Moraine Park ranked as one of top 10 percent in the country

by jbrezinsky31. July 2012 11:19

     Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Moraine Park Technical College as one of the nation’s 120 top community colleges for the second year in a row.  
     The Aspen Institute identified the 120 community colleges – 10 percent of all institutions – using a quantitative formula that assesses performance and improvement in four areas based on publicly available data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the U.S. Census Bureau: graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates, and equity in student outcomes.  A full list of the 120 community colleges is available at       
     “Moraine Park is honored to have been selected as one of the top 10 percent of community colleges in the country. We are grateful for the support we received from national leaders in business, education and labor that recognized Moraine Park as a nominee for the nation’s top community college prize,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.
     Some seven million students – youth and adult learners – enroll in America’s nearly 1,200 public and private community colleges every year. “The success of our nation’s community colleges is more important than ever before,” said Aspen Institute College Excellence Program Executive Director Josh Wyner, who announced the names of the 120 top community colleges at the annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Orlando, Florida. “At a time when a college degree is essential to entering the middle class, community colleges like Moraine Park offer the most promising path to education and employment for literally millions of Americans.”               
     Moraine Park 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.


Hopper receives MPTC Distinguished Alumnus award

by jbrezinsky25. July 2012 09:16

     Mark Hopper’s Moraine Park Technical College roots were planted in the early 1970s when he was a business marketing student at Moraine Park Technical Institute, as it was then called. As a Fond du Lac resident and 1974 graduate, Hopper Kelly Norton, Moraine Park Alumni and Foundation director presents Mark Hopper with Moraine Park’s Distinguished Alumnus award. has witnessed growth and change in his alma mater, so it’s especially appropriate that Hopper is honored with the Distinguished Alumnus award this year, as Moraine Park celebrates its 100th anniversary.
     “It is truly an honor to be able to award Mark the Moraine Park Distinguished Alumnus award,” said Kelly Norton, Moraine Park Alumni and Foundation director. “Mark is extremely dedicated to the community; selflessly giving his time and talent to other organizations to ensure that Fond du Lac continues thrive. More so, Mark is a champion of Moraine Park having served on the Foundation board and newly developed Alumni Advisory Committee. He is a true testament to the caliber of students here at Moraine Park.”        
     “It’s wonderful to be recognized by an institution that has helped make me what I am today. I’m humbled by this award that so many are worthy of. It’s nice to see that, almost 40 years later, Moraine Park is still a valuable resource for continuing education in the Fond du Lac area.”        
     A valuable resource thanks in part to alumni like Hopper who give back their time and resources. “Maintaining my involvement with Moraine Park is my way of giving back to the community. Moraine Park is crucial to my success story, and it’s important for me to give back to students today,” said Hopper.     
     Hopper is the CEO/president of Hopper’s Silk Screening, Inc., nestled in downtown Fond du Lac. He established his business with his wife Kim in 1978, a few years after graduating from Moraine Park. Since then, Hopper’s Silk Screening, Inc., has grown from a small, community-based business into one that serves customers all over the world. Hopper’s dedication and commitment to quality and service has made Hopper’s Silk Screening, Inc., the largest area screen printer.        
     According to Dave Hopper, Mark’s son and business associate, “Moraine Park gave Dad the ability and confidence to face the challenges of the entrepreneurial world.  Even in today’s economic times, he looks back and uses the tools and    lessons from his education and applies them to the current business landscape.”
     Moraine Park helped Hopper target special skills like business planning, economics, financial planning, forecasting, accounting, marketing and communications to compete in the workforce and empowered him with the confidence to move forward. 
     One of Hopper’s favorite quotes is, “Bring your passion to your career and success will follow.” Hopper credits his instructors and education at Moraine Park for planting seeds to grow for a lifetime of success.  For more information on Moraine Park’s Alumni Association, visit



Dual enrollment provides Moraine Park students with learning advantage

by jbrezinsky19. July 2012 05:32


A Moraine Park associate of applied science student meets with a UW-Green Bay representative on transfer options during Moraine Park’s March Transfer Fair.

