The road less traveled

Jason Cuevas, News Editor

As society changes there is no longer a standard way to go through college. Gone are the days when everyone would start and end their journey at a four-year institution.

An article from The Community College Times recently showed that more students than ever are now starting at a two-year college on their way to a baccalaureate.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center 35 percent of students in Wis. attended a two-year school before finishing their four-year degree.

Terry Webb, Madison College provost, says the school has worked very hard to make sure there is no distinction between those that want to go on to a four-year institution and those who do not, or currently don’t know what they’d like to do.

Madison College makes sure there are steps along the way for whatever program someone enrolls in. A certificate program should lead to an associates degree which could then lead to a bachelors degree. This way students have a variety of options on the direction they take their education.

“It’s remarkable how many people come here and say, ‘I don’t want to go on to a four-year college,’ and then six months later they do,” Webb said.

Webb believes that the job market is changing, and new skills are needed to compete. He explained that there are higher levels of academic preparation needed to succeed in the programs at Madison College than 15 years ago.

He goes on to explain that many employers are looking for more advanced education in the modern age. Often students will find that even if they have a job, there is a ceiling of how far they can go without another credential.

There has also been a big increase in the number of students attending Madison College that already have a bachelorette. Roughly 12 percent of students already have a bachelors degree or higher, and that percentage continues to grow.

There is no difference in content of the classes at Madison College compared to a four-year school. The biggest issue most students run into is whether or not their classes will transfer.

There are lead faculty positions at Madison College in each of the different disciplines. These faculty members work with the faculty of other schools on how things will transfer. This can be completely different from school to school.

The best way to know if your classes will transfer is to use the University of Wisconsin System Transfer Information System. You can find it online at The advisors at Madison College, which can be contacted at the student development center, are also a very good source of letting students know what will transfer.

Webb feels that it’s very important for students to be check up on whether or not they will be able to transfer able. Doing so now can save a headache in the future.

“I think it’s unfortunate when students come here and fail to realize their full potential because of some mistaken assumptions about both their abilities and their potential,” Webb said. “I want to make sure that when they do come here they don’t do something that discourages them from reaching their full potential.”