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Gateway, Cardinal Stritch University ink first-of-its-kind agreement allowing nursing students to take program at same time

Gateway Technical College and Cardinal Stritch University today signed a first-of-its-kind agreement which will provide a way for Gateway nursing students to be concurrently enrolled at Cardinal Stritch University and earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as one semester after earning an associate degree in nursing.

“This is an innovative and exciting concurrent enrollment approach which will expedite the student’s completion of their bachelor of science in nursing degree – often to within one year after the student has registered nurse licensure through the Gateway associate degree nursing program,” says Diane Skewes, Gateway dean of Nursing.

“Gateway nursing students will have a wonderful opportunity to advance their nursing knowledge and increase their employment opportunities, while also realizing a positive impact on the quality of patient care they provide.”

Gateway students can more affordably and quickly earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing by paying a reduced tuition rate for much of their educational career, and earning their bachelor’s degree so quickly after their associate degree. Students are concurrently enrolled, meaning they are earning Gateway credits as well as Stritch credits at the same time.

“The concurrent enrollment collaborative was established to address the nursing shortage by partnering with Gateway and the Wisconsin Technical College System to increase the number of bachelor degree-prepared nurses entering the workforce in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Kelly Dries, dean of the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Stritch.

“This innovative program gives students an opportunity to complete some associate degree and bachelor’s degree coursework concurrently, expediting completion of their bachelor’s degree which, in turn, increases employment opportunities.”

Gateway, which has a current nursing program student enrollment of 2,893, is the first technical college in Wisconsin to establish a concurrent collaborative agreement with Stritch. All credits earned through Stritch are completed through online courses. The collaborative will admit its first students the Fall 2017 semester.

The collaboration is more than just a typical transfer agreement. Students begin their educational career by enrolling at Gateway, and then take Gateway courses – many of which also apply to their degree at Stritch. Students can be admitted to the Stritch program immediately.

Students will complete the Stritch six-week, accelerated online nursing program courses offered year-round. Once students complete their associate degree and obtain licensure as a registered nurse they have as little as one semester of coursework remaining to complete the bachelor’s degree at Stritch.

The effort marks another way the two institutions have been working together to provide added options for today’s students to gain the education, and career, they seek. Gateway and Stritch currently have 18 transfer agreements.