Moraine Park receives STEM grant from National Science Foundation

by admin20. October 2008 19:00

By 2010, employment in science- and engineering-related occupations is expected to increase about three times faster than the growth rate for all occupations, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


To help meet industry needs and to encourage students who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), Moraine Park Technical College was awarded a $520,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

 Moraine Park's STEM program director, Lisa Pollard, is shown here.

Through the STEM grant, Moraine Park’s Fostering Engineering and IT (Information Technology) Careers scholarship program will provide more than $400,000 in scholarships to cover student costs such as tuition, books, transportation and living expenses. Starting with the fall 2009 semester up to 30 scholarships will be awarded to full-time STEM students annually, based on financial need and ranging from $500 to $10,000, through July 31, 2013.


“We are excited to receive this National Science Foundation grant – a first for Moraine Park – which acknowledges the efforts of our college to support students who are interested in pursuing STEM degrees and careers,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president.


IT faculty member Lisa Pollard is leading the College’s STEM program. “A unique aspect of the program is that students who might not meet one of the academic requirements will be given an opportunity to demonstrate during a semester that they can meet the academic standards required for a full scholarship,” she said.


Students entering or enrolled in Moraine Park STEM programs are eligible to apply. The nine programs are as follows: Engine Research and Development Technician; Mechanical Design Technology; Tool Design Engineering Technology; Civil Engineering Technician – Structural; Engineering Technologist; IT – Applications Developer; IT – Network Specialist; IT – Technical Support Specialist; and Water Quality Technician.


Moraine Park has developed a three-tier approach to scholarship awards: STEM Gold Scholars (students who meet all of the requirements), STEM Silver Scholars (students who meet the financial need but need assistance to meet the academic requirement), and STEM Scholars on the Move (students who transfer to a four-year college program).


In addition to the STEM scholarship, Moraine Park will offer tutoring, study groups, online STEM advising, an online STEM Club and mentoring, as well as other support services. The College also provides real-world experience, job shadowing and placement to help prepare students for life on the job. 


A variety of careers are available to STEM graduates. For example, an IT – Applications Developer graduate may find work as a computer or systems programmer, systems analyst, database manager or project manager. An IT – Network Specialist graduate can become a network specialist, designer or manager. A Civil Engineering Technician graduate may become a drafter, construction estimator, architectural technician or designer, public utility technician, engineering technician or instruction inspector. With a Mechanical Design Technology degree, one can be a mechanical designer, CAD detailer/operator, design technician or detail drafter.


More opportunities are possible with additional work experience or education. STEM students who intend to transfer or pursue a four-year degree after graduating from Moraine Park also can receive scholarships. Studies show that, for all degree fields in science and engineering, 44 percent of recent recipients of bachelor's and master's degrees took at least one community college course.


STEM fields typically offer good salaries. Moraine Park’s 2006-07 Graduate Follow-Up Report surveyed alumni six months after graduation who were working in program-related occupations at least 35 hours per week. Engineering Technologist graduates were making $27,038 to $42,117. IT – Network Specialist graduates had a yearly salary range of $30,000 to $45,569. Tool Design Engineering Technology (formerly Tool and Die Designer) alumni reported salaries ranging from $24,000 to $58,496, while Water Quality Technician grads were paid $43,000 to $59,795 annually.


Women and minorities are encouraged to apply for a STEM grant as they are underrepresented in STEM degrees and careers.


“Our female students will be part of the virtual STEM club we offer all of our STEM learners, with myself as the club advisor, and have opportunities to work with the nontraditional careers specialist for mentoring and peer support,” said Pollard, who will also serve as a faculty mentor. Moraine Park also has a Diversity Relations office to serve students from various racial and cultural backgrounds.


For more information about the STEM scholarships and programs, contact Pollard at 920-924-3352 or


Selling to the State of Wisconsin business seminar offered Oct. 22

by admin16. October 2008 19:00

Area businesses can learn how to sell their products and services to the State of Wisconsin at a training seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The session is sponsored by the Business Procurement Assistance Center (BPAC) and Moraine Park Technical College, and will take place at Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam campus. 


“Selling to the State of Wisconsin” attendees will learn how the state procures the products and services it needs, which agencies buy what items/services, and how to use VendorNet, the state’s electronic purchasing information system.


