More than 700 fourth graders recently attended STEMania at WC Wise County, organized by Dr. Lisa Welch and hundreds of volunteers, and more are expected next year.
In a report given to the Weatherford College Board of Trustees Thursday, Wise County Dean Duane Durrett said the annual event, held Oct. 30, grows each year and that next year, the campus is planning for more. The day includes numerous interactive activities enforcing the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.
Planning begins in January, Durrett said, and several details are laid out including how to notify schools of the event, volunteer assignments and budget concerns. He added that this year’s budget of $1,200 was exceeded but that donations made up for the shortfall.
For 2015, Durrett said Jacksboro has already agreed to send 200 of its fourth graders and that he hoped to have a meteorologist on board as well.
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Also at the meeting, trustees approved the creation of an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development.
Using courses currently offered at WC, students attaining this degree will graduate with their core completed and have the opportunity to transfer to universities in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies or a related field of study such as Education.
“We have had, in times past, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree,” explained Dr. Richard Bowers, Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. “The problem with that is it’s a terminal degree. Not all of those hours would transfer to a four-year institution if they decided to go into some form of study that requires child development, child care, etc.
“But now, Tarleton State University is developing a new program that will allow a student to earn a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family studies. This is a very new development, and it’s giving us an opportunity to allow students to take hours at Weatherford College in that field of study that they will be able to transfer into their four-year baccalaureate degree.”
The next step is for the degree plan to receive approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.