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Agreements Benefit CC Students Transferring to UW

October 9, 2015
Two women with garment on a mannequin
Students work in the textile lab in the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Family and consumer science is one of nine degree programs for which UW and Casper College have signed agreements, allowing students to complete degrees at a higher rate and at a faster pace. (UW Photo

Students in nine popular degree programs at Casper College now have the assurance that courses they’re taking will meet requirements for bachelor’s degrees at the University of Wyoming, as a result of new articulation agreements between the two institutions.

The agreements are among many program-level plans that have been struck as part of a concerted statewide effort to ease the transition for students moving from community colleges to UW.

“Having 2-plus-2 agreements with Casper College and the University of Wyoming has been essential for students to assist them in their career and make the requirements very clear for graduation with a bachelor’s degree after completing the associate’s degree,” says Shawn Powell, Casper College’s interim vice president for academic affairs. “I think this is a road map to an academic pathway that leads from Casper College to the university.”

The agreements are for these majors at Casper College and UW: family and consumer science; communication; criminal justice; English; political science; psychology; wildlife and fisheries biology and management; zoology; and business administration. Additional agreements are nearing completion for kinesiology and health promotion, and nursing. Other agreements in progress are biology, accounting and elementary education.

"The transfer articulation agreements will provide students with a semester-by-semester plan that will allow them to complete an associate’s degree at a Wyoming community college in two years and a bachelor’s degree at UW in an additional two years in their chosen major,” says Patrice Noel, UW’s director of transfer relations. “With these agreements, we expect that students will complete degrees at a higher rate and at a faster pace -- and that's a great thing."

Casper College and UW administrators praise the work of faculty members at the respective institutions, noting that any articulation agreement requires some give and take.

“It’s a process to foster the relationships between Casper College degrees and UW degrees, reflecting the new requirements of USP 2015 (University Studies Program), UW’s general education requirements,” Powell says.

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. More than 50 of the program-level agreements have been signed so far.

“UW faculty have really rolled up their sleeves in support of this effort,” says English professor Alyson Hagy, a former associate vice president for academic affairs who has helped lead the effort. “It takes a lot of time and attention to mesh UW programs with seven different curricula from the community colleges, but our faculty have risen to the occasion because of the obvious benefits to students. The agreements we have so far will affect about half of the Wyoming students who transfer to UW every year.”

The university’s goal is to sign another 60-70 agreements in order to aid as many community college graduates as possible.

“To keep this going, we'll emphasize the importance of these efforts to the new administration -- they will need to know and understand how important this is to Wyoming and what a difference it makes to our students,” says Anne Alexander, who succeeded Hagy as associate vice president for academic affairs. “We have to continue to keep our faculty engaged, because that's where the rubber meets the road. We'll continue providing support for dialogue to sustain the agreements we've signed so that, when programs evolve, there's opportunity to share information and update agreements. Our team at UW will keep at it, expanding areas for cooperation to benefit Wyoming students.”

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