Constructing a relationship

DAN DOUCET, Evergreen reporter

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Students from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) in Kirkland will still have to apply and be accepted into WSU, but will be eligible for a direct transfer provided they have taken the preliminary courses agreed upon by both schools.

The first student from LWTech is expected in the fall of 2018, and Jaime Rice, academic program manager for the School of Design and Construction, estimated 5-10 students will make the jump each year.

“We hope that the number will increase as the program gets strong,” Rice said.

Faculty members from WSU regularly take trips to LWTech to meet students there. Rice said the goal is to build a relationship with LWTech architectural technology students so they will recognize and be familiar with some of the faculty here, hopefully building a desire to enter the WSU program.

David Wang, professor of architecture and architecture program head, said he was one of the main proponents of putting together the arrangement, the final details of which were finished this summer. A similar agreement with Spokane Community College has already been negotiated for the last two years.

“We wanted to follow through with the land grant mission of WSU by better serving the community colleges, by articulating and becoming more connected with them,” Wang said.

Unlike regular transfer students, who are placed into the appropriate level based on their transcripts, Wang said any articulating student from LWTech can enter the program seamlessly at the junior level.

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Students graduating from WSU’s architectural technology program will receive a bachelor’s of science in architectural studies, the university’s undergraduate degree for architecture. Wang said architecture firms often hire graduates who have this degree but aren’t moving on to the graduate program. After completing the graduate program students can become licensed architects, he said.

Wang said the architecture program here is still looking for other community colleges with similar programs to make articulation agreements with in the future.

“Students that attend their community college’s architecture program for their first two years are closer to home, the tuition is probably cheaper,” Wang said. “And when they transfer over to the WSU program, they will be right in step with the in-house students who spent their first two years here.”

Robert Mandy, professor of architecture at LWTech, communicated with WSU faculty about what LWTech offers and how to align the two programs.

“I think that this articulation agreement will be very useful to WSU by bringing in students of different backgrounds and with different experience,” he said.

Mandy said he believes the agreement will lead to more of his students on to higher education.

“I’m hoping that it will attract students from this side of the mountains to know this is an option,” he said. “Most of my students go right to work, and a lot of times they don’t know that there is an option to go on.”