Mittelstadt resigns from Moraine Park Board

by admin29. May 2008 19:00

After nearly four years of dedication, Michael “Marty” Mittelstadt of rural Campbellsport has resigned from his position as vice chairperson on the Moraine Park Technical College District Board. Mittelstadt was appointed to the board on July 1, 2004, representing the eastern portion of the Moraine Park District as an employer member.


“I firmly believe that the College has a vital place in the community,” said Mittelstadt. “With the economic challenges faced by taxpayers it is increasingly critical that the College keeps to its mission of preparing and maintaining a competitive workforce. I want to thank the community for allowing me to serve over the past several years and I hope that I’ve been able to make a positive contribution.”


Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek presented Mittelstadt with a Resolution of Appreciation plaque on behalf of the board and thanked him for his contributions. “Marty has been a great contributor to our board and we appreciate his dedication to and support of Moraine Park,” said Dr. Hytrek.


In addition to serving as an employer member and vice chair, Mittelstadt attended Association of Community College Trustees legislative events and promoted vocational, technical and adult education in order to meet the educational and training needs of the district’s citizens.


Mittelstadt’s resignation took effect upon closure of the May 21 board meeting.


Moraine Park IT students help area nonprofits

by admin29. May 2008 19:00

Everyone loves a win-win situation, and that’s what Information Technology (IT) scholarships from the Fond du Lac Area Foundation have created for Moraine Park Technical College IT students and area nonprofit organizations.


The Information Technology Service-Based Learning Internship Scholarship Program proposal was created by Moraine Park in 2006 after a survey of Fond du Lac area nonprofits showed a significant need for technical assistance with computer hardware and software, networking and Web site development and maintenance. Moraine Park IT program instructors receive 10 to 30 requests for assistance from nonprofits each semester, so many that a waiting list was established. The scholarship proposal was approved by the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, with two scholarships being awarded in 2006-07 and eight in 2007-08.


“The Fond du Lac Area Foundation supported these scholarships for Moraine Park IT students because as a non-profit ourselves, we recognize how expensive IT needs can be and that most nonprofits cannot afford to pay for the costs of keeping their technology needs current,” said Sandi Roehrig, executive director of the Foundation. “We applaud Moraine Park for finding an innovative program which would provide their students with important IT experience and at the same time assist our local nonprofit community with valuable IT assistance.”


The Foundation scholarships provide an extra benefit for Moraine Park IT students who put their education to work in service to the community and are worth up to $150. Students also gain valuable real-world experience, dealing with everyday IT issues and fulfilling a class requirement.

 IT students with Moraine Park IT instructors and the director of Free SPIRIT Riders.

“It helped me prepare for challenges and responsibilities by using technologies in ways that provide successful and useful online experience,” said Moraine Park IT – Web Developer program student Susan Hageman of Ripon, who worked on a redesign of the Free SPIRIT Riders Web site in which she updated old content, made information easier to find and set up an online merchant service for donations and fees. “I gained business skills in the area,” she said. “I learned how to effectively communicate with the employer. It was very valuable because it prepared me for work on other Web sites, creating effective layouts and managing content, and I used almost all knowledge from the classes I took in the field.”


Even before the scholarship implementation, Moraine Park IT students volunteered with nonprofits. An IT – Web Developer program student created a Web site for Fond du Lac Festivals, and another student maintained it. An IT – Network Specialist student volunteered his time to help an organization with its desktop computer and networking needs. Another project involved the design and development of a Web site for Habitat for Humanity in Fond du Lac. After completing the project, the student offered to maintain the site on a volunteer basis.


Other nonprofit partnerships have included Crashin’ for the Cause, Fond du Lac Area United Way, Fond du Lac County Labor Council, Fond du Lac Soccer Association, Free SPIRIT Riders Inc., Ledge to Lakes District of Bay-Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac County Inc. and Whisper Hill Clydesdales Special Needs Foundation.


Like Hageman, Nikki Fink of Fond du Lac found working for a real organization to be beneficial. An IT – Web Developer and IT- Technical Support student, Fink learned a lot while maintaining the Fond du Lac County Labor Council’s Web site. “In a classroom setting you work with a ‘fake’ client, and the deadlines you set are always met,” she said. “When you have a real client you find out how easy it is to get behind schedule. I learned how to realistically set deadlines with a client.” She also enjoyed the opportunity to better the community by helping the nonprofit organization.


“This has been a wonderful opportunity for students and nonprofits in our community,” said Tammy Freund, Moraine Park IT – Web Developer program instructor. “Our students gain valuable experience while the non-profits gain much-needed services. After graduation, many of our interns continue to provide services to the nonprofits they worked with.”