The cost is $30. Registration is required and can be made online at For more information, contact BPAC at or (608) 243-4490.


For directions to Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam campus, go to and click on About Moraine Park then Campus Information.


This training is made possible by contributions from the Department of Defense – Defense Logistics Agency, Madison Area Technical College and Moraine Park Technical College.


Established in 1988, BPAC provides technical and marketing assistance to Wisconsin businesses that want to sell their products and services to the government. In fiscal year 2007, BPAC helped more than 1,000 Wisconsin businesses win more than $522 million in contract awards.


Preview Days planned at Moraine Park

by admin15. October 2008 19:00

High school juniors and seniors are invited to attend Moraine Park Technical College’s Fall Preview Days to learn how the College can help shape their future.


Students will have the opportunity to investigate programs they are considering for their career choice. They will spend a morning on campus taking a closer look at those programs, meeting Moraine Park instructors and getting a feel for college life. High school seniors will have a chance to win a $250 Moraine Park scholarship. Up to two program visits per campus may be selected, and one campus or all three can be visited.


Preview Days will be offered from 9 to 11:15 a.m. on the following dates:


West Bend campus – Tuesday, Nov. 11

Fond du Lac campus – Wednesday, Nov. 12

Beaver Dam campus – Thursday, Nov. 13


Register by Nov. 3 with your high school guidance office or at Participating programs at each campus are listed on this Web page. For more information, contact Connie Schaumberg at or 262-335-5853.


Free seminar on Wide Area Work Flow offered by BPAC and Moraine Park

by admin14. October 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College and the Business Procurement Assistance Center (BPAC) will offer a free training seminar on Thursday, Nov. 6, to help area businesses learn how to navigate the government’s Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) system.


A recent Department of Defense (DOD) initiative mandates “paperless contracting,” which is designed to eliminate paper from the receipts and acceptance process of the DOD contracting lifecycle. More DOD contracts require vendors to invoice the government electronically using WAWF.


This seminar will cover current DOD supplier requirements and highlight important steps to follow when registering your firm with WAWF. You will become familiar with the overall document process and learn about invoices, reports and billing. Other topics will include labels, barcodes and RFID.


The Wide Area Work Flow seminar takes place at Moraine Park’s West Bend campus from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Registration is required and can be done online at For more information, contact BPAC at or 608-243-4490.


For directions to Moraine Park’s West Bend campus, go to and click on About Moraine Park then Campus Information.


Established in 1988 by Madison Area Technical College, BPAC provides technical and marketing assistance to Wisconsin businesses that want to sell their products and services to the government. Last year, BPAC helped companies win government contracts valued at more than $522 million, resulting in the creation or retention of 10,400 jobs in Wisconsin.


Moraine Park offers business training opportunities in November

by admin13. October 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College offers ongoing credit and noncredit training opportunities for business and industry to help improve their competitive edge as well as develop and retain a skilled workforce.


Several courses are scheduled for November, including:


Structural Welding Certification: Saturday, Nov. 1, 8 a.m.–4 p.m., Room K-401, Beaver Dam campus. Become certified in all positions and gages of steel plate using SMAW (stick) electrodes. Special tests of different welding processes (GMAW, FCAW, etc.) can also be taken. Cost is $150 per person, which includes materials.


White Belt Training: Mondays, Nov. 3, 10 and 17; 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Room B-129, Fond du Lac campus. This class provides the core fundamentals of Six Sigma with a focus on quality improvement tools, basic statistics and control methods. Inject Six Sigma culture more deeply into your organization with White Belt training. Cost is $650 per person, which includes materials and refreshments.


Microsoft Excel Level 2: Friday, Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m. –3:30 p.m, Room L-110, West Bend campus. Use Microsoft Excel 2007 to streamline repetitive tasks, make your data more visually appealing, and enhance your spreadsheets through templates, charts, graphics and more complex formulas. Cost is $185 per person, which includes materials, refreshments and lunch.


Internet Trade Intelligence: Thursday, Nov. 13, 8 a.m.–12 p.m., Room A-206, Fond du Lac campus. Explore how international traders can maximize their use of the Internet and World Wide Web to access information and position themselves and their products for increasingly expanded sales opportunities. Cost is $109 per person, which includes materials and refreshments. 


