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


Holte named Membership Services Coordinator for WACRAO

by dritger15. December 2015 09:51

Lane Holte, Registrar at Moraine Park Technical College since 2010, has been named the new Membership Services Coordinator for the Wisconsin Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (WACRAO).


 Holte had served as the Interim Membership Services Coordinator for WACRAO since August, and was named official Membership Services Coordinator in November. 

“WACRAO is the prominent professional organization for collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in the state. I am grateful for opportunity to contribute to this organization through my Executive Committee appointment,” Holte said. 

Prior to accepting the position at MPTC, Holte was the Registrar/Institutional Research Officer at Dawson Community College in Glendive, MT (2002 – 2010) and the Controller at SRS Crisafulli, Inc., also in Glendive from 1998 – 2001. Holte was a member of the Montana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) from 2002 – 2010 serving as Vice President in 2006-07 and President in 2007-08. 


Moraine Park accepts nominations for 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award

by dritger14. December 2015 14:49

Moraine Park Technical College is now accepting nominations for its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award. 

Nominees must hold a one- or two-year technical diploma, an associate degree or an associate of applied science degree from a Moraine Park program. Additional criteria includes demonstrated service and/or support of Moraine Park, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the community at large, as well as distinguishing oneself through a career or civic activity.

If you know of a deserving alumnus, submit your nomination by Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, to

For more information about the Distinguished Alumnus Award, contact Dana Knebel at 920-924-3225 or


New Partnership With Ottawa University Brings Highly Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees to Moraine Park Technical College Students

by dritger11. December 2015 12:15

Moraine Park Technical College and Ottawa University (Ottawa, Kan.) have joined together to address what has been called “a national priority” – access to an affordable four-year college degree. Ottawa University opened one of the nation’s first adult-learning campuses in Kansas City in 1974 and expanded to the Milwaukee area in 1994. Located in Brookfield, Ottawa University has announced its partnership with Moraine Park to create an education pathway for adult learners that begins at the technical college and moves to Ottawa University for completion of a bachelor’s degree.

As part of the partnership, Ottawa University is extending its generous transfer policy to Moraine Park students for up to 80 credit hours. Of the 124 credit hours required to complete a bachelor’s degree, the remaining 44 upper division credit hours are taken at Ottawa University and can be completed in less than two years. Students who opt for this pathway are given a scholarship at Ottawa University that allows them to earn a bachelor’s degree for under $25,000 in total.

Moraine Park Technical College and Ottawa University have partnered to create an educational pathway for adult learners, allowing for students to have up to 80 earned credits from Moraine Park transfer to Ottawa University. Signing the transfer agreement on Tuesday for their respective colleges were (left) Dr. Joyce Caldwell, Associate University Provost & Dean of Instruction at Ottawa University, and Dr. James Eden, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Moraine Park Technical College.

“Just as Moraine Park Technical College takes the degrees we offer to our students very seriously in both their academic rigor and viability relating to employment outcomes and opportunities, the same is true for the credit transfer agreements we offer. They need to have value for our students,” said Dr. James Eden, Moraine Park’s vice president of academic affairs. “The agreement with Ottawa University offers value in that it allows our students to achieve success with us first by completing their associate of applied science degrees and then, if they wish to continue their education and earn their bachelor’s degree, they can seamlessly and affordably do that with Ottawa.” 

“This partnership reflects our mission of bringing meaningful education opportunities to adult learners,” said Kevin Eichner, president of Ottawa University. “Together, Ottawa University and Moraine Park Technical College are able to collaboratively give adult learners access to education that can change their lives at a very affordable cost. It’s an innovative approach and reflects the respect we have for the education offered by Moraine Park Technical College.”

For more information about the transfer program, visit


Hair styles have changed but bond between Moraine Park cosmetology alumni stays strong

by dritger11. December 2015 09:25

Amidst a gentle symphony of scissors snipping and clippers clipping, 16 women gathered, learned together and bonded in 1975 in the cosmetology classroom of Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac campus.

These women were the second class to graduate from the College’s cosmetology program, and despite experiencing many changes during the 40 years since they met - both in the beauty industry and personally - their bond to each other has remained constant.

