From “Many transfer options available for college students in area” — Obtaining a college degree can be one of the biggest moments in someone’s life. Schools in our area make it easier than ever to start at one campus and end at a different one.

Many colleges and universities offer students the option to transfer courses from one school and then use them towards their completion of a degree at another school.

The reasons for doing so differ. For some, starting at a community college and moving on to a four year school can help them save money.
Other students might want to take a class at one school that isn’t available at another.

Many schools in our area offer a transfer option, including Northcentral Technical College and UW – Marathon County. The close-knit environment of these schools mean students sometimes only need to travel a few minutes up the road to get transfer credits.

“We’re very proud of our community relationships in this area,” says Suzi Mathias, Director of Transfer and Placement at NTC. “We have some very strong collaborations with other colleges and we work with them frequently.”

She says it’s common for students to decide ahead of time to start their degree at NTC and complete a four-year degree at another school. At NTC students can transfer credits to more than 35 institutions.

Transfer directors say the most important thing when helping a student decide where to gain credits is looking at their particular needs.

“I think it’s important for students to be able to move some credits around because plans change,” says Keith Montgomery, Dean and CEO at UW- Marathon County.

One option offered through the University of Wisconsin Colleges is the Guaranteed Transfer Program. You begin as a freshman at a UW campus and receive guaranteed admission to complete a four year degree at another school. You must complete a declaration form, as well as keep a minimum GPA of a 2.0 (2.8 for UW-Madison) as well as complete the number of credits required for junior status into the transfer school.

Visit for more information.

From “Nicolet College’s early childhood education program sees enrollment surge” — Nicolet College’s early childhood education program has enjoyed an enrollment boom in recent years thanks, in part, to greater opportunity for students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a desire by child care providers to have a more highly skilled workforce.

That’s according to Diana Rickert, early childhood education instructor at Nicolet, who recently gave a presentation to the Nicolet College Board of Trustees about program developments.

“Students like what Nicolet has to offer,” Rickert said. “They see the benefits of attending Nicolet on a number of fronts and that’s what’s driving the enrollment increase.”

Currently, 52 students are in the program and that number is expected to nudge higher in coming weeks as new applicants work their way through the enrollment process in order to begin classes at the start of the spring semester in January.

One of the biggest drivers of this trend is the close partnership Nicolet has developed with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Thanks to a credit transfer agreement between the two institutions, students can complete roughly the first two years of their bachelor’s degree at Nicolet and then transfer to UW-Stevens Point to complete the degree.

“Students are realizing that they can save thousands of dollars by starting at Nicolet,” she said. “That’s because of Nicolet’s affordable tuition and because they can live at home, which means they don’t have to pay room and board. Combined, this results in a very significant cost savings.”

With bachelor’s degree in hand, graduates are then eligible to receive their Wisconsin teaching license and teach pre-kindergarten through third grade in a public school system.

An added advantage is the increased level of hands-on, practical experience students get in the associate degree program. Nicolet’s early childhood education program has an advisory committee made up of teaching professionals that offers guidance for program development.

“When they look at rèsumès to fill teaching positions, I’ve heard time and again that applicants who first earn an associate degree rise to the top of the pile,” Rickert said. “The added level of hands-on teaching experience they get with an associate degree on top of what they get with a bachelor’s degree is highly valued by school districts.”

Another factor contributing to the enrollment increase is the state of Wisconsin’s YoungStar program. Launched in 2011, YoungStar ranks licensed child care providers on a scale of one to five, with five being the best rating. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families then make the ratings public to help parents make child care decisions.

“More than a third of the possible points a program can earn are based upon the educational qualifications of the staff,” Rickert said. “Because of this, we are seeing more people who are currently working in child care enrolling in Nicolet classes. They are learning additional skills that ultimately benefit the children they teach and care for, and also help their employer receive a higher YoungStar rating.”

In recent years, Nicolet has also added a high degree of flexibility to the program, offering classes in the evening, on weekends, over an interactive television network, in an accelerated format, and on-site in the Lac du Flambeau tribal community.

“Everybody’s life situation is different,” Rickert explained. “By expanding the options students have to take classes, we’re making it easier for students to fit college into what are already busy lives.”

From  Column:  High schoolers able to double dip at MSTC — Technical colleges are specialists in transitioning students from kindergarten through 12th grade into higher education.

