WITC and Renaissance Academy forge alliance
(2/20/14): As education continues to evolve in the 21st
Century, a new alliance has emerged between Wisconsin Indianhead Technical
College-New Richmond and the Renaissance Academy in River Falls. Select students
from the Academy may now attend classes at the technical college and receive
“We encourage students who have potential for
post-secondary to continue their education,” says Linda Berg, Renaissance
Academy administrator. “The kind of agreement we have with WITC allows our
students to experience college while still in high school.” She notes the
venture offers students different participation requirements and opportunities
than Youth Options.
“Because WITC and the Renaissance Academy provide a
technical education focus, the two mesh together well,” says WITC Dean of
Students Todd Solberg. “In addition, since the high school students attend
classes on our campus, they discover and engage in the college experience
firsthand. So far it’s working very well and we’re open to future
To participate in the WITC classes, Academy students are
carefully selected, must maintain a grade average of at least a B in the WITC
class, and have an interest in a college program. This spring two Academy
students are participating, Stephen Cook and Nick Rameaux, both of River Falls.
They carpool to the WITC-New Richmond campus twice a week to take an applied
human communication course.
“It’s great,” Cook says about the college-level course, and
says he’s looking forward to taking other WITC classes. Both students plan to
graduate the Academy this spring, and Cook plans to attend WITC full time in the
fall to pursue a degree in welding.
Solberg worked with Berg to establish the venture between
the two schools. The Academy has a similar arrangement with Chippewa Valley
Technical College at its River Falls location, but WITC-New Richmond makes
available a greater variety of classes to the Academy students, Berg says.
The Renaissance Academy is an alternative charter high
school in River Falls designed to meet the needs of students seeking a high
school diploma. Instruction is more individualized to fit student learning
styles while incorporating a standard based high school core curriculum.