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Agreements Benefit LCCC Students Transferring to UW

October 9, 2015
students in green coveralls and brown boots watching an animal necropsy
University of Wyoming animal science students visit the necropsy laboratory at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. Animal and veterinary science is one of 12 degree programs for which UW and Laramie County Community College have signed articulation agreements, allowing students to complete degrees at a higher rate and at a faster pace. (UW Photo)

Students in 12 popular degree programs at Laramie County Community 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.

“It’s going to show that clear pathway for students as they meet the requirements at the community college level, and then they’re able to come to UW and finish that bachelor’s degree,” says Terry Harper, LCCC’s interim vice president for academic affairs. “It’s a win for the students, it’s a win for the parents, and it’s a win for the community colleges as well as the university.”

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

"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."

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

“Our faculty are totally committed to this process, and we’re continuing to work on establishing and enhancing our relationships with UW,” Harper says. “We just spent all last year redesigning our programs and our general education requirements. That provided countless opportunities for our faculty members to meet with their colleagues at the university to talk about what each program looks like and how it will fit with a degree plan at UW. We’re delighted that UW has worked with us and helped us to achieve the success we have made so far.”

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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