When school resumes this fall, students can take advantage of the new affiliation between Wichita State University and WSU Tech – formerly known as Wichita Area Technical College.
The affiliation became official in January. While the two remain separate degree-granting institutions, the formalized affiliation now allows for more collaborative possibilities, as well as increased availability and quality of opportunities for students, while directly meeting the core workforce needs of the state.
What’s in it for students?
- General education courses taken at WSU Tech are transferable directly to WSU.
- WSU Tech students have the option of paying supplementary fees to access to all of WSU’s support services and student life activities not found in the traditional technical college setting.
- WSU and WSU Tech co-locate at WSU Old Town, WSU South and WSU Haysville, giving students the ability to take classes at each institution in one location.
- The affiliation encourages the kind of faculty collaboration between WSU and WSU Tech that will lead to innovative methods of teaching and applied learning opportunities for students – giving them a competitive advantage in the job market.
- WSU Tech will maintain its open admissions policy, and students taking WSU Tech classes will apply through wsutech.edu. Classes will be held at one of WSU Tech’s five Wichita-area campuses.
- Students wanting to take classes at WSU and WSU Tech will go through each institution’s admissions process.
- WSU Tech will continue to offer the same degree and certificate options as WATC did in the past. WSU Tech and WSU will maintain different tuition rates.
- Shocker Pathway – a partnership that allows students to start their associate’s degree at WSU Tech and finish it at WSU – will remain in place.
What’s in it for the community?
- New educational opportunities are being developed to equip the community to adapt to new career pathways and the integration of technology, leading to a better trained workforce.
- New industry partnerships are expected to develop because of the institutions’ shared mission to provide an applied learning experience for students. The power of research and technical education working in collaboration, and the educational opportunity for learning from GED to Ph.D., will serve as an economic driver for south central Kansas.
- WSU Tech will remain the developer of workforce human capital for the region.
- WSU Tech will continue to work with business and industry to train and provide a highly qualified workforce and will remain flexible and responsive to the needs of industry.
Sheeree Utash, WSU Tech president and vice president of Workforce Development for WSU, says this affiliation represents a historic moment for the post-secondary sector of higher education in Kansas.
WSU Tech will continue to reframe how people think of technical education and training for the community, she says, and will create more educational opportunities for students while continuing to connect talent with business.
“Wichita’s economy is like a heart: its human capital assets are the lifeblood, and the arteries that transport that lifeblood are at the core of the work of WSU Tech,” Utash says.