Moraine Park offers growing careers in energy

by dritger9. October 2015 07:57

Did you know that wind-generating capacity in the United States grew 39 percent per year from 2004 to 2009 and is expected to grow more rapidly as demand for renewable energy increases, according to the American Wind Energy Association?

Tech College Effect: Energy, a collaboration among Wisconsin’s technical colleges to offer events and promote awareness of growing and rewarding careers in energy, will be emphasized by the technical colleges of Wisconsin during the week of Oct. 12 - 16. The spotlight coincides with the Center for Energy Workforce Development, Careers in Energy Week. Moraine Park offers two programs in energy careers, Electrical Power Distribution and, in conjunction with Lakeshore Technical College, Wind Energy Technology.

The Electrical Power Distribution program provides theoretical and hands-on training in all phases of power line construction and maintenance. This technical diploma program prepares students for entry-level employment as line technician trainees for electrical utilities, telephone companies and related businesses.

The wind energy industry is the fastest growing segment of renewable energy production. Employers seek skilled technicians for operation and maintenance activities in local wind farm settings. There is also intense demand for upper-level technicians within U.S. and international wind turbine manufacturers; these include installation technician, quality control technician, and warranty and commissioning technicians. Operation and maintenance positions generally remain with a given wind farm location; other technicians travel extensively with the development of new wind farms and repairing/retrofitting of wind farms around the world.

“Students are looking for great careers with high starting pay and room for advancement,” said WTCS President Morna Foy. “Utility employers are approaching us with retirement trends showing an increasing need for new talent, as well as training for incumbent energy workers. This is a timely focus on Wisconsin’s energy sector.”

According to the Midwest Energy Research Consortium, more than 900 companies in Wisconsin’s growing energy, power and control sector employ over 100,000 people and generate $38 billion in annual sales. Salaries for Wisconsin technical college energy graduates top the colleges’ self-reported earnings with median annual incomes for graduates in Gas Utility Construction and Service at $65,579, followed by $59,504 for Utilities Engineering Technology graduates. Wind Energy Technology graduates earn a median income of $45,000.

For more information on Electrical Power Distribution, Wind Energy Technology and other Moraine Park programs, visit


Moraine Park grant-funded Nursing Assistant boot camps a success

by dritger7. October 2015 08:24

This summer, 48 students successfully completed Moraine Park Technical College’s Nursing Assistant (CNA) boot camps – a rigorous three-week learning experience. Additional camps are planned for next summer, according to Anne Lemke, TAACCCT 3 & 4 grant manager. 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant program, the CNA boot camps condense a typical 8- or 16-week, three-credit Nursing Assistant course into an accelerated format. They provide classroom theory, laboratory experience and clinical learning that teaches students the skills to perform duties such as taking vital signs, bathing, dressing, making beds and other direct resident care. Community agencies are used for clinical learning and include long-term care settings.


Moraine Park Technical College’s Nursing Assistant (CNA) boot camp graduates from left to right: Andrea Hauser, Wendy Schuster, Aleasha Papenfuss, Stephanie Rempel, Lizbeth Perez, Ashley Schwartz, Christine DeHaven , MPTC Instructor Tina Cordell, Kelly Easterson.

Offered at all Moraine Park campuses – Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend – the grant funded CNA boot camps will continue for an additional two summers.

Approximately 150 students are expected to complete the camps, said Lemke, qualifying them to take the Pearson Vue Wisconsin Nurse Aide Certification Exam. “CNA training is required for students interested in pursuing many healthcare related fields, including nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy,” she said. “At Moraine Park, students must successfully complete the Nursing Assistant course prior to enrolling in the Associate Degree Nurse program.” Some CNAs go straight into the workforce. Others continue their studies toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

All 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges, including Moraine Park, are three-year grant recipients, with each institution developing its own supplemental healthcare programs under the Act 4 Healthcare consortium project. “Moraine Park already offers CNA classes during the academic year,” said Lemke. “But the classes are in demand and many times filled to capacity. We felt there was a need for this condensed summer offering.”

Boot camp instructor Tina Cordell enjoys teaching an array of students – ranging from 18 to 60 years of age – within a small class environment. Cordell is a registered nurse and holds a master’s degree in nurse education. “It’s a very busy full-time job for each of the three week sessions,” she said of the course. Students complete the theory portion of the course online on their own time and master hands-on skills for 120 hours of training in the classroom and clinical settings. A grade of C or better and 100 percent attendance are required for successful class completion. Boot camp sizes are capped at 10 students, creating an intimate learning environment. 

