Moraine Park makes Military Friendly Schools list for 6th year

by dritger8. February 2016 10:31

For the sixth consecutive year, Moraine Park Technical College is pleased to have made Victory Media’s 2016 list of Military Friendly Schools for its commitment in serving veterans as students.

Moraine Park Technical College was named to Victory Media’s 2016 list of Military Friendly Schools – the sixth consecutive time Moraine Park has earned this honor. Shown here receiving Moraine Park’s latest Military Friendly award is (left to right) Stephanie Lueck, financial aid specialist; Scott Lieburn, dean of students; Bonnie Baerwald, president; Kimberly DeMaa, financial aid specialist; and Stephen Pepper, student veterans specialist.

“I’m so proud of our staff and students for making our campuses special places for our military students and student veterans,” said Scott Lieburn, Moraine Park’s dean of students.

This prestigious award recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide who embrace America’s veterans as students.

Moraine Park has numerous resources available to military and veteran students, including the Student Veterans Association (SVA) club. The SVA meets regularly to provide information about educational opportunities offered at Moraine Park. The club allows students to meet with other military students and veterans. This provides a support system to help veteran and military members ask questions and smoothly transition from military life to college and careers. 

Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges, to community and technical colleges and trade schools. The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience. Schools on the Military Friendly Schools list also offer additional benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service and military spouse programs. Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations. The complete list can be viewed by visiting

For more information on Moraine Park’s Veteran Services, visit


Moraine Park releases 2014-15 Annual Report

by dritger3. February 2016 15:33

Moraine Park Technical College’s 2014-15 Annual Report is now available as an e-book. Readers will learn about the many accomplishments achieved by students, faculty and staff; the College’s financial information; and any new facilities updates during the 2014-15 school year. Also included is information from the Moraine Park Foundation, which shares student success stories, new foundation initiatives and financial data.  

 “The 2014-15 annual report celebrates the impact Moraine Park has had on our students and communities while recognizing the people who made it happen,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president. “I’m pleased to share the highlights of our accomplishments and to sincerely thank our readers who generously gave of their time, talent and treasure to move the college forward and help our students succeed.”

To view the Annual Report in e-book format, visit

Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses is also offered. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit


Moraine Park celebrates Career and Technical Education Month

by dritger2. February 2016 08:32

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® is celebrated each February across the country. Moraine Park Technical College, along with the entire Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), will be holding events throughout the month related to career and technical education.

“Career and Technical Education month is an opportunity for Moraine Park Technical College to celebrate the achievements and accomplishment of our programs within our district and the crucial role we play in preparing our students for economic success,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park’s president.

The College invites the general public to join in celebration of CTE month at the following events: 

•Prospective students can learn more information about programs, admissions requirements, financial aid and scholarships available at Discover Moraine Park from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the West Bend campus, Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Fond du Lac campus and Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Beaver Dam campus.

•Chris Czarnik, author of The Human Search Engine, will give a presentation and discuss the view of hiring from “the other side of the desk” at the Fond du Lac campus, Monday, March 7; at the Beaver Dam campus, Monday, Feb. 22; and Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the West Bend campus. During the one-hour presentation, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at each campus, he will give inside information about screening resumes, phone screens, first interviews, second interviews and negotiating salary.

•Current Moraine Park students and alumni are encouraged to learn how easy it can be to transfer credits to a four-year college or university at the 2016 Transfer Fair. The event will be held from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Beaver Dam campus on Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Fond du Lac campus on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and the West Bend campus on Thursday, Feb. 25. Additionally, a Virtual Transfer Fair will be held for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. via

The College will be hosting a Moraine Park Association for Career and Technical Education (MPACTE) awards ceremony later this month, honoring Moraine Park faculty and staff for their contributions to career and technical education. 

For more events, visit For details on statewide CTE month activities, visit  


22-year run streak helping Moraine Park dean give back

by dritger1. February 2016 08:52

Pete Rettler, West Bend Campus dean at Moraine Park Technical College, is using his incredible running streak as a way to give back to Moraine Park students. 

In 1994, Rettler and a college friend were looking to lose weight and vowed to go for a run every single day of the year. No matter what. Though both men completed this challenge, it turns out that stretch of 365 days was only the beginning for Rettler.  

Pete Rettler, West Bend campus dean at Moraine Park Technical College, has run outdoors every day for the past 22 years. Rettler has now started an annual “Streak Scholarship Run” to raise money for Moraine Park Foundation scholarships. Here, Rettler stands with Moraine Park student Hannah Koepp, the recipient of this year’s “Streak Run” scholarship.  

A staggering total of more than 8,000 consecutive days – that’s 22 years and counting - has now passed with Rettler, of West Bend, never once missing a daily run regardless of weather conditions, busy schedules, health status, or family and work obligations.

