Photo of WAICU President Wegenke and WTCS President Foy

System News Releases

Wisconsin's technical, private colleges sign historic transfer agreement

July 07, 2020 | Conor Smyth

Madison, WI – The thousands of students seeking to transfer credits from a Wisconsin technical college to one of the state’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities will have a much easier time in the future thanks to a historic, comprehensive agreement.

Dr. Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU), and Dr. Morna K. Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), recently signed the WAICU-WTCS Course Credit Transfer Agreement.

“Streamlining the process to transfer credits from a technical college to a four-year private college opens doors for more students to earn bachelor’s degrees in Wisconsin,” Wegenke said. “Our private colleges have longstanding relationships with the technical colleges, and this new agreement will make a difference as the state strives to increase the level of educational attainment and improve our position in the competitive knowledge economy.”

More than a dozen popular introductory courses are included in the agreement, such as chemistry, psychology, and speech. Under the agreement, specified technical college credits will count toward requirements for a bachelor’s degree at a private college, provided the student earned a grade of “C” or better within the last ten years. Technical college students must also meet the admissions requirements of the private college.

“Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities have long been leaders in recognizing the rigor of a technical college education, and the value of creating transfer opportunities for our students,” Foy noted. “This agreement sets a strong foundation for the future by allowing all of our institutions – in both sectors – to make lifelong learning opportunities even clearer for students.”

The two organizations have negotiated "course equivalencies" that provide great value to transfer students by reducing or eliminating the need to spend extra time and money retaking courses. The ability to smoothly transfer credits provides more flexibility for students — especially those who wish to start their college career close to home as well as nontraditional students who are already in the workforce and are looking to further their careers with bachelor’s degrees. With the new agreement in place, students can look forward to an educational experience that is more efficient and simpler to navigate, while shortening the time to graduation and reducing costs for students.

All 16 technical colleges are participating, in addition to a first cohort of WAICU-member institutions, including: Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Carthage College, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Herzing University, Lakeland University, Marian University, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Mount Mary University, Northland College, Viterbo University, and Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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About WTCS: The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) consists of 16 colleges that enroll more than 300,000 students each year in over 500 programs. The colleges award associate degrees and short-term credentials – boasting 94 percent graduate placement in Wisconsin – as well as dual credit to high school students and instruction for registered apprenticeships. Because the System is a major talent pipeline and premier provider of customized instruction and technical assistance for Wisconsin employers, 98 percent say a technical college is important to the success of their business. Learn More: WTCSystem.edu

About WAICU: The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) is the official organization of the 23 independent (or private) institutions of higher learning in Wisconsin. Membership is limited to accredited, nonprofit institutions, headquartered in Wisconsin. WAICU members collectively enroll 56,000 students and graduate almost 14,000 each year. WAICU members offer over 420 academic programs and produce 23 percent of all the bachelor’s degrees and 35 percent of all the advanced degrees awarded in the state. WAICU’s mission is: “Working together for educational opportunity.”
Learn More: WAICU.org or WisconsinsPrivateColleges.org/ccta