14:15 PM

Waukesha County Technical College to offer Associate of Arts, Associate of Science degrees

Liberal arts transfer degree programs provide seamless transition to University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee at junior-level standing

WCTC-UWM-logos combined

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Monday, Sept. 19, 2022) – Starting in January, and for the first time in Waukesha County Technical College’s 100-year history, the College will begin offering Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree programs. The programs, offered in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will allow students to seamlessly transfer to UWM to earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

The UW System Board of Regents in spring approved a plan to allow eight technical colleges to partner with UW System campuses on liberal arts degrees that would pave the way for graduates to earn bachelor’s degrees at the partners institutions. Students benefit from lower tuition in their first two years and guaranteed admission to the four-year campuses, provided all requirements are met.

WCTC President Richard Barnhouse, Ph.D., said most WCTC students who have graduated from WCTC with Associate of Applied Science degrees have gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree at UWM. The new AA and AS offerings only serve to strengthen the relationship with UWM, support additional students and prepare more employees for the workforce.

Three students working together“At WCTC, we’re always excited to offer something new for our students – but to be able to partner with a great institution like UW-Milwaukee and provide them with unbelievably qualified students who are ready to go as juniors takes this partnership to the next level,” Barnhouse said.  “We work together really well in a lot of ways, and we all have the same goal. That is to increase the number of people in the state with academic credentials that lead to a meaningful and successful long-term career.”

WCTC’s AS program is made up of 61 credits – 49 general education and 12 electives -- and focuses on math and science, while the AA program is made up of 61 credits – 51 general education and 10 electives – with a focus on arts, humanities and social sciences. Students will take classes at WCTC and UWM at Waukesha.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for students to get to know UWM before continuing their education at the main campus in Milwaukee. This partnership makes a high-quality bachelor’s degree available to students at a very affordable price,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone, Ph.D., said. “We appreciate the excellent education provided by WCTC and, equally important, their collaboration as we focus on what really matters: student success."

By offering these liberal arts transfer degrees, students will save money on courses, as most cost around $143 to $189 per credit; have opportunities for flexible learning options like smaller classes available through in-person (day or night), online or hybrid formats; and benefit from WCTC’s eight-week, year-round calendar. Additionally, high school students can begin their AA or AS degrees while still in high school through WCTC’s new Excelerate initiative and graduate from WCTC the same time they graduate from high school, getting them into a four-year university two years earlier.

“This improves how two public institutions, supported by the taxpayers, work together to streamline the college process for all students in this general region,” Barnhouse said.  “If we can be the conduit to get (students) to UWM and complete a four-year degree, we want to be a partner in that.”

Applications are now being accepted for both AA and the AS programs for the spring 2023 semester. For more information about the two liberal arts transfer degrees, visit


About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit

 About UWM

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has an ambitious mission as both a top-tier research university and an access institution, striving to ensure that students have equitable opportunities to earn a college degree. UWM educates a diverse student body of more than 24,000 students from 83 countries. About 35% of its undergraduates are first-generation college students. Its unique and top-rated programs include Wisconsin’s only accredited schools of architecture and public health, the only North American school dedicated solely to freshwater sciences and a film program ranked among the top 50 in the world. It has the largest and top-rated online education program in Wisconsin. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, promote entrepreneurship, provide student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2021 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews.