When planning college visits don't pass by tech colleges

By Susan Pohorski

When you plan college visits for you and your high school student, don’t just pass by technical colleges. Stop in. You might be surprised at what you see. 

Today’s technical colleges have kept up with the times in technology, facilities and equipment and in campus perks like exercise facilities, coffee shops and computer labs. In the last two years many have completed extensive building and remodeling projects. Come and see for yourself. Wisconsin technical colleges have 49 campuses throughout the state. 

Take a tech trek
In Green Bay, visit Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s new Computer Mechanical Control lab to find out what modern manufacturing looks like. By the way, CNC workers typically earn about $40,000 per year. Campus tours are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. 

At Fox Valley Technical College and Gateway Technical College check out the digital fabrication laboratories or “fab labs.” These facilities offer a place to develop ideas for products, using the latest in digital technologies, without spending a lot of money. Inside the labs, young students have fun inventing things and business owners bring products to market. 

While you are at Fox Valley Tech, check out the new, state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Center for law enforcement, fire, wildland fire, and EMS. This 96,000 square-foot building houses classrooms, a forensic laboratory, two indoor firing ranges, fitness rooms, a jail training area and lots more.

To schedule an individualized tour of FVTC call 920-735-4740 one week in advance. 

By Lake Michigan
Over at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland you’ll want to visit the Kohler Center for Manufacturing Excellence. This state-of-the-art training center holds labs for CNC machinists, machine tool technicians, and automation and robotics training to meet the shortage of skilled workers. Register to schedule a campus tour

On the Mississippi
Western Technical College recently completed a new Truck and Heavy Equipment Facility with updated equipment and 10,000 square feet of additional space. The expansion was made possible because voters approved a nearly $80 million referendum two years ago. The new building also houses the college's new compressed natural gas training program, funded by a grant from the state.

La Crosse campus tours are offered Tuesdays and Fridays in the morning or afternoon. Call ahead to schedule your tour.

Be sure to stop and have lunch at The Union Market offering a food court atmosphere with burgers, subs, burritos, pizza as well as Fast & Fresh soup and salad bar and Chops Mongolian Grill

In the State Capital area?
Madison College offers a virtual tour as well as individual on-site tours during the school year. In the summer, you can walk around campus on your own when it’s open. In addition to these new facilities, you’ll find classrooms equipped with technology to help students collaborate and make presentations.

New entrance to Madison College

At Madison College’s Truax Campus, be sure to check out the new Health Education Center housing a virtual hospital including an emergency room with operating rooms, a birthing room and patient care rooms. The Center also has a home health care scenario room and a nurses’ station. You’ll see patient simulators that breathe, sweat, cough and cry. Talk about real world education! 

The Idea Center provides an interactive classroom that allows students
 to observe, listen and interact with instructors from around the world. The space can accommodate complete manufacturing processes, providing real-world experience with all aspects from design to development
to production.

Your visit could determine your future
For students who don’t know what they want to study in college or what career they want to pursue, campus visits can provide opportunities to view career options up close and personal.  And remember, Wisconsin’s technical colleges have many transfer agreements with colleges and universities throughout the state. Starting at a two-year college is a financially smart option. 

Have you visited one of our campuses recently? What surprised you? We’d like to hear from you. Send your comments below. 

 

 

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