APPLETON, Wis. — John Heider had been out of school for five years and had contemplated returning multiple times.

But all the pieces never seemed to fall into place.

Then he heard about a partnership between Fox Valley Technical College, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay. This agreement would allow all his general education credits to transfer to UWO or UWGB, and also make him eligible for financial aid.

What You Need To Know

  • Fox Valley Techical College (FVTC), UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay signed articulation agreemets that will enable students to seamlessly transfer to a four-year college

  • FVTC students will have all their credits transfer and will be a Junior in standing when they relocate

  • FVTC is looking to craft similar agreements with privates colleges in Northeast Wisconsin

So he went shopping for school supplies.

“When I found out I was super excited,” said the FVTC student from Neenah. “I definitely wanted to come back and pursue a degree at Oshkosh. Talking to my counselors, the best way was to get all my generals (at FVTC) and then do a direct transfer to Oshkosh.”

The two articulation agreements were signed Wednesday at FVTC. The agreements allow students pursuing an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from FVTC to seamlessly transfer to one of the four-year institutions with junior standing. If they declare they are pursuing an AS or

AA degree prior to the first day of classes, they are eligible for financial aid.

Prior to this, students had to endure an arduous transfer process, only to often discover not all the credits they took would transfer.

“What’s so nice about this, and why this came together, is we have to get students through education faster,” said Dr. Jennifer Lanter, Vice President of Learning and Chief Academic Officer at FVTC. “We’ve got to get them into the workforce faster."

“And so we’ve done all of that (transfer) work on the front end so students won’t have to do this individually. They’ll just be able to take advantage of the work we’ve done.”

FVTC President Dr. Chris Matheny, UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt and UWGB Chancellor Michael Alexander did the official signing of the agreement.

“To me, this really represents the future of how higher education should work,” said Alexander. “It should work through the eyes of the student, not through the eyes of the university. The student doesn’t care whether they’re at a technical college or a university. They simply want education that is convenient to them, and a place that’s convenient to them with great instruction.

“To me, great institutions don’t compete. They collaborate. And that’s what you’re seeing today.”

Manthey said this was a natural fit as UWO and UWGB are FVTC’s top two transfer partners.

“Each degree meets the requirements for general education courses at these four-year universities,” he said. “They’re made up of 60 credits, 39 to 41 credits of general education, and 19 to 21 credits of electives. And they are the results of months of discussion between the UW system and the

Wisconsin Technical College System, and academic experts who cover hundreds of course areas.”

Leavitt said there is another aim in mind with this announcement.

“We all should share the goal of retaining these graduates in Northeast Wisconsin,” he said. “The talent they provide in our workforce is crucial and so are their contributions as they raise families, volunteer, and engage in civic life.”

Lanter said similar agreements are being worked on with private colleges as well, including Lakeland University, Ripon College and St. Norbert College.

“So we definitely have that in the works,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

For Heider, who wants to become a physical education teacher, the timing couldn’t have been better.

“It’s definitely helping me get my gen eds done here quicker and a lot cheaper, compared to going to a bigger university instead,” he said.

“I was considering going back to school from the beginning. I just really haven’t had the time. But this is what’s like the icing on the cake for me.”


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