Governor signs WATC, Wichita State affiliation bill

Gov. Sam Brownback was at Wichita State on Wednesday to sign House Bill 174. (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was in Wichita to sign a bill authorizing the affiliation of Wichita Area Technical College with Wichita State University.

The bill signing was held at the Wichita State University Experiential Engineering Building.

“I think it’s just going to open up the world for a lot of students,” said Governor Brownback. “Now you can go in and you can get a technical certification at the same time you’re going to WSU. You can help earn your way through college.”

The affiliation of Wichita Area Technical College and Wichita State is final and WATC students like Kailyn Carter are ecstatic.

“A bachelor’s degree was always out of the question until now that I’m able to continue with WATC and then going on to WSU once I have enough money saved to pay for some of the tuition I couldn’t have before,” stated Carter.

The partnership now allows Shocker Pathway students to get an Associates of Arts degree completing 50 credit hours at WATC and 15 hours at WSU with tuition and fees costing only $8,200.

It allows students to join the work force while continuing on to get their bachelor’s degree which would cost an additional $11,700 in tuition totaling less than $20,000 for a four-year degree, one of the most cost-effective in the nation.

For high school senior, William Sentilles, this program will help him fulfill a lifelong passion of his, aviation. And when he found out getting a degree from WATC and WSU was financially possible, he didn’t hesitate to enroll.

“Financially this takes a huge burden off of my shoulders,” explained Sentilles. “Whenever this opportunity arose, it made me want to stay in Kansas, it’s like I don’t have to go anywhere. I get in state tuition. I don’t have to leave my family, I don’t have to leave my home and I get to stay right here in Kansas and I can go to work in Kansas.”

The WATC facility will maintain its designation as a technical college and be known as the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology.

To read more about the bill approved by the legislature, click here.

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