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Western Texas College and National Wind Institute Sign Educational Partnership

11/11/16, 02:09:52 PM

Western Texas College (WTC) and Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute (NWI) on Thursday, November 10, 2016 signed a 2 + 2 agreement on Thursday, November 10, 2016.  The agreement will allow students earning an associate’s degree at Western Texas College to transfer coursework toward a bachelor’s degree in wind energy at Texas Tech. Students will be encouraged to complete the associate’s degree before transferring to Texas Tech

The agreement was signed by representatives of both NWI and Western Texas College in a ceremony on the Texas Tech campus.

“With the robust development of wind power we are seeing in our community and the nation, WTC is excited to offer this innovative program,” said Barb Beebe, president of Western Texas College. “Our partnership enables WTC to better serve the needs of our students by offering a seamless transfer to Texas Tech. This partnership provides students with the tools and education needed to succeed in the energy sector. Western Texas College hopes to continue the history of successful partnerships with Texas Tech University far into the future.”

Students at Western Texas College also will be able to transfer additional coursework, and Texas Tech will accept both the transferable core curriculum and other coursework within the Texas common course numbering system.

“Our relationship with Western Texas College has been important in the growth of the Wind Energy Education Program within the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech,” said Andy Swift, associate director of education for the NWI. “With more than 180 students now majoring in wind energy and an 80 percent placement rate in the growing renewable power sector, we look forward to formalizing transfer opportunities for regional students from WTC to complete their studies at Texas Tech and be successful leaders and professionals in this growing energy industry.”

WTC students who wish to transfer their coursework to Texas Tech must meet assured admission requirements for the wind energy program. Those requirements include: 

  • Earning an associate of arts in general studies-science degree at WTC with a 2.25 or better GPA; or
  • Completing 30 or more semester hours of transferable college work beyond high school with a 2.25 cumulative GPA, which allows students to complete an associate degree via reverse transfer option; or
  • Completing 24 hours or more semester hours of transferable college work beyond high school with a 2.25 cumulative GPA; or
  • Completing 12-23 semester hours of transferable college work beyond high school with a 2.50 cumulative GPA; or
  • Transferring students with fewer than 12 transferable hours must meet the same assured admission standards required of new freshmen from high school with a minimum 2.50 GPA in the work completed.

The agreement will run through 2018 unless either institution desires to terminate the partnership prior to the end of the term. The agreement will be subject to an annual review by representatives of both Western Texas College and Texas Tech.

“Our relationship with Western Texas College has been important in the growth of the Wind Energy Education Program within the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech,” said Andy Swift, associate director of education for the NWI. “With more than 180 students now majoring in wind energy and an 80 percent placement rate in the growing renewable power sector, we look forward to formalizing transfer opportunities for regional students from WTC to complete their studies at Texas Tech and be successful leaders and professionals in this growing energy industry.”

This is not the first agreement between the schools to help students earn degrees at both institutions. In 2012, a similar partnership was executed to allow students to transfer coursework earned in an associate of science in wind energy at WTC toward a bachelor of science in wind energy at Texas Tech, with a goal of increasing opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students.

“Texas Tech and Western Texas College have had a long partnership working together in wind energy that spans more than six years,” said Marina Gonzales, WTC wind energy curriculum specialist. “WTC received funding to start a wind energy program through a Title V grant. Since then, WTC has established the necessary science courses needed to provide a seamless transfer. We have worked with Texas Tech very closely to write a hands-on curriculum that prepares students to develop and design wind farms.”

Texas Tech aided Western Texas College in the creation of five wind energy courses at the community college level that was the equivalent of lower division undergraduate courses toward a bachelor’s degree in wind energy. Those five courses are part of the transferable curriculum in the new agreement between the institutions.

L-R: Dr. Patrick Hughes, Associate Vice Provost, Texas Tech, Stephanie Ducheneaux, Dean of Instructional Affairs, Western Texas College, Dr. Barb Beebe, President, Western Texas College, Dr. Andy Swift, Associate Director of Education, Texas Tech