08:00 AM

WCTC Excelerate initiative designed for high school juniors, seniors to earn College degrees, diplomas and certificates

digital-forshelly (002)

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Monday, Jan. 31, 2022) – Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) is excited to announce a new initiative, WCTC Excelerate, that allows qualified, current high school juniors and seniors ages 16 and older to apply to a full College program -- just like any other student.

Through the new WCTC Excelerate initiative, high school juniors and seniors can earn dual credit -- both high school and college credits at the same time -- and possibly earn an associate degree, technical diploma or certificate, even before they graduate from high school.

The initiative is targeted to those who already have a clear idea of which program they would like to pursue and are ready to jump-start their careers.  

Shortening time to degree

“This will build upon and amplify WCTC’s many current dual enrollment offerings, with the main goals of providing high school students with a shorter time to a college degree, a reduction of student debt and earlier preparedness for the workforce,” said WCTC President Rich Barnhouse, Ph.D.

Additionally, this can also allow students who successfully complete their WCTC program to transfer to a four-year college or university, with up to junior-level standing, right out of high school. “This really speeds up the cycle of higher education,” Barnhouse said.

Students will be able to enter into nearly any College program at WCTC, except for the few that have certain prerequisites or age restrictions, as well as some shared programs with other technical colleges.

The WCTC Excelerate initiative offers several benefits to program-seeking students, including priority registration for courses, academic advising, new student orientation and numerous other on-campus resources, said Sandra Maylen, manager of WCTC’s Center for Early College Opportunities (ECO).

Cost savings to students and families

In addition, many students may be able to complete their full academic program, or a sizable portion of it, at no cost.

“By combining Excelerate with Start College Now (which is a state program/funding mechanism that allows high school students to take technical college classes), many courses taken at WCTC can be paid by the school district, which leads to cost savings for our students and their families,” Maylen said.

While WCTC has been offering dual credit opportunities to high school students for many years, Maylen said, Excelerate takes it a step further.

“We see Excelerate as an expansion of our commitment to provide all students access to program courses that serve the economic need of workforce-ready students in Waukesha County and beyond,” she said.

>> The application deadline for the fall semester (for Start College Now funding) is Tuesday, March 1, with priority registration for Excelerate students beginning April 27.  For more information, 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 150 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