Moraine Park to hold orientation for new program students

by admin30. June 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College has set New Student Orientation sessions in July and August for program students who will begin their first classes this fall.


It’s an opportunity for new students to meet each other, connect with Moraine Park staff, get student IDs, purchase books, locate classrooms and visit a “service fair” to learn more campus services such as financial aid, employment, tutoring and more. Short presentations include being smart about what you share on Facebook and MySpace and how employers may react to postings; getting the most out of your academic advising experience; learning more about Student Life and campus involvement; and a student panel discussion with current Moraine Park students. There will also be topics for parents and spouses. 


Participants may choose the date and time (9 a.m.–1 p.m. or 3–7 p.m.) that works best for them: Fond du Lac campus – Tuesday, July 22, or Wednesday, Aug. 13; West Bend campus – Thursday, July 24, or Thursday, Aug. 14; and Beaver Dam campus – Wednesday, July 30, or Tuesday, Aug. 12.


New program students who haven’t already registered for orientation should immediately call 1-800-472-4554, ext. 5854, or go to Online registrations can be made until July 15 for the July sessions and until Aug. 6 for the August sessions. Phone registrations will be taken until the day of each session. Sign up and find out what you can do to get the most out of your college experience and be successful.


Those who would like accommodations for a disability may call 920-924-3192 at least two weeks prior to the session they will attend.


Join the summer fun at Moraine Park July 15

by admin30. June 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus is hosting Tunes and Tours: A Moraine Park Summer Concert and Open House Event on Tuesday, July 15. Everyone is welcome to join in the summertime fun, rain or shine.


Fresh from their Summerfest performance, Milwaukee-based Flights will play progressive rock from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the concert.


Adults and high school students who are interested in programs and services at Moraine Park are invited to attend an Adult Information Session between 2:30 and 6 p.m. to talk with College staff and take a tour. Assistance will be given for beginning the admissions process and selecting fall classes. Advance registration isn’t required. For more information call 1-800-472-4554, ext. 3201, or e-mail


Burgers, brats, sodas and sides will be served beginning at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Cost is $1 per plate.


Tunes and Tours is sponsored by the Moraine Park West Bend Student Senate and Activities Committee.


For more information, contact Bradley Mitchell, Moraine Park Student Life, at 262-335-5743.


Moraine Park, UWO collaboration offers increased access to bachelor's degree

by admin11. June 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College District residents will soon find that the dream of earning a bachelor’s degree could be closer than ever. Beginning this fall, Moraine Park and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will partner to allow residents of Fond du Lac and its surrounding counties the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree without traveling far from home.


This collaboration offers a degree program that allows Moraine Park graduates to use their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree credits toward a Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) degree from UW Oshkosh. The program will be delivered at Moraine Park's Fond du Lac campus beginning this fall.

 Moraine Park and UW Oshkosh presidents sign the collaboration.

“The average age of our college’s program student is 29, so this program is a perfect fit for those adult learners who wish to earn their bachelor’s degree through the UW System," said Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek. “Offering this program on our Fond du Lac Campus is another way to make a bachelor’s degree more accessible to the Moraine Park graduates living within our district and the surrounding areas.”


The program, which is designed for adult learners, will allow students to transfer a block of up to 45 credits, plus all applicable general education credits on a course-by-course basis.


As the third-largest university in the UW System, UW Oshkosh has been a leader in making higher education more accessible for Wisconsin residents. Adult learners often cannot attend classes on the traditional university schedule. With online and distance-learning, UW Oshkosh offers students courses that do not require drastic sacrifices regarding their work or family lives — or the quality of the education they receive.


“Adult learners are very important to the university,” said Charles Hill, director of the UW Oshkosh Center for New Learning, which administers the BAS degree at Moraine Park. “One in five students at UW Oshkosh is more than 23 years old.”


Within Wisconsin, there is a need for an educated workforce. According to findings released in 2006 by the Committee on Baccalaureate Expansion (COBE), a joint committee of the UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin is well below the national average in the number of four-year college graduates. The UW System would have to matriculate 72,000 more graduates by 2010 in order to make up this difference.


In addition to the personal benefits in earning a degree, these graduates also improve the state’s economy by earning higher wages.


