News Release

Published on Monday, July 11, 2005

Western Wisconsin Technical College has teamed up with Viterbo University to offer unique Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. And, starting this fall, the curriculum will be offered at the WWTC Mauston Campus.

The partnership between the two colleges is the first of its kind in Wisconsin between a private university and a technical college. To earn the associate’s degrees, students take the first 44 credits of the 62-credit program at WWTC and the final 18 at Viterbo.

Angie Zabel of Mauston heard about the program when it was piloted last year at the WWTC Campus in La Crosse. She was very interested in pursuing a degree, but as a single mother, travel to and from La Crosse was not feasible. She signed up for a few of the preliminary courses, which were available at the Mauston Campus via Interactive Television and the Internet. Zabel was glad to hear that the entire degree has been guaranteed at the Mauston campus.

“It’s very convenient for me (to take classes in Mauston). I have two children and this makes it very easy,” Zabel said. “I probably wouldn’t be able to continue the program if it weren’t offered in Mauston.”

The overall goal of the A.A. and A.S. programs is to offer students the opportunity to earn their two-year degree before committing to a full bachelor’s degree program. For non-traditional students, like Zabel, age 29, it is a way to get back into the swing of school and higher education.

“I was very nervous about going back to school,” Zabel said. “I wondered if I would know what I was doing and if I could keep up.”

Once classes started, however, Zabel’s concerns were put aside. “I’m very comfortable with the pace of everything and everyone is very helpful,” she said. “I am very glad I finally decided to ignore my fears and just do it.”

After students have completed the two-year program, Viterbo will then accept the associate’s degree as fulfillment of the general education requirements of a bachelor’s degree, with the exception of two additional courses in religious studies. Students will earn their associate’s degree in two years and their bachelor degree in an additional two years if they stay on a predetermined schedule.

“At this point, my goal is to finish my A.A. degree,” Zabel said. “I’ll decide in the next few months if I will seek my bachelor’s degree and what my major will be, possibly social work or teaching young children.”

For more information, visit wwtc.edu or contact Darcie Brezany in Viterbo’s School of Adult Learning at 608.796.3370 or dlbrezany@viterbo.edu