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Agreements Benefit EWC Students Transferring to UW

October 9, 2015
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Students transferring to UW from Eastern Wyoming College will benefit from new articulation agreements. English is one of eight degree programs for which UW and EWC have signed agreements, allowing students to complete degrees at a higher rate and at a faster pace. (UW Photo)

Students in eight popular degree programs at Eastern Wyoming 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.

“In the past, many of our students had to negotiate the transfer of certain courses, and now the courses are synced,” says Larry Curtis, chair of the Division of Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences at EWC. “It was a very accommodating process for everyone involved.”

The agreements are for these majors at EWC and UW: family and consumer science; criminal justice; English; political science; psychology; wildlife and fisheries biology and management; accounting; and business administration. Additional agreements are nearing completion for: animal and veterinary science; biology; communication; zoology; and elementary education.

“The work on the 2-plus-2 agreements makes the programs more consistent and gives students flexibility at EWC and at UW within the courses that are offered,” says Kelly Strampe, an EWC English instructor.

“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.”

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

“The university, as a whole, has been very good to work with throughout this entire process, and it is so beneficial for our students,” says EWC President Richard Patterson. “They now will be able to focus on their majors and stay on track to graduate in four years.”

EWC Communication Instructor John Hansen adds, “Together, we were able to evaluate and make positive changes for our students that will improve learning outcomes for all of us.”

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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