Marketing Skills for the Nonprofit Manager: Thursday, Nov. 20, 8 a.m.–10 a.m, Room O-103, Fond du Lac campus. Learn how to apply cost-effective strategies and tactics to capture the support of your members, donors, clients, the community and volunteers. Cost is $55 per person, which includes materials and refreshments.


Registrations should be made at least one week prior to the start of a seminar.


For more information about these seminars, to register or to request a current copy of Moraine Park’s Workforce Solutions course catalog, call 920-924-3449 or e-mail More courses are featured in the catalog and can be found at; click on Business & Industry then Upcoming Events.


Moraine Park TEE Bus takes to the road

by admin9. October 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College has added a new educational delivery method to its classroom, online, blended and IVC offerings: A vehicle that brings Moraine Park services to the clients.


Side of the TEE Bus which is covered with Moraine Park images.

Dubbed the Technical Education Everywhere (TEE) Bus, the vision for the vehicle is to serve as a means for Moraine Park to reach out to its communities by extending the delivery of technical education, while simultaneously promoting the value of technical education in increasing our region's skills and global competitiveness.


“Our goal is to have the TEE Bus present at a variety of our district’s community events, thus providing a convenient way for individuals to learn about Moraine Park and its offerings,” said Josh Bullock, Moraine Park vice president of strategic advancement. “It can be used to the benefit of our communities in a variety of ways including basic education course offerings, K-12 school visits, career planning and assessment opportunities, and Accuplacer testing, to name a few.”


The TEE Bus will also serve as an additional mode of delivery for Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development Community Training department.


“Right now the TEE Bus could be used for any type of Microsoft Office training scenario,” said Katharine Schlieve, Moraine Park economic and workforce development sales representative. “We're getting requests to strengthen skills in all of the MS Office products and particularly the transition to MS Office 2007. The TEE Bus allows a business that may not have facilities to train on-site, which will minimize their downtime and any related travel expenses.”


“We would encourage organizations to invite the TEE Bus to their events so we can share Moraine Park’s programs and services with their audience,” said Bullock.


For general inquiries about the TEE Bus, contact Debbie Martin at 920-924-3263. For business training, contact Sandra Justman at 920-924-3449.      


Moraine Park receives Alliant vehicle for EPD program

by admin9. October 2008 19:00

The Electrical Power Distribution (EPD) program at Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam campus received an addition to its instructional fleet of three vehicles.


Alliant Energy recently donated a GMC 3500HD truck to the program, worth about $5,000. “This fourth vehicle will enable us to have more students training at the same time,” said Moraine Park EPD instructor Bill Ferguson.

 Steve Logan from Alliant and Bill Ferguson and Jon Waldhuetter from Moraine Park pose with the donated truck from Alliant.

Alliant also donates training assistance – for example, sending several engineering employees to show Moraine Park students how to engineer and stake a distribution line.


“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Moraine Park, and look forward to continuing to play a role in the education and training of Wisconsin’s next generation of line technicians,” said Steve Logan, manager of customer service for Alliant Energy’s Beaver Dam office.


For more information about Moraine Park’s Electrical Power Distribution program, visit and click on Academics.


Moraine Park offers October events in West Bend

by admin5. October 2008 19:00

A BloodCenter of Wisconsin blood drive and a Justin Roth concert are scheduled at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus this month.


The BloodCenter of Wisconsin and the West Bend campus Student Senate and Activities Committee are holding a blood drive on Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. Sign up online by visiting you have questions about your eligibility to donate, contact the BloodCenter at 877-BE-A-HERO (877-232-4376) or visit their website, For directions to the campus, visit and click on About Moraine Park then Campus Information. and entering drive ID DRV0092185, or contact Bradley Mitchell, Moraine Park Student Life, at 262-335-5743 or Walk-in donors are always welcome. Please bring a photo ID.


On Tuesday, Oct. 21, folk guitarist Justin Roth returns to Moraine Park for a lunch-hour concert in the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food is available at cost for the general public. For more information, contact Bradley Mitchell at the number above.


To learn more about Moraine Park and its programs, visit


Blood drive planned at Moraine Park Oct. 14

by admin30. September 2008 19:00

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin and Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus Student Senate and Activities Committee are holding a blood drive on Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Sign up online by visiting and entering drive ID DRV0092185, or contact Bradley Mitchell at 262-335-5743 or Walk-in donors are always welcome.