“All of the students I’m still in contact with have passed certification and are working or pursuing employment,” said Cordell. “It’s a great program.”

“I loved the smaller classes,” added Ashley Schwartz of Fond du Lac. “Everyone got really close and worked well together. At times, the class was a little overwhelming, but we worked through it together.” 

Schwartz, who is enrolled in Moraine Park’s Associate Degree Nurse program, plans to transfer after this year to Marian University, in Fond du Lac, to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing as part of a nursing articulation agreement between the two colleges. 

After completing the boot camp, she quickly earned her CNA Certification and landed a patient care technician position at Beaver Dam Community Hospital. “My main duties include starting IVs, drawing blood, EKGs, answering phones, transferring patients and arranging ambulances and flight,” she said.

Several clinical sites serve as training grounds for students engaged in the CNA boot camps, including Hillside Manor, in Beaver Dam; Fond du Lac Lutheran Home, in Fond du Lac; as well as Samaritan Health Center and Cedar Community, both in West Bend. 

Gary Thorpe, chief human resource officer at Lutheran Home, sees a continued need for new CNAs each year. The supplemental boot camps work to help satisfy a statewide shortage.

“Fond du Lac Lutheran Homes has hired numerous Moraine Park CNA graduates with great success,” said Thorpe. “Our partnership with Moraine Park has been successful in providing a forum for future caregivers to gain hands-on training.”

The boot camp format appeals to many, added Lemke. “Displaced workers, veterans, and students on summer breaks can complete their Nursing Assistant course in a three-week accelerated format and take the certification exam,” she said. In doing so, they quickly move forward on their path of continued healthcare education and/or employment.

In order to participate in the 2016 summer grant funded boot camps, students must attend an information session, complete a criminal background check and meet specific health requirements. 

To discover more, visit or call Moraine Park at 920-924-3329.


Moraine Park to hold Career Showcase October 14

by dritger30. September 2015 10:19

Moraine Park Technical College is hosting Career Showcase, an event for anyone interested in learning about programs and services offered at the College. The event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses. Attendees can stop in anytime.

Program areas to be featured include business, technology, digital arts, consumer and hospitality services, engineering, environmental sciences and trades, general education, health science and human services and manufacturing.

Instructors and staff will be on hand to answer questions about programs, classroom experiences and the employment outlook. Staff from advising, financial aid, career center and student services departments will also be available to guide students and families through the admissions process. A $30 application fee waiver will be offered to attendees. Some restrictions apply.

For more information about the event or to register, visit Registration for the event is strongly encourage but not required.  For questions, contact Katie VandeSlunt at 920-924-3347 or


Moraine Park named first Fair Trade technical college in U.S. - Fair Trade events to be held Oct. 7 and 21

by dritger25. September 2015 11:09

Moraine Park Technical College has become the first technical college in the U.S. to achieve Fair Trade status. The designation was granted by Fair Trade Colleges & Universities USA this past summer and will be celebrated during Fair Trade month in October.

“The College’s mission is to prepare students for success in a diverse and globally connected world,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president. “Our interest and designation as a Fair Trade school demonstrates our commitment to exposing and teaching our students about social and ethnic values and struggles.”

Fair Trade is a global trade model that promotes the purchase and sale of goods produced ethically and fairly. It ensures fair wages, safe working conditions, and environmental sustainability while prohibiting forced labor. Fair Trade products such as coffee, tea, chocolate and greeting cards are available at all three Moraine Park cafeterias and bookstores.

Brenda Schaefer, social science instructor/service learning coordinator at Moraine Park said it was her students’ effort that helped the College receive this designation. “My ethics course took this on as a service-learning project as we learned about the value of Fair Trade and the inequalities and ethical implications of cheap labor and the effects of globalization in our society,” said Schaefer. During the processes, students worked with College vendors and food service providers and drafted a resolution for implementation. “The students learned how to work with vendors and learned about the processes involved at Moraine Park so the resolution could be accepted. It was a great experience and a great effort for everyone who was involved.” 

To celebrate Fair Trade month, two Lunch and Learn events will be held at the Fond du Lac campus. “How Can You Know Fair Trade is Fair?” will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room O103. The Fair Trade designation will be explained, Fair Trade products from Just Fare Market will be available and there will be door prizes. The keynote speaker will be Serena Sato, from SERRV International in Madison.  

The second Lunch and Learn, “Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Chocolate,” will be held Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room A112. This event will feature an excerpt from the BBC film, “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” products from Just Fare Market, door prizes and Fair Trade chocolate chip cookies made by Moraine Park culinary chef James Simmers. The keynote speaker will be Kathleen Stetter, UWO Emeritus Faculty and Just Fare board member.

