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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 31, 2006

UI, Western Iowa Tech Community College Sign Agreement

A new agreement between the University of Iowa and Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) will allow WITCC students to more easily continue their studies at UI, in some cases without leaving Sioux City.

The agreement will also help northwest Iowa more easily access business and economic development resources offered by the university.

The agreement was scheduled to be signed at 2:30 p.m. today, Thursday, Aug. 31 in the office of WITCC President Robert Dunker. Attending from the UI will be Gary Fethke, interim UI president; David Hensley, executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at UI; and Chet Rzonca, associate provost and dean of continuing education programs at UI.

"We're excited about this new agreement that will improve access to the University of Iowa's educational and economic development resources in northwest Iowa," said Fethke. "It also provides an easy and economical way for people in that part of the state to receive an outstanding education from the University of Iowa while staying closer to home."

The new agreement has several components, including:

* Allowing WITCC graduates to study for a Bachelor of Applied Studies degree from UI through a distance education program on the WITCC campus. The BAS program is designed for working Associate of Applied Science (AAS) graduates who wish to complete a four-year degree without interrupting their careers.

"This acknowledges the strength of the technical programs at WITCC and allows a student who earns an AAS degree to more easily transfer to UI to earn a BAS degree without leaving Sioux City," said Rzonca.

* Providing access to the university's SkillSoft professional development educational program through WITCC. Rzonca said SkillSoft courses do not earn credit toward a degree, but do allow students to earn certifications in such areas as financial planning, project management or human resources administration. The program is offered online so students can complete the programs on their computers on their own time.

* Providing access to the resources of the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. Sioux City-area students will now be able to earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from JPEC, said Hensley. He said UI and WITCC will also work together to connect the university's economic development resources, such as collaborations to foster entrepreneurship and economic development programs, entrepreneurial training, workshops, seminars, and youth programs. The partnership will also provide opportunities for students at both schools to work with businesses in the WITCC service area through distance field study coursework and summer internships.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,