academic barrier that can make it difficult for rural citizens to make use of their community college,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC. “We are thankful for KARTS’ willingness to partner with us to reduce this barrier. We also appreciate our generous donors and grantors who are making this opportunity possible. VGCC is committed to student access and success!”
Students can now make appointments for KARTS to pick them up by calling 252-438-2573 and then dialing “0”. If students need to cancel appointments, they can call the same number. Appointment timeslots are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made up to two weeks in advance. Service requests for the following day are taken no later than 1 p.m., or as capacity allows.
Students can request tickets on campus from any VGCC employee. Once students have these fare tickets, they must present their VGCC student IDs, along with the tickets, when boarding the KARTS transportation bus. They must be on time, because drivers will wait approximately two minutes, and students who do not show up for scheduled appointments three times are subject to be prohibited from using this service in the future.
Current pickup/drop-off locations on campus are below:
• VGCC Main Campus (Vance County), in front of Building 7;
• VGCC Franklin Campus (Louisburg), in front of Building 1;
• VGCC South Campus (Butner/Creedmoor), in front of Building 1 by the flag pole; and
• VGCC Warren Campus (Warrenton), between Buildings 2 and 3.
College officials said that there is the potential for more locations to be added in the future.
“We, as a college, are thrilled to provide transportation, at no cost, to current and future students,” said Dawn Michelle Tucker, VGCC’s Dean of Continuing Education and College & Career Readiness. “We know transportation is a major challenge that many students face and we are pleased to be able to partner with KARTS to offer this solution.”
“Our partnership with KARTS provides an even greater opportunity for our communities to access higher education and obtain a college credential,” said Kali Brown, VGCC’s Dean of Student Access & Support. Working to remove the lack of transportation as an obstacle to receiving higher education and job training is just one aspect of the community college’s commitment to student support. Numerous types of financial aid and scholarships, including the unique “VanGuarantee” program, are available to help students pay for classes. Free tutoring services, library services (on all campuses and online) and career services are also among a variety of resources for students.
“Excessive absences are often a leading contributor to non-completion of community college education,” said VGCC Vice President of Workforce and Community Engagement Jerry Edmonds. “Therefore, VGCC is delighted to partner with KARTS in providing transportation to our growing population of students.”
KARTS is a service of the Kerr Area Transportation Authority. Its mission is “to provide safe, dependable and accessible transportation services in the most efficient and effective manner possible in order to improve mobility, support livable communities, enhance local economies, and provide opportunities to expand horizons of the citizens of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren Counties.” Those are the same four counties served by VGCC. All KARTS rides are provided on a scheduled/reserved basis, with fees based on mileage from point of origin to destination.