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


Moraine Park instructor becomes state's first Machine Tool Trade Master

by admin29. May 2008 19:00

Jim Hokenson, a machining technician instructor at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus, is the state’s first Machine Tool Trade Master in the Machine Tool–Instructor/Trainer and Machine Tool–Technical/Specialty Skill Track.


Hokenson met the associate of applied science degree requirements and successfully completed 10,000 hours of post-journey level trade-related training to achieve the certification.


“To me it reflects being a pioneer in a new level of certification and recognition, enhancing the nationally recognized certification of Journeyman Tool and Die Maker and showing there is more beyond the journeyman's card,” said Hokenson. “I hope that as word of the Machine Tool Trade Master level spreads, more post-journey-level workers will pursue one of the three available disciplines of Instructor/Trainer, Technical/Specialty Skill or Management.”


“Just to keep pace with the increase in technology, efficiency and flexibility needed by Wisconsin manufacturers, employees need to keep learning so that they can stay ahead of the competition,” said Marcia Arndt, Moraine Park dean of manufacturing. “The Machine Tool Trade Masters Program was set up by the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards to encourage continuous learning within the profession. Jim Hokenson becoming the first person to complete the Trade Masters program is evidence of what Moraine Park instructors are doing to take a lead in the computer numerical control (CNC) and tool- and die-making market in Wisconsin.”


Hokenson also feels that his certification shows his students that instructors can be students too and that continuing education is not just preached but also practiced. Hokenson took night classes, carrying six to eight credits per semester over the course of about three years including summers. “In some of the classes I took, I sat side by side with our Moraine Park students and even my students,” he said.


In addition to encouraging students to keep learning, Hokenson’s Trade Master studies provided him with different ideas on how to deliver materials. “I took classes on every CAD (computer-assisted drafting) software that is offered on the West Bend campus and I believe this adds value to the students because not every student we have is using the same software in their workplace,” he said. “It helps me to better answer questions and demonstrate techniques to them that are specific to the software they are using.”


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


Peer tutoring, notetaking help Moraine Park students succeed

by admin28. May 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College’s 29-year-old peer-tutoring program infuses grant dollars to improve the academic performance and retention of academically disadvantaged students. The program has strengthened since its inception and today serves as a model program in Wisconsin and beyond.


In 2007, peer tutors and notetakers at Moraine Park’s campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend assisted 128 disadvantaged students enrolled in 433 courses. Of those disadvantaged students, 85 percent went on to successfully complete their coursework. In 2006, 76 percent of the students who received peer tutoring or notetaking successfully completed their courses, and in 2005 80 percent did so.


While many technical and community colleges offer peer tutoring, not many programs are as cost-effective,
far-reaching and results-driven as Moraine Park’s, according to Tom Heffron, state board consultant for disability services at the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation (WTCSF). Heffron works closely with Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges, including Moraine Park, to improve programming and gain funding for disadvantaged students. He said Moraine Park’s exemplary peer-tutoring program serves as a model for other colleges.


In Wisconsin, each technical college receives an allocation of the Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act (VEA) Grant to serve a special population of people, including academically and economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, nontraditional occupation students, single-parent students and displaced homemakers. WTCS sets guidelines for the types of activities each technical college district can support through these funds, according to Heffron.


“Moraine Park is unique because even way back in the beginning, the College took some of the Perkins money and allocated it to peer tutoring,” said Heffron. Since then, as the program has grown and improved, Moraine Park dedicated more of its own money to the cause.


“During the past several years, Moraine Park’s VEA funding has only been used to pay salaries, as federal dollars have shrunk,” said Craig Finley, Moraine Park special services associate. “During the past three or four years, the College paid thousands to support students who access the services of a peer tutor or notetaker."


At Moraine Park, peer tutoring and peer notetaking fall under the same umbrella and are orchestrated via the Student Disability Support Services department, which delivers a vast array of services to disabled and disadvantaged students. To qualify for peer tutoring, a student must be considered academically disadvantaged – someone who, without help, would fail a class. Historically, peer notetaking was most needed by students who are deaf. Today, students with learning disabilities also benefit from the use of a notetaker.


Notetaking can help fill in gaps in information. “I also tell students to direct questions to their instructor as their main source of information,” said Finley. Sometimes an instructor will have a transcript or PowerPoint for a lecture, which makes more written information available.


Both services are free for recipients, and peer tutors and peer notetakers benefit from hourly pay.


