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Educational Programs

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Students have many educational opportunities at WATC and are encouraged to select the program or course of study that best meets their needs. These opportunities include general education courses and associate of applied science (AAS) degrees, technical certificates, certificates of completion. Students may also opt to select courses that focus on particular technical skills instead of registering in a complete program.

Associate of Applied Science Degrees

AAS degree programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce, advance within their chosen careers or further their education. To be awarded the AAS degree, students must successfully complete a minimum of 60 credit hours — a combination of technical and general education hours. Although AAS degrees are designed to prepare students for employment, technical credits may transfer to other colleges or universities. The Vice President, Academic Affairs may approve alternative general education courses and acceptance of transfer credits or work experience.

WATC offers the following AAS programs:

  • Administrative Office Technology
  • Air Conditioning Technology
  • Aerospace Coatings & Paint Technology
  • Applied Science of Aviation Manufacturing
  • Architectural Design Technology
  • Auto Collision Repair
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Avionics Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Composite Technology
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electromechanical Systems
  • Engineering Design Technology
  • Interior Design
  • Machining Technology
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Medical Assistant
  • Nondestructive Testing
  • Police Science
  • Predictive NDT Technologies
  • Robotics
  • Surgical Technology
  • Welding

General Education

WATC’s philosophy and approach to general education promotes the appreciation for lifelong learning necessary to support the professional, academic, and personal success of students. Every degree program incorporates general education courses designed to prepare students with a foundation in computers, written and verbal communication, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. These themes are also integrated and applied through the core curriculum in WATC’s technical certificate programs.

WATC provides general education courses required for its degree programs. These courses are taught with curricula that meet or exceed state core curriculum standards approved by KBOR and are taught by instructors with the appropriate credentials. WATC’s general education courses that lead to the AAS degree are interspersed throughout the program with various instructional delivery methods that allow flexibility for student schedules.

WATC’s technical coursework provides a knowledge base in the application of natural sciences and fosters a tendency to think using an analytical and problem-solution approach; however, what students learn in technical courses is not the only knowledge they need nor is it the only way of thinking. Students will encounter people in their professional and personal lives that will challenge them in other ways — politically, aesthetically, emotionally and morally. General education courses are designed to support and further students’ comfort level in dealing with differing opinions and appreciating other ways of thinking.

Mission and Vision

WATC is committed to providing a general education core program that supports its technical educational programs and offers learners a cost-efficient way to earn general education requirements that are transferable to other educational institutions. Thus, in keeping with KBOR’s goal for seamless and efficient transfer, this core curriculum is based on a project initiated in 1999. KBOR’s Kansas Core Outcomes Project was an initiative in which two- and four-year institutions collaborated to identify the core components and competencies of general education courses. The Kansas Core Outcomes Project meets annually, and these outcomes and competencies are reflected in WATC’s general education core program to ensure that the general education courses articulate with other institutions of higher learning.

Mission

The mission of WATC’s general education courses is to provide a framework of higher education that enables students to develop knowledge through learning and provides a foundation for success in the global economy.

To reinforce the general education content areas of Computers, Communications, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences for WATC’s AAS degrees, WATC believes that:

• Learners are at the center of curriculum strategies that incorporate clear goals and definable skills.

• The humanities content of the general education core is to provide opportunities for learners to critically explore broad areas of common knowledge, intellectual concepts and attitudes.

• The communications content of the general education core is to provide the skills needed to communicate clearly and effectively with technology and in personal and professional settings.

• The problem-solving content for the general education core is to provide a systematic approach to decision-making based on facts and data.

• The ethical content of the general education core is to provide a foundation for responsible roles in business and society.

Productive citizens need to communicate effectively, apply basic mathematical strategies, critically and creatively solve problems, interact in social settings and effectively utilize technology. Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) has established a set of general education learning outcomes to include these areas.

Upon graduating from WATC, students will be able to demonstrate these learning outcomes. These outcomes are integrated into the curricula of all programs and are reinforced in a variety of courses throughout the college.

Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to …

1. Communicate effectively by writing clearly, concisely and accurately in a variety of contexts and formats.

2. Communicate effectively by speaking clearly, concisely and accurately in a variety of contexts and formats.

3. Demonstrate mathematical skills utilizing quantitative problems and drawing conclusions within various contexts.

4. Identify, define and systematically analyze a problem from a global perspective.

5. Identify and express awareness, sensitivity and respect for self and the diverse needs of others within the community.

