RALEIGH, N.C. (October 10, 2022) – Wake Tech and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University today signed a technology education partnership agreement to foster new degree completion and career development opportunities for students in information technology and biotechnology programs.
As part of the agreement, N.C. A&T will have access to classroom and office space at the Lilly Science and Technology Center on Wake Tech’s RTP Campus for the purpose of supporting enrollment and advising. An executive office includes two branded first floor classrooms where NCAT will have scheduling priority and up to three third-floor faculty office spaces. 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 technology education leaders in our respective sectors, and this new collaboration will further the impact of both our 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 technology education pipeline in the heart of one of America’s leading technology employment hubs.”
As October is recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, A&T’s leadership in cybersecurity education and research through both its Center of Excellent in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach and its College of Engineering consistently garners national recognition, including national designation as a Department of Defense (DOD) National Security Agency Cybersecurity Center for Academic Excellence. This past spring, A&T was among six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) chosen for the inaugural cohort of IBM’s virtual Cybersecurity Leadership Centers, which are designed to enhance opportunities for learning, application and professional development for students and faculty.
A&T’s College of Science and Technology (COST) – which houses its applied engineering technology, applied science and technology, biology, computer graphics technology and computer systems technology departments – boasts a U.S. News & World Report Top 20 national ranking for its online master’s program. COST also became the home of a new America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) regional machine tools 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 reestablish American leadership in the machine tool industry.
“North Carolina A&T’s commitment to creating innovative solutions that address the challenges and economic needs of our world calls for creating pathways to baccalaureate and graduate degrees for traditional and post-traditional learners,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “Our partnership with Wake Tech is critically important to achieving our mission as we work to enhance the human condition and facilitate economic prosperity for North Carolinians.”
This new connection between Wake Tech – the state’s largest community college – and A&T – the nation’s largest HBCU – establishes a pool of resources and opportunities along the North Carolina Innovation Corridor that ultimately benefit students and the state’s economy, reaffirming North Carolina’s rating by CNBC and Business Facilities magazine as the best state in which to do business.
Through recent collaboration between the two institutions on cybersecurity, computer programming and network management articulations, A&T has emerged as one of the leading transfer destinations for Wake Tech IT graduates. More than 5,200 students are enrolled in Wake Tech IT degree programs.
In addition to further development and refinement of existing articulation agreements, the two institutions are committing to the development of new articulation agreements in in information technology, computer engineering, and biotech and biological engineering.
They also will 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.
Additionally, Wake Tech and A&T will develop jointly offered Level I/Level II apprenticeship programs in software development/software engineering, biotechnology-biopharma/biological engineering and other potential apprenticeship pathways such as cybersecurity and analytics; establish partnership and fundraising protocols for engaging Wake County technology employers and sharing the collective workforce development benefits of the Wake Tech/N.C. A&T Technology Education Partnership; and collaborate in planning for potential shared Cybersecurity and BioAgCenters in a new technology facility on the RTP Campus.
Wake Tech and A&T are among the 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 co-locate at Wake Tech’s Eastern Wake 4.0 site when it opens in 2024.