While many people seek affordable alternatives for college, they don’t always think of a technical college as a viable option for beginning their college coursework. Although we do not have “community college” in our name, Wichita Area Technical College offers many of the same benefits a community college offers:
- Transferable courses in English, math, humanities, social sciences and sciences
- Affordable tuition (comparable to that of a community college)
- Excellent instructors (many of the same instructors who teach at local community colleges)
- Low student-to-instructor ratios
- Convenient schedules
- Face-to-face, hybrid and online classes
- Interactive instruction
While Sedgwick County does not have a community college, students interested in the advantages of a community college can begin at WATC.
Transferring credits to other colleges has never been easier. WATC offers 35 courses guaranteed to transfer from one Kansas Board of Regents school to another (watc.edu/transfer). The list includes basic skills courses such as Comp I and II, College Algebra and Speech, as well as a variety of humanities, social sciences and science classes. Even those classes not yet included on the Board of Regents list transfer smoothly in almost all cases. Regents schools include all public two-year and four-year colleges in Kansas (kansasregents.org/universities_colleges/public_institutions).
Our agreement with Wichita State University also provides no-hassle transfer opportunities. The Shocker Pathway is designed for students who want to begin their education at WATC and then transfer into one of WSU’s programs. Shocker Pathway students earn 50 hours at WATC plus 15 hours at WSU to complete an Associate of Arts degree. Most students use the associate degree as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. Our dual advising program provides students guidance from both WATC and WSU advisors and ensures that students get the classes they need for their WSU program without paying for unnecessary hours.
Get started on college while you’re still in high school
High school students have a great opportunity to earn college credit through dual enrollment opportunities. Currently, we have dual credit agreements with 18 area high schools. Ask your counselor about classes you can take to earn both high school and college credit. The cost of these classes through WATC is $69 per credit hour compared to $250 – $380 per credit hour if you took the class at a state university. The cost of a three-credit-hour College Algebra class, for example, would be $207 as opposed to $750 – $1,140. With such significant savings, taking dual credit classes makes a lot of sense.
Here at WATC we continually explore learning opportunities and recognize that most of what we learn in life is learned outside the classroom. Next summer, we will be taking a Speech class on a tour of London. In this class, speech topics will be generated from the sites, historical events and notable people of London. This shared information will stimulate interest in the trip and provide students with a greater understanding of what they will see and experience. Email Pam Doyle at email@example.com if you’d like to learn more.
I invite you to visit a WATC campus to learn more about the many opportunities available to help you jump-start your education. Our general education classes are available at the Southside Center at 4501 E. 47th St. South, the National Center for Aviation Training at 4004 N. Webb Rd., the City Center at 301 S. Grove and online.