6. Demonstrate computer literacy by applying current technology within coursework and career fields.

Vision

WATC’s general education core courses support the learning outcomes of its technical and AAS degree programs and are transferable to other institutions of higher learning. WATC continues to develop articulation agreements with other institutions to facilitate a smooth transition for students who choose to continue their education at a four-year institution.

Technical Certificates

Technical certificate programs provide the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce. Students who wish to pursue an AAS degree may transfer most of these courses and credits to an AAS degree program at WATC.

Certificates of Completion

Certificate of Completion programs provide the knowledge and skills required in today’s competitive and changing workforce. Programs vary in length from a few days to several months.

Adult Literacy

Adult Literacy includes the Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED) Test Preparation and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs.

Adult Basic Education

ABE classes build skills that can lead to a high school diploma by passing the GED exams. These improved skills can also lead to better employment and United States citizenship.

ABE Eligibility

Individuals 16 years of age and older who are not registered in high school may register in ABE classes. This includes high school and non-high school graduates.

ABE Registration

All applicants must take a Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) assessment, which is a tool that is used to help the Adult Literacy staff select a program of study that is best for each student.

English for Speakers of Other Languages

ESOL classes help speakers of other languages increase their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. These classes also help to improve skills needed for United States citizenship.

General Educational Development Test Preparation

There are five GED tests:

• Language Arts, Writing

• Language Arts, Reading

• Mathematics

• Science

• Social Studies

Students are required to pass Official GED Practice Tests administered through a state-approved adult literacy program or GED Testing Center to assure GED test readiness.

For students who need to improve skills prior to taking the Official GED Practice Tests, Adult Literacy offers classes, based on individuals’ skill levels, that help them attain the skills needed to achieve their goals. Students study under the supervision and assistance of an instructor. Individual and group activities enhance their learning. Progress is assessed until students are ready for referral for GED testing.

GED Eligibility

ABE students are eligible to begin study and practice for the GED exams upon attaining a specified score on the CASAS assessment.

Workforce Education and Business Professional Development

Since 1965, WATC has established a working relationship with more than 375 local and area business partners. WATC has trained over 200,000 students to enter the job market, but gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to enter today’s workforce is only the beginning. To meet the ever-changing and growing needs of business and industry, employees must continue their pursuit of the skills and knowledge needed to compete, become more productive, transfer knowledge and enjoy life. WATC strives to meet these needs through business partnerships, customized training, professional continuing education and personal enrichment courses.

Mission

The mission of Workforce Education and Business Professional Development is to ensure the resources of the college are available to and utilized by all sectors in south-central Kansas to meet the needs of industry, business and private citizens for technical skills, mandated continuing education and to develop lifelong learning habits.

Customized Training Solutions

Workforce Education and Business Professional Development encompasses all programs that are peripheral to ongoing, campus-based programs. WATC’s customized training programs and courses are developed at the request of business, industry and private citizens and are designed specifically to meet their ever-changing and growing needs for technical skills and profession-mandated continuing education. Due to their unique nature, these programs and courses do not appear in the catalog.

Workforce Education and Business Professional Development provides:

• Customized training, technical assistance and other educational opportunities utilizing up-to-date services and equipment — all customized to meet companies’ needs and at times that fit their schedules.

• Courses that satisfy industry-specific professional continuing education requirements.

• Personal enrichment courses that afford individuals opportunities to expand their lifelong learning.

• Training delivered through traditional classroom settings at one of WATC’s locations, hybrid, online or at the company’s place of business.

To request information about customized training or technical assistance, call 316.677.1404 or 316.677.1891.

Competency-Based Education

Program courses are competency-based education (CBE). Industry Advocate Teams, made up of representatives from business and industry, identified and validated the knowledge and skills needed by workers in different technical occupations. These knowledge and skill competencies then became the foundation for curriculum and are used to evaluate the progress of students.

Students may review these competencies before registration by asking an academic coach or academic dean/director for a list. Instructors share the competencies with students on course syllabi during the first class session. At the end of each registration period, instructors rate student competency levels.

Advanced Standing Credit

Because CBE allows for rating skills and competencies, students have the opportunity to receive credit for previous education and/or work experience. Advanced standing is possible providing students are able to pass required written, oral and/or performance tests that indicate competency in particular units of instruction. Passing competency tests advances students to the next unit of instruction in the curriculum. Test-out is not an option in some laboratory courses.