“I’m going to keep this going as long as I can. I can’t believe I haven’t had anything that’s kept me from running so far. I’ve just been extremely lucky,” Rettler said. His personal rules for the streak include that each run must be a minimum of 1.2 miles and can only be done outdoors. He averages 2.5 miles each run, but that can range up to six miles or more depending on the day. 

This year, he celebrated his 22-year anniversary of the streak with an organized run on New Year’s Eve. The “Streak Scholarship Run 2015” featured Rettler going on another 2.5-mile run around West Bend; this time joined by various friends and colleagues who have run with him over the years. And, more importantly, those joining him each donated $22 – and sometimes far more – in honor of the 22-year milestone. In all, more than $600 was raised, with all proceeds donated to the Moraine Park Foundation for student scholarships. 

“I have been extremely blessed to be able to keep this Streak going for 22 years, and ‘The Streak Scholarship’ is a nice way to give back,” said Rettler, who hopes to make this an annual event. “The Moraine Park Foundation does a lot of incredible things to help give our students an affordable education. Having an annual ‘Streak Run’ will be a fun way to help continue raising awareness and giving to this great cause.”  

For more information on the Moraine Park Foundation or to make your own donation, please visit


Moraine Park offering chance to “Test Drive” careers

by apantzlaff28. January 2016 09:27

Reading and hearing about new career opportunities is helpful. But what if you actually could try them out as well? Moraine Park Technical College is offering a unique opportunity to do just that with its new “Test Drive” workshops for welding and computerized numerical control (CNC).

Three CNC machining “Test Drive” workshops are being offered. The first two will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. The third session will be Thursday, Feb. 4, from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m.  

The welding ‘Test Drive’ workshop will be held in the evening only, from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. on both Tuesday, Feb. 2, and Thursday, Feb. 4.

Each free, two-hour workshop will be held at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus. Both the welding and CNC “Test Drive” workshops will give attendees insight into these respective careers; chances to meet potential employers; and provide valuable, hands-on opportunities to try out these career areas. This hands-on experience will include actually working with machines and tools to make a part, which can be taken home following the event.   

“Test Drive is a unique opportunity for attendees to do more than just hear about a job in CNC machining or welding and walk into the lab.  It will let attendees get their hands on machines and try it for themselves to see if this might be the right career for them,” said JoAnn Hall, dean of economic and workforce development.  “It’s a fun way to give a new career a try, rather than just see it on YouTube or hear about it from someone else.”

Moraine Park’s “Test Drive” isn’t just about the workshops, there will also be a job fair, noted Hall.

“Attendees can talk with employers  – who have jobs to fill right now – about job opportunities.  If it turns out to be something they want to pursue, we have the training program to get them there.” 

Participants who attend “Test Drive” will also be able to learn about Moraine Park’s short-term training boot camp opportunities. These boot camps offer a unique training opportunity to potential candidates by providing entry-level skills as well as job experience from these 13- to 15-week sessions. CNC Machining and Welding Boot Camps begin in early March 2016. 

Space is limited for the “Test Drive” workshops, and pre-registration is required. Deadline to register is Monday, Feb. 1, at 12 p.m. 

For more details on “Test Drive” or to register, visit, or call Eileen Rottscholl at 920-924-3334.



Moraine Park IT Club offering tech help to senior citizens

by ratkinson19. January 2016 14:32

Learning new technology can be a daunting task for some seniors, but thanks to a recent collaboration between Moraine Park Technical College and the Fond du Lac Senior Center, one-on-one help is now available for those struggling or just looking to get the most out of their electronic devices.

In mid-December, students in Moraine Park’s IT Club began volunteering their time Thursday afternoons at the senior center, located at 151 E 1st St. These sessions will resume again when Moraine Park begins its spring semester Jan. 25. 

At these sessions, seniors may bring in their devices of any kind for any issue, and an IT Club member will sit down with them personally and try to address their individual, specific questions.

“When we first decided to do this, I expected the IT students to just come in and show a few basic things, but it’s been so much more than that,” said Sarah Olson, outreach, wellness and program coordinator at the senior center.  “On the first day they came in, they said ‘We’re not only going to fix the problem, we’re going to teach them how to fix the problem.’”

“It’s been a great way for our IT Club to reach out and volunteer,” said Aaron Schlosser, a Moraine Park student enrolled in a dual degree program for IT Tech Support/IT Networking.

Dozens of seniors have already participated, bringing in a variety of smart phones, laptops and tablets. Among many topics seniors have asked for help with include basic device instruction, email assistance, help finding and playing games, searching and downloading music, watching Youtube videos, photography tips, online banking, learning apps like Snapchat and Skype that help stay in contact with faraway relatives, and more.

