Building on a Great Foundation

FVTC - CU Articulation 2Last week it was a pleasure to host a little signing ceremony at our S.J. Spanbauer Center in Oshkosh to celebrate a new 2 + 2 program partnership with Concordia University Wisconsin.  By 2 + 2 program, I’m referring to the combination of a 2-year associate in applied science (AAS) degree paired with 2 years of baccalaureate studies resulting in a bachelor of science (BS) degree.

In this case, the foundation for this new educational opportunity is our AAS degree program in Construction Management Technology.  Graduates from this very successful program will be able to transfer seamlessly into Concordia University’s newly developed bachelor’s degree in Construction and Trades Management.  And if an appropriate size cohort of students comes together, Concordia is positioned to offer their coursework right at the Spanbauer facility where the FVTC graduates completed their AAS degree.  What a great opportunity for those who wish to continue on to the bachelor’s level and for former graduates working in the area who may also take that next step.

The construction industry is in great need of skilled tradespeople in all areas including electrical, plumbing, framing, sheetmetal, etc., as well as project leaders, estimators, and construction managers.  Having educational programming at all levels available locally will go a long way in supporting the burgeoning needs of this industry.  We’re very pleased to partner with Concordia University in expanding these offerings.

If you know of anyone – a young person exploring career options, adults who want to enhance their skills, or an adult who is considering a career change, we have an upcoming opportunity to explore a wide range of trades and occupations in the construction industry – a Construction Trades Expo taking place on April 11th at the Appleton Campus.  Stop by to check this out!

 

A Degree Closer to Home

On Monday I had a chance to visit with our staff at the Clintonville Regional Center.  That group of staff has led the way on a project of the last year or so to identify all of the College’s degree programs that could be undertaken at that location through a combination of in-person or online courses, making access to our degree programs as convenient as possible for the residents of the Clintonville area.  In that region as of today, 13 programs can be fully completed without leaving the community.

Their work has paved the way for this type of analysis and development at each of our regional locations – in addition to Clintonville, it has expanded to Chilton, Waupaca, Wautoma, and to Oshkosh.  Not only have staff begun to promote these available options to students and the respective communities, but our website has also been enhanced to include a location search function to include these degree completion options on the “Explore All Programs” page.

With essentially full employment, today’s working adults have little time to spare.  Making higher education opportunities as convenient, accessible, affordable, and doable while working full time is just essential.  My hope is these “close to home” options for many people in our District communities will be helpful to their pursuit of continuing education.  If you know of anyone who could benefit from a new or enhanced career direction, please let us know – we’d love to help open that world of possibilities!

 

Entrepreneurs – An Economic Force

nacce-full-logo-full-color-1000x170

This is National Entrepreneurship Week, an annual designation that was congressionally chartered in 2006.  At that time, our congressional leaders recognized entrepreneurs as a key source of economic innovation throughout the history of our nation.  I certainly tip my hat to all of the entrepreneurs and small business owners across our region for all that they bring to the vitality of our communities!

I’m also very pleased to serve as the Board Chair for the National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE – https://www.nacce.com).  Our member colleges all across North America are very committed to supporting both students and community members in exploring, launching or growing businesses in the communities we serve.  And as important, we are deeply engaged in continuing to develop as entrepreneurial colleges to maximize the programs, services and support we can offer our constituents.

Here’s to the entrepreneurial spirit in both business and education!  Is there an outstanding local entrepreneur you’d like to acknowledge this week?  Would love to hear about them.

Strong Lineup of Job Fairs Ahead

I see that we have a remarkable lineup of job fairs planned for the coming months.  Having stopped by many of these events over the years, I find they offer great connection points for participating employers, as well as the students and community members who attend.

You will find most of the job fairs to be industry-specific, yet many of the employers represented typically have a wide range of positions available.  I would urge students, recent graduates and any members of our community interested in new employment opportunities to attend.  Everyone is welcome!

Job Fairs

https://www.fvtc.edu/training-services/employer-resources/career-job-fairs

Community Intersects with Commencement

L to R: Patty VanRyzin, Tony Gonzalez, Stephen Kohler, Justin Krueger, Bruce Albrecht, Tammie DeVooght Blaney, Dawn Rosicky, Chris VanderHeyden, John Weyenberg
Lisa Malak, producer and host of the Local Five Live morning show for the WFRV television network, served as the FVTC commencement speaker.

It’s always moving to see the members of our Board of Trustees participate in our commencement program. On Saturday, they once again represented the various communities of our District to honor our mid-year graduates. The ceremony was once again held at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a terrific community venue. We were so pleased to welcome Lisa Malak, producer and host of the Local Five Live morning show for the WFRV television network, the local CBS affiliate in Green Bay. Certainly a familiar face and voice in the region, Lisa represented the community as our commencement speaker. She did a wonderful job inspiring our graduates with an energetic message about their emerging futures.

Webelos Everywhere!

This coming Saturday, November 10, the Appleton Campus will be hosting about 400 Webelos and adult leaders – 4th and 5th grade Webelo Scouts from the area’s Gathering Waters district of the Bay-Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America.  It’s known as their Pin Day where these young people can earn Adventure Pins to work toward rank advancement in Scouting.

The kinds of pins typically offered at these events include “Adventures in Science,” “Fix It,” “First Responder,” “Game Design,” and others.  The older Boy Scouts will be involved in teaching many of these activities, providing a great leadership opportunity as well.

As both president of the College and currently the Council President for the Bay-Lakes Council, it is just great to see the wonderful opportunities to learn and grow being made available to the young people of the area.