Mid-State Technical College’s, or MSTC, dual credit program allows high school students to “double-dip” by earning college credits while in high school and applying these same credits toward their high school graduation.

When cost is an issue, dual credit is a great way to stretch dollars and reduce the cost of a college education. High school juniors and seniors all across the MSTC district already are enthusiastically taking advantage of the program to jumpstart their college careers. Dual credit courses offered in high schools use MSTC’s college curriculum and are taught by Wisconsin Technical College System certified high school faculty. Since participants are exposed to higher education at an earlier age, the path to a degree and a good-paying career is put on the fast-track.

Technical college dual credit has a proven track record for more than 20 years. We know that more than 20,000 high school students a year receive such credit from technical colleges. This model has thrived in Wisconsin and is considered a gold standard in higher education across the United States.

MSTC employees help ease the transition to college by helping individual high school students with student services such as career planning and financial aid. Dual credit students are more likely to enroll in college and more likely to complete an MSTC degree or certificate. Education doesn’t have to end with a technical college degree; many MSTC students extend their education at a four-year institution.

Our relationships with high schools throughout the MSTC district remain strong. This past academic year, nearly 400 students earned more than 1,000 credits through MSTC’s dual credit program. For these students, dual-credit means a top-quality education in less time for less money. For local businesses, dual credit is another source of well-trained graduates entering the local workforce.

If we are to continue fostering economic development and job creation in our state, we must take the necessary steps to prepare students for college and the world of work. This flexible degree option is an important and effective tool for giving students the skill set and hands-on experience they need to succeed in postsecondary education and the local workforce.

I encourage high school students and parents to investigate the many benefits of dual credit. For more information about MSTC’s dual credit program or any of MSTC’s many other programs and services, call 888-575-6782.

Sue Budjac is president of Mid-State Technical College.

From  Editorial — Bettsey L. Barhorst:  Review for-profit college report before picking school — Last week, the findings of a two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry were released.

At best, the report documents predatory recruiting practices and “gaming regulations to maximize profits” at the expense of taxpayers. At worst, the report reveals that these colleges place the desire to fatten their bottom line above the interests of students.

As an institution that is publicly funded, we take offense to that. So should every taxpayer.

Madison College’s mission is to provide accessible, high-quality learning experiences that serve the community. We do that by offering tuition that is 75 percent less than that of the average for-profit college.

We prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to join the workforce. More than 89 percent of students trained at Madison College are employed within six months, compared to 77 percent of those trained at for-profit schools.

And we invest heavily in programs and services that support student success — not in salespeople and glitzy advertising to recruit students who will assume massive, long-term debt.

The report is available on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee website (search for Harkin report). It outlines many other startling contrasts between for-profit colleges and those that are publicly funded.

Selecting a college is among the most important decisions one will ever make. Choose wisely.

— Bettsey L. Barhorst, president,

Madison College

From “Dual enrollment provides Moraine Park students with learning advantage” — When Jasmyn Clough graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 2008, she had completed enough transcripted credit courses to count as two classes in Moraine Park Technical College’s Business Management program. While an accident kept Clough from enrolling at Moraine Park directly out of high school, in 2010, she was able to hit the ground running with two college classes under her belt.

Clough, who graduates this December, isn’t stopping with her Business Management associate of applied science degree. Instead, she is taking advantage of the transfer agreements set in place by Moraine Park and will be entering Cardinal Stritch University at junior status as a Business Management student in the spring of 2013. She’s on a track that will allow her to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in two years.

Clough is a perfect example of how transcripted credits, or dual enrollment, creates an economically savvy, time-saving path to success. “I’m a first-generation college student and am making my family proud by obtaining a Moraine Park associated of applied science degree then continuing my education,” Clough said. “I’m always looking one step ahead and the transfer agreement with Cardinal Stritch is helping me continue this pattern.”

Transcripted credit/dual enrollment has been offered at Moraine Park for almost 20 years. Transcripted credit courses are Moraine Park courses taught in the high school using technical college curriculum, grading policies and textbooks. In addition to Moraine Park, these credits are transferable to all colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System.

The numbers line up and high school students are saving money through this seamless dual enrollment transition. In 2010-11, high school students in Moraine Park’s district earned over $1.2 million worth of college credits – 4,183 took transcripted credits with a total of 9,871 credits completed. There are 216 transcripted credit agreements with public schools in Moraine Park’s district.

