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UW Hosts Articulation Summit With State Community Colleges

September 28, 2022
Raymonda Burgman Gallegos,  Holly Krutka and Ed Seidel and Ben Moritz

The University of Wyoming recently hosted the Wyoming Articulation Summit -- an annual statewide gathering of higher education administrators, faculty, staff and other professionals to discuss transfer articulation efforts, impacts and plans.

After a two-year, in-person disruption, the event was held in a hybrid format, with participants attending both in person in the UW School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Energy Innovation Center and online.

The latest summit began with a welcome address from SER Executive Director Holly Krutka, followed by comments from UW President Ed Seidel and Ben Moritz, the Wyoming Community College Commission deputy director.

In a roundtable discussion -- moderated by Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck -- college and university leaders discussed the opportunities and challenges inherent in creating and maintaining effective transfer pathways for Wyoming’s students.

“A major barrier for students attempting to advance their education is in the transfer of course credit from one institution to another,” says UW Director of Transfer Relations Wendi Vanlandingham. “As a result, students hoping to expand their education often experience a disruption in their education; unnecessary expenses from duplicative coursework; and take a significantly longer time to reach their ultimate goal of a degree. Articulation agreements are so important because they are providing the smoothest route possible for students looking to move from a two-year institution to a four-year, but also ensure that the high learning standard remains consistent across the participating entities.”

Raymonda Burgman Gallegos, vice president of programs and services for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), gave the keynote address.

“We are so grateful to Dr. Burgman Gallegos for offering remarks at the summit,” Vanlandingham says. “The programs WICHE oversees put focus on providing affordable access and innovative technology to serve regional and nationwide workforce needs. It was important to see tangible data and to hear about the power that collaborative relationships hold with so many important leaders from UW and the community colleges in the room.”

One of the key takeaways from the summit was the success of transferring associate degrees and general education block transfers, which allow students to transfer courses as a set rather than on a course-by-course basis.

SER is one such unit that implemented a block articulation and has seen growing success in its academic program and in individual student success.

“SER’s new block articulation has already created a formal agreement that defines course equivalencies as a means to improve transfers, and we have already had a number of students positively impacted,” Krutka says. “The agreements also have resulted in more robust relationships between SER Academic Director Kami Danaei and community college advising counterparts and faculty members throughout the state.”

Danaei agrees that collaboration, transparency and communication play vital roles in articulation agreement best practices.

“So much of the success of these programs resides in our ability to work with each other toward a common goal for student achievement,” Danaei says. “SER has worked really hard with advisers at both the community colleges and within UW to inform them about all we have to offer with our interdisciplinary degree in energy resource management and development. The strength of articulation agreements is that they provide a roadmap and, the better we can navigate them from start to finish, the more support and guidance we can provide for students.”

For more information on transfer opportunities at UW, visit the Transfer Success Center.

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