“Students become peer tutors and peer notetakers because it helps them connect and help other people,” said Finley. “I think they feel good about giving back.”


Lyle Dorn of Fond du Lac, who recently graduated from the Supervisory Management program at Moraine Park, helped fellow students master college-level math courses. “I peer-tutored because I believe I can make a difference; because I have passion and talent for helping and teaching others; and because I could earn a few dollars while I went to school,” said Dorn. “I don’t believe any person can’t learn. I believe they can.”

 Peer tutor Lyle Dorn works with a student at a computer.

At Moraine Park, procedures are in place to ensure the peer-tutoring program runs efficiently, remains cost-effective and gleans desirable results, according to Finley. Students seeking help from the Student Disability Support Services department meet with learning specialists at each campus, who develop a detailed accommodation plan. “It comes down to creative strategizing,” said Finley. “We give students the type of aids and help they need based on their learning styles and abilities.”


Students can work with a support professional for one-on-one tutoring, or a peer tutor for higher, core-level instruction, according to Finley. “Some of the more technically skilled areas of study at Moraine Park require peer tutors,” he said. Peer tutors involved in specific trades/programs, such as nursing, welding or manufacturing, are better at tutoring students in those areas of study than a staff member with limited knowledge of the trade.


Barb Adelmeyer of Lomira lost her manufacturing job recently and enrolled in Moraine Park’s Administrative Assistant program. “I hadn’t been to school in 30-plus years. It is like entering a whole new realm,” she said of the coursework. “I am not very strong with computer essentials and my classes involve a lot of computer work.” Overwhelmed, Adelmeyer met twice weekly with her peer tutor to improve computer skills. Without the help, she is convinced she would have failed and simultaneously crushed her hope of learning a new occupation.


Adelmeyer found success through peer tutoring in part because she took ownership of her learning, according to Finley. For a successful outcome, students must prepare themselves for every tutoring session. “They should study before meeting with tutors so that the tutoring session is productive; they need to identify aspects of course material that they want to work on; and they need to respect the tutor’s time,” he said.


Through the years, Finley estimates more than 2,000 Moraine Park students have received free peer tutoring and peer notetaking. While tutoring isn’t perfect, it does fulfill a needed purpose. “It is a way to help some students complete a class or program,” he said. “Every year Moraine Park supports tutoring, peer notetaking and a variety of other services that help students succeed.”


To find out more about peer tutoring and peer notetaking at Moraine Park, visit or contact Finley at 920-924-3192.


Moraine Park students can transfer credits to online bachelor degree

by admin28. May 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College students who are pursuing or have received an associate of applied science degree have a new option if they desire to extend their education. Through an articulation agreement with Chadron State College, a public four-year college in Nebraska, Moraine Park students can transfer 64 to 67 credits toward a bachelor of applied science degree with an option in Management or Management & Communication through fully online courses.


“Students can transfer the bulk of what they’ve already earned to Chadron State,” said Kirk Lacy, assistant to Chadron President Janie Park. “They will need only 61 credits to complete their bachelor degree.” Those credits can be completed through Chadron online courses or other transfer credits, with at least 30 of the 61 credits being earned from Chadron.


“We are very excited about this agreement,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “It allows our students to continue their online degree. It is a great opportunity for them as well as for our staff.”

 Moraine Park and Chadron presidents with other executives from both colleges.

In addition to the credit transfer, another advantage for Moraine Park students is affordability, with all online courses offered at the same flat-rate tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Federal financial aid is available to qualifying students. And the flexibility of eLearning allows students to work at locations and times that are convenient for them. Working adults can take advantage of four-week (summer), eight-week and 16-week formats.


“This new transfer agreement with Chadron State College offers our graduates a wonderful opportunity to pursue lifelong learning past their associate degree from Moraine Park,” said Dan Ensalaco, Moraine Park vice president of academics and economic development. “In addition to the low tuition rate available at Chadron, students who have taken online or blended courses at Moraine Park will be very comfortable in taking this online bachelor program since Chadron uses the same eCollege online course platform as Moraine Park. The transition for our students will be very simple.”


Chadron also offers an online Master of Business Administration degree as well as a master of science degree in Organizational Management.


Moraine Park has program-to-program transfer agreements with private four-year colleges in which certain Moraine Park associate of applied science degree programs can be articulated toward a bachelor degree. Moraine Park also has program-to-program transfer agreements with 10 of the universities within the University of Wisconsin System, as well as general studies transfer agreements with UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh. General studies agreements also exist with four-year private colleges such as Marian College and Milwaukee School of Engineering, as well as out-of-state institutions and online universities.