“It’s been great to have this opportunity. I do not text. I do not have a smart phone. I have a tablet, but I don’t know how to email or get pictures off of it. We older folks just don’t get it. I mean, we’ve got too much stuff in our head we need to get rid of before we can get this stuff into it,” Janet Vermeer, an attendee at a December session said jokingly, before adding, “This truly helps.”

She brought in her tablet to learn more about replying to emails, social media and other basic tasks.

For Irmgard Knubis, she also attended a session to learn some basics about her tablet. She plans to come to another session and hopes eventually she’ll be able to search and listen to favorite German songs from her youth, and also discover how to read more books on her tablet, which she prefers these days because of the ability to increase font sizes.

“It definitely helps,” Knubis said of sitting down for one-on-one talks with the Moraine Park students. “My son comes over, or grandson comes over, and they can do anything. But, for me … I just don’t know it.”

Not knowing is perfectly natural, said Mitch Sheer, Moraine Park IT Club President, who’s been leading the training efforts. Sheer is also enrolled in a dual degree program for IT Tech Support/IT Networking.

“They don’t know what some of these things mean, and they’re not supposed to. These things weren’t around for them when they were growing up, so it’s our pleasure to help them with that,” he said.

And not only has the program benefited seniors, the sessions have been an asset to Moraine Park’s IT students as well.

“Obviously it’s very, very helpful for them and a great opportunity to give back, but also, we learn a lot, too,” Sheer said. “One woman said to me, ‘I don’t know how you know so much about this.’ I told her I’d never even touched this specific tablet she had before. But that’s what we’re taught mostly in IT. The answers are right in front of you. You just need to be willing to poke around a lot … So it’s just a constant learning experience for us, too.”


To see what IT programs Moraine Park has to offer, visit If you have a project you'd like Moraine Park's IT Club to consider, please contact Club Advisor Jeff Sonnleitner at



At a recent help session at the Fond du Lac Senior Center, Moraine Park Technical College IT Club President Mitch Sheer (left) gives tips and advice to Janet Vermeer on how to perform various functions on her tablet.


Discover Moraine Park will showcase career possibilities

by apantzlaff19. January 2016 08:36

Jump-start your education and career with a visit to one of Moraine Park Technical College’s three campuses during Discover Moraine Park.

 “Discover Moraine Park” will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the West Bend campus; Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Fond du Lac campus; and Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Beaver Dam campus.

High school students, displaced workers and people looking to change careers are invited to attend. The event is free. Participants will learn about different programs of study offered at the College. The events are also designed to help “fast track” the college admissions process.

Attendees will receive a $30 application fee waiver, valid toward associate of applied science degree and technical diploma (30+ credits) applications. Photo ID is required.

Representatives will be on hand to explain program details, completion of admissions requirements, financial aid, scholarships, student services and when and how to apply for programs of interest. Program instructors and staff will also be available to answer your questions.

Program areas to be featured at Discover Moraine Park include Business, Technology and Digital Arts; Consumer and Hospitality Services; Engineering; Environmental Sciences and Trades; General Education; Health Science and Human Services; and Manufacturing.

For more information about the event or to register, visit Registration for the event is not necessary but is appreciated.



Three seats open for Moraine Park District Board

by apantzlaff19. January 2016 08:32

Moraine Park Technical College is accepting applications from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5 for three positions on the Moraine Park District Board. Openings exist for the following positions: employer member, employee member and additional member; each opening is a three-year term of office that expires June 30, 2019.

The Employer Member position must be appointed from those counties of the District located east of the east shore of Lake Winnebago and the area east of the east boundary of the towns of Fond du Lac and Oakfield in Fond du Lac County and east of the east boundary of the towns of Leroy, Williamstown, Oak Grove, and Lowell in Dodge County. 

The Employee Member position must be appointed from those counties of the District located west of the east shore of Lake Winnebago and the area west of the east boundary of the towns of Fond du Lac and Oakfield in Fond du Lac County and west of the east boundary of the towns of Leroy, Williamstown, Oak Grove, and Lowell in Dodge County. 

The Additional Member position must be appointed from those counties of the District located east of the east shore of Lake Winnebago and the area east of the east boundary of the towns of Fond du Lac and Oakfield in Fond du Lac County and east of the east boundary of the towns of Leroy, Williamstown, Oak Grove, and Lowell in Dodge County.

Applicants must submit a completed application, including at least two written references supporting their nomination to the District Board and must attend the public hearing of the District Board Appointment Committee tentatively scheduled to be held at 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 7, at Moraine Park Technical College.  A legal notice announcing the exact date, time, and location of this meeting will be published sometime during the week of Jan. 25 or Feb. 1.