For more information on Moraine Park’s Fair Trade designation, visit

For more information about the Moraine Park Fair Trade events, visit


Moraine Park to host Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, Oct 5-7 Exhibit focuses on inclusion of people with disabilities

by dritger24. September 2015 09:36

The Disability Resources team of Moraine Park Technical College will be sponsoring Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, a traveling exhibit designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through an interactive, multi-media approach to demonstrate respect, comfort and awareness.  It will offer suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators. This exhibit will be set up on the second floor of the Fond du Lac campus Monday, Oct. 5 and Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Moraine Park is the only technical college in Wisconsin and one of only a few locations in the State, to host the exhibit. Julie Lotto, accommodation specialist at Moraine Park Technical College, said, “We need to better educate ourselves to understand the barriers individuals with disabilities face and not just the physical barriers but the attitudinal barriers. We need to become a community that is inclusive.”

It has been 25 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and more than 40 years since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both of these laws protect against discrimination of people with disabilities by requiring equal access to employment, education, goods and services.

Americans have progressed in their attitudes and behaviors toward people with disabilities; however, there remain questions and concerns about appropriate communication, comfort level and inclusive practices.

When it comes to interacting with individuals with disabilities, people ask, "What should I do?" How should I respond?" "Is it okay to say that?" "How can I become an ally?" Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit will attempt to answer some of these questions.

Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit was created by Saint Louis University (SLU) graduate students in the Disability in Higher Education and Society course under the direction of their instructor, Karen Myers, PhD. "I was so inspired by [graduate student] Anne Marie Carroll's initiative that I formed a team of students to take her idea to the next level," said Myers.

Evolving from a class project into a sophisticated exhibit, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit debuted at SLU on October 27, 2010. 

For more information about The Ability Exhibit, visit


Moraine Park to host diversity conference Thursday, Oct. 8

by dritger22. September 2015 08:05

Students, staff and the community will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss important topics in diversity at the annual Higher Education Diversity Initiative Team (HEDIT) conference on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac. This year’s theme will be “Empowering the Disempowered” and will include topics such as immigration, disability, race, LGBT and religious discrimination.

During the breakout session, participants will learn about disabilities seen and unseen; discuss with advocates current topics and events happening in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community; hear about immigration policies and realities; discuss race relations and hear firsthand accounts of intolerance based on faith.

Jonathan Page, director of Citizen Leadership and Social Justice Education at Longwood University, will be the keynote speaker. Page has been an educator for the past 19 years in both secondary and higher education environments. His passion for education and social justice are fueled by his desire to challenge individuals to question their own ideas, beliefs, values and biases as they become more familiar with the lenses through which they view the world and become the leaders and active citizens of tomorrow.

This conference is being planned by HEDIT, recipient of the 2012 Spirit of MLK Award for their efforts in organizing yearly events that lead, inspire, educate and challenge students and the community to celebrate diversity.

HEDIT is a team of faculty and staff formed by the presidents and CEOs of Fond du Lac County’s four higher education institutions - Marian University, Moraine Park Technical College, Ripon College and the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac - to plan “an annual collaborative project designed to promote a climate of appreciation for all aspects of human diversity, supporting, fostering and welcoming inclusiveness, respect and dignity for all.” This is HEDIT’s seventh annual event.

Students and staff from the Fond du Lac County’s higher education institutions and members of the community are invited to attend. There is no fee for the workshop but advance registration is required online at Bussing from Ripon College and Marian University is provided.  Information can be found online.

For questions, contact Christy Blessing at


Moraine Park to host second annual Great Pink Pumpkin 5K Run/Walk Oct. 17

by dritger21. September 2015 09:18

Enjoy the sights and sounds of fall as you walk or run for a great cause during Moraine Park Technical College’s second annual Great Pink Pumpkin 5K Run/Walk, Saturday, Oct. 17. 

Money raised from this event will make it possible for women battling breast cancer to attend the “Infinite Boundaries Wellness Retreat,” organized by the Breast Cancer Recovery, an organization whose mission is to provide environments for women breast cancer survivors to heal emotionally. Learn more at

The 2014 inaugural Great Pink Pumpkin 5K raised $6,000 for Breast Cancer Recovery. Over 310 participants and 60 volunteers helped make the event a success, and Moraine Park hopes to double the attendance at this year’s event. “This is a great event, for a great cause, and we look forward to seeing it grow,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president. “Our students and staff are excited about bringing our communities together and we hope to have a strong turnout.”

