The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) has a long history of working together with public institutions of higher education in the state. An example of cross-sector collaboration are the numerous articulation agreements between Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) institutions and WAICU members. The agreements formally outline pathways for associates degree-holders to transfer the credits they have earned in WTCS to a WAICU member. In other words, WTCS graduates may apply the coursework they have already completed at a technical college toward a bachelors degree program at a four-year college or university.
Nationally 41 percent of students earning an associates degree pursue a bachelors degree within six years. Beteween 2011 and 2016, well over 10,000 students have transferred from a Wisconsin technical college to a Wisconsin private, nonprofit college or university. A wide range of opportunities exist, and popular areas of study for transfer agreements include engineering, accounting, nursing, business management, and education.
Articulation agreements show a commitment in both the public and private, nonprofit sectors of higher education to being student-centered. Providing students with the flexibility to pursue their education at more than one institution enables them to be the decision-makers in what works best for their educational needs. Not only do articulation agreements enable traditional aged technical college graduates to seamlessly transition into a bachelors degree program, but they also make it easier for associates degree-holders who have already been in the workforce for some time to return to college in order to build upon their experiences and advance their careers by earning a bachelors degree.
“In an era when the ground is truly shifting beneath our feet in higher education, it’s Wisconsin’s independent colleges and universities who are our proven, trusted and ready partners on every front. While our partnerships are long-standing, it never ceases to amaze me how dynamic they are when it comes to doing what’s best for students,” said Dr. Morna Foy, president of WTCS.
As Wisconsin’s workforce needs require increasing educational levels, WAICU, WTCS, and the UW System continue to work together in addressing attainment.