From wiscnews.com: “RAHS seniors graduate college” — By Julie Belschner – Reedsburg Area High School seniors Maura Machovec, Terra Kauffman and Payton Legner have graduated from Middle College. A graduation ceremony was held May 13 at Madison Area Technical College-Reedsburg campus to honor their accomplishments in the healthcare track of the program.

Graduation ceremonies were held across the South Central Wisconsin region to honor 40 high school seniors from 12 school districts graduating from the healthcare and manufacturing program tracks. The graduates are now preparing for paid summer work-experience opportunities with local businesses as part of the Middle College program.

Founded in 2010, Middle College is a dual-credit career pathway program targeted toward high school juniors who are interested in advancing their education in targeted industry sectors. Students study concepts in healthcare or manufacturing during the regular school year at participating Madison Area Technical College or Moraine Park Technical College campuses. The program track allows for students to take college classes while they work to complete their high school graduation requirements. Students may earn up to 30 free college credits upon successful program completion and have the opportunity to participate in up to two paid work experiences with local companies as part of the program.

The program is administered by the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, which partners with technical colleges to provide technical college training and curriculum for the program. Upon enrollment into the Middle College, participating high school students achieve college status and enrollment with the technical college. The board collaborates with employers and employees in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk counties to promote a healthy economy; it continually seeks innovative solutions to the economic challenges that face today’s workforce.

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From livinglakecountry.com: “Playhouse provides opportunities for MHS students” — Building trades students at Mukwonago High School had a wealth of experience outside of the classroom this year. The team focused the beginning of the year on completing the School-to-Work house Fox River View subdivision, which sold this spring. This semester, the group worked on the playhouse/garden shed, which residents might have seen traveling around the area in recent weeks.

Associate Principal, School-to-work coordinator and Rotarian Mark Blodgett has been a key liaison in having the Mukwonago Rotary Club sponsor these opportunities for students.

“After we built our first (School-to-Work) house during the 1999-2000 school year, the instructor and I were trying to come up with some project ideas for the class to do during the ‘off’ year of house building,” Blodgett recalled. ” I had just been to the Metropolitan Home Builders Show in downtown Milwaukee, where a handful of contractors had built playhouses to be auctioned off. I took the idea to the (Rotary) Club, and it has become our biggest fund raiser.”

The building trades class is a one-year, two-hour-per-day course that allows students to earn two high school credits and fits within the Waukesha County Technical College program so students also earn four credits toward WCTC’s construction program. This year 14 students took advantage of the program.

“The benefit to our students is that both the house and playhouse projects help them meet the WCTC competencies in knowledge and skills sets to get them college- and career-ready for after high school,” Blodgett said.

The playhouse project has students start construction at the start of the new semester in January. It uses about $2,400 worth of material that is purchased largely thanks to community contributions. The playhouse is 10 feet square and could also be used as a garden shed.

The Rotary Club sells raffle tickets to raise money to offset remaining costs and put more seed money into future to School-to-Work projects to offer future students the same opportunity.

Rotarian Rick Debe helps to coordinate Rotary members each weekend from Palm Sunday to mid-June to sell those raffle tickets for the playhouse.

“Two of the key components of Rotary International’s mission is vocational service and education. This project touches both and instills both pride and confidence in young men and women,” Debe said. “We know that not all students will embark in a career in the trades, but we are certain they will use these skills as adults as they move through their life with homes and families.”

This year’s drawing will be June 12. Tickets will be available next weekend, May 31 and June 1 at Pick ‘n Save from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The last opportunity to get tickets will be at Maxwell Street Days on June 7 and 8.

 

From chippewa.com: “Menomonie students earn college credit early” — Tyler Luzinski has not finished his junior year at Menomonie High School, but he has a great start on his college education. Luzinski plans to attend Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) to study business management or marketing communications. He already has 12 ½ credits toward a degree from CVTC.

He doesn’t have to pass a test or apply for the credits. They will already be on his CVTC transcript.

His classmate, Adam McCulloch, who plans on attending CVTC in the FireMedic program will have CVTC credits for a medical terminology class he took at Menomonie High School. Senior Ashley McKay will be able to transfer CVTC credits from that same class when she attends UW-Eau Claire in the fall.

The Menomonie students are just three of the hundreds of high school students in western Wisconsin benefitting from college-level classes through CVTC’s dual credit program. Many of these students attend Menomonie High School, which was recognized Friday, May 16 by CVTC with the Partnership Award for its outstanding participation and cooperation in the program.

