Agreement provides transfer path for Williamson grads

Williamson College of the Trades and Pennsylvania College of Technology have forged an agreement that will ease the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree for Williamson graduates.

Students in Williamson’s construction technology programs will benefit from a transfer pathway into Penn College’s bachelor’s degree in residential construction technology and management without repeating coursework.

“Everyone at Williamson, from the board of trustees, to the faculty and shop instructors, to our students and alumni, are very excited about the recent articulation agreement that was executed between Williamson and Penn College of Technology,” said Bill Bonenberger, Williamson’s board vice chairman. “My own son just finished his second year at Penn College, so I know firsthand about the dedicated teachers and first-class institution they run.

“We are very impressed with the opportunities that this articulation agreement creates. Over the years, a significant percentage of Williamson students have gone on to further their education. Unfortunately, in the field of residential construction management, they had to start as freshmen, with no credit given for their three years of academics and trade education at Williamson. The opportunity for our alumni to now attend a school with a proven track record and long-standing reputation for placing its graduates with some of the best construction firms in the industry is something we appreciate, and hopefully something both schools will benefit from.”

The agreement affords students the opportunity to plan their transfer to a bachelor-degree program and avoid duplicate coursework. With careful planning, Williamson students could complete coursework toward a minor in areas such as architectural technology, sustainable design or small business management and entrepreneurship.

“We are excited to offer a bachelor-degree opportunity for Williamson students,” said Marc E. Bridgens, dean of the School of Construction and Design Technologies at Penn College. “By entering our program with a strong foundation in carpentry or masonry, Williamson students will be able to expand their skill base with advanced coursework in estimating, residential building management and advanced mechanical systems.”

The Penn College residential construction technology and management program is endorsed by the Pennsylvania Builders Association. PBA is a nonprofit professional trade organization representing 6,000 member companies across the commonwealth. As students earn certification, their names are added to the PBA website, providing reassurance to builders and potential employers that they are well-prepared to work with a residential construction company.

Penn College’s student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders, Penn College Construction Association, competes at national competitions and has won numerous building-industry awards. Most recently, a team of students in Penn College’s two-year program placed third in the national competition. West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association, a regional affiliate of the Pennsylvania Builders Association, provides financial support for the competition.

“Penn College is very pleased to formalize this relationship with Williamson,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Williamson’s history of dedication to excellence in education in applied technology and trades extends almost 130 years. Its graduates in masonry and carpentry fit the mold of Penn College students: smart, hardworking and dedicated to their craft.”

Tom Wisneski, Williamson’s vice president of education, is pleased at the new prospects such an agreement offers.

“While Williamson has agreements with other colleges in areas such as organizational leadership or human resource management, this is the first time we have been able to forge a pathway in the specific field of residential construction technology and management, which should prove to be a real asset to our carpentry and masonry graduates,” Wisneski said. “And we are particularly delighted to partner with a school with such an outstanding reputation as Penn College. A Williamson grad with a BS from Penn College of Technology? That’s an impressive resume!”

Prior graduates of Williamson, or current students interested in the bachelor-degree opportunity, should contact Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies to discuss transfer into the program. Penn College offers opportunities throughout the year to tour its 92,000 square feet of construction lab space and speak with faculty.

Williamson College of the Trades, located in Media, was founded in 1888 as The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades to prepare “deserving young men” to become useful, respected members of society.

Williamson provides full scholarships and a three-year education to qualified students to study one of six trades. In addition to the trades, Williamson offers a broad education in a highly structured environment. Williamson’s core values are faith, integrity, diligence, excellence and service.

To learn about Penn College’s degree in residential construction technology and management and related majors, call 570-327-4518 or visit www.pct. /CDT.