For more information about Moraine Park’s credit transfer agreements, contact the admissions specialists at each Moraine Park campus: (920) 887-4425 in Beaver Dam; (920) 924-6398 in Fond du Lac; and (262) 335-5877 in
West Bend. Those in other areas may call (800) 472-4554.


For more information about Moraine Park’s programs, visit


Moraine Park to hold Adult Information Session June 12

by admin27. May 2008 19:00

Adults and high school students who are interested in programs and services at Moraine Park Technical College are invited to attend an Adult Information Session at the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac or West Bend campuses on Thursday, June 12, between 2:30 and 6 p.m.


Stop by and talk with Moraine Park staff about specific programs and services. Assistance will be available for beginning the admissions process and selecting fall classes. 


An information session will also be offered on July 15.


Advance registration isn’t required. More information about the Adult Information Session can be found at under MPTC Presents on the home page, or call 1-800-472-4554, ext. 3201, or e-mail


Moraine Park welding students receive scholarships

by admin27. May 2008 19:00

Two Moraine Park Technical College welding students were among those who received American Welding Society (AWS) Milwaukee Section scholarships at a recent awards presentation in Milwaukee.


It was the first time that Moraine Park has participated in the AWS scholarship awards program. Terry Herman of Theresa and Michelle Freeman of Beaver Dam received scholarships based on need, merit, a composition written by each student and an interview. Both are enrolled in the Welding program at Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam campus.


“The AWS awards scholarships to students who demonstrate good welding skills and a good work ethic,” said Sue Silverstein, Moraine Park welding instructor. “The hope is that this will encourage others to become welders.” The current shortage of welders is expected to increase as workers retire.


Visit and click on Academics to learn more about the Welding program at Moraine Park.


Moraine Park carpentry student named ABC Apprentice of the Year

by admin27. May 2008 19:00

Nathan Potratz of Pickett, who recently completed his fourth year as a Moraine Park Technical College and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin carpentry apprentice, was named ABC’s state Apprentice of the Year for 2008 during an ABC apprentice graduation banquet in Wisconsin Dells May 16. He is the fourth Moraine Park carpentry apprentice in as many years to receive this award.

 Nathan Potratz is shown with Wayne Belanger from ABC of Wisconsin. Nate is holding his award.

“Nate is an extremely knowledgeable student, a strong contributor to class discussions, an exceptional test writer and is always willing to share his expertise with fellow apprentices and his instructor,” said Jerry Schwengels, Moraine Park apprentice carpentry instructor. “In the lab and with hands-on theory, Nate also is an eager participant and leader in the various skill-development activities.”


Potratz earned a second-place silver medal in the carpentry competition at the 22nd annual ABC National Craft Championships held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Prior to that, he placed first in the ABC of Wisconsin State Skill Competition in January.


His employer, Jason Geffers of J.J. Geffers Construction, Inc. in Oshkosh, noted Nate’s excellence in leadership and his ability to handle tasks beyond his years.


In addition to his job with Geffers, Potratz has his own side business building cabinets and furniture and is the treasurer at his church. “I love what I do and have accomplished so many things,” he said “I’m daily shown I do not know it all. Work is never boring; it changes daily.”


For more information about programs and apprenticeships at Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses, visit For the Carpentry Apprenticeship program, call Jon Waldhuetter at 262-335-5841.


Online courses make education possible for many students

by admin21. May 2008 19:00

Many students favor online courses to fit their busy lifestyles, according to a recent survey of online students conducted by the Wisconsin technical colleges’ distance learning consortium, eTech College. Respondents of the 2007 Online Student Survey felt the biggest benefit of online learning is flexibility. Two-thirds of respondents specifically wanted to take an online course instead of traveling to campus for class, and 85 percent of online students would take another online course with a Wisconsin technical college.


Sara Doege of Neosho recently graduated from Moraine Park’s online Instructional Assistant program. “The program allowed me to attend class at times and places that fit my schedule,” said Doege. “The online format creates more opportunities for more direct communication with teachers and classmates, through online chats, email and in newsgroup discussions and enhances my learning experience by allowing me to work with peers from around the state and across the nation. The Instructional Assistant program course material is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving me the ability to read and re-read lectures, discussions, explanations and comments.”


With more than 35,000 students taking 173,000 credits of online learning through Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges last year, online learning has grown to more than eight percent of all credit hours taken. That shift is expected to continue, according to eTech College of Wisconsin Online Learning Specialist Nancy Woodward. 