Full credit

In dual credit classes, known in academic circles as “transcripted credit,” high school students earn full credit directly from the technical college just as if the student took the class at the college. “They get credit on their (CVTC) transcript right away. They don’t have to apply for it. That credit can transfer to a university too,” said CVTC Registrar Jessica Schwartz. “We are looking for ways to create pathways from high school to CVTC, and to their bachelor’s degree at a university.”

The CVTC credits transfer to universities, including UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout, with which CVTC has transfer agreements.

“It’s part of the lifelong learning and career pathways initiative going on in technical colleges and in education as a whole,” said Amy Mangin, who works out the agreements between CVTC and participating high schools.

Dual credit classes must meet college standards, and CVTC instructors and staff work closely with the high schools on the curriculum and instruction. There must be a “100 percent competency match” between what is expected of a CVTC student and what is expected of the high school student, according to Schwartz.

Savings, benefits

Dual credit benefits students in multiple ways. Luzinskl enrolled in dual credit classes in accounting, marketing, computer applications and business management. Having the credits already on his CVTC transcript once he completes his junior year will save him time and money in the future.

“I’m planning on finishing college early,” Luzinski said.

And he can finish college spending or borrowing less money along the way. Schwartz noted that a popular dual credit class is Accounting I, a four-credit CVTC class. By taking the class tuition-free in high school, the students save $544 in tuition, plus $328 for books and materials. In tuition alone, Luzinski has already saved over $2,000 toward his college education.

Dual credit benefits students in career planning and college preparation as well. “High schools are looking at their programs of study and creating seamless transitions into higher education, or into careers,” said Mangin.

“The more students are exposed to a college environment while in high school, the more likely they are to complete college,” said Margo Keys, vice president of student services for CVTC.

“I wanted to see what the college load would be like,” Luzinski said. “I was a little surprised at first, but I’m doing well with it. It’s more self-taught. I like it when I can do more of it myself instead of listening to the teacher talk a lot.”

Starting out ahead

While students recognize the financial and time-saving benefits of dual credit, it’s really all about learning.

“I took Medical Termionology to get the knowledge for my nursing major,” said McKay. “I’ll be ahead of the other students in my class. But it’s very nice the credits will transfer to UW-EC.”

“Taking Medical Terminology is definitely something that will help me throughout my FireMedic program,” McCulloch said. “But the credits help. It would definitely cost me money to take it at CVTC.”

“It’s like getting a check every time you take one of these classes,” said Jeff Sullivan, associate dean of manufacturing at CVTC. “And the students see the rigors of college.

Menomonie High School currently has five dual credit classes through CVTC this school year, with another six classes under investigation for next year. CVTC has been expanding its dual credit offerings throughout its 11-county district. This school year, CVTC has 100 sections of 81 dual credit classes spread over 30 schools. In the 2011-12 school year CVTC had 24 classes in 15 schools throughout the district.

Support for the program is strong in Menomonie, according to Menomonie School District Director of Instruction Brian Seguin. “The community has spoken loud and clear. They want to see us expand our post-secondary partnerships,” Seguin said.

From iwantthenews.com: “Students visit Miller Manufacturing” — New Holstein High School students enrolled in the Moraine Park Technical College Articulated Drafting class visited Miller Manufacturing of St. Nazianz on Thursday, May 8. Over the past three months students created 45 working drawings for the worldwide agricultural manufacturer.

The students’ drawings were being used to cut out metal parts on a CNC plasma torch. The tour started with a company introduction followed by a plant tour.

The first stop on the tour was a table full of parts waiting to get welded and painted. As they stood over the parts students realized that the blueprints underneath each part were the exact blueprints that they made in the classroom.

Students said they were excited to see that Miller was actually using their custom made blueprints on their manufacturing floor.

“This really brought itself full circle as we toured the rest of the plant and got to see how our drawings are going to help with Miller’s lean manufacturing approach,” teacher Ted Bonde said.

The tour ended and it was then the engineers’ turn. Drafting students were able to see how Miller’s drafting software is used to aid in manufacturing. Before they left, Miller paid back the students by handing out a T-shirt and meal for their work well done.

This relationship has helped these NHHS students grasp the real life application of their drafting software and its importance in the world of manufacturing.

Bonde said, “I would like to say thank you to Miller for the opportunity and support to help reiterate the importance of what we teach at the high school level.”

 

 

 

 

From leadertelegram.com: “Local high school students get college jump-start” — Ashley Carlson’s notebook page was neatly divided into two parts, with topics on the left side of the paper and details on the right.

Also on the left side of the page, Carlson wrote notes to herself, reminders such as “Double Check” and “New Stuff.”

Carlson, an Eau Claire Memorial High School senior, was learning valuable study skills along with algebra in her first-ever class on a college campus.

