RALEIGH, N.C. (October 10, 2022) – Wake Tech and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University today signed a technical education partnership agreement to provide students in information technology and biotechnology programs with new degree completion and career development opportunities.
As part of the agreement, NC A&T will have access to classrooms and office space at the Lilly Technology Center located on Wake Tech’s RTP campus to support enrollment and provide counseling. An administrative office includes two branded first-floor classrooms, which NCAT will prioritize and three third-floor faculty and staff office spaces. The Lilly Center is also home to the new Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnology, and the degrees involved in the new partnership are aligned with the program areas offered by Early College.
“North Carolina A&T and Wake Technical Community College are national leaders in technical education in our respective fields, and this new collaboration will further expand the impact of our two institutions,” said Dr. Wake Technology President. Scott Lars. “When combined with our partnership with Wake County Public Schools on the RTP campus, this new partnership creates an unparalleled access to technology education at the heart of one of the nation’s leading technology job centers.”
With October being recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, A&T continues to receive national recognition for its leadership in cybersecurity education and research through its Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach and its School of Engineering, including a national designation as a Department of Defense (DOD) DOD) NSA Cybersecurity Academic Excellence Center. Last spring, A&T was one of six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) selected for the inaugural cohort of IBM Virtual Cybersecurity Leadership Centers designed to increase student and faculty learning, application and professionalism Development opportunities.
A&T’s College of Science and Technology (COST) has departments of Applied Engineering Technology, Applied Science and Technology, Biology, Computer Graphics Technology, and Computer Systems Technology, and its online master’s program is ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report. This spring, COST also partnered with the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation Institute to be home to the new Advanced American (ACE) Regional Machine Tool Workforce Training Center. ACE is a joint initiative of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to restore American leadership in the machine tool industry.
“North Carolina A&T’s commitment to creating innovative solutions to the challenges and economic needs of our world requires creating pathways for both traditional and post-traditional learners to bachelor’s and graduate degrees,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “Our partnership with Wake Tech is critical to our mission as we work to improve the human condition and promote economic prosperity in North Carolina.”
This new link between Wake Tech (the largest community college in the state) and A&T (the largest HBCU in the U.S.) creates a pool of resources and opportunities along the North Carolina Innovation Corridor that ultimately benefits students and the state’s economy, reaffirming that North Carolina Carolina is rated by CNBC and Business Facility Magazine as the best state to do business.
A&T has become one of the leading transfer destinations for Wake Tech IT graduates through recent collaborations between the two institutions in cybersecurity, computer programming and network management. Over 5,200 students are enrolled in the Wake Tech IT degree program.
In addition to further developing and refining existing articulation agreements, the two institutions are also working on new articulation agreements in the fields of information technology, computer engineering, and biotechnology and bioengineering.
They will also develop and expand joint enrollment programs to support Wake Tech students enrolled in articulated programs such as information technology, biotechnology, engineering associate degrees, science and science teacher preparation, and other STEM programs.
Additionally, Wake Tech and A&T will co-develop Level I/Level II apprenticeship programs offered in software development/software engineering, biotech-biopharmaceutical/bioengineering and other potential apprenticeship pathways such as cybersecurity and analytics; partnership and fundraising agreement to engage Wake County technology employers and share the collective workforce development benefits of the Wake Tech/NC A&T Technology Education Partnership; and collaborate on planning a potential shared cybersecurity and bioagricultural center at a new technology facility on the RTP campus.
Wake Tech and A&T are one of 37 members of the Higher Education and Opportunity Working Group, which includes colleges and universities, McKinsey & Company, and the Strada Education Network. The task force was established in 2020 to address the challenges posed by the pandemic, support including economic recovery, and reimagine the future of higher education in a changing world of work.
A&T is Wake Tech’s second hosting partnership. East Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology on the Southwick campus. The ECUs will eventually co-locate at Wake Tech’s Eastern Wake 4.0 site when it opens in 2024.