According to Brenda Schaefer, Moraine Park’s service learning coordinator, the goal of the Great Pink Pumpkin 5K is to connect with the community by providing different student-based service learning projects such as blood pressure screenings from the Medical Assistant program, activities for children sponsored by the Early Childhood Education program, handcrafted pink sprinkled cookies from the Culinary Arts students, and pink hair extensions donated by the Cosmetology program. All of these activities are overseen by team building and problem solving students.

To register for the Great Pink Pumpkin 5K Run/Walk and for more information, visit The entry fee is $25 and includes a pink pumpkin and short sleeve t-shirt, or $30 with a pink pumpkin and a long sleeve t-shirt. Youth 15 and under are $15 and include a short sleeve shirt. All participants are encouraged to register on or before Friday, Oct. 2 to be guaranteed a t-shirt and pink pumpkin. Day-of registrations will be accepted from 8-9:30 a.m. with the run/walk beginning at 10 a.m.

Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus is located at 235 North National Avenue, Fond du Lac, Wis.


Moraine Park Offers First Robotic Welding Boot Camp Fall 2015

by dritger11. September 2015 08:18

Did you know that 20 percent of the welding industry now uses robotic applications? Technology is playing an increasingly large role in manufacturing, and this is your chance to be on the leading edge.

If you are looking for hands-on training in robotic welding, plan now to attend Moraine Park Technical College’s Robotic Welding Boot Camp information session, Monday, Sept. 21 at 9 a.m. at the College’s Fond du Lac campus. Attendees will receive a tour of the welding lab, including the new robotic work cell. Participants will also receive program information and entrance requirements. 

If you’d like to be a part of this new Robotic Welding Boot Camp, register online today at Registration prior to the event is required. 

For more information on the Robotic Welding Boot Camp, or any of Moraine Park’s Manufacturing Skills Academy Boot Camps, visit or call 920-924-3334.


Goljenboom is first to earn four IT certificates - Eleven students complete Moraine Park IT grant programs

by dritger6. August 2015 08:07

Moosey Goljenboom of Pickett is one of 11 students who recently earned certificates from Moraine Park Technical College’s Information Technology (IT) Careers grant program. The students received certificates in Content Management Systems, Website Security and Android/iOS Web Application Development. 

Moraine Park Technical College President Bonnie Baerwald (right) presents one for four IT certificates to Moosey Goljenboom, who is the first to earn all four certificates offered through the College's IT Careers program.

Goljenboom is the first student to complete all four certificates offered though Moraine Park’s IT Careers program. Goljenboom, who grew up in Canton, Okla., knew from a young age that she was interested in IT. “I always excelled in accounting and business classes in high school and, during my senior year, I took my first computer programming class,” she said. She went on to graduate from UW-Oshkosh in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. “I could get a job after graduation but not in my field,” said Goljenboom.

In 2009, Goljenboom was working full-time and decided to enroll part-time in Moraine Park’s Information Technology-Web Designer/Developer program. With some encouragement from her instructor, Dominic Garofalo, she decided to take a course in the IT Careers program. After receiving her first certificate in Content Management in September, 2014, Goljenboom decided to quit her job and enroll full-time at Moraine Park. Since then, she has been taking courses in the IT Careers program while also working toward an associate of applied science degree.

Although she is still in school, Goljenboom has already hit the ground running with her IT expertise. She started up her own business, Eagleshead Web Design LLC, and has developed a client base of businesses looking for help with logo development and website design. “I decided to start my own business because of the changing technology. Businesses need to be sure their websites are keeping up with the changing technology, and I have the knowledge to help them with this,” said Goljenboom. 

Although her business is off to a good start, Goljenboom is continuing her education at Moraine Park. She is on track to earn her associate of applied science degree in the IT Web Designer/Developer program in fall 2016, and she is also completing an Entrepreneur certificate in the spring. “Technology is ever changing, upgrading and evolving,” said Goljenboom. “I plan to continue learning and upgrading my technology skills to help my business and others.”

When asked what excites her most about IT, Goljenboom responded, “I like the front end of designing a website--it’s like making a quilt and choosing the right colors to make it look beautiful. Although I also do like coding and validating on the back end.”

This summer, Goljenboom was joined by 10 other classmates receiving an Android and iOS Web Application Development certificate from Moraine Park’s IT Careers program. Those students included: Jeannie Bruesch and Tim Staffaroni of West Bend; Austin Enders of Oshkosh; Zacharia Kejo and Adam Skeel of Fond du Lac; Becky Scannell of Campbellsport; Daniel Spredemann of Menomonee Falls; and Keith Walters of Cedar Grove. Jeannie Bruesch also completed the Web Site Security certificate, and Javeed Kadri of Waupun completed the Content Management Systems certificate.

