Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

UWO-Fond du Lac reaches agreement with MPTC to take in students

Courtesy of UWO Flickr Students sit around a table outside of the Fond du Lac campus. Though in-person classes will halt at the campus, the campus will still provide online classes to students.

The UW Oshkosh-Fond du Lac campus, which administrators announced in October would be ending in-person instruction, reached an articulation agreement with Moraine Park Technical College on Feb. 2 to transfer students’ credits to the MPTC associate degree program.

The university announced this agreement in order to give Fond du Lac students an option to finish their degree without having to travel to the Oshkosh campus.

“This was very much a collaborative effort for both educational institutions, with a goal to provide continued in-person options for local students,” MPTC President Bonnie Baerwald said. “There are many barriers to education and for some, transportation and location can impact a student’s ability to finish their degree. This agreement was created as a direct response to the closure of UWO-FDL and with our local community in mind – in hopes that students who desire to stay local – will.”

UW Oshkosh Provost Edwin Martini said that the university made the articulation agreement with MPTC because the institutions have a long-standing partnership.

“This agreement builds on several other articulation agreements between our institutions and provides yet another option for our UWO-Fond du Lac students to complete their program of study in Fond du Lac,” Martini said.

UWO, which plans to close in-person instruction at the Fond du Lac campus after the spring semester due to falling enrollment, will be able to transfer all of its students’ credits from the associate degree program at the Fond du lac campus to MPTC, which is also located in Fond du Lac.

Mathew Caine, a student at UWO’s Fond du Lac campus, believes the new agreement is a nice alternative for students looking to transfer to another school and keep their credits.

“This is good because it offers another route for those students dependent on having an affordable education close to home,” Caine said.  “At the same time, it does not give a chance at other things students may be interested in pursuing. Things like athletics, and overall, the same credibility and clarity that a UW certified education provides.”

MPTC President Bonnie Baerwald said her goal is to make sure that college students in the area have access to higher education. 

“Our goal through this agreement, as well as our other partnership agreements, is to create options for students in our district,” Baerwald said. “We know that learning preferences differ between students and the more choices the students have, the better equipped they will be to cultivate a higher education pathway that works the best for their life.”

The Fond du lac campus has an enrollment of 258 students and will continue to hold online classes after in-person courses are halted in May.

Caine has been a strong opponent of the Fond du Lac campus being closed to all in-person instruction and argues that the students at the branch campus deserve the same opportunities as other Universities of Wisconsin students.

“I have always stood on the value that all students are deserving of an education at an affordable price, and I believe that most supporting education in Wisconsin agree with that,” Caine said. “But that’s not the only positive thing allowed to the students of UWO-FDL. Many of the people on our campus are full-time workers, parents, or trying to get the chance to be successful a little later in life. Even more concerning is that some students don’t have the ability to travel for school, so staying in their hometown university is the best option for them.”

Caine, who started a petition to keep the campus open on, said the closure of the Fond du Lac campus is a mistake.

“UWO-FDL allowed [students] to have a choice on where they receive their associate degree,” Caine said. “It also gave people the chance to succeed in a small and supportive environment. Not to say Oshkosh doesn’t have this, but overall, the community here is strong, [and] for the last semester we will continue to support students and staff to their full potential despite the closing.”

MPTC opened its doors in 1912 and is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System. MPTC has campuses in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend, and offers more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates.

Baerwald said MPTC has articulation agreements in place for its students to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a guaranteed junior status.

“UWO is one of our partner universities in these efforts,” Baerwald said. “This means UWO-FDL students pursuing an associate degree can finish their two-year degree locally at Moraine Park and then transfer back to UWO as a junior to pursue their bachelor’s degree without any disruption to their educational path.”

 Martini said that UWO is working to make customized plans for all students at the Fond du Lac campus before in-person instruction ends after the spring semester.

“Our hope is that all of those students continue on with us at UWO, whether on the Oshkosh or Fox Cities campus, or online,” Martini said. “If they choose to transfer, we will support them fully as well. This option simply makes it easier for students who wish to remain in Fond du Lac and take in-person courses to pursue that option by completing their associate’s degree at MPTC.”

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