Moraine Park Technical College’s cosmetology graduates from 1975 reunited at the College on Dec. 3. They were the second-ever group to graduate from the program 40 years ago, and have stayed in touch throughout the years. Reuniting at Moraine Park were (left to right) Wendi Schraufnagel, Brownsville; Char Heider, West Bend; Dawn Seibel, Campbellsport; Mary Ann Koenen, Mount Calvary; Rose Roberts, Appleton; Linda Parker, Berlin; Jeanine Runke, Fond du Lac; and Julie Faber, Fond du Lac.

Four of the students from the program became best friends, standing up in each other’s weddings, traveling together, becoming Godparents for each other’s children and staying in touch regularly throughout the years. From there, eight women from the 1975 class still gather every five years or so for an official reunion. 

While catching up with one another, some discussions are good-natured and others are more difficult, with talks of grandkids and “how things used to be” blending with tales of thyroid cancer or getting liver transplants. 

“Life changes, and so just being able to get together and share our sadness and joy, it’s been really nice,” said Jeanine Runke, who owns Bliss Salon Suites in Fond du Lac and helps organize the group’s reunions. 

 The most recent reunion for the group was held Wednesday, Dec. 2, and brought everyone back to where it all started. 

This time the women sat in Techniques Salon, Moraine Park’s hands-on learning lab, but as clients instead of students; enjoying pedicures instead of giving them. 

“It was really great,” said Julie Faber, who now is a manager and stylist at Options in Fond du Lac. 

Still, Faber admits the most enjoyable part of her day wasn’t the pampering or the pedicure; it was talking with her old classmates and chatting with current students as well.

“It’s nice to sit and talk with the gals that are coming into the program while it’s still new to them,” she said.  

Eileen Bouchard, Barber/Cosmetology program instructor at Moraine Park, said having a former class come back to visit was beneficial for her current students. 

"It is very encouraging for the students to hear from three of the past graduates that they are still working in the industry after 40 years and still loving it,” Bouchard said. "I believe it helps the students see this is a career they can work in for many years to come."  

It was also fun for everyone to reflect on how far things have come for the program – from expanded facilities to offering more services. 

“We didn’t do pedicures or artificial nails back then. It was strictly manicures, and some of the curriculum has changed for the kids today versus what we were doing. Things are much different now” Runke said. 

“The classrooms today are very nice,” said Rose Roberts, who works at Hair Designers in Appleton. Roberts also said she and fellow classmates were able to share stories of how things have changed in the past four decades beyond the classroom. 

“One of the biggest things, is we’ve all seen the loss of the weekly client. Years ago, many ladies would come in once a week to get their hair done. They’d come in every single week when we first got out of school,” Roberts said.

She noted that younger clients may now only come in once every four to six weeks for a haircut and coloring. Perms and rollers are becoming a thing of the past. And with blow-dryers and other items readily available to consumers, some women are doing more by themselves at home, Roberts noted. 

Being able to adapt and react to these new trends and emerging challenges will be vital for the next wave coming out of school, and Faber said the best thing to do is keep an open mind. 

 “Like any business, everything is changing and it all changes fast, so you have to do some things to change along with it,” she said.

Runke’s advice was that good customer service is a timeless asset, and that being good to people – whether they’re familiar friends of 40 years, or new faces walking through a salon door for the first time - is just as important as any hands-on skill. 

“This whole business is based on relationships. That’s one of the beautiful things in this industry, is the relationships with your fellow workers and clients,” Runke said.

In addition to Runke, Fond du Lac; Roberts, Appleton; and Faber, Fond du Lac, other members of the 1975 class reuniting at Moraine Park this year were Char Heider, West Bend, who works at Creative Cut; Wendi Schraufnagel, Brownsville; Linda Parker, Berlin; Dawn Seibel; Campbellsport; and Mary Ann Kaenen, Mount Calvary. 

For more information on Moraine Park’s cosmetology program or other programs offerings, visit


Veterans services highlighted during two-day summit at Moraine Park

by dritger4. December 2015 13:23

Ensuring veterans make positive transitions from the military to the workforce can be a challenging task but it’s one of critical importance to technical colleges as veteran enrollment continues to grow.  In the current fall semester, the Wisconsin Technical College System is serving more than 3,400 military students and student veterans.