Area students have been taking college-level classes while still in high school through advanced placement and dual credit programs for some time. But twice a week Carlson sits in a classroom at Chippewa Valley Technical College with 23 other Memorial and Eau Claire North High School students, learning not only algebra skills but how to study effectively as well.

The goal of the program is to increase the odds of students completing college by giving them an early taste of it.

The experience was made possible through a College Success grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp. With the grant, CVTC and the Eau Claire school district implemented the class as part of the Collaboration for Postsecondary Success (CAPS) program.

“We want them to get the college experience within the institution,” said CVTC academic services instructor Molly Craker, the grant coordinator. “We want them on our campus so they are introduced to our resources such as academic services, diversity resources, academic advisors and counselors.”

College dropout rates are higher for students from minority groups, low-income families, and first-generation college students. The CAPS program targets students from such groups.

“We were looking for students with a high likelihood of post-secondary attendance who could benefit from the program,” said Dianna Zeegers, an Eau Claire school district instructor who teaches college success strategies in the CAPS program.

Students gain credit toward their high school graduation and credit at CVTC that can be transferred to other institutions. The content instructor for the class is CVTC math teacher Mike Davis.

“We teach intermediate algebra, but the bigger lessons being learned are the opportunities that college can present.” Davis said. “They get treated as adults and some of them are not used to that as high school students.”

Among the lessons students said they learn by participating in the program is that success in college takes work.

“One of the first things (Davis) said to us was if you are not going to use your time well in class, there’s no point being here,” said Carlson. “It helps me to take class time a lot more seriously.”

The college experience involves much more than not having to get a hall pass to go to the bathroom. Much of students’ work is done online through a program called MyMathLab, which allows students to learn and work at home.

“They use an electronic textbook, which may be new to many of them,” Craker said.

Students notice, too, that the college will work with them to help them succeed. Many students make use of the Academic Services Center.

“I go there every Wednesday,” Memorial senior Kayli Werk said of the Academic Services Center. “The lady down there is super-helpful. Instead of giving you the answer, she’ll give you worksheets to help you understand it.”

Werk said Davis encourages students to ask questions and shows concern that students understand the concepts.

“I’m not really good at math,” said Carlson. “It’s shocking to me that I’m doing so well.”

Davis said the students he teaches generally are ready for the college work.

“Some of the students have had math at the level we are teaching. For some it is very new to them,” Davis said. “But they are all learning personal responsibility.”

Zeegers helps students with that part of the class. On a recent day she taught them the divided-page method of taking good notes, called “Cornell Notes,” and modeled it on an easel in front of the class. “As they progress through the class, I give them feedback on their notes and assess them on that,” Zeegers said.

The hybrid college/high school class seems to be well-received by participating students.

“I signed up because I thought I would get a taste of what college math would be like,” North senior Dave Zook said. “It’s going all right. We’re getting into some new stuff, but people are good at helping us out.”

Carlson said the algebra class is a good warm-up for her future education plans, which include attending CVTC next school year.

“This was an awesome opportunity,” Carlson said.

Davis said he’s happy to see his students advance their math skills as they mature into young adults.

“There’s definitely a handful of them that we know we have changed their path,” Davis said. “And when they say ‘I don’t know what I want to do,’ we help them work through that.”

 

From beloitdailynews.com: “YouthBuild program helps young people develop skills” — In honor of National YouthBuild Day, which is being observed today, those at Community Action Inc.’s Beloit Fresh Start program have been celebrating its impact in the community and opening its doors to the community.

On Wednesday, those at Community Action were providing tours of housing projects FreshStart students are working in the Merrill neighborhood. And to celebrate Janeville’s 12 administrative personnel from Community Action moving to the Beloit facility at the Eclipse Center there was a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. followed by an Business After Hours event at 5 p.m.

Since the program launched in 2006, there have been 88 graduates and an 80 percent success rate, according to Gary Wagner, program manager.

In the program, students age 18 to 21 who have dropped out of high school can get re-enrolled to attend classes at the Community Action Pathways Center to obtain their diploma and obtain job skills. Students have three career path certifications they can choose from — certified nursing assistant, business and customer service or construction, said FreshStart Academic Supervisor Linda Fair.

Fair said students can obtain their high school diplomas with the chance to walk across the stage in the graduation ceremony by taking online classes.

Next year the business and customer service certification will be replaced by a welding certificate. Efforts are also under way for the welding program to be held at Beloit Memorial High School’s newly remodeled career and technical education area.