Moraine Park sees a similar trend, according to President Gayle Hytrek. “Since introducing our first online program in 2000 we've seen our numbers continue to grow steadily each year,” she said. “The demand for classes is there and we are continuing to build our online offerings in response to that demand.” In 2006-07 Moraine Park served nearly 4,600 online students accounting for just over 11 percent of the College’s full-time equivalents. The College served nearly 5,000 online students in 2007-08, with 75 percent of them female. The average age of online students was 34 with the youngest being 18 and the oldest being 86. 


“Online learning courses are an important and growing component of our technical college programs,” said
Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “Our colleges will continue to work collaboratively
to ensure online learning options are delivered cost-effectively for students across the state.”


For more information about Moraine Park online courses, visit or call 1-800-472-4554.  


Moraine Park Class of 2008 heads out

by admin18. May 2008 19:00

In graduation caps and gowns, more than 300 members of the Moraine Park Technical College Class of 2008 left the Fond du Lac High School Field House as the newest Moraine Park alumni on Saturday, May 17.


“Instruction begins in the classroom, but learning continues throughout life” was the class motto adopted by the graduates from the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses. A total of 1,095 students completed their Moraine Park studies, with 469 receiving associate of applied science degrees, 500 receiving technical diplomas and 126 receiving program certificates.


Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek presided over the College’s commencement ceremony and presented the degrees, diplomas and certificates with the assistance of Moraine Park District Board members Lisa Mader, chair, and Jodine Deppisch, employee member.


 “Commencement is a very significant event in our students’ lives,” said Dr. Hytrek as she addressed those gathered. “On behalf of all of us at Moraine Park Technical College, I would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to all of you graduating today. You should be very proud of yourselves for reaching this milestone in your lives. You have worked hard and sacrificed a great deal during the past year or years and there is a wonderful future in front of you. Today, you join a huge group of very successful people — our graduates. They are the fabric that supports Wisconsin.”


Members of the graduating class from each campus addressed their fellow students, faculty and guests on the class motto’s theme of lifelong learning: Raelene Nauer of Beaver Dam, Administrative Assistant program; Michael Kiehnau of Fond du Lac, Culinary Arts program; and Leslie Troedel of Slinger, Administrative Assistant and Legal Administrative Professional programs.


“My experience at this college has instilled in me a love of learning and a thirst of knowledge that I had not had before,” said Raelene Nauer. “So many times in my life I have wanted to learn a new skill, but as soon as it got hard I gave up, thinking I was defeated. There is no giving up at Moraine Park. There is help from so many and in so many ways I was encouraged not to give up, and the result was success.”


Nauer also thanked the College for the many opportunities she had to participate in student government, college planning leadership and the Quality Council Team. “Being a student rep for these teams was invaluable. It gave me an insight into what business is like behind the scenes. I encourage all future students to serve on the different committees offered and become involved in student life.”


In his speech, Mike Kiehnau said, “As we all gather today to celebrate a lifetime achievement, I think to myself, ‘How we can continue our education?’ Then it hit me – we can live our lives. Waking up each morning, I look at life and say, ‘It’s going to be a great day; now, what am I going to learn?’ … Regardless of what we do once we walk out the back doors, I challenge each and every one of you to continue our education in some way, shape or form. Remember, your academic experience may be finished but your lifelong learning has just begun.”


The final student speaker, Leslie Troedel, thanked her family, friends and instructors. “When I came to Moraine Park as a dislocated worker after 17 years, I was nervous and scared, scared of failure,” she said. “I never thought I could come as far as I have. I remember being afraid to write a paper in written communications. Now I am writing commencement speeches. I received encouragement and guidance from so many people, and now am proud to say that I am graduating as a high honor student. Being inducted into Phi Theta Kappa was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life.”


Ronald J. Ford, Moraine Park Class of 1994, was presented with the College’s 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award by Dan Ensalaco, vice president of academics and economic development. A graduate of Moraine Park’s Electromechanical Technology program, Ford is president and CEO of Deutz Power Systems of America in Norcross, Georgia. “You have just completed the first step in what can be a most incredible journey that is out there waiting for you,” he told the new graduates. “You can take your career as far as you want it to go. … You have a great education, taught by dedicated professionals who have prepared you for this journey. Now it’s up to you.”


The graduation processional was led by bagpiper Gina Crossley, with the ceremonial music performed by Brassination, a brass quintet from the Fond du Lac area. Shady Grove, also from the Fond du Lac area, provided the pre-ceremonial music. A reception was held at the high school.