MADISON — The University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System are collaborating more than ever before to serve the citizens of the state, officials from both institutions said Thursday (Nov. 7).
The collaborative efforts include several new initiatives, including the development of a transfer contract for students; creation of a new information brochure for state officials, educators and others about the transfer process; and the appointment of an ombudsperson at each institution to assist students who encounter problems with the transfer process.
UW System President Katharine C. Lyall and WTCS President Richard Carpenter announced the new initiatives at the November UW System Board of Regents meeting.
“Continued collaboration will benefit more Wisconsin residents and the entire state, as most UW and WTCS graduates stay and work in Wisconsin,” Lyall and Carpenter said.
The transfer contract would ensure that WTCS credits taken as part of a specified educational plan would automatically transfer to a four-year UW campus. A joint committee with members from both the UW System and WTCS will be formed to create the parameters of the contract.
The informational brochure is designed for state officials, K-12 educators, legislators, business and community leaders and others. It outlines the progress made by the UW System and WTCS to enhance transfer opportunities. A new transfer brochure specifically for students is being developed as well.
The ombudspersons, meanwhile, will act as mediators to resolve transfer issues between students and institutions. If a resolution cannot be reached, the ombudspersons would recommend solutions to Lyall and Carpenter for a final decision. The ombudspersons are Larry Rubin, assistant vice president for academic and student services at UW System, and Deborah Mahaffey, assistant state director at WTCS.
The two institutions have undertaken a number of other significant initiatives in recent years to strengthen their service to Wisconsin, including:
- The Transfer Information System website. Managed by the UW System, the TIS website provides current transfer information for students and advisors and lists the more than 450 transfer agreements between the UW System and WTCS.
- Development of a number of agreements to address the state’s health care worker shortage. Specifically, WTCS students who earn associate degrees in nursing can transfer to the UW System collaborative nursing program at UW campuses in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Madison and Milwaukee.
- The Academic Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Laboratory, headed by the UW System and WTCS. The ADL Co-Lab serves as the focal point for the nation’s colleges and universities in promoting high-quality content for distributed learning that can be shared and used across systems. The Co-Lab has received more than $1.5 million in federal funding this year.
The collaborative efforts are already paying off for UW and WTCS students, according to Lyall and Carpenter, who presented an overview of the WTC System at the regents meeting Thursday. This past academic year, 2,540 WTCS students transferred to the UW System, an all-time high, while 3,091 UW students transferred to WTCS institutions.