Students at the University of Baraboo campus will have two new degrees they can pursue starting this fall, effect of the merger with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
The two-year associate degrees, one in food and agriculture and the other in business administration, will be offered at UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County and UW-Platteville Richland. Baraboo campus dean Ed Janairo said he’s excited about the new offerings, which provide “innovation in associate degrees” in the state.
“They’re important because they meet certain workforce needs, but they’re unique in that they’re firmly rooted in a liberal arts curriculum, providing those technical skills that can take someone on. one to one job, but also, also, it offers a stone’s throw away to a four-year degree if someone wants to pursue that as well,” Janairo said.
Driven largely by UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields, the programs lead to the existing four-year degrees offered at Platteville, Janairo said. They would also complete the first two years of general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree at most other universities.
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All three communities are rural and surrounded by farms, but neither the Baraboo nor Richland campuses have offered agriculture courses before. Nearly half of Richland County’s economy is tied to agriculture, as is nearly 14% of Sauk County’s, according to UW-Extension. Agriculture accounts for over $850 million in each county.
Until now, Janairo said he had to tell prospective students that the campus couldn’t offer them anything on the subject — and visiting high school students often asked about agricultural offerings.
Platteville, however, has been providing agricultural education for over a century. More than 95% of graduates from its agricultural school find employment, according to its website.
Brandon Fetterly, dean of the Richland campus, said it made sense to expand Platteville’s successful programs to branch locations.
“Being able to provide higher education directly linked to a primary economic driver in this area is something we have never had access to. And through collaborative onboarding, we now have access to a known agricultural service in the region that we can bring here, so our citizens don’t have to travel,” Fetterly said.
For the agriculture degree, courses will include subjects such as agribusiness, animal science, crop science, soils, marketing and sales, according to a UW press release. Students will also have access to an early internship program.
The business program will focus on interpersonal and communication skills, as well as microeconomics, marketing, management, etc. Janairo said employers are looking for graduates with basic business skills.
To provide instruction for the new programs, Janairo said some staff from all three campuses will be relocated. For example, a professor from Platteville will transfer branches and a lecturer from Richland will teach animal science at Baraboo and Richland.
The merger of the three began in July after UW regents decided to combine the system’s two-year colleges and UW-Extension campuses with its larger universities. Janairo said the new programs reflect the benefits of integration with UW-Platteville.
“I think developing these degrees is probably the first step in expanding the offerings at the Baraboo campus,” he said.
Students interested in these new options can apply to apply.wisconsin.edu. Although secondary campus spokesperson John Christensen noted that the specific degrees may not yet be on the application, anyone applying now to the Baraboo or Richland campuses will be able to register for the specific courses later. .
Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.