University officials will gather Friday, March 8, on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Fox Valley campus to solidify a degree program partnership that will help increase the number of engineers in the region.
The program, a partnership with UW-Platteville, will offer degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering through classes at UW Oshkosh institutions; classes are available on both the Oshkosh and Fox Valley campuses of UW Oshkosh. Additionally, students can start in the already existing UW Oshkosh engineering technology major and follow the engineering track. Students can begin enrolling in the program for the fall 2019 semester.
“This program combines UW Oshkosh’s regional location, facilities and faculty with UW-Platteville’s engineering experience, faculty and reputation as a proven and accredited engineering university,” said Greg Kleinheinz, engineering technology department chair at UW Oshkosh. “We are a comprehensive university with a diversity of programs and people, offering a lot of opportunities for our students.”
Through the program, students can live and study on the Oshkosh campus, with additional classroom opportunities on the Fox Valley campus. At the end of the program, students will earn a UW-Platteville electrical or mechanical engineering degree. The program can be completed in four years by traditional undergraduate students in residence or by nontraditional students in the region already working in comparable fields.
“Since UW Oshkosh is a comprehensive university, this is a unique setting for an engineering program,” Kleinheinz said.
For nearly 15 years, UW-Fox Valley has been involved in a similar partnership with UW-Platteville, which offered a pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering through a collaborative program that enabled students to complete the degree from the Fox Valley campus, said Martin Rudd, assistant chancellor of access campuses. The signing of the new MOU solidifies the transition of the program to UW Oshkosh. Last July, the Fox Valley campus became a campus of UW Oshkosh.
“The program keeps students close to home and in the heart of the Fox Valley area, which continues to be a growth area for employers looking for the engineers we produce,” Rudd said. “With the joining of the Fox Valley and Fond du Lac campuses to UW Oshkosh, we are now able to expand the partnership to offer more current and future students access to the curriculum they need to complete their degrees.”
The continued success of the program is born from the financial support of Outagamie and Winnebago counties, which provide annual maintenance of facilities and upgraded engineering buildings on the Fox Valley campus, Rudd said.
“Not only does this fit with our access mission but the program has been enhanced by the support of businesses that have provided internships, coops and employment for the more than 140 graduates,” Rudd said.