Industry leaders join Moraine Park for manufacturing summit

by jurben28. August 2001 19:00
    The high level of difficulty in finding well-rounded, multi-skilled students was the key topic discussed between area employers and Moraine Park Technical College staff during an Integrated Manufacturing Program summit, held August 15-16 at Moraine Park's Fond du Lac Campus.

     By re-designing manufacturing programs to create broad-based learning experiences, Moraine Park will combine manufacturing related skills along with technological skills to produce well-rounded, multi-skilled graduates.

     A number of businesses from in and out of the State worked with Moraine Park staff, students and instructors in the re-designing of new manufacturing-related courses. Quad Graphics, First Technologies, Inc., Wells Manufacturing, Giddings and Lewis, and Haldeman - Homme, Inc. (Minneapolis), were among several businesses who attended the summit.

     "Employers shared their needs for high-level, multi-functional employees," said Bobbi Laine, dean - trades and computer technologies at Moraine Park. "We are implementing these needs into our curriculum, equipment and facility."

     According to Moraine Park's Integrated Manufacturing-related Education Team (IMET), the new design would not only be more customer-responsive, but also create and offer additional technologically advanced educational opportunities in manufacturing-related areas. "Project- driven, cross-functional experiences will include working on projects with other students from different programs," said Laine. "They will work in a broad and open area which will facilitate the sharing of equipment and team work."

     The manufacturing related areas include: industrial engineering/quality assurance, mechanical design, machine tool operation, machine maintenance and hydraulic technician, computer-aided manufacturing, fluid power and electro-mechanical technology.

     By integrating these skills, students will learn how to use and operate equipment in many different areas, they will become more flexible and computer savvy. "This is going to be a new learning experience as we go along," says Dennis Barter, student at Moraine Park. "It will be new for everyone; students, faculty and administrators."

     The IMET have re-designed manufacturing-related programs and is working on curriculum changes to support the integration. They also need to look at facility ramifications and determine how they will offer programmatic courses such as Lean Manufacturing, Materials Handling and Robotics.



by jurben20. August 2001 19:00
Twenty-two visitors, made up primarily of state legislators from Hessen, Germany, made a stop at Moraine Park Technical College as part of their visit to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The group, who also visited the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and Fond du Lac's Lakeside Park, were be guided by Dr. Rodney Pasch, Moraine Park's vice president - Human Resources, Information Technology and Facilities.

Pasch was a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System delegation who traveled to Hessen this past May. During that visit Pasch shared information about the College's new 50,000 square-foot Cyber Center. "The information I shared with them at that time about our Cyber Center piqued their interest," said Pasch. "So when they were making a visit to Wisconsin, Moraine Park was one of the places they wanted to be sure and tour."

The state of Hessen and the state of Wisconsin have been in partnership for 20 years, and that partnership has progressed under both the Thompson and the McCallum administration. The group was interested in social issues dealing with welfare reform and had an opportunity to talk with some of Wisconsin's state legislatures about W-2 issues while at Moraine Park. Moraine Park was the only technical college the group visited.

Pasch says the visit was as an opportunity for Moraine Park to promote student and staff exchanges with Germany as well as a chance to continue Moraine Park's mission to train the workforce in a global economy. The visit also ties in with the mission of the Wisconsin Technical College System, which is to build international relationships.

In addition to their visit to Moraine Park, the German delegates were meeting with leaders of Wisconsin's State Assembly and Senate, as well as discussing social issues and services with representatives from the UW-System


Tech Knowledge College called a success

by jurben8. August 2001 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College successfully hosted their Tech Knowledge College program, which was held Aug. 8-9.

Seventy-two area students entering sixth through eighth grade attended their choice of two, hands-on, general topic class sessions in which they wished to further their educational experiences.

Moraine Park offered a wide variety of courses to suit all student interests. West Bend Middle School students Jenny Muth and Jessi Spaeth attended the ABC's of Cooking class, taught by Moraine Park's Culinary Arts Instructor Ron Speich. Muth and Spaeth along with other students who chose ABC's of cooking, created food products such as taco pie, cookies on a stick, monkey bread and granola bars.