“I encourage high school students to inquire about dual enrolled options with their counselors,” said Moraine Park president Sheila Ruhland. “If you are seeking avenues for cost savings and time shortened programs as you enter college, enrolling in these classes as a high school student is an excellent first choice!”

Taking it to the next step of transferring from a two-year to four-year degree, Moraine Park has a full-time Academic Support and Transfer Specialist who works to secure agreements and support students as they transition from Moraine Park to a bachelor’s degree path. In 2011-12, more than 150 Moraine Park students were guided through the transfer process.

“The college currently has agreements with 36 four-year institutions, said Karla Donahue, Moraine Park academic support and transfer specialist” From those 36 colleges and universities, students can choose from 111 different specific program pathways.

At Cardinal Stritch, for example, 15 different degree options exist for Moraine Park students to choose from when they decide on the transferring option.  Every spring, Moraine Park holds a Transfer Fair when representatives from the 36 colleges with transfer agreements in place come to offer information and chat with Moraine Park students interested in transferring. Attending the Transfer Fair is how Clough became interested in attending Cardinal Stritch.

Diane Sexton had the idea of lifelong learning in mind when she enrolled in the accounting program at Moraine Park.  A solid associate of applied science foundation at Moraine Park, combined with an easy transition to Ottawa University, based out of Milwaukee, allowed Sexton to continue learning. She eventually obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration, and a master’s degree in business administration, also from Ottawa.

Students who complete their associate of applied science degree through Moraine Park can apply up to 80 credits toward an Ottawa University bachelor’s degree. Online and face-to-face programs are available to students in areas including business administration, health care management and accounting.

“The transition from Moraine Park to Ottawa University was extremely easy,” said Sexton. “My instructors at Moraine Park provided me with a very strong education in accounting which set me up for success at Ottawa.  Moraine Park got me back into the swing of going to school, and Ottawa allowed me to continue learning by accepting all of my credits from Moraine Park, allowing me to achieve my bachelor’s degree quickly.”

Dual Enrollment/transcripted credits, and transfer agreements continue to play a role in Moraine Park’s offering of flexible and convenient degree options. For more information on dual enrollment at Moraine Park, visit

From “NTC partners with Viterbo University – Addiction Studies” — “This is our first agreement for the new AODA track to transfer into a bachelor’s program that focuses on addiction,” says Tammy Gorski, Human Services Faculty, NTC. “This is a great chance for our students to continue with their education.”

Students graduating NTC will enter Viterbo with junior status.  All classes are offered online with the exception of one summer session.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for graduates of NTC’s Human Services, AODA program to maximize their transfer credits and complete a bachelor’s degree in Addiction Studies,” says Alissa Oelfke, Director, Center for Adult Learning – Viterbo. “The arrangement of online courses, together with the summer seminar, gives these students the ability to work full-time jobs and still fit being a student into their busy lives. We are very happy to be a part of this partnership with NTC.”

For more information regarding transfer opportunities visit

From “UWSP, MSTC expand Bridge program” —  An expanded partnership between two central Wisconsin higher education institutions soon will give students additional opportunities to adjust to college life while they gain entrance into a four-year program, officials said.

Starting this fall, the Mid-State Technical College/University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Bridge program, which allows students who fall just short of meeting UWSP admissions requirements to take MSTC classes, will take place on the UWSP campus, said Beth Smith, associate dean of general education for Mid-State Technical College.

“The new idea and the thinking is the sooner students are acclimated to the UWSP campus and services and everything that a four-year campus entails, the better,” Smith said.

Courses previously took place on the Mid-State campus, but thanks to a decision last month by the MSTC District Board, students now will be able to attend classes on the university campus.

Created several years ago, the program allows as many as 30 participants to take MSTC courses — three in social sciences and one in communications — in order to achieve admission to the university, Smith said. They then can apply the 12 general education credits they earn toward their graduation.

This type of program is not unusual, with various other technical colleges and universities across the nation providing similar opportunities.

Both Mid-State and UWSP are able to identify potential program participants, who want to pursue a four-year degree but fall short of the requirements, Smith said. Most students in the program are recent high school graduates, as well as first-generation college students, she said. The 30 students attend the same classes as a group.

