As of Jan. 1, the affiliation of Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College has been approved and our name is transitioning to WSU Tech.
What does this mean for our students, for our community and for our college?
For students, it creates educational opportunities as we consolidate all levels of postsecondary education from GED to PhD and encourage the kind of faculty collaboration that leads to innovative methods of teaching and applied learning. WSU Tech will continue to be an open-access institution for all students, tuition will continue to be competitive for a two-year college, and career technical programs in aviation, manufacturing, health care, IT, engineering, police science and interior design will continue to be our foundation, resulting in a certificate or degree. The Shocker Pathway, which provides an affordable and convenient way to earn a two-year Associate degree, will continue.
For our community and for business and industry, WSU Tech will remain the developer of workforce human capital for our region. WSU Tech will continue to work with business and industry to train and provide a highly qualified workforce for today, tomorrow and the future. We will remain nimble, flexible, and responsive to the needs of industry.
For our college, this marks the end of a 53-year history of WATC and the beginning of a bright future as WSU Tech. The name of our college will change, but our employees’ dedication to our mission to provide students an opportunity for a chance for a better life and to prepare and train the best workforce for our community remains top of mind. A strong partnership between WATC and WSU has existed for many years through collaborative efforts like the National Center for Aviation Training, the Shocker Pathway, and WSU Old Town, where we share space for healthcare programs.
The transition to WSU Tech pushes our two institutions to collaborate more as we redefine what education looks like and drive toward developing the next generation of workforce. WSU Tech will continue to work in collaboration with WSU to ensure the state of Kansas remains competitive and to explore new approaches to innovation and creativity.
As you watch for our name to change at our campuses and in our marketing, as we transition from blue and green to black and yellow and begin the enrollment of our new Shocker students for Fall 2018, be assured that we are still driven to be the leading provider of higher education, specializing in the delivery of career technical education, utilizing state-of-the-art facilities with highly qualified faculty, and offering a competitive advantage that drives economic development in the region.
Sheree Utash is president of WSU Tech.