Alongside their classmates, Fond du Lac's Aaron Marks and Paul Kraus created a six-minute action video in the Lights, Camera, and Action class. Marks, who says his two favorite hobbies are acting and bike riding, also attended the Bike Safety, Repair and Knowledge course. This summer was Kraus' second time attending Tech Knowledge College. Two years ago Kraus enrolled in the electronics and rocket building classes and wanted to do something a little different this year. "This year I am in the video and web making classes," said Kraus. "I really like the video making class."

Sandy Ruback, a preschool teacher at St. Andrew Lutheran in West Bend, was the instructor for the Superstar Sitter class. Students worked on a variety of activities and created games to use while baby-sitting. Holly Blatz of Eden, and Nancy Brink of Fond du Lac, were two of the 13 students involved in making Playdough, coloring books, eye-spy bottles and monkey bread. "I really like both of these classes and want to come back next year," said Blatz, who was also enrolled in the cosmetology class.

Other topics covered in Tech Knowledge College were: Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Publisher and Excel, creating web pages, sign language, architectural Auto-CAD and learning about Spain.


Moraine Park insurance courses designed for average consumer - First Classes Start Sept. 6

by jurben6. August 2001 19:00
Do you feel like you're in the dark when it comes to understanding your insurance policies? If so, Moraine Park Technical College is offering four courses to help you better understand your homeowners, automobile, renters, or small business owners insurance policy.

Each course is designed for the average consumer, not insurance agents, and focuses on interpreting the meaning and intent of your own policy including property and liability concepts, policy changes, eligibility requirements, premium calculations and claims settlement.

The courses consist of four, three-hour sessions and are held on Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. or Monday or Thursday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon. The first four-week class, Homeowner Insurance Renaissance, will be held at the Fond du Lac campus on Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. beginning Sept. 6 . To register for this class, call 920-929-2100 or 1-800-221-6430. Use course number 162-110-001.

For more information, contact Pat Olson, Moraine Park's dean of business occupations at 920-924-3333 or e-mail her at


Wisconsin technical colleges unveil

by jurben6. August 2001 19:00
     MADISON - Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges have announced an exciting new venture that will give students easier access to hundreds of courses. The new eTechCollege of Wisconsin combines the flexibility of online learning with the educational strength of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The web address is

    In a recent survey, eTechCollege of Wisconsin found that more than 88 percent of Wisconsin technical college students have access to the Internet at home. Another survey concluded that 59 percent of "non-completers" said completion of their degree would have been more likely if the courses they needed were offered over the Internet. The new online learning system from the WTCS addresses these issues, in addition to making technical colleges available to countless others unable to attend a WTCS campus.

    "Making the resources of all 16 technical colleges available to students at one convenient online site will be value added to the programs and services the system currently offers," said John Shanahan, president of Moraine Park Technical College. "Moraine Park's goal has always been to allow students access to our programs and courses at the time, place and pace that meets their needs. The eTechCollege, along with our own online programs and courses, does that."

    The new eTechCollege of Wisconsin will also give former students another way of easing back into school and it will provide working adults another opportunity to take courses to enhance their resume or knowledge on a particular subject area.
"Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges have been offering online learning for years, but eTechCollege brings them all together to give students a wealth of courses from which to choose," said Ed Chin, WTCS State Director. "Now students can readily take courses that may not be offered at their own college, and credit transfer is smooth," Chin added.

    Not only does eTechCollege of Wisconsin offer more choices to students, but it also creates new efficiencies for the 16 technical colleges through standardized course competencies and shared curriculum, which enhance learning opportunities.

    eTechCollege of Wisconsin is the result of two years of planning and preparation by representatives of all 16 colleges and the WTCS Board Office.

    The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin, which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System offers a variety of distance learning opportunities and is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin's business and industry community. The WTCS web site is located at For more information on eTechCollege of Wisconsin, log on to the web site at or call toll free, 1-866-eTechWI.


New and existing small business owners find benefits in Moraine Park certificate

by polson31. July 2001 19:00
    Moraine Park Technical College's Small Business Training Certificate, beginning Sept. 8, isn't just for the start-up business owner.

     "Although the one-year certificate is designed for people interested in exploring the components of small business start-up and operation, it offers something for both new and existing entrepreneurs," said Pat Olson, Moraine Park's dean of Business Occupations and Culinary Arts.