“Area employers want employees with strong communication skills, effective problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities, and agility when it comes to change and continuous improvement,” said Hill. “Adult learners, whose lives are already filled with work and family responsibilities, face obstacles traditional students do not. This program helps them overcome some of those obstacles.”


The program is also open to students who earned their associate’s degree at other Wisconsin technical colleges. Applications are now being accepted to the program. For more information, contact Beth Nelson at, call (800) INFO-UWO or (920) 424-0234, or visit


The Center for New Learning (CNL) is part of UW Oshkosh’s Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement division, which promotes learning and educational accessibility to all. The CNL is responsible for seven programs that offer certificate or bachelor degree opportunities for adult learners.


Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, is one of 16 technical colleges throughout Wisconsin that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. 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. For more information about Moraine Park, visit


The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has grown since its founding in 1871 to become the third-largest university in Wisconsin. With a fulltime enrollment of more than 12,700 (11,500 on campus) students, the University offers 74 associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in the colleges of Business, Education and Human Services, Letters and Science and Nursing. UW Oshkosh serves as the educational, cultural and economic engine for 1.2 million citizens of northeastern Wisconsin.


Moraine Park announces Ron Ford as 2008 Distinguished Alumnus

by admin10. June 2008 19:00

Ron Ford’s associate of applied science degree from Moraine Park Technical College has been the springboard to a rewarding career. He is now president and CEO of Deutz Power Systems of America, the third-largest power generation company in the world, and has been named Moraine Park’s 2008 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

 Ron Ford shakes hands with Moraine Park president Gayle Hytrek before the start of commencement.

“The education I received at Moraine Park opened doors for me that were incredible,” said Ford, who lives in Norcross, Georgia.


It wasn’t until a decade after graduating from North Fond du Lac High School that he enrolled in Moraine Park’s Electro–Mechanical Technology program. “I worked for quite a while after high school in law enforcement and then switched careers and became a locomotive mechanic,” said Ford. “But I found there was a void in my knowledge when it came to the electrical part of my occupation. So I enrolled at Moraine Park.”


After completing his Moraine Park degree, Ford joined Kohler Co.’s Power Systems Division in Kohler. As a field technician he traveled the globe establishing complex power generation systems within prospering, third-world and war-torn countries alike. He took on technical, product and sales training responsibilities across North America. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marian College, he served in many executive-level posts. As an area sales manager for Kohler, Ford grew product sales exponentially.


In 2004 he joined Tampa Armature Works (TAW) in Tampa, Fla., a large distributor of Kohler power generation systems, where he improved technical service and industrial sales and managed the consumer group division. Ultimately, he became responsible for the entire Power Systems Group at TAW and helped boost revenue by 59 percent. Today, as president and CEO of Deutz, Ford is responsible for a company that produces very large power generators and has a commitment to alternative energy.


Ford’s selection as Alumnus of the Year resulted from more than his highly accomplished professional life; it’s also due to his dedication to the community and Moraine Park. For eight years he served on the Moraine Park Electro–Mechanical Technology advisory board and his contributions were many, according to Raj Pathare, Moraine Park’s dean of trades and manufacturing.


“Ron influenced the program by identifying occupational competencies and assisting in recruitment and placement of program students,” said Pathare. “He donated equipment, sponsored field trips for program students and was active in creating public awareness of Moraine Park’s programs.”


Ford is also known for his contributions as a member of the Electrical Generating System Association, a trade group of generator manufacturers, and the Tampa Bay Elks Lodge.


He feels honored to be selected as the College’s Distinguished Alumnus and said giving back was the least he could do. “If I didn’t have the skills learned from my associate’s degree, I wouldn’t be anywhere now,” he said.


For more information about Moraine Park’s programs, visit and click on Academics.


High school students bring computer designs to life through Moraine Park's SURFCAM project

by admin9. June 2008 19:00

Imagine creating a three-dimensional design on a computer then watching a CNC (computer numerical control) machine bring it to life before your eyes.


That’s the high-tech world of manufacturing, and it’s what area high school students have been doing through the SURFCAM Project held in the Applied Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus.


Developed by Surfware Inc., the SURFCAM computer-assisted drafting and computer-assisted machining (CAD/CAM) software enables users to design a product and tell a machine how to cut it in metal or other materials. Moraine Park also uses software like SolidWorks for tool and die design. 