The IT Careers program is funded by a three-year, $995,662, TAACCCT 3 grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant supports the statewide INTERFACE project, which was established to help develop, improve and expand adult educational training pathways to careers in information technology-related occupations in Business, Information Technology, Healthcare, Logistics, Automation and Manufacturing. Overall, 29 students have earned IT certificates through Moraine Park’s IT Careers program since its inceptions in October, 2013, and 90 students are expected to enroll in the program over the course of the three-year grant.

In the upcoming fall semester, Moraine Park is offering Content Management and Website Security certificates on the Fond du Lac campus. For more information on Moraine Park’s IT Careers program, visit


Moraine Park welcomes three new District Board members

by dritger3. August 2015 10:57

Candy Fields of Mt. Calvary, Lisa Olson of Hartford and Bur Zeratsky of Green Lake were sworn in as the newest members of the Moraine Park Technical College District Board, July 13. Fields will serve as an employee member representative for the eastern portion of the Moraine Park District, and Zeratsky will represent the western portion of the District as an employer member. Olson will serve as a school district administrator member. 

John St. Peter, college legal counsel for Moraine Park, administers the Oath of Office to the College’s new District Board members, from left, Bur Zeratsky , Lisa Olson and Candy Fields.

The three new members bring strong community ties and numerous years of experience to the board. “We are thrilled to have Candy, Lisa and Bur join the board,” Bonnie Baerwald, president of Moraine Park, said. “Each one of them brings a remarkable set of skills and experiences that will help move the College forward.”

Fields is a Bilingual Offender Classification Specialist for the Department of Corrections at Taycheedah in Fond du Lac. She came to the United States 14 years ago as a non-English speaking immigrant. Her first educational experience in the United States was taking English Language Learning classes at Moraine Park. She studied Law in Cartagena, Colombia, and was employed there as a Paralegal. Fields is currently working to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City.

“One of my goals as a member of the Moraine Park Board is to find new ways to reach out to the Hispanic community and low income families in our area to help them access higher education,” said Fields. “I believe that establishing and maintaining responsiveness to community growth and student learning needs is a priority.” 

Olson is the district administrator of the Hartford Union High School District. Prior to this position, she was employed as a business and information technology educator for 18 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Career and Technical Education - Business. Olson served as an educational consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on the Career and Technical Education Team and currently serves on the GPS Education Partners Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Washington County Workforce Alliance and the Hartford Rotary Club.

“I have been involved with Moraine Park since I moved into the area in 1992--from an evening instructor at the West Bend campus to a transcripted credit instructor at Hartford Union High School to meeting with instructors and deans in seeking input for our programs at the school,” said Olson. “My experiences have always been positive, and I look at serving on the board as an opportunity to learn more at a different level and find additional ways to give back.” 

Zeratsky is the executive vice president of National Rivet & Manufacturing Company, Inc., in Waupun, which is a fourth-generation family business that manufactures fasteners for industries including automotive and aerospace. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from Regis College, Denver. Zeratsky served as a member of the Green Lake School Board from 1998-2007, was the former president of the Green Lake Sailing School, and currently is the president of the Green Lake Conservancy, a non-profit Land Trust. 

“I look forward to representing the employer interests and ensuring a well-trained pool of potential employees. At National Rivet & Manufacturing Company, we use testing and training services offered by Moraine Park and have found them to be quite effective, from the standpoint of cost, availability and effectiveness,” said Zeratsky. “In addition, my father served on the Moraine Park Board and Foundation Board for many years, so I'm proud to carry on that tradition.”

In addition to the new board members, the board also nominated the following members to serve as officers: Vernon Jung of Kewaskum, chair; Mike Miller of West Bend, vice-chair; Kim Krueger of Randolph, treasurer; and Mike Staral of West Bend, secretary. Krueger will serve as chair of the Finance Committee, and all of the remaining board members will serve as committee members.

Appointments were also made for the district’s representatives on the Wisconsin Technical College System District Boards Association committees. Jung will serve as Moraine Park’s delegate to the association’s board of directors. Other appointees include Miller, Legislative Committee; Zeratsky, Human Resources Committee; Staral, Program Committee; Lowell Prill of Brandon, Marketing/Public Relations and Awards Committee; Jung, Interdistrict/Interagency Cooperation Committee; and Fields, Bylaws, Policies and Procedures Committee. 

For over 100 years, Moraine Park has served communities surrounding its three campus locations in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend. Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of options including classroom, online and blended courses. For more information about Moraine Park, visit