     "Participants receive hands-on training in the areas of business planning, financing, marketing, customer service, financial management, and business communications," added Olson. "They receive good exposure to a variety of areas."

     "Each class offers real-life equations, examples and opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs," said Kathy McArthur, instructor for the certificate. "Students are also exposed to several guest speakers including bankers, attorneys and accountants."

     Debra Messer-McFarlane, a home-based business owner, decided to enroll in one of Moraine Park's small business courses, hoping it would provide her with new ideas for her own business. She wasn't disappointed. "I picked up very good information on how to organize my business as well as the importance of doing research and having a business plan. The instructor was also very knowledgeable and informative, and kept the class on track."

     The Small Business Certificate is comprised of five, two-credit courses that are taken in sequence. They are: Organizing Your Small Business, Financial Management, Marketing, Customer Service and Writing a Business Plan. The courses are shared with Fox Valley Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and Lake Shore Technical College.

     All classes are held on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and run for six weeks. The first class, Organizing Your Small Business, begins Sept. 8. To register for this class at the Fond du Lac campus call 920-929-2100. Use course number 145-180-001. To register for the class at the Beaver Dam or West Bend campuses call 920-887-4400 or (262) 335-5700, respectively; and use course number 145-180-003. Outside the area call 1-800-221-6430.

     For more information about this certificate, contact Pat Olson at 920-924-3333 or


Options for Moraine Park Technical College Nursing graduates just improved

by jurben25. July 2001 19:00

    Each year, Wisconsin Technical Colleges graduate nearly 800 individuals in the Associate Degree (A.D.) Nursing Program. Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, graduated nearly 45 individuals in its A.D. Nursing Program. A recently signed agreement between the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) will make the option of transferring into a bachelor's degree program more attractive.

     The transfer agreement allows graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System Nursing Program to transfer, with junior standing, to any of five UW-System institutions, which offer a B.S. in Nursing.

    "Nursing has just become more attractive than ever," said Ed Chin, WTCS State Director. "Not only are the wages in nursing on a steady climb, but you can now begin the registered nursing program at a technical college knowing you will have a very attractive continuing education option once you graduate."

    "At Moraine Park, students wishing to pursue a career in nursing can follow various paths," stated Lucia Francis, dean of Health Occupations for the College. "Students can either enter the Associate Degree Nursing program directly, or they can complete the Practical Nursing Technical Diploma, become licensed practical nurses, continue with the Associate Degree Nursing program and upon graduation move forward into a B.S. in Nursing."
"Wisconsin is at the brink of a nursing shortage that will continue to intensify over the next five years," said Diane Peters, vice-president of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association. "The need for nurses will increase as our population ages," Peters said. "This articulation is the first step to provide seamless education from the entry-level health care employee to advanced degrees in the field."

    Only institution-to-institution transfer agreements for nursing existed to this point, meaning there were particular UW-System schools that would accept various transfer credits from nursing students of particular WTCS colleges.
This agreement, recently signed by officials from the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, is the first system-to-system transfer arrangement. The two educational systems are expected to sign more program transfer agreements in the near future.

    The program begins this fall, but WTCS Nursing graduates who received their associate degrees in May 1996 will be able to transfer up to 30 credits in nursing and up to 30 general education credits. Graduates who received their associate degrees prior to May 1996 will be evaluated on an individual basis. The program will be reviewed after three years at which time it could be modified.
    The Associate Degree in Nursing is offered at all 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges. The five UW System schools which offer the B.S. in Nursing are UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Oshkosh.

    The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin, which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System offers a variety of distance learning opportunities and is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin's business and industry community. The WTCS web site is located at


Technical college officials seek to preserve the training programs that make Wisconsin competitive

by jurben25. July 2001 19:00

    Both Assembly and Senate versions of the state budget result in funding reductions to Wisconsin's technical colleges at a time when the state needs to invest more in the system, according to officials of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). Leaders of the WTCS have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala and Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, urging the State Budget Conference Committee to consider the impact the current budget proposals would have on a sluggish state economy in need of highly trained workers.

    The WTCS contends that without proper support, it cannot address the state's inadequate supply of skilled workers, a problem identified by many state citizens and employers as a crisis in the making. The letter is signed by WTCS State Director Edward Chin, Western Wisconsin Technical College President Lee Rasch on behalf of the college presidents, and Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association Executive Director Paul Gabriel.

