MATC, UW-Whitewater sign articulation agreement

April 26, 2013

From “MATC, UW-Whitewater sign articulation agreement” — The Warhawks and Wolfpack might be ominous mascots in sports competitions, but from this point forward, Willie and Wolfie make excellent study buddies when it comes to obtaining a college degree.

Administrators from both the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Madison Area Technical College were on hand at Madison College’s Fort Atkinson campus Wednesday for a special signing ceremony formalizing a direct program-to-program transfer of credits between the two schools.

Two separate institutional contracts, formally called articulation agreements, where made official with signatures Wednesday. First, the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway program begins at Madison College and is designed for students who obtain an associate degree in liberal arts, but wish to complete the coursework required to earn a baccalaureate degree in journalism from UW-Whitewater’s College of Arts and Communication.

Second, the Liberal Arts Business Pathway is tailored toward Madison College students who complete a customized mix of liberal arts and business courses leading to an associate degree. Once the associate degree is achieved, students can then pursue a bachelor’s degree in any major offered by UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics.

While there were multiple administrators, professors, instructors, admission personnel and staff from both institutions on hand Wednesday, the actual signatories for the ceremony were Madison College Dean of Arts and Sciences Todd Stebbins, Dean of Business and Applied Arts Bryon Woodhouse, Associate Vice President for Learner Success Turina Bakken and UW-Whitewater Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beverly Kopper.

Serving as master of ceremonies was Lynn Forseth, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development for Madison College’s Eastern Region.

“Due to our geographic proximity to Whitewater, the Fort Atkinson campus regularly serves students who are planning to transfer to UW-Whitewater, and often, in fact, dual-enroll at both institutions,” Forseth said during introductory remarks. “Both colleges also work closely with area K-12 districts to help high school-age students to formulate their educational and career plans. The agreements we will sign today give high school graduates yet another opportunity to begin their education anywhere in the Madison College district and transfer those credits to UW-Whitewater.”

Forseth added that she has heard positive feedback from regional K-12 school districts about the agreements, and she thanked them for their support.

Bakken was the first speaker.

“Just before we started today, we were talking about the state of higher education, and the new environment that we do our work in,” she said. “Whether you’re a two-year school, a four-year university or a private institution, we can’t exist in isolation anymore; these kinds of partnerships we sign today are so very important – not only for our communities and students, but for us, too, as they make us the most efficient we can be with the scarce resources that we have.

“Just a few weeks ago, we signed an agreement with UW-Madison that essentially says that for those students who start at Madison College and transfer to UW-Madison without their associate degree, once they earn enough credits, we will honor those credits toward the associate degree; and if they continue on for a bachelor’s degree or beyond, fantastic, but no matter what happens, they will at least have that credential, Bak­­ken continued.

“There are very few agreements like that in the country, and we were very proud to sign that one.”

She noted that last week, Madison College signed an agreement with UW-Platteville for students in biology and bio-technology.

“Their last year in biology at UW-Platteville, they will be enrolled in our bio-tech post-baccalaureate certificate. So, they will graduate in four years from Platteville with a degree in biology or bio-tech and a post-baccalaureate certificate from Madison College,” Bakken noted. “We are thinking more innovatively at our college and with our partners beyond simple agreement where we hand students off; we are really looking at more integrated partnerships.”

The agreements signed Wed­nesday were another example of an integrated partnership, Bakken said.

Stebbins, meanwhile, spoke on the Journalism Pathway.

“It guarantee’s Madison College students a direct program-to-program if they wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism at UW-Whitewater,” he said. “Some of you may be aware that Madison College currently offers a journalism certificate for students who are interested in moving into entry-level careers in journalism or people who are already in the industry, but want to get an education to position themselves in that industry. The sweeping majority of students come to us because they are interested in at least a four-year degree, sometimes beyond that.”

Stebbins noted that more than 83 percent of Madison College students enrolled in the current certificate program go on to a four-year program.

“This new Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway is tailored to students who have met the requirements for a liberal arts degree from us, and wish to complete their coursework required for a baccalaureate degree in journalism from UW-Whitewater’s distinguished College of Arts and Communications,” he continued. “By taking advantage of the strengths at both institutions, access, academic rigor, and shared commitment to excellence, graduates of the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway should be very prepared for success as they enter the workforce beyond their bachelor’s degree.”

Woodhouse spoke about the Business Pathway.

“The second contract we are signing today is the Liberal Arts Business Pathway agreement with UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics,” he said.

“Madison College currently offers 26 areas of programming that are covered by the broad umbrella of business management and administration,” Woodhouse remarked,.

” That includes many specialties, like accounting, human resources, paralegal and many others. As Todd noted, the majority of students who enter these programs intend to transfer to a four-year college. For most of them, their first choice is to transfer somewhere into the UW System. That is why we partnered with UW-Whitewater.”

He said this agreement is designed for Madison College students who completed a customized mix of liberal arts and business courses required for an associate degree.

“In turn, these students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in any major offered by UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics,” Woodhouse noted. “I want to emphasize the word ‘in.’ That is, all credits earned at Madison College will transfer to UW-Whitewater, including those earned in our business courses. This program-to-program transfer allows business students to take their careers into whatever direction they choose. Of course, it opens a whole world of possibilities for each student as they choose their career path.

“This agreement, like the others between Madison College and the UW System, really maximizes our finite resources,” he concluded. “It encourages academic and administrative coordination with an eye toward continuous improvements.”

Kopper said that she was excited about the articulation agreements.

“The UW-Whitewater is certainly an enthusiastic partner in paving pathways for students of all walks of life to achieve success,” she said. “These agreements show our joint commitment to making that happen.

“Students from Madison College will now be able to seamlessly transfer credit to UW-Whitewater, and enroll in upper-level courses in both business and journalism,” the provost said. “The College of Business and Economics, the College of Arts and Communication, and the College of Letters and Sciences are all ready to welcome these students into our challenging and innovative programs. As we strive to increase the number of baccalaureate degree holders in Wisconsin, working closely with our technical college partners is extremely important as we develop these credit agreements. These are vital, certainly, to our mission at UW-Whitewater.”

She continued: “UW-Whitewater graduates will enter the workforce with a strong liberal arts education that prepares them for the ever-changing world that we are in, with the skills that we hear from employers that they value, and demand, and with the knowledge to power the state’s economy. Many of our business alumni are leading accountants, entrepreneurs, they have their own businesses, and are CEOs in their respective fields. Our journalism alumni travel the globe, working for broadcast networks, trade publications, marketing companies and social media enterprises, just to name a few.

“I would like to thank everyone at both Madison College and UW-Whitewater for crafting theses agreements,” she concluded. “They deserve our thanks, we look forward to more partnerships.”

After Kopper’s remarks, each of the speakers signed the official paperwork needed to formalize the agreements, receiving a round of applause from those gathered for the event.

Then, in a somewhat humorous moment, Forseth presented Bakken and Kopper with a stuffed mascot from the opposite school – Willie Warhawk for Bakken and Wolfie for Kopper – to symbolize the partnership of the two institutions.

After the ceremony, Kopper said that UW-Whitewater has similar agreements with other two-year colleges in southern Wisconsin, but in other areas.

“We have an articulation agreement with every technical college in the state related to our Early Childhood program,” she said. “That is with Madison College and all other technical colleges. I believe next month, we are sending a team over to UW-Waukesha to look at further articulation agreements and partnerships.”

Qualified students are eligible to participate in the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway and Liberal Arts Business Pathway programs this fall. For more information, contact Carlotta Cal­mese, associate dean of student development at Madison College,, or Troy Moldenhaur, associate director of admissions at UW-Whitewater,

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