German contingent visits Wisconsin's Technical Colleges

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One hundred years ago, while forming the legislation that established Wisconsin’s continuing education system, the first of its kind in the nation, Charles McCarthy studied the German technical education system. He modeled much of Wisconsin's career-focused education after the German system. Now, a German delegation from vocational/technical colleges are studying Wisconsin's Technical Colleges.

The eight representatives from German technical colleges met with Wisconsin Technical College reps and toured Mid-State Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College and Lakeshore Technical College. The visitors also attended a meeting of the WTC System State Board and toured the state capitol. They were particularly interested in the financial structure of the system and how the colleges develop, evaluate and enhance curriculum. They also wanted to learn more about on-line learning and distance education.

While the German schools still cater to young people and charge no tuition, Wisconsin’s technical colleges have grown to serve the needs of people of all ages who want to learn job skills. Our funding comes from local, state and federal government and most students pay some tuition.

Tina Sorgenfrei, coordinator of the visit, expressed appreciation to those involved and praised the college staff they met. “Everybody was of great help and support and provided lots of helpful information,” she said.

Given that many people claim imitation is the highest form of flattery; this kind of attention should make Wisconsin feel pretty good about our technical colleges.