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BRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 20, 2023 – King University and Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) have collaborated on a Guaranteed Admission Agreement that simplifies the application and enrollment process for those students who have completed their associate’s degree and wish to continue on into a four-year program.

“VHCC and King have a long and excellent history of working together to make educational pathways accessible for students throughout our region,” said Matt Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “This agreement ratifies that partnership and simplifies the process for those VHCC students seeking to further their knowledge and specialize in their degree program.”

On completion of the transfer-oriented degree program at VHCC, students will be accepted as having met King’s General Education requirements, except for Common Experience classes that are unique to King. By aligning these areas of study and guaranteeing admission, students are presented with a streamlined, more affordable pathway to a four-year degree.

In the College Board’s 2023 report, Education Pays, data showed that the median, after-tax earnings of those with a two-year degree totaled just over $52,000 annually, while those completing a four-year degree saw a jump in earnings to more than $73,000 annually.

“Education is a worthwhile investment in yourself as an individual, as well as an asset when looking at future earnings,” said Derek Whisman, Ed.D., vice president of instruction and student services at VHCC. “Employees with a college degree tend to have better paying jobs and longer careers than those with no higher education. When you look at the value of a degree over a lifetime, it can mean dramatically increased social mobility and the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. VHCC is excited to work with a great transfer partner like King University as, together, we continue to build a stronger workforce in Southwest Virginia.”

More information on King University is available at, and additional details on VHCC are available at