    When Jasmyn Clough graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 2008, she had completed enough transcripted credit courses to count as two classes in Moraine Park Technical College’s Business Management program. While an accident kept Clough from enrolling at Moraine Park directly out of high school, in 2010, she was able to hit the ground running with two college classes under her belt.       
    Clough, who graduates this December, isn’t stopping with her Business Management associate of applied science degree. Instead, she is taking advantage of the transfer agreements set in place by Moraine Park and will be entering Cardinal Stritch University at junior status as a Business Management student in the spring of 2013. She’s on a track that will allow her to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in two years.
     Clough is a perfect example of how transcripted credits, or dual enrollment, creates an economically savvy, time-saving path to success. “I’m a first-generation college student and am making my family proud by obtaining a Moraine Park associated of applied science degree then continuing my education,” Clough said. “I’m always looking one step ahead and the transfer agreement with Cardinal Stritch is helping me continue this pattern.”               
     Transcripted credit/dual enrollment has been offered at Moraine Park for almost 20 years. Transcripted credit courses are Moraine Park courses taught in the high school using technical college curriculum, grading policies and textbooks. In addition to Moraine Park, these credits are transferable to all colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System.
     The numbers line up and high school students are saving money through this seamless dual enrollment transition. In 2010-11, high school students in Moraine Park’s district earned over $1.2 million worth of college credits – 4,183 took transcripted credits with a total of 9,871 credits completed. There are 216 transcripted credit agreements with public schools in Moraine Park’s district.       
     “I encourage high school students to inquire about dual enrolled options with their counselors,” said Moraine Park president Sheila Ruhland. “If you are seeking avenues for cost savings and time shortened programs as you enter college, enrolling in these classes as a high school student is an excellent first choice!”
     Taking it to the next step of transferring from a two-year to four-year degree, Moraine Park has a full-time Academic Support and Transfer Specialist who works to secure agreements and support students as they transition from Moraine Park to a bachelor’s degree path. In 2011-12, more than 150 Moraine Park students were guided through the transfer process.            
     “The college currently has agreements with 36 four-year institutions, said Karla Donahue, Moraine Park academic support and transfer specialist” From those 36 colleges and universities, students can choose from 111 different specific program pathways.          
     At Cardinal Stritch, for example, 15 different degree options exist for Moraine Park students to choose from when they decide on the transferring option.  Every spring, Moraine Park holds a Transfer Fair when representatives from the 36 colleges with transfer agreements in place come to offer information and chat with Moraine Park students interested in transferring. Attending the Transfer Fair is how Clough became interested in attending Cardinal Stritch.             
     Diane Sexton had the idea of lifelong learning in mind when she enrolled in the accounting program at Moraine Park.  A solid associate of applied science foundation at Moraine Park, combined with an easy transition to Ottawa University, based out of Milwaukee, allowed Sexton to continue learning. She eventually obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration, and a master’s degree in business administration, also from Ottawa.
     Students who complete their associate of applied science degree through Moraine Park can apply up to 80 credits toward an Ottawa University bachelor’s degree. Online and face-to-face programs are available to students in areas including business administration, health care management and accounting.
     “The transition from Moraine Park to Ottawa University was extremely easy,” said Sexton. “My instructors at Moraine Park provided me with a very strong education in accounting which set me up for success at Ottawa.  Moraine Park got me back into the swing of going to school, and Ottawa allowed me to continue learning by accepting all of my credits from Moraine Park, allowing me to achieve my bachelor’s degree quickly.”
     Dual Enrollment/transcripted credits, and transfer agreements continue to play a role in Moraine Park’s offering of flexible and convenient degree options. For more information on dual enrollment at Moraine Park, visit



Governor Walker Announces Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant for Moraine Park Technical College