“They will be their own learning community,” she said. “This will also help them navigate this early part of their higher education.”

From “Hundreds of jobs open in Marathon County, central Wisconsin” — People looking for work in central Wisconsin have heard the same refrain over and over: Well-paying jobs abound in the health care and advanced metalworking fields.

But for those who can’t enter one of those professions, the news isn’t great. The manufacturing, medical/education and trade/transportation/utility fields are the dominant employers, representing 66 percent of the total job force in Marathon County in 2011, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce.

The second tier of jobs, based on the number of people employed in central Wisconsin, includes the financial industry and the leisure and hospitality fields, which make up 16 percent of the jobs. The number of jobs in those two fields dropped from 2010 to 2011 in Marathon County, though hundreds of related jobs were open as of this month, according to the Department of Workforce.

The good news is that employers are hiring in those fields and training and education is available in central Wisconsin. Education and skill development can be obtained in as little as a few classes for a certificate, all the way up to a four-year degree.

And jobs are plentiful. Hundreds of jobs, including loan officers, credit counselors, wait staff, desk clerks and maintenance workers in the leisure and hospitality fields, were open for applications as of June 16 in Marathon County, and even more across all of central Wisconsin.

“You can infer from that data that there are opportunities for people to make a transition — dislocated workers or people looking for employment,” said John Westbury, an economist in the Office of Economic Advisors, a division of the DWD.

Back to school

People looking for career changes have options when looking to improve their skills or learn new ones.

Students can take introductory courses at the University of Wisconsin branches in central Wisconsin toward degrees in business administration, finance, as well as hotel, restaurant and tourism management. While many majors require students to transfer to a four-year college, the University of Wisconsin Marathon County and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point allow students to complete the UWSP business administration program at the UWMC campus.

The UWSP partnership is an example of how some Wausau-area residents who work in the business field can continue their education without having to move, said Jim Rosenberg, an adult student recruiter at UWMC.

“Even if a person gets into a job with the minimum qualifications, they look at what can get them ahead in that career field,” Rosenberg said.

For some people, a four-year degree will take too long.

Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin can improve their skills by simply taking a few courses specializing in computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, bookkeeping, or food and beverage safety.

NTC offers an entrepreneurship program that teaches basic business concepts, such as obtaining financing, buying supplies and managing staff. Brad Gast, a continuing education adviser at NTC, said he recently had a man who wanted to open his own restaurant in northern Wisconsin take the entrepreneurship classes.

“Most of those people develop their skills and go out and start their own (business) and live their dreams,” Gast said of the entrepreneurship students.

From “Wausau college, UWGB make transfer deal” — GREEN BAY — A partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Adult Degree program and Wausau-based Northcentral Technical College hopes to bring NTC graduates closer to earning a bachelor’s degree thanks to a guaranteed credit transfer agreement between the two schools.

The One Degree Closer initiative allows students who have earned an associate degree at NTC to transfer at least 60 credits to UW-Green Bay in pursuit of a bachelor of applied science degree.

UW-Green Bay will accept the credits no matter what NTC associate degree the student earned or when.

Students who choose this program will apply credits toward a bachelor of applied science degree, selecting one of six areas of emphasis within its broad-based interdisciplinary studies major.

In addition to NTC’s main campus in Wausau, UW-Green Bay is working with the community college’s regional campuses.

Visit, or call (800) 621-2313 or (715) 803-1410 or send an email to for information about the One Degree Closer initiative.

From “Marian and FVTC sign articulation agreement” —  Marian University has signed an articulation agreement with Fox Valley Technical College clarifying transfer of credits between the institutions for business programs.

The new agreement includes classes in disciplines such as accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing and operations, as well as for business-related fields such as health care administration, information technology and sport and recreation management.

Fox Valley Tech Vice President for Instructional Services Christopher Matheny, Marian University President Steven DiSalvo, and Dr. Edward Ogle, executive vice president of academic & student affairs at Marian, signed the acknowledgement, which makes it easier for Fox Valley students to receive credit at Marian.

Students from all FVTC locations, which include campuses in Appleton and Oshkosh and regional centers in Chilton, Clintonville, Neenah, Waupaca and Wautoma, will be able to transfer up to 64 credits if they have completed all general education liberal arts core requirements and received an associate in applied science degree from FVTC.