Your donation will help save lives in Wisconsin and possibly in your own community. The process takes place in the campus cafeteria and is 45 minutes or less. Please bring a photo ID.


If you have questions about your eligibility to donate, please contact the BloodCenter directly at (877) BE-A-HERO (877-232-4376) or visit their website,


For directions to the campus, visit and click on About Moraine Park then Campus Information.


Moraine Park's online programs open doors for working adults and parents

by admin29. September 2008 19:00

Whether it’s for the first time or the second, getting a college degree can help you can make more money and advance your career or start a new one. For adults who work and/or have children, time and distance can be hurdles. How do you find the time to drive to and attend classes when you can’t leave your job or you have a family to take care of – or both?


Fortunately, technology and flexible scheduling make it easier to fit continuing education into busy lives. Moraine Park Technical College offers more than 350 online courses and 20 online programs and certificates, with courses ranging from four, six, eight or 16 weeks.


Associate of applied science degree, technical diploma and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, with the exception of a few which also require clinicals, include Accounting, Business Management, Entrepreneurship for Small Business Certificate, General Studies, Health Information Technology, Human Resource Development Certificate, Information Technology – Web Developer, Instructional Assistant, Medical Transcription, Organizational Management Certificate, Supervisory Management, Veterinary Technician and Water Quality Technician.


“Online is a great alternative for students who have family and work responsibilities,” said Pete Rettler, Moraine Park West Bend and online campus and community partner. “With gas prices being so high it may be the thing that makes college affordable for the students who do not live near our campuses. Our faculty are trained to teach online, our curriculum was built to be delivered online, and our online provider (eCollege) is willing to help our students with access-related questions 24 hours per day, seven days per week.”


Jason Helnes of West Bend is an example of someone taking advantage of online learning while working. He is enrolled in Moraine Park’s online Veterinary Technician associate of applied science (AAS) degree program that includes clinicals at veterinary practices.


“The biggest difference that I have experienced between online classes and typical courses in classrooms is that through online learning you are given more freedom to budget your time between school and other parts of your life such as family and work,” said Helnes. “The biggest advantage that I have had is the ability to work nearly full-time to help support myself and my wife while still having the time to finish my classwork and be successful in my chosen program.”


Rachel Wigman of Fond du Lac needed a class schedule that worked with her “mom” responsibilities for two sons – one born with spina bifida – and her part-time job. She volunteers at her sons’ school and is turning that interest into a career by pursuing an Instructional Assistant associate of applied science degree. Going back to school after more than 16 years was a challenge, but online courses and the support of her family have helped.


 “If it wasn’t for online classes I wouldn't be able to go back to school, at least full-time,” said Wigman. “I like to just log on whenever I want to instead of making sure I make it to class on time.” She works part-time while her sons are in school and tackles her course assignments on the computer after they go to bed. “I would suggest to any parent that if they want to accomplish a degree to further their career, I would go for it. I just have one more year to go and I will accomplish getting a degree – it's very exciting.”


Like Wigman, Candice Sippel of Fond du Lac is enrolled in the Instructional Assistant program while she works and volunteers at her daughter’s school. “Taking online courses gives me the ability to create my own schedule. The instructors are often online, increasing their availability. With my experience thus far, they have been so helpful and willing to answer questions over e-mail or phone as often as possible. Being an online student has been a really great experience and I would recommend it to anybody.”


Moraine Park provides a checklist you can use to find out if online learning is for you; go to You can also see a demo course by going to and clicking on Demo Course then the Courses tab in the upper left. For a complete list and answers to frequently asked questions, go to and click on Online Learning.


“I would never be able to achieve and learn what I have learned without the online Veterinary Technician program at Moraine Park,” said Jennie McMonagle of Maribel, who had previously earned two bachelor of science degrees the traditional classroom way. “The instructors are extremely helpful and will go miles out of their way to see you succeed – you just need to ask.”


Moraine Park also offers evening and weekend classes. If money is an issue, ask about your financial aid and scholarship options. Get to know Moraine Park. Schedule a campus tour and visit with an academic advisor. Short videos about the College and its programs are located at, along with other information about programs and services. To get started on the next step in your life and career, call Moraine Park at 1-800-472-4554.