2 + 2 Program in Agricultural Engineering Technology Benefits Students

August 19, 2011 - - Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) in River Falls are pleased to announce an articulation agreement that will greatly benefit students interested in careers in agricultural engineering technology.  This 2 + 2 program will allow students who complete the prescribed curriculum at FVTC to earn an associate degree and transfer into the agricultural engineering technology program at UWRF as a junior, on track to complete a baccalaureate degree in two years.

Such a seamless program is just what project collaborators Randy Tenpas, Agriculture Faculty Department chair at FVTC and Jerry Nechville, professor emeritus in agricultural engineering technology at UWRF hoped to achieve.  "We wanted to make it easier for students by removing the burden of navigating the on-line transfer information system to see which credits will transfer or which program offers the best deal, that is, accepts the most credits," states Tenpas.

Dean Olson, chair of the Agricultural Engineering Technology (AET) Department at UWRF participated in the signing of the formal agreement at FVTC on Aug. 9.

"We're hoping this agreement will encourage more students to complete a four-year degree. Despite the economic downturn of the past few years, jobs in the agricultural field, particularly the engineering technology sector have remained strong, and there are more openings than we have graduates," Olson says. He added that recent graduates from the AET program are employed by industry leaders including ADM, Cargill, DelMonte, and Advanced Technology Services, Inc. and their starting salaries have been excellent, as high as $55,000.

FVTC President Susan May is excited about the opportunity this 2 + 2 agreement presents for students in the Fox River Valley region.

"They can stay near home, save on tuition, and know that when they successfully complete the program at FVTC, they are guaranteed acceptance into the UWRF program," says May.  "We are delighted to partner with another strong leader in agriculture training to prepare more students for a growing industry that needs their skills."

Dale Gallenberg, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UWRF pointed out how this collaborative effort will strengthen the long history of students from the Fox River Valley region enrolling in one of the agriculture programs at UWRF. In particular Gallenberg notes that students in the program will be assigned an advisor from both institutions, and UWRF faculty will travel to FVTC annually to visit with students.

The project that resulted in this 2 + 2 agreement was funded in part by a USDA Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grant (SPEC).  For more information on the 2+2 program and careers in the agricultural engineering technology field, contact Tenpas at 920-735-5673 or tenpas@fvtc.edumail.

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