by jbrezinsky18. July 2012 02:39

     Governor Walker announced today the awarding of a Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant from the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc. for Moraine Park Technical College.
     The College will use the $705,647 grant to provide specific training necessary to create new jobs at partnering businesses including Amerequip Corporation, Brenner Tank, John Crane Orion, and Mid-States Aluminum Corporation. 
     “This is the kind of collaboration that will get Wisconsin working again,” said Governor Scott Walker.  “Technical Colleges partner with employers who have a hands-on role in developing the educational programs so those pursuing this education will have the skills they need to get good, family-supporting jobs.   This grant will bridge the gap between people who want good jobs and employers who need skilled workers.”
     The grant will establish Manufacturing Skills Academies for both machine operation and welding training in a 15-week boot camp format.   This training will result in either an Entry Level Welding Certificate or a Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator Certificate.  Students will have options to connect to additional diplomas and certificates available from Moraine Park.   Upon completion of the grant, the partnership companies expect to fill 108 new positions with skilled workers.
     “Through the generosity of the Wisconsin’s Workforce Partnership Grant, funded by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, we are able to help move Wisconsin forward in closing the gap between Wisconsin’s middle-skill jobs and available workers,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.  “We are thrilled to be working with Amerequip, Brenner Tank, John Crane Orion, and Mid-States Aluminum as Moraine Park moves into the next century of innovative education and will continue to strengthen the pipeline between Moraine Park and employers throughout the district.”
     Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Program grants are privately funded by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc.  This Foundation program serves job creators and job seekers by using technical school education and targeting it to Wisconsin’s immediate employment needs.
     Governor Walker worked with the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc. to create this grant program.  The program was announced in March of this year and in total $3.8 million in grants will be awarded to help fund programs like the one in Moraine Park and other Wisconsin Technical College System schools. 
     Moraine Park 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. Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development offers customized training, workshops and seminars to meet current and future workforce needs. Supporting entrepreneurship for small businesses, Moraine Park provides low-cost non-degree classes, free entrepreneurial workshops and entrepreneurial certification. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit



Moraine Park hosts manufacturing adventure camp

by jbrezinsky17. July 2012 09:04

Toolin’ it! allows local students to explore careers in manufacturing

     Students from area middle and high schools spent the week of June 18 through 22 at Moraine Park Technical College learning about manufacturing through instruction, hands-on activities and meeting leaders in the manufacturing business during the Toolin’ It! summer camp. The camp covered a range of topics in manufacturing from computer-assisted design and CNC, to electricity and welding.
     Sixteen students in ages ranging from 13 to 16 from Campbellsport, Fond du Lac, Hartford, Kewaskum, Rubicon, Slinger and West Bend filled the room on the first day of camp to learn about design. They were able to experiment with SolidWorks, a 3D mechanical CAD program.
     “It’s appropriate that students begin with design,” said Kim Olson, a tool design engineering technology instructor at Moraine Park. Design isn’t made in the shop. “Everything needs to be designed prior to being produced on the shop floor.”
     Tom Roehl, engineering technologist instructor at Moraine Park, taught the students on Tuesday about the concept of value added. “Adding value to a piece of material is the core of how manufacturers make a profit,” Roehl said. Roehl hopes that the students take away an interest in machining as a career possibility, an understanding of the benefits of manufacturing as a career and an appreciation for how manufacturers improve our society.            
     On Wednesday, Mark Wamsley, electricity instructor at Moraine Park, led the students in a project where they installed wiring to make a light bulb turn on.
     After discussing safety equipment and protocol on Thursday morning, the students suited up for some welding projects and worked in groups of two. For Alex Dean, a homeschooled tenth-grader from Campbellsport, learning to weld was something new, as it was for students at the camp. When they developed enough skills with tacking two pieces of metal together, they moved on to more complicated projects like welding together a model-sized motorcycle.
     Moraine Park welding instructor Jeff Beach said there is a shortage of quality welders, and there will be a lot of opportunities for students interested in welding and fabrication. There’s a misconception that all jobs in manufacturing are “low paying” and “unsafe,” he added. “That’s not the case.”
     The camp concluded on Friday with field trips to Craft Cast Company in Jackson; Kettle Moraine Coatings in West Bend; and Signicast, out of Hartford.
     Todd McDonald, president of Signicast, said the tour provided a way to educate students what is possible” in manufacturing. When asked what types of classes should students pay attention to if they want to work for this company in the future he answered by saying “every skill they’re teaching in school is used here” including math, science, and reading.
     Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs is an organization that provides manufacturing camps such as the “Toolin’ It” camp to encourage students to investigate a career in manufacturing. For more information, visit




