RALEIGH, NC (October 10, 2022) – Wake Tech and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University today signed an education technology partnership agreement to foster new degree and career development opportunities for students in information technology and biotechnology.
As part of the agreement, NC A&T will have access to classrooms and offices at the Lilly Science and Technology Center on Wake Tech’s RTP campus to support enrollment and advising. An executive office includes two classrooms on the first floor where NCAT will have priority scheduling and up to three office spaces for teachers on the third floor. The Lilly Center is also home to the new Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies and the degrees addressed in the new partnership align with the program areas offered through the Early College.
“North Carolina A&T and Wake Technical Community Colleges are national leaders in technology education in our respective industries, and this new collaboration will increase the impact of our two institutions,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “When combined with our partnership with Wake County Public Schools on our RTP Campus, this new partnership creates an unparalleled line of technology education in the heart of one of America’s premier tech employment centers.”
With October being recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, A&T’s leadership in cybersecurity education and research through its Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach and its College of Engineering consistently earns national recognition, including national designation as a Department of Defense (DOD) National Security Agency Cybersecurity Center for Academic Excellence. Last spring, A&T was among six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) chosen for the inaugural cohort of IBM Cybersecurity Leadership Virtual Centers, which are designed to enhance learning, application and professional development opportunities for students and teachers.
A&T’s College of Science and Technology (COST), which houses its departments of Applied Engineering Technology, Applied Science and Technology, Biology, Computer Graphics Technology, and Computer Systems Technology, is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report Top 20 for your online masters program. COST also became home to a new America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) regional machine tool workforce training center in concert with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation this spring. ACE is a joint initiative of the DOD and the Department of Energy to restore American leadership in the machine tool industry.
“North Carolina AT&T’s commitment to creating innovative solutions that address the economic challenges and needs of our world requires creating pathways to undergraduate and graduate degrees for traditional and post-traditional students,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin. Mr. “Our partnership with Wake Technology is critically important to achieving our mission as we work to improve the human condition and facilitate economic prosperity for North Carolinians.”
This new connection between Wake Tech, the largest community college in the state, and A&T, the largest HBCU in the country, establishes a pool of resources and opportunities along the North Carolina Innovation Corridor that ultimately benefits students and the state’s economy, reaffirming North Carolina’s rating by CNBC and Business Facilities magazine as the best state to do business.
Through recent collaboration between the two institutions in cybersecurity, computer programming, and network management joints, A&T has become a top transfer destination for Wake Tech IT graduates. More than 5,200 students are enrolled in Wake Tech’s IT degree programs.
In addition to further development and refinement of existing articulation agreements, the two institutions are committed to the development of new articulation agreements in information technology, computer engineering, and biotechnological and biological engineering.
They will also develop and expand co-admission programs to support Wake Tech students enrolled in articulated programs such as information technology, biotechnology, associate degrees in engineering, science and science teacher preparation, and other STEM programs.
In addition, Wake Tech and A&T will develop jointly offered Level I/Level II apprenticeship programs in software development/software engineering, biotech-biopharma/biological engineering, and other potential learning pathways, such as cybersecurity and analytics; establish partnership and fundraising protocols to engage Wake County technology employers and share in the collective workforce development benefits of the Wake Tech/NC A&T Technology Education Association; and collaborate on planning for Cybersecurity and potential shared BioAgCenters in a new technology facility on the RTP campus.
Wake Tech and A&T are among 37 members of the Task Force on Higher Education and Opportunity that includes colleges and universities, McKinsey & Company, and the Strada Education Network. The task force was launched in 2020 to address the challenges of the pandemic, support inclusive economic recovery, and reimagine the future of higher education in a changing world of work.
A&T is Wake Tech’s second co-location partnership. East Carolina University offers its Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology at the Southern Wake Campus. ECU will eventually be located at Wake Tech’s Eastern Wake 4.0 site when it opens in 2024.