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WITC and Renaissance Academy forge alliance

A new alliance has emerged between Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond and the Renaissance Academy in River Falls.

(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 dual credit.

“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 possibilities.”

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.