Individual class grades and GPAs will not be transferred to Marian.

From “ULM to offer bachelor of science in dental hygiene to Wisconsin students” — The University of Louisiana at Monroe is expanding its dental hygiene program by helping educate students at Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin.

A new articulation agreement was announced Thursday that will allow students who have completed an associate degree in dental hygiene at NTC to earn their bachelor of science degree in two more years by taking online courses through ULM.

ULM President Nick Bruno said the 2+2 agreement will benefit both institutions by bringing more exposure to ULM and by allowing NTC students to earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from ULM in only two years.

“To see an institution from that far away actually want to partner with us to further train their students is quite a compliment. It speaks volumes about the quality of the program,” he said.

Bruno said the partnership will help increase student enrollment at ULM and allow students from a different part of the country to experience the university.

The partnership will also be cost-effective, Bruno said, because ULM will not have to provide the clinical component of the curriculum, which NTC students will have already taken in order to receive their associate degree.

Bruno commended the university faculty who helped make the partnership possible.

“Their efforts to reach out, not just within the state, to partner with other institutions allow us to further our higher education mission beyond our borders, which is important for Louisiana and ULM’s reputation and image,” he said.

NTC is also excited about the partnership, said Suzi Mathias, director of Transfer & Placement at NTC.

Mathias said the average age of NTC students is around 33, meaning they are primarily nontraditional students who likely intend to stay in the community, which is why the partnership with ULM’s online dental hygiene program is a “good match.”

Additionally, Mathias said the nearest university, which is about 40 miles away, does not offer a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

“We are always looking for ways we can hopefully meet the needs of our learners in getting their four-year degrees,” she said. “This partnership will give big advantage to our nontraditional students because they will be able to stay in the community and continue to work in this area while also advancing their education. To me, it’s a perfect relationship and hopefully this will help feed people into ULM at the same time.”

ULM’s dental hygiene program was implemented 40 years ago by Beverly Jarrell, who still heads the department. The program was created in effort to train more dental hygienists to provide improved oral health care in rural communities in northeastern Louisiana.

From “New credit transfer agreement for Chippewa Valley Technical College graduates” — Graduates of Chippewa Valley Technical College will find it easier than ever to transfer their associate degree credits to the University of Wisconsin-Superior following a new agreement between the university and the college.

Under the agreement, students earning the Liberal Arts – Associate of Science Degree at CVTC campuses in Eau Claire, River Falls and Menominee can transfer their academic credits to UW-Superior and meet all of the university’s general education degree requirements. That means CVTC graduates can more easily transfer all their courses to UW-Superior and enter the university as juniors.

CVTC’s program requires completion of part of the Associate of Science Degree through courses offered by a baccalaureate university. Students may complete the degree at CVTC by taking online courses from UW-Superior, providing flexibility with job or personal commitments.

“Working with CVTC, this agreement enables us to take another step in the University of Wisconsin System’s Growth Agenda of producing more university graduates in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Faith Hensrud, interim provost at UW-Superior.

The agreement takes effect for students enrolling at UW-Superior beginning in January 2012.  CVTC students or graduates seeking more information can contact UW-Superior at 715-394-8230 or

From “What I Do: Becky Rogers is Coventry Village’s director of fun” — I’ve been dubbed director of fun because I plan a variety of outings and events for residents of the 40 condominiums, 120 independent apartment homes and the assisted care facility at Coventry Village.

I like to include arts and sports, educational offerings, dining, crafts and many other options to help keep the residents active and interested in life. The residents often give me ideas of places they would like to visit.

I plan a different outing/tour to places of interest in the Madison area each month. This month, a group of 14 is going to the Chazen Museum of Art. We’ve visited Epic Systems Corp., the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and other places. After the tours, we stop for lunch. I plan events on-site including singers, pianists, bands, UW-Extension classes or woodworking projects. I plan computer and tai chi classes, movie and popcorn on Saturday evenings and many other offerings.

I conduct orientations for new residents. I get to know them and the kinds of things they are interested in doing. I also get to know their family members, which is a delight and often provides volunteer sources for events. For instance, a family member might mention they play the piano, so I invite them to play for the residents, or they might know a special speaker who would be of interest to the residents.

I have a degree from Madison Area Technical College in occupational therapy. I received my bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University in business. I attend regular continuing education to keep up with the newest trends. Prior to coming to work here, I worked at the Alzheimer’s Alliance conducting staff training.

