Moi has been posting about WAZZU’s move to Everett. In WAZZU Comes to Everett moi said:
The Seattle Times wrote about WSU’s move into Everett in the editorial, A Triumph of Persistence to Expand Higher-Ed In North Puget Sound
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation Thursday to have WSU assume management of the University Center of North Puget Sound by 2014, with responsibility for producing baccalaureate and graduate degrees.
State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson were among those present who saw years, even decades, of work to expand access to four-year degrees get fully launched.
WSU, which will take over the program now overseen by Everett Community College, punctuated the moment with an announcement the research university would aim to offer an engineering class by 2012.
The University Center had been created to offer more educational opportunities to the residents of north Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties. More than a half-dozen colleges and private universities offer classes.
Efforts to establish a campus branch never got traction, so a new path was created to expand access to students. Regional leaders found a willing and creative partner in WSU and President Elson Floyd.
WSU expects its largest freshman class ever on its Pullman campus this fall. The freshmen numbers reflect increases in out-of-state and international students, but it is gratifying to note most of the new students are in-state.
We need to expand education opportunities for Washington students.
Katherine Long is reporting in the Seattle Times article, Steps Taken Toward Creating a WSU Branch Campus in Everett
After years of wrangling over where to build a branch university campus in Snohomish County, the Legislature has taken a first step toward creating one in Everett, with the help of Washington State University.
The decision marks the end of a proposal to have the University of Washington build an $800 million science and technology branch campus in Snohomish County. And it kick-starts a program to help Snohomish County residents — especially Boeing machinists — go to school to become engineers.
The legislation, signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, gives WSU management and leadership over the University Center of North Puget Sound starting in 2014. The University Center, a program now managed by and located on the Everett College campus, offers classes from a consortium of eight schools, including the state’s six four-year schools and two private schools. It serves about 500 students.
“This is going on a 20-year-long discussion on getting a more robust four-year-degree presence in north Snohomish County,” said Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett, who sponsored the bill. “This was absolutely the best first step.”
Both the UW and the state community-college board raised questions about the bill, arguing that turning the program over to WSU would disrupt an already successful program, and that there is no money to expand because of the economic downturn.
“It was very complicated, very much about protecting turf,” said Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.
WSU, Everett Community College and the other schools that offer classes at University Center will be required to collaborate on establishing a comprehensive, long-term plan. The aim is to expand undergraduate- and graduate-degree offerings, and the emphasis is on science, technology, engineering and math programs.
WSU also has promised to begin offering an undergraduate engineering degree at University Center starting in fall 2012, modeling it after a mechanical-engineering degree it offers at Olympic College in Bremerton, WSU spokeswoman Colleen Kerr said.
The legislation means a branch campus eventually could evolve on the site, but “there’s a lot of planning that has to occur” before that happens, said Everett Community College President David Beyer. For example, the school’s location in North Everett may not be large enough to accommodate a branch campus, he said, and the center has to prove it can draw a large number of students.
Washington must expand education opportunities for Washington students.
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