News Release

David Bernard
Public Relations Associate, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720

From Career Training to College Degree

Wilmington University's partnership with Polytech Adult Education provides students with ladders of opportunity

Wilmington University's new partnership with Polytech Adult Education offers graduates of the Kent County career training school the opportunity to climb even higher.

The partnership, which was announced before an audience of Polytech students on January 23, enables credits earned through select Polytech programs to be applied toward WilmU's associate of science in applied technology and other degree options.

"Wilmington University has always valued the importance of hands-on education combined with the learning that occurs in the traditional classroom," said Lindsay Rice, assessment manager for the school's College of Online and Experiential Learning. "Our applied technology programs were designed for partnership with technical programs. They complement that education with both soft skills and additional coursework in technology and business that's relevant to each student's future career."

The potential payoff, said Rice, could be significant. "This intersection of experiential and traditional learning provides Polytech Adult Education students with a new pathway for developing the 21st century skills that are highly desired in today's economy."

Polytech Adult Education, a division of the Polytech School District, contacted WilmU last year with a proposal to issue transferrable credits for its mechanical and electrical engineering apprenticeships. Faculty members from WilmU's Colleges of Technology and Business then followed up with the Woodside, Delaware-based vocational school to discuss other academic partnership possibilities.

Under the resulting agreement, Polytech students who complete specified programs will be awarded prior learning assessment credits upon applying for admission to WilmU. Eligible programs (and the maximum credits awarded for their completion) include:

•   Automotive technician (12 credits)

•   Early care & education (9 credits)

•   Electrical construction (16 credits)

•   Front-line management (3 credits)

•   HVAC-R (16 credits)

•   Industrial maintenance (16 credits)

•   IT fundamentals (6 credits)

•   Mechatronics (21 credits)

•   Plumbing (16 credits)

According to Polytech superintendent Dr. Mark Dufendach, the partnership expands the scope of students' career opportunities. Consider, for instance, the apprentice who aspires to one day own his or her own business.

"Polytech can help them learn the technical skills they need, we can give them the training that meets the state’s requirements for licensure, but we cannot give them a degree in marketing or finance," said Dr. Dufendach. "This is why we are so pleased that our graduates will be awarded credits by Wilmington University for the training they have completed here.

"Wilmington University has an established reputation as a leader in postsecondary education for working adults," he added. "Those are our students — working adults, trying to better themselves and advance their careers.  And we are very glad to be able to provide this new opportunity to them."

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, non-profit institution committed to providing career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The Wilmington University difference starts with our flexible, year-round class schedules, full online learning capabilities, and one of the lowest tuitions in the tri-state region. Combined with our intense focus on academic excellence and individualized attention to our students in our degree and certificate programs, the WilmU difference is reflected in our students' achievements and our alumni's successes. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at, or visit

Published: Monday, February 5, 2018 - New Castle, DE