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April 25, 2000


LA CROSSE, Wis—WWTC  graduates will be able to fully transfer all credits earned from an Associate Degree to Viterbo College, which will offer a newly created Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree (BIS).

The announcement was made today in a joint press conference attended by Presidents William Medland of Viterbo and Lee Rasch of Western Wisconsin Technical College and other officials from both organizations.

The program, called “2 plus 2,” and the agreement to fully transfer the equivalent of a two-year Associate Degree, is believed to be the first of its kind in the region. “We’re very excited about this new opportunity for our graduates,” said John Hamilton, Vice President for Instruction at WWTC.

Under the agreement, technical college graduates will be able to design a four-year degree at Viterbo College which meets their own career and personal interests.  Students who have completed two years at WWTC can complete the BIS degree at Viterbo in two years, attending full-time. Officials at both organizations feel the program will be particularly attractive to students in many fields such as business, commercial art, and police science, who can benefit from a four-year degree and liberal arts education.

“This is a significant and exciting collaboration for us,”  said William Medland, president of Viterbo College. “Technical college graduates will have numerous options under this arrangement. The collaboration makes sense as we have been hearing from students, the media, and government officials, that educators need to reduce barriers and redundancy. I know of no other program that does this better than ‘2 plus 2’.”

WWTC President Lee Rasch expressed similar sentiments. “There are many adults working in technical areas for which the BIS degree will provide a broadly based education, making them more valuable to employers.”

While majors with specific accreditation or internship requirements will be excluded from the agreement, most academic areas will accommodate the “2 plus 2” transfer program, said Viterbo Academic Vice President Jack Havertape.

“A student with an associate degree in Police Science, for example,  can enroll at Viterbo and earn a BIS degree with major emphasis in The Criminal and Society,” Havertape said. “Or the student with a degree in Supervisory Management can complete a four year degree at Viterbo emphasizing Ethical Business Practices.”

The first students to enroll in “2 plus 2” will start at Viterbo this fall. Students from other technical colleges also will be eligible for the program, Havertape said, but college officials decided to first reach an agreement and launch the program in partnership with WWTC. “It seemed like the logical place to start. We have a number of other collaborations going with WWTC and the partnerships are always very beneficial to the students and to the health of our relative organizations.”

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