The University of Wisconsin signed a transfer agreement with the College of Menominee Nation at a ceremony Monday.

The ceremony took place at CMN’s Cultural Institute on the Menominee’s American Indian reservation in Keshena, Wis.

The agreement will make it easier for students to transfer to UW after completing two years at CMN. Both UW and CMN will benefit from this partnership, according to UW Provost Patrick Farrell.

"If it all works out, we will have a lot more students from the Menominee Nation joining us," Farrell said. "It will increase our diversity. I would expect it is a big advantage for CMN, too, to attract students."

Farrell said the Menominee Nation itself will also gain from the partnership.

"Many students will return to the Menominee Nation when they get their degrees, so they have the opportunity for a more educated workforce," Farrell said.

UW entered into the agreement in order to pave a clearer path to Madison for students from CMN, Farrell said.

"We are looking to build connections across the state for students who sometimes do not think Madison is the place for them," Farrell said.

Students wishing to transfer must maintain good academic standing at the College of Menominee Nation. Accordingly, an unlimited number of CMN students will be able to take advantage of the program each year.

"If students take the appropriate courses at CMN and get a B average or better, Madison will accept them as transfer students when they are ready to apply," Farrell said.

UW and CMN have been connected for nearly a decade, and the new agreement follows a previous agreement signed in 2002 with UW’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The agreement is also UW’s first partnership with one of Wisconsin’s American Indian tribes.

UW junior Tim Annis, who is co-chair of UW-Madison’s Wunk Sheek — an organization that preserves and shares American Indian traditions — also said the agreement will benefit students at CMN and bring diversity to UW.

"I think the greater cooperation between the two schools has a great effect," Annis said. "Students who maybe did not have the ability or financial means to get into Madison the first time can get a great education now."