Nov 28, 2023  
2012-2013 Gaston College Catalog 



General Admission Requirements (for Curriculum Programs)

Gaston College subscribes to the open-door admission policy. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age or possess a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll.

Associate Degree, Diploma, and Certificate Programs

For most programs of study, the following steps should be completed prior to registration.

  1. Complete and submit either an online application or paper application to the Admissions Office. Admissions applications are available at any campus location or online at
  2. Submit an official high school transcript to the Office of Admissions at Gaston College, 201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034-1499. In lieu of an official high school transcript, the following official documents will be accepted:
    • Adult high school transcript
    • GED scores
    • Official transcript from an approved correspondence high school* (see statemement below regarding non-regionally accredited high schools)
    • Official transcript from Home School along with Home School Record(s) (must be accompanied by a letter or card issued from the NC Division of Non-public Education)
    • Transcript from a regionally-accredited college or university reflecting attainment of an Associate degree or higher. 

*In accordance with the new Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-74), Gaston College has eliminated the Compass Placement Test Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) alternative for students planning to first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012 and who have NOT earned a valid high school diploma from a regionally accredited institution or a recognized equivalent (e.g., GED).  As noted in the law, neither ATB testing nor earning six credits applicable to a degree or certificate will satisfy the academic qualifications for receiving financial aid. Students who fall in this category and who wish to receive financial aid may establish eligibility by completing an approved GED or Adult High School program.  Additionally, some employers, licensing boards, and credentialing agencies may not recognize credentials from non-regionally accredited high schools, even after a student has received course credit or completed a program of study at Gaston College.


  1. Submit official college and/or university transcripts, if applicable.
  2. Schedule and take the COMPASS Placement Test. Students who score 500 or higher on the Verbal or Critical Reading portion of the SAT are not required to take the Reading portion of the SAT are not required to take the Writing portion of the placement test. Students who score 500 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the SAT are not required to take the Mathematics portion of the placement test. Students who score an 18 or higher on the English portion of the ACT are not required to take the Writing portion of the college’s placement test. Students who score 21 or higher on the Reading portion of the ACT are not required to take the Reading portion of the college’s placement test. Students who score 22 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the ACT are not required to take the Math portion of the college’s placement test. Official test score results must be no more that five (5) years old and they must be received and evaluated by the Admissions Office.
  3. Complete the online New Student Orientation.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Gaston College Application for Admission at least four weeks prior to start of the semester. This ensures the applicant ample time to complete the entire admission and enrollment process. Applicants transferring to Gaston College from another college or university must submit an application and meet the admission requirements for the program of study they intend to pursue at Gaston College. Students who have not registered for a two-year period are required to re-apply and meet current admissions requirements.

Programs of Study with Additional Admission Requirements

General Admission to the college does not guarantee admission into certain programs of study. For example, all the programs of study within the Health Education division have an additional admission process. These programs of study include Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Cosmetology, Dietetic Technician, Dietary Manager, Therapeutic Massage, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, Nursing Assistant, Health and Fitness Science and Veterinary Tecnology. Applicants should contact the department chair within their program of study to ensure awareness of any additional or new program-specific admission requirements.

Opportunities for Students without a High School Diploma or GED (18 years or older)

Applicants not having attained a high school diploma but who are 18 years of age may apply for and enroll in certain certificate and diploma programs. These programs of study include Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration; Electrical/Electronics; Welding; and Certified Nursing Assistant. In addition to completing the general Gaston College admissions application, these applicants must take the COMPASS Placement Test and complete the online New Student Orientation prior to registration. Non-high school graduates may also register for courses as a Special Credit student (see statement below regarding Special Credit students). However, students must meet any course prerequisites prior to registration.

Admission for Special Credit or Visiting Students (Non-degree Applicants)

Students wishing to register for credit courses but have no intention of completing a program of study will be classified as Special Credit or Visiting students and may be admitted to credit classes with advisor’s approval. Students registered as Special Credit or Visiting Students may earn a maximum of 15 credit hours before having to declare a curriculum major or program of study. Tuition and fees are the same as for regular curriculum students. Credits earned may be applied to a degree, diploma, or certificate program by completing a Petition for Major Change form in the Counseling Center.


