Wayne State College

New WSC-NECC Agreement Aims to Strengthen Industrial Technology Workforce

Published Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Wayne State College and Northeast Community College Presidents
Northeast Community College President Leah Barrett (left) and Wayne State College President Marysz Rames signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Aug. 3 to create a new pathway for NECC graduates to earn their bachelor's degree in industrial technology at WSC.

The new program allows graduates who complete their associate degrees at NECC to transfer all of their completed academic credits to WSC to study industrial technology and earn a bachelor’s degree.

A new agreement between Wayne State College and Northeast Community College has the potential to strengthen the region’s industrial technology workforce while providing students with a path to enhanced career opportunities.

The presidents of the two colleges signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Aug. 3 that creates the Associate of Applied Science (AAS)/Bachelor of Science (BS) Technology program. It allows graduates who complete their associate degrees at Northeast Community College to transfer all of their completed academic credits to Wayne State College to study industrial technology and earn a bachelor’s degree.

“We are excited about this new degree partnership with Northeast Community College,” said Dr. Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State. “Wayne State’s work with Northeast on this program demonstrates the effectiveness of two powerhouse regional schools coming together to directly benefit students and support the Nebraska economy.”

Students enrolled in a number of concentrations qualify for the new program including agriculture, business services, computer, construction, drafting, industrial management, industrial trades, management services, manufacturing, and safety-related occupations. Transfer students from Northeast will have the opportunity to apply for transfer student scholarships through Wayne State.

“Northeast Community College is looking for opportunities to give our students options beyond the AAS degree and this agreement does that,” said Dr. Leah Barrett, Northeast president. “In addition, with fewer industrial technology faculty in high schools this may also help fill that pipeline. Combining AAS and bachelor degrees creates a pathway for our students to continue their education which will lead to more opportunities that may include higher paying supervisory or management positions.”

Graduates who earn bachelor degrees in technical fields have the prospect of earning higher salaries – about $600,000 more than individuals with a two-year degree over the course of a 40-year working career, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Such degrees can also lead to increased job opportunities as an increasing number of careers are requiring or preferring applicants with a bachelor’s degree, in addition to faster advancement opportunities in management and supervisory roles.

“This agreement is designed to provide pathways for industry-ready graduates of Northeast’s AAS programs to transfer credits seamlessly to Wayne State College to further their education for employment potential and advancement in business and industry of their chosen profession,” said Dr. Michele Gill, vice president of educational services at Northeast. “We feel this partnership will assist in expanding the area’s workforce by keeping our graduates in northeast Nebraska as they develop their careers in these most important professions in the years to come.”

Northeast Community College and Wayne State College have had a long-standing working and transfer relationship to serve students since 1986. Over the years, various institutional and programmatic agreements have been signed to create a seamless transfer of pathways for students between the two colleges. In addition, both institutions offer classes in the College Center in South Sioux City.

“This unique agreement allows Wayne State to accept up to 80 credit hours for the 120-credit hour program rather than the usual 60, which lets us meet students where they are in their community college experience," Rames said. "Our colleges’ proximity to one another also opens the doors for students to simultaneously enroll in both schools to create a seamless academic pathway without the hard stop and start typical of some transfer programs. And finally, our partnership reflects a shared philosophy, passion, and commitment to helping students succeed.”