    The letter advises, "Either current budget plan will erode the technical colleges' quality and ability to serve just as Wisconsin's economy slows. This will result in great harm to the state over time and inhibits one of the very best and most cost-effective tools Wisconsin has to preserve and grow its quality of life and competitiveness-Wisconsin Technical Colleges."

    WTCS leadership maintains that as state support erodes, all districts must place a greater burden on local taxpayers to maintain even current service levels. All districts must also cover, through local tax increases, unavoidable expenses such as increases for energy, health insurance coverage, faculty and staff salaries, and other costs. Additionally, districts must cover the loss of millions of dollars in revenue capacity through immediate implementation of agricultural land assessment at use-value. These reductions translate into higher local tax rates or significant program cuts. "Moraine Park has always taken a conservative approach to its budget and we are very concerned with the mill rate and the local tax levied on our district residents," said Moraine Park Technical College President Dr. Jack Shanahan. "We are continually looking for ways to keep costs down and hope our legislators reconsider their current budget proposal so we are able to continue offering the same high quality programs and services we presently offer."

    Both budget plans maintain reductions proposed in the Governor's initial budget bill such as cutting the Capacity Grant program by $5 million, and additionally cut student grants for recent high school graduates seeking high-tech training. The WTCS has proposed state aid increases to address the waiting lists of students desiring to enter high skill training programs leading to well-paying jobs, such as those in nursing, computer information systems, and machining.

     Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, joined the Wisconsin Technical College System since 1967. The College offers a variety of educational and training opportunities, including more than 80 associate degree, technical diploma and certificate programs. In addition to its three campuses, Moraine Park has regional sites in Ripon, Mayville and Hartford, along with several other instructional centers throughout the district. The College offers also offers numerous distance learning opportunities including over 80 classes available online. The Moraine Park web site is located at


Moraine Park to offer International Trade Certificate - First class begins September 6

by jurben25. July 2001 19:00

    Starting September 6, Moraine Park Technical College will begin offering a new International Trade Certificate designed for adults currently working in businesses engaged in global trade or considering expansion into international markets.

    The certificate will provide students with an international business background to include international marketing and financial awareness, documentation skills, and a better understanding of other cultures and their busine ss climates. Instruction is offered in an accelerated format that focuses on the independent learner who wants to upgrade or learn new skills, but doesn't have time for semester-length courses.

    According to Pat Olson, dean of business occupations and culinary arts, Moraine Park is partnering with Fox Valley, Northeast Wisconsin, and Waukesha County Technical Colleges to offer the classes over interactive television.

    The certificate is comprised of five, two- and three-credit courses taken in sequence. They are: International Business Principles, Global Awareness, International Marketing, International Trade Documentation and International Finance. Interested persons may take one or all five courses. The full certificate can be completed in nine months.

    All classes are held Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 9:30 at the Fond du Lac campus and are six to eight weeks in length. The first class, International Business Principles, begins Sept. 6. To register for course number 138-100-001, call 920-929-2100 or 1-800-221-6430.

    For more information, contact Pat Olson at 920-924-3333 or


Moraine Park offers Claims Adjuster Certificate

by polson18. July 2001 19:00
Moraine Park Technical College has a certificate offering available for people interested in becoming claims adjusters.

    Terry Wollin, claims adjuster instructor, noted there is a high demand for qualified claims adjusters right now, so the job outlook is extremely bright.

    "This would be an excellent career opportunity for someone interested in making a career change, especially someone with prior experience in the medical, construction, or automotive field, but who lacks the insurance background," Wollin said.

    The claims certificate includes six classes taken in sequence. The classes are held Thursday mornings 7-9:30 a.m. The first class, Property/Liability Insurance Principles, runs for eight weeks starting Aug. 23. The certificate can be completed in approximately one year. To register for this class call 920-929-2100 or 1-800-221-6430 and use course number 162-103-001.

    In addition to receiving the certificate, students may earn an Associates Insurance Services (AIS) designation upon passing a national exam following four of six courses.

     For more information about this certificate, contact Pat Olson, Moraine Park's dean of business occupations at 920-924-3333 or Terry Wollin at 920- 735-4859.