Students in BTC's fisheries program can now seamlessly transfer to WWU

Western Today staff

Bellingham Technical College’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences program has announced an articulation (transfer) agreement with Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment. This partnership will continue BTC and WWU efforts to prepare stewards of the environment and resources.

Students will now have the opportunity for a seamless transition by earning BTC’s Associated in Applied Science Transfer degree in Fisheries & Aquatic Science and transferring to WWU/Huxley to pursue a bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies or Geography.

“A strong working relationship between BTC and WWU is a win-win for our community,” says Patricia McKeown, BTC President. “BTC graduates need the opportunity to seek additional education in their fields of study and this pathway provides just that. We continue to look for ways to enhance our degrees to provide students and the workforce with the right education that meets this goal. We are delighted to have this partnership. I commend staff from both colleges in working diligently to accomplish this goal.”

BTC’s efforts for the transfer agreement with Huxley were led by Earl Steele, Ryan Vasak, Dean Liz Cunningham, Vice President of Instruction Carol Lager, Grant Director Christine Eder, and our former Dean Sharon Carpenter. WWU/Huxley’s team was led by former Dean of Huxley Brad Smith, and current Dean of Huxley Steven Hollenhorst, and Provost Catherine Riordan. All have been committed to making this articulation agreement a reality.

“This agreement represents another chapter in a partnership between BTC and Western as we seek to meet the educational needs of our community. Fisheries and the health of our environment will be strengthened as these individuals carry out projects as students, and later enter careers, well-equipped with knowledge in their field, hands-on experience, and a broad understanding of the world that comes from a four-year degree,” says WWU Provost / VP Academic Affairs Catherine Riordan. “I especially appreciate the leadership of President Patricia McKeown, the current and former deans at BTC, and the many faculty and staff on both of our campuses who have worked long and hard to come up with a degree that will best meet the needs of our community and the students who will pursue this degree.”

Dean WWU/Huxley Steve Hollenhorst adds, “This articulation agreement describes exactly which courses will transfer, saving students both time-to-degree and money. They will come in as juniors and will be on the right path for finishing in four years. We really enjoy serving BTC transfer students. They're motivated and have high graduation rates. This agreement will enable them to be even more successful.”

The Paul Allen Foundation grant provided resources to support the work of the partner colleges to work together to insure curriculum met the requirements at WWU/Huxley College’s Environmental Sciences program.

About other transfer agreements: Earlier this year, BTC and WWU celebrated the development of WWU’s new Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program starting fall 2013. This program will provide a local pathway for BTC’s Registered Nursing graduates. This partnership involved Bellingham Technical College, Skagit Valley College and Whatcom Community College. These agreements highlight the institutions’ commitment to partnership, quality of education and doing what is best for students. Through the articulation (transfer) agreement, our institutions are creating stronger educational pathways for our students.