Application materials may be obtained from the County Board Chairperson or Clerk of any of the following counties:  Calumet, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Sheboygan, Washington, Waushara, and Winnebago, or by contacting Jodie Schneider, Moraine Park Technical College, 235 North National Avenue, P. O. Box 1940, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54936-1940, telephone 920-929-2127, email 

Completed applications will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.  All completed applications should be addressed to Mr. Mike Staral, Secretary, Moraine Park Technical College District Board, 235 North National Avenue, P. O. Box 1940, Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1940.  



Moraine Park Technical College, Herzing University to Provide Flexible Path to Bachelor’s Degrees

by dritger5. January 2016 14:45

FOND DU LAC, WI – Students with an associate of applied science degree from Moraine Park Technical College will have a new, more flexible option to achieve a bachelor’s degree thanks to a partnership announced with Herzing University.

DEGREE UP provides a student-centered, affordable educational opportunity for Moraine Park Technical College students. Following students’ completion of an associate of applied science degree and application to DEGREE UP, they can pursue credit from both institutions simultaneously and take some additional courses through Moraine Park Technical College. This partnership will allow students to get needed educational training while taking advantage of the community college tuition rate for many of the needed courses.

DEGREE UP students will take their courses from Herzing University online or at one of Herzing’s Wisconsin-based campuses, allowing them to stay and finish their bachelor’s degree in state. The end result is a bachelor’s degree from Herzing University in as little as four years. 

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Herzing University to offer our students the options the Degree Up program provides,” said Moraine Park Technical College President Bonnie Baerwald. “Whether they want to take classes in the traditional classroom setting or online, this partnership ensures our students who are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, are able to do so efficiently by maximizing their transfer credits without retaking coursework.” 

For Herzing University, which has three Wisconsin campuses, the DEGREE UP program serves as a nationwide model for career-focused education.

“We want to give all students an equal opportunity to pursue competitive, career-ready degrees,” said Herzing University President Renee Herzing. “Everyone should be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in the most efficient manner possible, without having to worry about a difficult transition between schools.”

Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912, and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend, Wis., and regional centers in Jackson and Ripon, Wis., Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses is also offered. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit

Herzing University, a private nonprofit academic institution, encompasses 11 campuses in eight states, a continuing education division, an online division, and has a current enrollment of approximately 6,000 students. Founded in Milwaukee in 1965, today the University offers career-focused, convenient and caring education for master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, diplomas and continuing education in the fields of nursing, technology, business, healthcare, design and public safety.  In 2013, 2014 and 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Herzing University as one of the “Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs” nationally. Herzing University has also been recognized as a member of the 2015 GI Jobs Magazine’s list of “Military Friendly Schools.” Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. More information about Herzing University is available at:


Moraine Park earns Well Workplace designation

by dritger4. January 2016 09:11

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) recently awarded Moraine Park Technical College with a three-year Well Workplace gold rating designation, ranking Moraine Park among America’s healthiest companies. 

 “Moraine Park envisions a faculty and staff population that is proactive in preventative self-care and achieves high levels of energy, creativity and health – transforming our work and family environments so that everyone can achieve longevity, personal fulfillment, and a balanced lifestyle,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president.  

Moraine Park Technical College has achieved Well Workplace designation from the Wellness Council of America. Shown here with Moraine Park’s wellness recognition award  are Bonnie Baerwald, President; Krista Mallas, Human Resources Assistant; Kim Braatz, Careers Instructor; Lori Schrage, Benefits Coordinator; Kathy Broske, VP-Human Resources; and Greg Kilgas, Compensation & Benefits Manager.

Earning this national Well Workplace designation is a rigorous process. There is an initial review from WELCOA to examine a workplace’s wellness efforts along seven benchmarks. From CEO support to evaluation of outcomes, organizations have to demonstrate they have successfully met the requirements to achieve Well Workplace designation.

Moraine Park’s recent wellness initiatives, primarily organized by Moraine Park’s Health and Wellness Team, have included health risk assessments; education on weight control, cholesterol and healthy eating; flu shots; an Employee Assistance Program; fitness challenges and many other resources and activities. 

But according to Lori Schrage, Moraine Park’s benefits coordinator, it’s the buy-in from everyone at the College that has led to the Well Workplace designation and will lead to even more progress in the future. 

 “Through the efforts of the Health and Wellness Team, all of our participating employees and the support of our management team, Moraine Park was able to achieve the Well Workplace designation, and Moraine Park Technical College will continue to strengthen and enhance our wellness program in the future to improve the health and well-being of our employees,” Schrage said. 

For more information on the Well Workplace designation, visit