My mother, Marge Salter, always taught me to be kind and understanding with all people. Because she has passed away, I smile in her memory as I work with the residents. It’s rewarding to see how much the residents appreciate what I do. Watching them in their community, taking care of each other, is very gratifying for me. Because this is an aging population, some of the folks leave us before I really get to know them. It’s difficult to say goodbye to someone who has lived here for several years.

Skills needed to perform my job include understanding the needs of older adults, being an excellent communicator and listener, and always having a smile on my face. The tools that I use to do my job are creativity, flexibility, patience and compassion.

From “Grant supports program for CVTC to UW-EC transfers” — A UW System grant has made possible a pilot program at UW-Eau Claire to ease the transition for and success rate among students who transfer to UW-EC from Chippewa Valley Technical College.

The CVTC to UW-Eau Claire Transitions Program is funded by a grant of $47,350 from the 2011-12 Growth Agenda Grant Program, established to support initiatives to advance the goals of the UW System Growth Agenda for Wisconsin.

The transitions program serves CVTC transfer students both while they are still enrolled at CVTC and after they enroll at UW-Eau Claire, said Bonnie Isaacson, nontraditional student coordinator in Academic Advising at UW-Eau Claire. The grant supports a half-time UW-Eau Claire advising staff member who fosters cooperation among staff members at CVTC and UW-Eau Claire, a student-to-student mentoring program, more specialized advising for transfer students from CVTC, and information sessions about the transfer process for CVTC students thinking about transferring to UW-Eau Claire, Isaacson said.

More students transfer to UW-Eau Claire from CVTC than from any other school, said Debbie Gough, UW-Eau Claire’s director of Advising and New Student Initiatives and the Student Success Network. During the 2009-10 academic year, the last year for which data is available, 143 students transferred from CVTC to UW-Eau Claire. That number represented 15 percent of UW-Eau Claire’s transfer students, said Gough.


From “Dual-credit classes aid local college-bound students” — Daniel Rothe has a head start on his college education.

By having taken classes in high school that awarded college credits, Rothe will save thousands of dollars in tuition and better his chances of graduating early.

An engineering student at the University of Wisconsin, Rothe arrived in Madison already having earned 31 credits through advanced high school courses.

“I’m already considered to be a sophomore, so I can register before all the other first year students and have a better chance of getting the classes I want,” said Rothe, 19, who graduated last spring from Oshkosh North High School.

These dual-credit classes are becoming increasingly beneficial to students as the cost of tuition rises and students are taking longer, on average, to earn bachelors degrees.

Only 16 percent of incoming freshman graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in four years, the traditional amount of time expected to earn a bachelors degree, according to university data.

As a result, student debt has reached an all-time high.

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From “Local students spend Saturdays at Nicolet College” —  RHINELANDER – Area High School students are getting their feet wet in a college atmosphere.

These High School students are giving up their Saturdays for more than a month to gain some valuable training.

“The Academy helps give students, freshman and sophomore particularly, in high school a college experience. We talk about college success skills, we talk about what it’s like to be a college student. Putting in mind, so they can plan for college in their career pathways,” says Rose Prunty, Dean of University Transfer Liberal Arts & Academic Success at Nicolet College.

This Academy, formed in collaboration with the DNR and UW-Stevens Point, focuses on Science and Digital Media. They’re studying aquatic invasive species, and how to prevent them.

“We’re also studying lake turnover. Which is, the warm water and the cold water, as the seasons shift, those shift over and that brings more oxygen to the lake,” says Jacob Blodgett, from Tomahawk High School.

Rose Prunty says the course might encourage someone who wasn’t thinking about college to reconsider.

“I do think the students have gotten a good sense of what it might feel like to be in a college class, and have that idea of what it’s like to be on a college campus,” says Prunty.

Better preparing high schoolers for what lies ahead.

Nicolet College is offering two similar academies early next semester for health care and engineering. All of these programs are planned for the next school year as well.

From “Nicolet University Transfer Program popular with students seeking bachelor’s degrees” —  Easy credit transfer, affordable tuition, and quality academics are driving the solid enrollment trends in Nicolet College’s University Transfer Liberal Arts program where students complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.

