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Civil Engineering Students Benefit from UW-Northwest College Agreement

December 18, 2014
front of engineering building
A new agreement between UW’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Northwest College will benefit transfer students. (UW Photo)

Students who attend Northwest College in Powell now have specific assurances about courses they need to take to meet requirements for a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Wyoming, as a result of a new articulation agreement between the two institutions.

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 thrilled with this articulation agreement,” says NWC President Stefani Hicswa. “It is a great example of community college faculty working with university faculty to get things done for our students. These agreements benefit the entire state.”

The new agreement is for a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, spelling out the courses at Northwest College that meet UW’s specific degree requirements in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Successful transfer is a top priority for engineering students. With this agreement, Northwest College civil engineering students can rest assured that the program they take at NWC will dovetail perfectly with the program at UW,” says Astrid Northrup, associate professor of engineering and mathematics, faculty coordinator of NWC’s Engineering Program and Physical Science Division chair. “The collaboration between UW and NWC has resulted in a seamless transfer opportunity for our students.”

“Northwest College routinely sends us students who are well prepared to study civil engineering at UW, but the students don’t always take their courses in the optimal sequence,” says Dick Schmidt, head of UW’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. “With the joint-adviser system we’ve established, students will receive recommendations for course selections that will improve their paths toward successful degree completion at both institutions.”

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.”

"Northwest College is very pleased to offer this opportunity to our engineering students. Seamless transfer to the University of Wyoming has a high value for students, Northwest College and the university,” says Gerald Giraud, NWC’s vice president for academic affairs. “We appreciate the efforts of Physical Science Division chair and engineering professor Astrid Northrup and the UW College of Engineering in reaching this agreement.”

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