A partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and UW-Platteville creates opportunity for more students in north central Wisconsin to pursue engineering degrees without having to leave the area.

Chancellors from both UWs signed a memorandum of understanding Sept. 24 at the UW-Stevens Point at Wausau. It makes the UWSP at Wausau campus a UW-Platteville Engineering Partnerships site.  

UW-Stevens Point students can now earn a pre-engineering associate of science degree at the Wausau campus and complete their bachelor’s through online distance delivery lectures and hybrid labs from UW-Platteville.

“Partnerships like ours with UW-Platteville are an important element in helping students pursue their purpose,” said UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Thomas Gibson.

Engineering student Dylan Dorava and Brandon Black, a May 2021 graduate of UW-PEP, said the program allowed them to pursue engineering degrees and advance their careers without having to leave Wausau. Flexible, online courses met their schedules.

“This program has been a godsend for me,” said Dorava, a senior in UW-PEP. Having a 3-year old son, he said he appreciated the “opportunity to get a degree from two highly respected colleges without uprooting my family.”

Continuing his education after being out of high school for seven years was a bit intimating, Dorava said, but UW-Stevens Point at Wausau professors made him feel comfortable and were readily accessible to answer his questions.

Scott Graf of Greenheck Group and Sundar Ananthasivan of Wausau Window & Wall, Inc. both pointed out the need for more engineers in their companies. They welcomed the opportunity it provides for their employees who have associate degrees to pursue bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

“I’m excited about this partnership,” Graf said.

He attended UW-Stevens Point at Wausau when it was UW-Marathon County, went on to UW-Madison and completed his master’s degree before returning to Wausau and joining Greenheck. “I’m the exception. Most of our (engineering) students don’t return.”

This collaboration responds to area business needs for engineers and employees who have critical thinking, problem solving and strong communication skills, Gibson said. “We are pleased to partner in this vital strategy for regional economic growth.”

More than 130 students are pursuing engineering degrees through five UW-PEP sites around the state, said Chancellor Dennis Shields, UW-Platteville.

“We are proud to sign this agreement that continues the strong relationship with UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and leverages both our universities’ resources to better serve students and businesses,” Shields said.

Source: UWSP