Choose Moraine Park flavor in Culver’s custard contest

by jbrezinsky10. July 2012 10:18

Public invited to vote for favorite
     As Moraine Park Technical College continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary, a delicious contest has been added to the mix of centennial-related activities.          
     Moraine Park has partnered with Culver’s to create a Flavor of the Day that will be featured in celebration of Moraine Park’s Centennial. The final flavor will be announced with free samples of the custard flavor available for tasting at the Moraine Park Centennial Time Capsule Opening and Dedication Ceremony on Thursday, August 16 at the Fond du Lac campus. Everyone is welcome to vote by visiting and clicking on the Culver’s Vote Now! button.
     “We are thrilled to be a part of Moraine Park centennial celebration and salute the College for all it has done for our community over the past 100 years,” said Dan Lichtenwald, owner of Culver’s on Fond du Lac’s East-side.  In addition to sampling the winning custard flavor, the public is invited to participate in other centennial-related events scheduled for August 16. The event will run from 3-5 p.m., outside the O-entrance on the west end of the campus. Festivities include: Opening of the 1987 time capsule; dedicating the College’s new time capsules; a WTCX live remote; and fun games, activities and prizes.
     The three delicious custard flavors to vote on are: MPTC Maximus Crunch (Oreo cheesecake flavored custard with blue and white sprinkles on top); MPTC Wolf Pack Choc Attack (Chocolate custard with brittled chocolate coating and oreos); and MPTC Berry Innovative (Vanilla custard, blueberry, and brittled chocolate coating).
     Participants are encouraged to vote often, and voting will take place through July 31. For more information on this and other Moraine Park centennial-related events, visit


Moraine Park’s Ruhland appointed to Joint Legislative Council

by jbrezinsky3. July 2012 08:58

 Ruhland to help improve educational opportunities for State high schools
     Moraine Park Technical College President, Dr. Sheila Ruhland, will represent Moraine Park at the state level with her recent appointment to the State of Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council. The Council’s primary responsibility is to establish study committees to examine major issues and problems identified by the Legislature. Ruhland will serve as a Public Member of the Special Committee on Improving Educational Opportunities in High School.
     Ruhland is looking forward to discussing and recommending educational opportunities for students throughout the state. “The scope of this committee clearly aligns with my work experiences and interest in looking at options for high school students, specific to career and technical education, and determining ways to increase post-secondary enrollment,” Ruhland shared.
     The Committee is directed to develop legislation to create and enhance opportunities for both lower-and higher-achieving students in high school. On the Committee, Ruhland will evaluate post-secondary enrollment, including the Youth Options Program, examine both career and technical education and post-secondary enrollment options available to high school students in other states.       
     Ruhland will also help determine how to promote coordination between high schools, technical colleges, universities and employers to ensure that high school students have the skills necessary to meet the work force needs to employers in the state.
     “Over the years we have seen a decline in the number of secondary courses available to educate and train high school students in career and technical education,” said Ruhland. “I believe that these courses are a critical pipeline that encourage and make students aware of post-secondary educational training opportunities, which is necessary if we are to meet the current and future workforce training needs in Wisconsin.”
     For more information on the Joint Legislative Council, visit For additional information on Moraine Park, visit









Steiner commended for service to Moraine Park District Board

by jbrezinsky2. July 2012 03:02


   Robb Steiner of West Bend was sworn in to the Moraine Park Technical College District Board in July of 2009 as an employee representative. Steiner’s three-year term came to an end at the June District Board meeting, where he was commended for his dedication and service to the Moraine Park District.     
     Steiner brought extensive knowledge to the Board related to the field of electricity, project management and green energy. A 2005 alumnus of Moraine Park’s Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Electrician Apprenticeship program, he works for his family’s business, Steiner Electric in West Bend, as an estimator and project designer.              
    “Robb’s leadership on the Board, especially as it related to the maintenance and project side of things was greatly appreciated,” stated Jodine Deppisch, Board Chair.  “Robb was an active member of the Board who we came to rely upon to provide the Board with his valued perspective. We thank Robb for his dedication and service to the Moraine Park District; he will be missed,” Deppisch said.      
     Steiner stated that he was saddened to leave the Board. “I feel very honored and blessed to have been a part of the Board,” Steiner said. “The team that’s been built here is amazing. Everyone has been such great team members, all driven toward student success.”           
     During Steiner’s time on the Board, he promoted technical and adult education in order to meet the educational and training needs of the District’s citizens. The Board expressed their gratitude to Steiner for his loyal service, leadership and friendship.           
     Moraine Park 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. Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development offers customized training, workshops and seminars to meet current and future workforce needs. Supporting entrepreneurship for small businesses, Moraine Park provides low-cost non-degree classes, free entrepreneurial workshops and entrepreneurial certification. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit



Moraine Park holds GED/HSED graduation ceremony

by jbrezinsky20. June 2012 10:40

    Basic education instructor Greg Harding (on left) with graduate Karen Espinoza of Hartford and Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park President.