How to best serve and help these students was examined extensively during the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Veterans Services Summit, held Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus.

Rebecca Kleefisch, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, receives a tour of Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus during a Veterans Services Summit held at the college. Shown here with Kleefisch is DeWayne Sexton, one of the Student Veterans at Moraine Park. 

At the Summit, the stakes were set high from the start. 

“If you implement what you will be learning over these next two days, you will literally transform people’s lives – for Wisconsin, and for the people in your communities,” said Dr. Morna Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System, during opening remarks of the event.

Nearly 100 people attended the two-day summit at Moraine Park, which featured an array of panels, presentations, speakers, demos and discussions regarding ways to enhance WTCS veteran’s services. Rebecca Kleefisch, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin; and John Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, were among the notable names to attend the event. 

This is the second annual summit of its kind. The first one was held at Fox Valley Technical College.

The keynote speaker on Tuesday was Jennifer Sluga, the 2014 Wisconsin Woman Veteran of the Year. She shared stories of her own struggles being a minority in the military – both during her years of service, and since. Sluga also was sexually assaulted during her time in the army, sharing details of those struggles as well as the help she received to pull her through the dark chapter in her life that followed the assault. 

The college advisor that helped her process and work through her struggles did something Sluga is profoundly grateful for and something she encouraged those in attendance at the summit to keep in mind when working with veteran and military students moving forward.

“She just listened. And she kept asking ‘What can I do to help you?’” Sluga said. 

Earlier Tuesday, Secretary Scocos also said helping all veterans and military students – with whatever unique struggles face them - was of paramount importance in education.

“While our veterans have taken care of us, and protected us, it is now our duty to take care of them,” Scocos said, pushing for technical colleges to continue being leaders on this issue.

“More of our veterans go to technical colleges than any other schools,” he said. 

Lt. Gov. Kleefisch echoed the importance of giving back to veterans who have served our country and noted veterans’ skills need to be fostered and utilized. 

“Our vets have something so unique built into them, that we must use it,” Kleefisch said. She said the punctuality, work ethic and the sacrifices military students and veterans exemplify is an attractive commodity to employers. 

 Wisconsin has been a leader in this regard, with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate in Wisconsin for military veterans. This ties Wisconsin percent for the 12th lowest rate in the country, according to data published last year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Kleefisch praised technical colleges’ role in this achievement and encouraged those at the summit to continue striving to make Wisconsin even better in this regard – the benefits of which are far-reaching, she said.

“What you guys do [at technical colleges] works. And you do it quickly,” Kleefisch said, adding “Veterans make all of us look good. They make our companies succeed … our tech colleges succeed … they make Wisconsin succeed.”  

Moraine Park Technical College is currently serving more than 140 veterans or military students this semester.

To learn more about Moraine Park’s Veterans Services, visit


Moraine Park helps collect Thanksgiving meals for 40 local families

by dritger4. December 2015 12:55

Forty families were able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings this year thanks to Student Senate members from Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac campus, along with help from area businesses and generous donations from local community members. This collaborative effort was part of the “Giving for Thanksgiving” food drive. 

Student Senate members of Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac campus show off turkey roasting pans from their “Giving for Thanksgiving” food drive. The group gathered meals for 40 area families and students this year. 

The Student Senate’s initial goal was to provide a complete Thanksgiving meal to 40 students and families residing in the Fond du Lac area. The meals were to consist of a 10- to 12-pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, a dessert item and roasting pan. 

Not only was the goal met, it was surpassed. 

Students collected groceries, gift cards and monetary donations on two separate Saturdays during the month of November, set up collection bins on campus and gathered donations within their student clubs. After everything was completed, the students were able to add extra items to each bag and provide can and dry good donations to the Fond du Lac Food Pantry, Men’s Shelter and the Fond du Lac Warming Shelter.  

Steve Pepper, Fond du Lac campus Student Senate Community Service manager and Student Veterans Club president. He said the Student Senate appreciated everyone within Moraine Park and the Fond du Lac community who helped make this event successful and the group is looking forward to feeding even more families next year.