During the first semester of the 2007-08 academic year, students from West Bend and Kewaskum high schools honed their high-tech skills in the AMTC, with Slinger students following suit during the second semester. Each group took three projects from computer design to finished product: a three-inch by three-inch maze, a tic-tac-toe peg game, and a cribbage board, all made from aluminum for quick machining.


“The skills the students learn through this include creating geometry on a CAD system and creating toolpaths using the CAM portion of the software,” said Jim Hokenson, Moraine Park CNC/Tool and Die Technologies instructor and a machine tool trade master. Hokenson said they also learn about bringing geometry into SURFCAM from other CAD systems; tool and workpiece dynamics, which covers set-up and cutting forces; and proper speed and feed calculation.

 Moraine Park instructor Jim Hokenson at a CNC machine control panel with a Slinger High student and instructor.

Classes are held at the participating high schools using curriculum and SURFCAM software provided by Moraine Park. After developing CAM drawings and machine tool operation code, three times each semester the students visit the AMTC to run the CAM programs on Moraine Park machining centers under the guidance of College staff. Participating high school students receive two credits for the SURFCAM course as well as valuable experience with high-tech equipment and processes used in the manufacturing industry.


“I’ve learned to use the SolidWorks software better and now I can draw almost any part or shape,” said Kurt Klink from the Town of Hartford, a senior at Slinger High School who was taking a Computer Integrated Manufacturing class taught by Technology and Engineering Instructor Russ Hermann. Klink used Solidworks to design the maze, tic-tac-toe and cribbage board, and SURFCAM to set the toolpath to make the products. He was accepted at UW Milwaukee and plans on going into architecture, where just about everything is done on computers.


Another Slinger High senior from Hermann’s class, Dan Steingraber of Slinger, has a family history in manufacturing and engineering. His grandfather was a machinist for 60 years and made parts for the Fox River locks system and the St. Lawrence Seaway. His father attended Moraine Park then transferred to Milwaukee School of Engineering to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Steingraber will follow in their footsteps this fall, first pursuing an associate of applied science degree in Mechanical Design Technology at Moraine Park then transferring to MSOE. In addition to the SURFCAM project, he also competed at Moraine Park’s annual Junkyard Challenge at the Beaver Dam campus May 7, in which his Slinger High team came in second.


Projects like SURFCAM and the Junkyard Challenge, Steingraber said, “show the teachers at Moraine Park what the students can do.” The SURFCAM program helps the students get a head start toward their postsecondary education, he added, and the credits transfer to Moraine Park. Steingraber is taking summer classes at Moraine Park to boost his head start even more.


Some of Hermann’s students are interested in manufacturing careers, according to the instructor. “There are lots of jobs in manufacturing in high-tech areas,” said Hermann. When school starts in the fall, Slinger High will have a CNC mill, which will increase the number of students who can be involved in the SURFCAM project and learn more about product design and machining. Hermann encourages his students to take a closer look at technical education. The more students choose technical careers, the more qualified employees local industries can find.


Hermann credits Hokenson with making the visits to Moraine Park go smoothly for his students, guiding them through the machining process. “He spends a lot of time setting up the machines with the files,” said Hermann. “Without him we’d be in trouble.”


For more information about Tool Design Engineering Technology, Mechanical Design Technology, CNC/Tool and Die Technologies and Engineering Technologist programs at Moraine Park, visit and click on Academics.


Moraine Park to hold GED/HSED graduation ceremony June 19

by admin9. June 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College will hold its 17th annual General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 19, at 7 p.m.


The ceremony will be held at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus in the Cyber Center cafeteria.


Erica Avila, the English Language Learning (ELL) coordinator for the Beaver Dam Unified School District, has been selected as the Basic Education Friend of the Year and will receive a plaque at the ceremony. Avila helped launch Moraine Park’s expanded ELL program in the Beaver Dam area and set up free child care for children while their parents attended ELL classes.


“I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Moraine Park and offer services to families in our community,” said Avila.


Approximately 40 students are expected to participate in the event, which recognizes the accomplishments of GED/HSED graduates. According to Sandra Huenink, Moraine Park dean of basic education, 212 students completed the GED/HSED program at Moraine Park during the past year.


For more information about Moraine Park’s Basic Education programs, call 920-924-3130.