 For some, work, family life and other obstacles have prevented them from graduating with a high school diploma. On Thursday, June 14, these students achieved the first step to educational success was celebrated at Moraine Park Technical College’s General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) graduation ceremony. Many graduates not only obtained their GED/HSED, but have solid plans to continue their education. 
     “To earn a GED, a candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that is rigorous and standardized to all graduating seniors,” said Sandra Huenink, Moraine Park dean of basic education. About 250 students completed the GED/HSED program at Moraine Park during the past year with 33 participating in the ceremony. 
    “This is a milestone to celebrate and enjoy,” said Huenink. “By obtaining your GED or HSED, you have opened new doors to your future and you should be proud of your success. Your journey does not stop here; always be looking for educational opportunities to continue learning.”  
     Jessica Wulff of Fond du Lac, who served as a student speaker at the ceremony, will continue learning this fall at Moraine Park. She is enrolled in the Engine Research and Development Technician Program and is looking forward to the next step in her education.
     “Moraine Park is here to help you continue your education,” said Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president. “I was told I was not ‘college bound’ and found support in dedicated faculty and staff to believe in myself and continue to learn. If you believe it, you can achieve it,” added Ruhland.
     The Friend of Basic Education Award was presented to Moraine Park’s staff of four Disabled Students Specialists.  “It is truly an honor for the Disabled Students Specialists to be recognized by the Basic Education Staff
and Faculty,” said Bonnie Bauer, who supervises the Disabled Students Specialists. “We truly enjoy working in a close and collaborative fashion with the Basic Education team in supporting student success.”    
    GED/HSED tests will be changing starting January 2014. Anyone currently working on their GED or interested in earning a GED is encouraged to complete all five GED tests no later than December 2013. If all five tests are not completed by that time, candidates will be required to restart testing with the new GED tests. Previous scores will not carry over to the new tests in January 2014. The new GED tests will be computer-based and will continue to be administered at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. For more information about Moraine Park’s Basic Education programs, call 920-924-3130.  



Moraine Park receives grant from Great Lakes Corporation

by jbrezinsky19. June 2012 10:12

Program designed to support disadvantaged students during financial emergencies
     Students who come across unforeseen financial emergencies will no longer have to give up their dream of achieving an education, thanks to Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes). 
     Great Lakes has approved Moraine Park for up to $85,000 in Emergency Grant Assistance for Pell-eligible students. The grant, which was opened to colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System, provides students in need with small grants to address unexpected expenses that too often get in the way of continuous enrollment and eventual program completion.          
     “This is a wonderful opportunity for students who may have unexpected financial needs after they begin their education at Moraine Park,” said Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.  “Grant funds will help student retention and completion and, ultimately, ensure student success in reaching and obtaining their educational and career goals.”
     This grant opportunity is focused on students who have significantly demonstrated financial need and are more likely to leave college if confronted with a financial setback. Through the program, Pell-eligible students faced with urgent, unforeseen expenses can apply to receive small grants —typically from $200 to $500 — to cover costs that can get in the way of program completion.       
     Moraine Park has over 1,000 students currently on Pell grants. Ninety-eight percent of the students who have received funds through our current Student Emergency Fund are Pell grant recipients, so the College has seen demonstrated need.     
      "From a retention standpoint, we know that one of the main reasons students leave secondary educational institutions prior to degree completion is lack of available funds,” said Kelly Norton, Moraine Park Foundation director. “Emergency grant funds like this provide Moraine Park with the opportunity to get a student back on their feet and moving toward degree completion and academic success. In turn, these students become productive members of our society, contributing to our community’s strength and vitality.”
     Great Lakes awarded grants to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges with the goal of helping students remain in, and complete college and realize the many benefits completion brings to students and their families. The grants—up to $140,000 per college, based on enrollment—are made available through Great Lakes’ philanthropic Community Investments program. The $1.9 million, three-year initiative will also measure the effectiveness that emergency grant assistance has on student retention and graduation to inform future funding decisions.
     “This program is a perfect example of a public-private partnership at work,” said Daniel Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “Emergency assistance can make a real difference in students’ success. It’s great to see Great Lakes step up again to reinvest in technical college students and provide this level of customized support.”
     For more information on Moraine Park, visit