In light of the successful programming, Candelaria Diaz and Ike Lee are visiting Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. today to speak about the need for funding for YouthBuild USA. The Fresh Start program of Community Action is funded partially by YouthBuild USA and is up to renew its grant nationally. Diaz and Lee graduated from the program and are now program assistants working through AmeriCorps.

In Beloit one of the most popular career paths for the Fresh Start program has been in construction. A few years ago Community Action purchased more than 17 properties in the Merrill neighborhood. Students in the FreshStart construction program worked on rehabbing the homes as they gained work skills. The homes are then resold to qualified low income families through the Merrill Housing Initiative.

FreshStart Construction instructor Deitra Green said students graduate from her classes with a pre-apprenticeship certificate from the nationally-recognized Home Building Institute. Green, an electrician with more than 20 years of experience in construction, said students completing her classes know how to use tools as well as the basics of building and fixing homes. On Wednesday, she was helping her students work on a home at 1346 Yates Ave. Many of them were learning the fine art of dry wall installation.

The students in Fresh Start’s construction program work on rehabbing a home to sell each spring.

Tailor Laidig, 18, is one of the students who will graduate with a certified nursing assistant certification. Laidig, who had her son in tenth grade, said she couldn’t continue her education because of childcare. At the time she only had 6.25 credits and needed 24 credits to graduate.

However, now her son is enrolled nearby in Head Start and she is able to attend classes at FreshStart. The program has also helped her get assistance with an apartment and transportation. Once Laidig graduates, she hopes to continue on to college to become a pediatric nurse while using her CNA certification to get a job as she gets through school. Laidig is currently attending some of her classes nearby at the Blackhawk Technical College site in the Eclipse Center and doing clinical work in Brodhead before she will take her state board exam.

Wagner said there were more than 70 applications for the program which can only accept 21 students. He noted that applicants must pass a thorough interview process and a 2-week “mental toughness” component to demonstrate if they are ready to fully commit themselves to the program.

Community Action is an 100 percent local, not-for-profit organization, offering a broad spectrum of community programs aimed at preventing and reducing poverty in Rock and Walworth counties. It operates the Fresh Start program, offers child care, at-risk youth programming, teen parent support, women’s health care, senior benefits counseling, home ownership programs, affordable housing units, home weatherization and rehab, assistance in dealing with a housing crisis, food for area pantries and shelter for the homeless.

 

From swnews4u.com: “Boscobel High School offers course options for college-bound students” — By Tricia Hill – Boscobel High School faculty have been working on helping their students in grades 9-12 prepare for college by giving students the opportunity to participate in transcripted, articulated and Advance Placement (AP) courses. Currently, they are offering 14 credits of transcripted courses, which means they can be added to their college transcripts; six credits of college board-certified courses and three credits of articulated courses.

“We encourage our students to take these courses,” said guidance counselor Rhonda Scallon.

The transcripted courses include Accounting, Computer Applications, Speech, Vocational English, and Theme Writing. This is the first year that Theme Writing and Speech have been an option for seniors to take as transcripted courses. The students are encouraged to take these courses not only by the faculty, but also by some of the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College faculty.

“When a student decides to take the course, faculty from Southwest Tech come and talk to the students so they have an idea on what to expect,” Scallon said.

Once a student enters into the transcripted courses, they will be taking a course that they can add to their college transcripts. However, if a student starts taking a transcripted course and their grade seems to be dropping, they have the opportunity to not continue it as a transcripted course, but they must remain taking the course at the high school.

There is currently only one option available to students interested in taking an articulated course, which is a Southwest Tech math course. Students can only use the credits earned by taking this class if they plan to attend Southwest Tech. When taking an articulated course, the student earns a certificate of completion instead of credits added to their college transcript. However, in order to earn the certificate, the student has to earn a B or higher at the completion of the course.

Boscobel also offers some AP courses to their students, such as AP Biology and Advanced Urban History. Boscobel hopes to some day add AP Psychology to the list. Come this May, Boscobel will have nine of their students partaking in the AP exam so see what they have learned.

“The students in AP classes are working during the summer on course work,” Scallon said.

Having these options for Boscobel High School students is a great asset if students take advantage of the situation, according to Scallon. If the students participate and work hard in these programs, they will be given a head start at courses that will be expected of them in college, get a taste of college AP work, see how rigorous the class work can be, and best of all, the classes are free for the students if they take them while in high school.

“As of right now there are no disadvantages to the programs,” Scallon said. “I feel we are setting up the ground work with other colleges by having our students take part in these programs.”

Some students may have concerns if the college they plan to attend will accept credits from Southwest Tech. So the teachers have introduced them to a website called Transfer Wizard, where the students are able to go and see if their college accepts credits from Southwest Tech.

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