Moraine Park instructor named National League for Nursing Ambassador

by admin8. June 2008 19:00

Wendy M. Crary, MSN, RN, of Cambria, a Moraine Park Technical College nursing instructor, has been appointed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) to serve as an NLN Ambassador.


In her new role, Crary will help keep Moraine Park faculty and administration informed about the NLN’s initiatives, grant opportunities, conferences, publications, workshops and other benefits available to NLN members, including professional development programs, research grants, the annual Education Summit, the NLN's peer-reviewed journal Nursing Education Perspectives, committee and task group volunteer opportunities, award nominations and more.  


“We created this selective program to make it as easy as possible for nurse faculty and nursing programs at all levels of academia to understand what the NLN has to offer to enhance professional development and status,” explained NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone. “The Ambassadors are, in effect, the NLN’s ‘eyes and ears’ on campus.”


Crary has been a full-time faculty member at Moraine Park for the past two years. She holds a master’s degree in nursing education from Concordia University and has just begun her doctoral studies at Cardinal Stritch University. 


The National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The Ambassador Program was established in the fall of 2006 with members who teach in all types of nursing programs – practical nurse, associate degree, diploma, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral. Today there are 689 ambassadors representing schools of nursing in 48 states. New ones are appointed periodically to meet the goal of having at least one NLN Ambassador in every school of nursing.


For more information about Moraine Park’s nursing programs, visit and click on Academics, or call     1-800-472-4554. Program videos can be viewed on the Web site.


Moraine Park holds Endurance Challenge 2008

by admin4. June 2008 19:00

The global pursuit of increased fuel efficiency was tackled by area high school students when Moraine Park Technical College recently hosted the fourth annual Endurance Challenge at its Fond du Lac campus. The event is sponsored by the College’s Engine Research and Development Technician program.


High school students were challenged to modify a Courage XT-7 4.5-horsepower lawnmower engine, manufactured and donated by Kohler Co., to get the best fuel efficiency and run the longest. The modified engines were then brought to Moraine Park to compete. Each team was given the same amount of gas and the engines were timed.


Fond du Lac High School came in first with a running time of 35 minutes and 12 seconds, followed by Sheboygan North (30:11), Plymouth (22:00), Princeton (17:40), Oshkosh West (16:20), West Bend West (15:50) and Sheboygan South (13:03). Unforeseen engine problems cause Campbellsport’s and Kewaskum’s engines to quit running earlier in the competition.


The teams were assisted by Moraine Park faculty, staff and students as well as employees of Mercury Marine and Kohler Co. The students shared the challenge of making successful modifications within a specific timeframe, coming up with ideas and figuring out what would work or not. Comparing the other engines provided them with new ideas and an increased understanding of engines.


The winning engine was modified by Fond du Lac seniors Jarred Henning, Ryan Hopp, Kenny Johnson, Cory Siedschlag and Derek Steffes. Their instructor, Cory Clark, said his students got to see what other teams came up with and what Moraine Park is about. 


Coming in second were Sheboygan North sophomores Ryan Grimm, Eric Vang and Kyle Wilmot and junior Derek Wyatt. Alan Rekowski, who teaches small-engine and automotive classes, said the Endurance Challenge provides his students with more about designing and engineering engines rather than just maintaining them.


“It was a phenomenal problem-solving experience with the students,” said Princeton High School Technical Education Instructor Scott Simacek, whose team of seniors Cory Prachel, Derek Mashada and Jake Braun came in fourth.


“I think coming here is an opportunity we don’t get in the classroom,” said Oshkosh West Technology and Engineering Instructor Bill Benson, whose students Brandon Hoeft, Jeremy Nygaard and Sam Sesing took fifth place. “It’s a goal to shoot for.”


Don Koloski, manager of customer education at Briggs & Stratton, filled in for West Bend West High School Instructor Jerry Williams and attended the competition with seniors Matt Koloski and Tony Piechowski, who took sixth. “The products produced today are not what our parents used,” said Koloski, adding that there is a shortage of technically skilled workers in the engine industry. “Not enough young individuals are getting into this field.”


Each member of the winning team will receive a $250 Moraine Park scholarship if they enroll at the College. Other prizes included Snap-On screwdrivers, hats, shirts, flash drives and Leatherman tools. Prizes were donated by Kohler Co., Mercury Marine, Briggs & Stratton, John Deere and Wacker Corporation, all of which have been strong supporters of Moraine Park’s Engine Research and Development program.


