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


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


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.


Program changes merge technology and people skills

by polson17. July 2001 19:00

    Blending people and technology can be an arduous task, but when done correctly, a rewarding one.

    At least that's what Moraine Park Technical College Marketing instructors Robin Rodee-Schneider and Augie Ridolfi discovered when they recently added technology-driven courses to the College's Marketing Program.

    "The changes we incorporated have given Moraine Park the most up-to-date, technology-driven marketing curriculum in the state," said Rodee-Schneider, when asked about the changes. "Different marketing applications of technology uses in research, communications and creative designs, give our students a competitive edge over those who are using less sophisticated technology. It teaches them how to do their jobs better, faster and more creatively."

     Many students have reported that the confidence they gain because of the technology requirements has made a difference in their workplaces, including employers looking at them in a more professional light. "We don't teach 'technology' - we teach marketing," said Rodee-Schneider. "Then we apply technology to make the classes and students' careers more productive and interesting."

    Technology-related courses incorporated into the new Marketing curriculum include Computer Literacy-Microsoft Office, DataBase Marketing, Electronic Marketing Media, and International Business Practice Firm.

    Incorporating these courses was critical to the program, noted Rodee-Schneider, if the College was to keep up to date with changes in the business world. "There are at least five areas businesses consider essential for maintaining continued growth in today's economy: electronic commerce, sales force automation, distribution and logistics, relationship marketing, and online, interactive promotion," she explained. "Technology is seen as a tool to making these things happen."

    One class in particular, International Business Practice Firm (IBPF), has generated a lot of excitement since it was piloted in Fall 2001. "The International Business Practice Firm is unique, and the students really seem to enjoy it," said Pat Olson, Moraine Park's dean of business occupations and culinary arts. "It was the first time we offered a course like this and it was very exciting to see it get off the ground."

    Olson describes the IBPF class as a simulated business that mirrors the real world. Students set up a company with the assistance of instructors, and once set up, transact business with other student-run IBPF's from throughout the world via the Internet. "The course combines entrepreneurial skills with an international experience using the Internet. It allows learners to engage in simulated business transactions with other firms here and abroad, via a closed network," she explained.

    "Students use Moraine Park's state-of-the-art technology to communicate with students from other cultures, and develop problem-solving strategies in a team environment," Olson continued. "It's a great way to prepare students to compete effectively in the global world of business and it offers them a competitive edge. We're also hoping to offer students the chance to travel abroad and meet with some of the students they've been dealing with via the Internet.

    Andrew Spaeth, one of the students who participated in the inaugural IBPF class, said the experience offered many highs and lows, but was fun and educational. "This class was one of the most valuable classes I had; and was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life," he said. "There was frustration and excitement, but it really helped prepare me for the real world."

    "It was a great class," agreed 20-year-old Bethany Guess. "I wasn't sure what I was jumping in to when I signed up for it, but I'm glad I got to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to seeing the business grow."

    Rodee-Schneider couldn't agree more. "I think it's very exciting, too," she said. "That's one reason I love marketing -- things change every day. The new uses of technology allow creative people to develop concepts and ideas. It also means the faculty constantly have to learn new technology and the best ways to incorporate the information into our classes."

    For more information about Moraine Park's Marketing Program, call Pat Olson at 920- 924-3333, or counselors Greg Langille, Fond du Lac, 920-924-3199; Gerry Skalecki, West Bend, (262) 335-5768; Bonnie Weiland-Hare, Beaver Dam, 920-887-4441. Or call toll free at 1-800-472-4554.


Enroll now for farm management courses

by jurben10. January 2001 19:00

    Registration for Moraine Park Technical College's Farm Business and Production Management courses is underway.

    The courses emphasize all aspects of successful management and problem solving for today's farmer and other key management staff. Education is also a benefit to employees of off-farm agriculture related businesses. Instruction will take place both on the farm as well as in the classroom. It will focus on goal setting, business planning, record-keeping, crops, soils, credit management, insurance, financial planning and livestock nutrition.

    Instructor Phil Rasmussen conducts 10-12 classroom sessions, one afternoon per week, which will begin after the corn harvest. Serving Washington and Dodge counties, classes are tentatively planned at Mayville, Hustisford and a Washington County location to be selected at a later date.

    Dr. Fred Pumper, who also instructs the farm management courses, serves all of Fond du Lac, Green Lake and parts of neighboring counties.

    The cost to enroll in the Farm Business and Production Management courses is approximately $235.10 for new students. Tuition assistance grants are available to qualified persons.

    To register for classes or for more information, call Phil Rasmussen at 920-921-2673 or Dr. Fred Pumper, 920-923-0633. Information is also available at