Consider campus life in your college search

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By Susan Pohorski

Are you looking for a college with great academics and fun campus life too?

Kayla Ebert goes to a college where there are baseball, volleyball and kickball games. Her campus has bingo days, casino days, comedy shows and concerts. She also enjoys Lunch ‘N Learn programs on subjects like interviewing for a job, budgeting, anxiety, health and gender stereotypes. Kayla participates in Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is president of the student Society for Human Resources Management chapter. Her school? Moraine Park Technical College.

“My original intentions were to take my classes and graduate,” Kayla admitted.  “I had no idea there were so many opportunities for networking, team building, leadership, volunteering, traveling, making friends, and having fun in general.”

Something for everyone
Wisconsin technical colleges offer students vibrant, active communities with many opportunities to connect with other students. Kayla’s college has 32 clubs ranging from Accounting to Welding. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) has a Ballroom Dance Club as well as clubs for dental assistant students, Asian American and Hispanic students. At Western Technical College 26 student organizations provide opportunities for professional development, team interaction, socialization, leadership activities, and school and community relations. 

Students interested in government and leadership can participate in Student Senate. Each campus has a similar governing body and representatives on the District Student Senate. Through involvement with the Student Senate at the Beaver Dam campus, Kayla helped raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and distributed hand-made gifts to nursing home residents. 

Community involvement too
Tech college students have many opportunities to interact with the surrounding community from fund raising events for local charities to networking with local employers through professional organizations. 

Students from Fox Valley Technical College’s Machine Tool Technician Club collected more than 3,000 food items, valued at nearly $3,400, for St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha. Club members raised all the money for this effort by designing and creating customized steel holiday ornaments as an on-campus fundraiser. 

Cheer on your team 
Sporting events at many two-year colleges bring students and community together. Madison College’s WolfPack baseball team made it to the World Series this year and the women’s volleyball team won their second consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III title in November in thrilling fashion. The college also has basketball, golf and soccer teams for men and women’s basketball, softball and soccer. At Western Technical College in La Crosse, students cheer on the Cavaliers in baseball, basketball and volleyball. Find out what teams your local tech college has and attend a game to see what it is like. 

At Nicolet College students can participate in theater productions with Nicolet Players or sing in the Nicolet Chorus. The college presents a series of theatre, concerts, film and lectures each year. Several other technical colleges offer similar activities that are open to the public. 

“If there is one thing that I would want students considering a technical college to know about campus life, it’s that there is one!” Kayla added. “It is what you make of it.”