Fall 2008 enrollment for the Engine Research and Development Technician program is currently under way at Moraine Park. For more information about the program, including a program video, or the annual Endurance Challenge, contact Tom Denow, engine research and development program instructor and competition coordinator, at 920-924-3299 or


Moraine Park to make Barber/Cosmetologist Apprenticeship available online

by admin1. June 2008 19:00

Beginning this August, students who are pursuing a career in cosmetology will have another option available to get the required training for state licensing. Moraine Park Technical College will be the first in Wisconsin to offer the Barber/Cosmetologist Apprenticeship program classroom instruction in a 100-percent online delivery format.


“There are many young men and women throughout our state who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in the cosmetology industry,” said Jon Waldhuetter, Moraine Park dean of apprenticeship. “For any number of reasons – travel, parenting, location – their ability to get the necessary training may be restricted. Online delivery of the classroom instruction in conjunction with the hands-on practical experience in a sponsoring salon from their area will open a door to these students that has not previously existed.”


Apprenticeship requires a student to be employed by a sponsoring shop or salon that agrees to train the student in preparation for the Wisconsin licensing exam. Employers pay the student to work in their establishment under the direction of a licensed manager, where the student learns the practical, hands-on component of their training. The student is also paid for the one day of classroom time each week.


“Cosmetology is one of the largest and fastest-growing apprenticeships in the state,” said Waldhuetter. “What makes apprenticeships unique is that students earn while they learn.”


Students can complete the online program in three academic semesters, taking theory instruction in their own homes.


“We are extremely excited about expanding our cosmetology program into an online delivery format,” said Amy Poshepny, Moraine Park Barber/Cosmetologist instructor. “Online apprenticeship, coupled with our face-to-face apprenticeship program and full-time diploma program held in our newly renovated facility in Fond du Lac, will allow us to serve the educational needs of a much broader student population.”


For more information about the online Barber/Cosmetologist Apprenticeship training, call Moraine Park at 262-335-5841 or 920-924-3258.


Moraine Park Technical College addresses construction industry needs

by admin1. June 2008 19:00

As Baby Boomers prepare to retire, it’s possible that more than half of the existing construction workforce will retire by 2012. What was initially a consideration kept in the back of one’s mind is now a major concern for the construction industry: Where can competent entry-level workers be found to fill the hole that will be left by retirees?


One answer can be found at Moraine Park Technical College. “The College has been listening to the concerns of area employers in the construction industry,” said Jon Waldhuetter, dean of apprenticeships.  “To address their needs, Moraine Park’s Building Trades/Construction Worker technical diploma program is being offered this fall when the semester starts Aug. 25.” The program is designed to provide the construction skill set that graduates and employers need. Students will attend classes five days a week for two 16-week semesters. Part-time enrollment is available for those who are unable to commit to a full-time instructional schedule.

 Moraine Park building trades students work on a house under construction.

Building Trades/Construction Worker courses include Safety Applications, Building Trades Fundamentals, Framing Construction, Basic Welding, Basic AutoCAD, Exterior Finish, Interior Finish, Building Trades Mechanical Systems and others.


“This program provides a very broad range of trade experience, which is key,” said Waldhuetter. “It is strong in hands-on work activities and exposes students to a wide range of trade career options. Students who complete this program will be able to transition smoothly into construction-related careers.”


Even with the current slowdown in new home construction, projections by the Southeast Construction Contractors and Trades Council indicate a 43-percent growth in employment in the construction industry over the next decade. Presently only 40 to 60 percent of positions created by retirement are being filled and the job outlook for the construction industry is strong in all of the skilled trades with employment growth between 14 and 25 percent. Wage scales will remain high, ranging from $15 to $35 an hour for skilled workers, with an average annual wage of roughly $42,500.  Moraine Park’s Building Trades/Construction Worker program opens the door to careers in the construction industry and continuing educational opportunities such as apprenticeship, supervision or specialized training.


Registrations are currently being accepted for this fall. To register for the Building Trades/Construction Worker program or for more information, call a Moraine Park admissions specialist at 1-800-472-4554 or call Waldhuetter at 262-335-5841.