Among other help, Pick 'n Save allowed the students to set up collection sites, and Festival Foods donated grocery bags and coordinated the purchase of the turkeys. 


Moraine Park instructor Forciea releases debut thriller novel

by dritger30. November 2015 08:18

What if a cure for cancer was found by independent researchers? Would the public ever learn of the discovery, or would Big Pharma conceal the Cure to preserve massive profits? The debut novel of Bruce Forciea, anatomy and physiology instructor at Moraine Park Technical College, explores what would happen if such events occurred.

Bruce Forciea, Moraine Park Technical College instructor, releases his debut thriller novel, The X-Cure.

"Even though the story is fiction, it does contain some truth about how alternative medicine is sometimes viewed by mainstream medicine," said Forciea.

Forciea will be discussing his new thriller novel, The X-Cure, as well as providing tips for writing fiction or non-fiction books on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 12 Noon in Room L-120 at Moraine Park’s West Bend campus. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase with Forciea donating the profits to the Moraine Park Foundation scholarship fund.

"I'm looking forward to talking about my book and sharing what I know about writing and publishing," said Forciea, who previously operated a successful chiropractic and wellness clinic prior to becoming a Moraine Park instructor. Forciea’s other professional projects include writing and producing several college courses in wellness, anatomy and physiology for multiple colleges, producing digital media including over 100 science videos as well as custom labs and websites.

After writing short stories in science fiction for years, he began writing The X-Cure, a full-length novel, in 2014. The novel is a science fiction thriller that pits a small group of scientists against a global pharmaceutical giant in a race to release a cancer cure.

When asked why he wrote The X-Cure, Forciea relates, “During my years as a health care practitioner, I was exposed to a number of alternative medicine treatments for various diseases, and I often wondered if there was a secret combination of treatments that would work to cure diseases such as cancer. I also wondered if Big Pharma would somehow work to discredit or block these treatments from reaching the public, because many alternative treatments are not that profitable. So I set this main idea on an international stage and incorporated espionage, startups, a personal journey and a love story.” 

To learn more about Forciea’s book, visit

To learn more about Moraine Park, visit


Baerwald and Cram receive Patriot Award

by dritger19. November 2015 14:38

Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park Technical College president, and Stan Cram, Moraine Park’s vice president of student affairs, recently received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.

Moraine Park Technical College President Bonnie Baerwald and Stan Cram, Vice President of Student Affairs, receive the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. Scott Lieburn, Moraine Park’s Dean of Students, nominated Baerwald and Cram for the award. From left: Stan Cram, Bonnie Baerwald and Scott Lieburn.

Scott Lieburn, Moraine Park’s dean of students, who currently serves in the Air National Guard, nominated both Baerwald and Cram for this award, which is given to supervisors of employers who support active service members. Employers who receive this award have provided flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.

“Active members of the Guard and Reserve have to be ready to answer our State’s and Nation’s call at a moment’s notice,” said Lieburn. “I take comfort in knowing that my direct supervisor, Dr. Cram and the College president support me and my role as a member of the armed forces. I can assure you that the men and women of today’s reserve armed forces and National Guard remain always ready and always there to answer the call when our state or nation needs them. I couldn’t answer that call to duty without the support and leadership our MPTC Administration and the other MPTC staff who cover for me when I’m away on military duty.”

“I was honored to receive the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognition,” said Baerwald “As a strong supporter of our community and our country, I want to assure our military employees that Moraine Park totally supports their efforts to serve both in their military and civilian roles. I don’t want them to feel worried that their jobs or their family support would ever be jeopardized because of these two commitments. They have my full assurance that their employment at Moraine Park will always be there.”

“I personally have had the honor to work closely with Lt. Col. Scott Lieburn for the past three years and to continuously enhance our opportunities to create welcoming services to better meet the needs of those coming to us who have worn the uniform in defense of our freedom,” said Cram. “Our intention is to persist in our dedication to serve those who have served us.”

According to their website, ESGR was founded in 1972 “to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.”

To learn more about Moraine Park, visit