MATC, Cardinal Stritch University Establish Agreement that Allows Concurrent Enrollment for Nursing Students

Ginny Gnadt, Public Relations Coordinator

October 16, 2017

MATC Provost Dr. Mohammad Dakwar; MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin; Stritch Interim President Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D.; and Stritich Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffery Senese; were among the signers of the MATC/Stritch nursing agreement.

(l to r) MATC Provost Dr. Mohammad Dakwar; MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin; Stritch Interim President Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D.; and Stritich Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffery Senese; were among the signers of the MATC/Stritch nursing agreement.

Milwaukee Area Technical College and Cardinal Stritch University have signed an agreement that will provide MATC nursing students the opportunity to concurrently enroll at Cardinal Stritch University and earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as one semester after earning an MATC associate degree in registered nursing.

The agreement addresses the statewide nursing shortage, which has been described by Wisconsin’s Public Policy Forum as “one of the greatest workforce challenges facing the health care industry” and is projected to increase as experienced nurses retire. The forum’s report calls for a 24 percent increase in the state’s workforce of registered nurses by 2020.

Dr. Vicki J. Martin, president of MATC, said, “We are pleased to have this innovative articulation agreement with Cardinal Stritch University. We have created a seamless curriculum and course schedule to ensure the completion of both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in as little as two-and-one-half years. Quickly preparing nurses with these credentials is critical to meet the workforce demands and to provide students an affordable educational path.”

Cardinal Stritch University Interim President Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D., said, “This concurrent enrollment agreement not only enhances an already strong relationship between Stritch and MATC, it also reflects the type of timely, agile and innovative approach to nursing education in the 21st century that is necessary to prepare leaders in the field. Nursing students will receive instruction and clinical experience from two highly respected institutions that have educated nurses for decades. We are proud and eager to set the stage for a new chapter in nursing education.”

Anna Greditor, director of clinical operations

During the signing ceremony, Anna Greditor, director of clinical operations, United Health Group, discussed the shortage of nurses. United Health Foundation presented MATC with a $2.3 million grant in January to help recruit and train more nurses to meet this need.

“Cardinal Stritch University is the only institution in Wisconsin to offer a concurrent enrollment approach which will expedite the student’s completion of their bachelor of nursing degree,” said Dr. Kelly Dries, dean of the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Stritch. “Students will have the opportunity to complete associate degree and bachelor’s degree coursework concurrently and build a strong foundation for entry-level nursing positions, advancement into leadership roles and graduate studies.”

Dr. Nancy Vrabec, dean of MATC’s School of Health Sciences, said, “This agreement will allow MATC’s highly skilled and diverse nursing student body a new option to quickly finish their bachelor of science in nursing degrees at an excellent university. Agreements like these, along with the $2.3 million grant from United Health Foundation, will allow us to double the size of our nursing program and help us meet the overwhelming need for well-trained nurses.”

The collaboration is more than a traditional transfer agreement. Students begin their educational career by enrolling at MATC and taking MATC courses, many of which also apply to their bachelor’s degree at Stritch. Students are admitted to the Stritch program immediately and will earn MATC and Stritch credits at the same time. Once students fulfill associate degree requirements and obtain licensure as registered nurses, they can complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as one semester of study at Stritch. All Stritch credits are earned by completing accelerated online courses that are offered year-round. The collaboration will admit its first students during the Spring 2018 semester.

The concurrent enrollment approach removes barriers that may prevent associate degree graduates from pursuing a bachelor’s degree, reduces a student’s educational costs, and prepares students to enter the health care workforce more quickly. Stritch also has established concurrent enrollments with Gateway Technical College and Madison College.

The effort expands current collaborative efforts between MATC and Stritch that make college degrees affordable and accessible for area residents. In addition to the concurrent enrollment program, transfer agreements are in place for business, criminal justice, hospitality management, respiratory therapy and teacher education programs.

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and the most diverse two-year institution in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Approximately 36,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers 200 academic programs; nearly 400 transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees; and School of a Pre-College Education that assists people to complete high school, prepare for college or enter the workforce. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.

About Stritch: Cardinal Stritch University, a fully accredited Catholic institution based in Milwaukee, provides transformative, value-centered education to approximately 3,000 men and women of all faiths and ages in four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business and Management, Education and Leadership, and the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, as well as the School of Continuing and Online Learning. The University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as certificate and other training programs. Founded in 1937 as St. Clare College by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, this University is rooted in the liberal arts tradition, transforms lives and communities through servant leadership, learning, and service. Stritch offers convenient locations in Milwaukee, Madison and Brookfield in Wisconsin, as well as at partner learning sites and online.