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Students who take courses at Sheridan College and Gillette College now have the assurance that those courses will meet requirements for a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Wyoming, as a result of a new articulation agreement between UW and the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD).
The agreement is one of many program-level plans UW and the state’s community colleges are working to develop as part of a concerted statewide effort to ease the transition for students moving from community colleges to the university.
“I am delighted that we were able to simplify the transfer process for our students. The 2+2 agreement should make it easier for our community college students to graduate with a B.A. in four years,” says Jane Wohl, a Sheridan College English professor who worked on the agreement. “The English Department at UW was very collegial to work with while we completed this agreement.”
The new agreement is for a UW bachelor’s degree in English, spelling out the courses at Sheridan College and Gillette College that meet UW’s specific degree requirements. The agreement also will benefit students who start their studies at UW, as the university develops four-year curriculum maps that can be easily accessed by prospective students and their families.
“The agreements that we at UW are developing with our community college partners will be hugely significant for our transfer students. They signal that UW wants Wyoming's best students to stay in Wyoming and to take advantage of the state's Hathaway program, and they demonstrate that UW is willing to work hard to make that happen,” says Julia Obert, assistant chair of UW’s Department of English. “We in the English Department have been talking with our community college colleagues for months, and we're proud to say that we've been finding ways to transfer nearly all relevant college courses for UW degree credit. We're excited that we've developed a clear road map for transfer students to follow as they move from the NWCCD to UW, and we're also pleased that our efforts these past few months have strengthened the personal and professional ties between ourselves and our partners in Sheridan and Gillette.”
UW is engaged in similar discussions with all seven Wyoming community colleges, with a goal of signing articulation agreements with each of the colleges for the 17 UW degree programs that are most popular with community college transfer students.
UW Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Alyson Hagy says the initiative, a top priority for UW President Dick McGinity, is an ambitious undertaking because each college has its own course requirements -- but it’s clearly in the best interests of UW and the colleges, and their students.
“Each community college is different. They have designed their programs to reflect their communities and their missions,” Hagy says. “But we all recognize that providing a clear four-year pathway to a degree for prepared students is the right thing to do.”