“More students are discovering that they can start at Nicolet and then transfer their Nicolet credits to just about any four-year college or university in the state,” said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster. “This includes the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Nicolet has a unique partnership with the state’s flagship university that guarantees admission to students in good standing who graduate from Nicolet’s University Transfer Liberal Arts program.”

Enrollment in the college’s Transfer program, which is the largest program at Nicolet, increased 5 percent this fall compared to the fall of 2010.

Nicolet currently has 51 credit transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities that cover hundreds of different majors. These agreements are with all 13 of the University of Wisconsin four-year campuses as well as with numerous private colleges and universities.

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From “Online transfer tool could boost UW-L enrollment” — The University of Wisconsin System hopes that making it easier for students to transfer to its campuses will boost graduation rates. About 17,000 students transfer into and within the UW System each year. Some-times credits and money are wasted when course requirements don’t match.

Smoothing the transfer process would benefit the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where the student population swelled in the past two years with transplants from other schools, UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow said. UW-L is targeting 715 transfers in the 2011-12 school year as part of a conscious effort to increase the number of transfer students.

During a meeting Thursday in Green Bay, UW regents heard about a new online tool to help students plan a transfer. The tool helps determine which credits at their campus will apply toward a specific major at UW-Madison. Two or three additional four-year campuses will be added each year.

A program like UW-Madison’s would allow students coming from schools like Western Technical College see how their credits mesh with UW-L’s academic requirements, Gow said.

“We need to do more of that, and make sure people can get answers quickly when they need them.”

From “UW System to ease transition for transfers, lessen stigma” — The University of Wisconsin System is trying to help transfer students get a degree quicker and cheaper as part of its effort to increase the number of college graduates in the state.

Transferring credits from one school to another often means wasted time and money because course requirements don’t match. With some 17,000 students – the equivalent of two small UW universities – transferring into and within the UW system each year, making the process more efficient could have a dramatic effect on retention and graduation rates.

Such a step might not seem like an economic driver, but boosting the percentage of Wisconsin residents who have a college degree could help lure companies to the state, system officials reason. That, in turn, could stimulate the economy.

Many college students today aren’t dropped off at one school as freshmen and picked up at the same school four years later with a degree, said UW System President Kevin Reilly. It’s more of a “swirl,” he said, with students leaving college for a number of reasons, then returning to school somewhere else with credits to transfer.

Capturing their credits, and putting them on the quickest path to a degree, is one way the UW System hopes to boost the number of college degrees it awards, Reilly said. “We need to make it as seamless and simple as we can. In my 15 years here, we’ve come a long way toward making transfer easier.”

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From “UW colleges, MATC sign new articulation agreements with Edgewood College” — Officials with Edgewood College, the University of Wisconsin Colleges, and Madison College (MATC) have established Articulation Agreements, making the path from a two-year degree to the completion of a four-year degree a lot smoother. The formal agreements allow for students who complete a two-year program at any UW-College campus, UW-Colleges Online Program, or an Associates Degree from Madison College, to transfer to Edgewood College to complete a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

The new agreements, finalized late this summer, are needed to reflect changes in Edgewood College’s general education curriculum. The COR curriculum, named in recognition of the College motto “cor ad cor loquitur” (Heart Speaks to Heart), is in its second year of implementation.

“It is great to officially affirm our longstanding partnerships with such outstanding institutions,” Christine Benedict, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said. “We are fortunate to have great opportunities for the young people of Wisconsin to achieve their educational goals, and it’s an honor to be able to work together to help our students succeed.”

From Nicolet College board approves UTC remodeling — Nicolet Area Technical College’s district board moved forward on three remodeling projects for the University Transfer Center building on the Rhinelander campus earlier this week though board member Dave Hintz, as he did last month, questioned whether the projects needed voter approval through a referendum.

The three projects are set to occur next year and include work on the building’s HVAC, plumbing and other code related issues, a remodeling of 12,800 square feet of space on the lower level of the building, and a remodeling of 17,352 square feet of space on the second and mezzanine levels of the building. Each project has an approximate cost of $1.5 million. That’s where Hintz has questioned how the renovation projects should be approved.

State statute allows building projects to move forward without a referendum if they can be done for under $1.5 million. Hintz has said he isn’t so sure the University Transfer Center remodeling effort can be separated, as it has been, into three different projects. He said he sees it as one project at a cost of $4.5 million that needs voter approval through a referendum.