Students who are not North Carolina residents pay out-of-state tuition for credit (degree) classes. A student’s official residency status is determined at the time they complete the admissions application according to the residency policy of the state of North Carolina, the North Carolina Community College System, and the Gaston College Board of Trustees. In order for a student to be considered a legal resident for tuition purposes, the applicant’s residency must be established and maintained in North Carolina for at least twelve months preceding the date of enrollment. Immigrants lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence may establish North Carolina residence in the same manner as any other non-resident.

The legal residence of a person under 18 years of age is that of his or her parents, surviving parent, or legal guardian. In cases where parents are divorced or legally separated, the minor’s domicile is deemed to be North Carolina for the time period that either parent, as a North Carolina legal resident, claims the minor as a taxable dependent.

A change of address does not automatically entitle a student to pay the same tuition as a North Carolina resident. A request to change one’s residency status must be submitted to the Admissions Office prior to registration. More information on  residency requirements may be obtained from the Office of Admission.

International Students

International students seeking admission to Gaston College must submit, along with an admissions application, an official or certified copy of their high school transcript and an official/certified copy of any college work completed. If the original copies of these transcripts are in a language other than English, an official English translation is required. Students whose foreign transcripts cannot be evaluated by college personnel are responsible for providing a transcript evaluation from a recognized American transcript evaluation agency. Proof of English proficiency is required. This may be established by making a minimum total score of 76 (internet-based), 207 (computer-based), or 540 (paper-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign  Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is published and administered in most countries by the Educational Testing Service, P. 0. Box 899, Princeton, NJ 08541.

Once an international student is admitted to the U.S. with F-1 status, certain obligations must be met in order to maintain that status. The international student must continue to carry a full course of study. This is defined as undergraduate study at a college or university which consists of at least 12 credit hours per semester. In addition to not accepting employment off campus, the international student must keep his or her passport valid for at least six months. An extension of status must be applied if the student wishes to remain in the U.S. beyond the period of time for which he or she was admitted. F-1 students are required to disclose full and truthfully all information requested by INS regardless of whether the information requested is material.

Gaston College is a commuter institution and does not have residence halls or student housing for rent. Students are responsible for finding their own housing. Transportation to the college must be arranged by the student.


Policies and procedures for International students are subject to change in accordance to federal requirements and guidelines.


Career and College Promise (CCP) Program

Session Law 2011-145, the Appropriations Act of 2011, authorizes the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges to establish the Career and College Program. This program replaces all previous high school programs (Huskins, Dual Enrollment, and Learn & Earn Online). Career and College Promise provides seamless dual enrollement educational opportunities tuition free for elibigle North Carolina private, public, charter, and home schooled high school students, allowing them to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer or provide entry-level job skills. Career and College Promise includes College Transfer Pathways, Career & Technical Education Pathways, and Cooperative Innovate High School Programs (Early College). Students are responsible for paying for registration fees and textbooks unless the School System incurs the cost. Information on current pathways being offered may be found through the College’s website.

Application requirements for the College Transfer Pathways and the Career Technical Pathways include: (1) High School Transcript, (2) Assessment Scores, (3) Completed Career and College Promise Enrollment Form with required signatures, and (4) Completed College Application. Entrance Requirements for the College Transfer Pathways include: (1) Must be a junior or senior, (2) Must have a weighted GPA of 3.0 on high school course work, (3) Demonstrate college readiness through approved assessment tests (Plan, PSAT, SAT, ACT, COMPASS, Accuplacer, Asset), and (4) Maintain 2.0 college GPA after two (2) courses. Entrance requirements for the Career & Technical Education Pathways include (1) Must be a junior or senior), (2) Must have a weighted GPA of 3.0 on high school courses, (3) Must meet prerequisites of career pathway, and (4) Maintain 2.0 college GPA after two (2) courses.

The University Center at Gaston College

The University Center at Gaston College was established in 1990 through the efforts of Appalachian State University, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Gaston College. Located on the Gaston College’s Dallas Campus, the University Center coordinates a cooperative program with various area colleges and universities to bring four-year and graduate-level classes to Gaston College in order to make classes more accessbile to the citizens of Gaston and Lincoln counties. Identifying the needs within the community and cooperation with various senior institutions are the dominating factors that determined the classes offered through the University Center. Most courses are offered during evenings for the convenience of working adults.


Requirements for Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education Programs

Requirements for admission to courses in Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education vary by program. Please consult the college website at or the most current copy of the Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education course schedule for details.

Persons under the age of 16 are permitted to register only for specific summer enrichment programs. Some classes are restricted to persons age 18 and older.