Promising Futures – not a dry eye in the house!

The FVTC Board of Trustees recently approved a new Vision Statement for the College – our vision is to be “a catalyst in engaging partners to bring innovative educational solutions to individuals, employers, and communities – transforming challenges into opportunities.”

Yesterday we had an outstanding opportunity to take a step toward advancing this new vision.  The College and the FVTC Foundation publicly launched a new initiative that will support students from low-income families in the FVTC District in attaining a technical degree – the FVTC Promise Scholarship Program.  At the launch event, we were joined by many community leaders, K-12 school personnel, local legislators, and media representatives for this announcement and all were very excited about the promise of this initiative and the difference it will make.
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New Opportunity for Automotive Students – A Gem Among Great Spring Celebrations

I’ve been attending so many events and celebrations in the last few months, there’s been no time to write a blog post!  So many, in fact, that I could easily have added to my event chronicles on a daily basis if only there was the time.  As I reflect on all of the year-end student, staff, and community celebrations, one special event stands out.  And it stands out among all of the culminating events because it was a celebration of the beginning of something new at the College.  I’m referring to the launch event that was held earlier this month for the new AYES Program. Continue reading

Planning for FVTC’s Future – and Addressing Workforce Needs

Among the many, many activities we have going on at the College this spring, we will be working to finalize a new strategic plan with key goals that will set our direction between now and 2020.  Just one of the inputs to this extensive planning process was a daylong Strategic Planning Summit that was held last month.  It was a day of examining a wide range of input, and FVTC’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis). Continue reading

Making Sense of Accreditation

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about college accreditation given the fact that we will be hosting a team for our “Comprehensive Quality Review” in the spring of this year.  The team represents a peer review group from other colleges who have been trained by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to conduct these on-site reviews as part of the overall reaccreditation process.  As you might imagine, extensive work goes into the documentation and preparation for such a review.  And we’ve elected to utilize HLC’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) – an accreditation methodology that involves continuous improvement projects and efforts, so our attention to matters related to accreditation is also continuous.
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Bright Futures for Student Champions

Plumbing Champion Students

Our plumbing apprenticeship champions, Adam Koenigs (left) and Peter Hollmaier

What a month this has been for our students and recent graduates!  We have had some very impressive “champions” with whom I’ve had the great pleasure to cross paths.  I’ll start with the two FVTC plumbing apprentices who teamed up with two students from MSOE and comprised Team USA in the Community Plumbing Challenge last month in Nashik, India.  These students designed and installed a handwashing facility in a school of 500 children where, essentially, nothing existed before to support sanitation and disease control.  Our apprentices, under the guidance of instructor Randy Lorge, were Adam Koenigs, employed by J.F. Ahern in Fond du Lac and Peter Hollmaier, with S.B.S. Plumbing in Oshkosh.  They returned as world champions of this challenge, technically, but I could clearly see that they gained so much more from this global experience.  They certainly had a “win” in terms of technical application in solving a problem using very primitive available resources, but they also gained an enormous appreciation for what we have here at home and the conditions under which so many people in the world live.  What outstanding ambassadors these two young men were for FVTC, Wisconsin and the United States!
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New Americans in Our Communities

Last year, our Global Education and Services department worked with 400 immigrant and refugee students from 50 countries, primarily providing English Language Learning (or ELL).  A very interesting convergence of needs has emerged, and thanks to our creative and responsive staff, we’re beginning a new project that’s been dubbed the “New Americans Project.”  Many of these students have a desire to work in our local economy upon acquiring the necessary language skills, but often don’t have the resources to pursue a technical education program.  On the other hand, we hear from employers daily about their needs for skilled workers.
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