“Unfortunately, chapter 67 (state statutes related to borrowing) doesn’t say what constitutes a project,” Hintz said. “It has to be left up to judgment. In my judgment these are not separate enough to be called separate projects.”

Hintz said the fact that all the projects will be done concurrently in the same building on the same campus makes it hard for him to see the remodeling as three separate projects.

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From “Green Bay-area colleges: Collaboration key to success” — If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes collaboration among area colleges to educate him or her.

Educators at St. Norbert College, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College say they believe in collaboration to make the best post-secondary options for students.

Schools transfer credits and share speakers. Top administrators meet at least once a semester, as well as serve on some of the same committees.

It’s a trend educators say they hope to expand.

“The missions of the colleges are different, so I don’t see us as being in competition,” said Anne Kamps, dean of learning solutions at NWTC. “Our goal is to improve students’ lives, which in turn will improve the community and all of our lives. Education is something we know is always helpful.”

For example, UW-Green Bay accepts transfer students from NWTC through the general studies and bachelor of applied studies programs. UW-Green Bay also works closely with Bellin College, allowing Bellin’s nursing students to take some classes at the four-year campus.

From Burning Questions: FVTC’s May talks about college’s mission” — Fox Valley Technical College has been providing education to the people of this area for many years.

A hundred of them, to be exact.

FVTC is celebrating a milestone birthday this year. It’s one that the college wants to share with the nine counties it serves through its Grand Chute campus as well as its Oshkosh campus, its five regional centers and its nine training centers.

“We officially kick off what will be a yearlong celebration,” said Susan May, FVTC’s president. “What we want to do is use many of our existing events to do a little special something to celebrate that.

“We’re also doing some special things. A very nifty centennial website has been created that people can go in and share stories that they have about their interactions with the college. We’re really encouraging people to take a look at the photos we have from back to the early 1900s and share their stories.

“While celebrating that history, we’re thinking a lot about what the future holds and how we begin to build the next century of service to our communities.”

As the guest on last week’s Newsmakers online interview show at postcrescent. com, May talked about FVTC’s mission, what makes it unique and what’s ahead for the college this year.

From the Superior Telegram: “WTC enter into transfer agreement with Ottawa University” — A new transfer agreement provides yet another option for graduates of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges.

Wisconsin Technical College System graduates can now transfer all successfully completed associate degree credits to Ottawa University and apply them toward bachelor degree requirements. Successfully completed courses are those in which students earn a C or better.

“This agreement provides another opportunity for students and gives them the assurance they can extend their education beyond the associate degree, which is opening more and more doors for individuals every day,” said Dan Clancy, WTCS president.

Ottawa University will accept up to 80 credits and WTCS students with associate degrees will typically have fulfilled Ottawa’s breadth area requirements as a result of completing WTCS requirements.

Ottawa University has campuses in Brookfield and Oak Creek, Wis.; Overland Park, Kan.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and Phoenix, Chandler and Surprise, Ariz. The institution also offers many online degree programs. Students at the Wisconsin campuses can earn bachelor’s degrees in 15 majors and master’s degrees in business administration or human resources.

From the New Richmond News: “WITC pens partnership with Ottawa University” — A new transfer agreement provides yet another transfer option for graduates of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges.

Wisconsin Technical College System graduates can now transfer all successfully completed associate degree credits to Ottawa University and apply them toward bachelor’s degree requirements. Successfully completed courses are those in which students earn a C or better.

“This agreement provides another opportunity for students and gives them the assurance that they can extend their education beyond the associate degree, which is opening more and more doors for individuals every day,” said Dan Clancy, WTCS president.

Ottawa University will accept up to 80 credits and WTCS students with associate degrees will typically have fulfilled Ottawa’s breadth area requirements as a result of completing WTCS requirements.

Ottawa University has campuses in Brookfield and Oak Creek; Overland Park, Kan.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and Phoenix, Chandler and Surprise, Ariz. The institution also offers many online degree programs. Students at the Wisconsin campuses can earn bachelor’s degrees in 15 majors and master’s degrees in business administration or human resources.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College serves the educational and career needs of more than 25,000 residents of northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, WITC offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized training and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. WITC is a member of Wisconsin Technical College System. For more information, call 800-243-WITC or visit

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 is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community.

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