February 14, 2008



To:                   UW-L Faculty Senate


From:               Bob Hoar, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics

                        Chris Bakkum, Ph.D., Interim Registrar


Re:                   Collaborative Associate Degree with Western Technical College


Western Wisconsin Technical College (WTC) has asked UW-L to collaborate in the development of an Associate of Science degree that will be offered at WTC.  The Wisconsin Technical College System currently has 4 institutions authorized to award the Associate of Science (and/or the Associate of Arts) degrees. Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), the most recent campus to begin offering an Associate Degree, collaborated with UW-Eau Claire (UW-EC) last year to develop such a degree, using the Madison Area Technical College established curriculum as a starting point. UW-L and WTC are working together to adapt and implement a version of the CVTC/UW-EC agreement; one that makes use of the faculty expertise and course capacity that are available at our institutions.


UW-L is a school of choice for many students.  Each fall, we receive well over 7,000 applications for admission and we enroll about 1750 new freshmen.  While we are very proud of the fact that students want to study at UW-L, our popularity results in many, many Wisconsin students being denied admission to UW-L.  Many of these students have other options and apply to other UW institutions.  Some, however, have more restrictions on where they can attend and need to find educational opportunities close to home, sometimes for a year or two and sometimes for the duration of the degree.  In the La Crosse area, that means that these students can attend Viterbo University, Winona State University, or Western Technical College (WTC).  WTC, like UW-L, is a Wisconsin state supported institution.


Students that complete the Associate Degree at WTC will enter UW-L to complete a four-year degree. These students will enter with a background (in terms of courses taken) that closely matches the backgrounds of students that complete their Associate Degree at the UW-Colleges or at one of the other degree granting Technical Colleges (which include Nicolet Technical College, Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Chippewa Valley Technical College). By established policy,
UW-L recognizes the Associate Degrees awarded by these institutions. The current Technical College Associate degrees share common degree requirements and courses (much like the UW-Colleges).  WTC has received approval to adopt the Wisconsin Technical College Associate degree courses as part of the collaborative Associate Degree they are proposing with UW-L.


As a result of WTC’s request, a Steering Committee was established to explore the possibility of developing a collaborative Associate Degree. A complete list of the members of the Steering Committee is attached.  The Committee has examined the issues involved with this project and finds merit in the idea.  A Memorandum of Understanding has been developed to spell out what the collaborative degree would entail (also attached). Using the Wisconsin Technical College Associate Degree curriculum requirements and the UW-L General Education requirements, the Steering Committee has developed the curriculum for the Associate Degree.  The degree would be awarded by WTC.  Students admitted to the Associate Degree program would complete about two-thirds of the courses at WTC and one-third of the courses at UW-L.  UW-L would provide courses in the arts, humanities, history, diversity and modern languages where we have existing capacity.  Students completing the WTC Associate Degree would be eligible for transfer to UW-L by meeting transfer admission requirements in effect at the time of application to UW-L (the requirements already established by CAPS).


The Steering Committee would like the UW-L Faculty Senate to endorse this collaborative degree proposal.  Wisconsin state statutes require approval by both the Wisconsin Technical College Board and the UW System Board of Regents.  UW-L will need to support the proposal before the UW System Board of Regents will review it.


The addition of an Associate of Science degree at WTC will increase access to the baccalaureate degree for people in western Wisconsin because they will be able to attend an institution close to home to complete the first two years of study.  The fact that UW-L will provide courses applicable to the Associate degree in areas where our courses are currently not filled to capacity is a good use of state resources, and will result in students entering the final two years of our baccalaureate programs with an Associate Degree that we helped them to complete.  This proposal is a win for both institutions and for the people of the State of Wisconsin. 




Committee Membership, Draft MOU, Proposed Curriculum


UW-La Crosse and Western Technical College

Associate Degree Steering Committee


December, 2007




Chris Bakkum

UW-L Interim Registrar/Enrollment Services Manager



Tracy Helixon

Western Communication Skills instructor



Bob Hoar

UW-L Professor of Mathematics



Kathy Kiefer

UW-L, Associate Director Admissions/Enrollment Services



Mike LeDocq

Western Physics instructor



Linda Schwandt

Western Dean of General Studies



Diane Neefe

Western Dean of Health and Public Safety



Jayne Wells

Western Director of Admissions



Carmen Wilson

UW-L Professor of Psychology and Faculty Senate Chair