FHSU, Northwest Kansas Technical College collaborate on technology degree

An agreement that will let graduates of Northwest Kansas Technical College go on to receive a bachelor's degree from Fort Hays State University without losing any hours was announced this morning at a news conference by FHSU President Edward H. Hammond and NWKTC President Ken Clouse.

Under the articulation agreement announced today, NWKTC graduates will be able to use all the hours taken in earning their associate of applied science degrees in pursuit of bachelor of technology leadership degrees from FHSU.

The news conference began at 11 a.m. Mountain time in the Murray Center on the NWKTC campus in Goodland. The event came at the end of President Hammond's annual Media Tour. This year, Hammond has been discussing FHSU's role in supporting K-12 education, especially in light of federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation, and explaining how FHSU's "Affordable Success" strategy has produced record enrollments at the university.

Hammond also met with area media and school officials. As he has traveled around the state during the past week, he has talked to school officials about FHSU's Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, which allows individuals to leave the private sector and pursue a teaching career through online coursework, and FHSU's Teachers for Tomorrow Program, which establishes a partnership with three community colleges -- Colby, Cloud County and Barton County -- to provide coursework for para-educators to become fully licensed to teach elementary education.

A major focus in the Goodland stop, however, was the articulation agreement with NWKTC on a bachelor of technology leadership degree from FHSU.

Dr. Fred Ruda, chair of the Department of Technology Education at FHSU, says that students who graduate NWKTC with an A.A.S. can complete the bachelor of technology leadership (BTL) either online or they can attend on campus.

"The entire program is available through the Virtual College," he said.

He said this makes FHSU the only university that will accept for transfer all the A.A.S. hours. With 21 general education hours included in their course work, graduates of NWKTC who hold an associate of applied science degree will be able to transfer 62 hours to FHSU -- the 21 general education hours plus another 41 or so in the AAS major.

Then, at FHSU, they will complete another 31 hours of general education courses and a 32-hour technology leadership major.

The student will then have two degrees -- the A.A.S and a bachelor of science in technology leadership.

"It finally helps our kids not lose hours," said Ruda, who noted that until now students who earned an A.A.S. degree and then went on to a four-year university lost around 45 hours that were not transferable.

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