PEWAUKEE - State
officials came to Waukesha County Technical College Tuesday evening
to honor the 40 high school seniors who graduated from the school’s
Dual Enrollment Academy.
Enrollment Academy is a year-long pilot program permitting high
school seniors to receive credit from the technical college and
their schools at the same time. To be eligible, students must have a
minimal 2.0 grade point average, be on track to graduate and meet
college entrance requirements
The program has
cohorts in tool and die/computer numerical controls (CNC),
welding/fabrication and IT networking, which are all industries the
school identified as high demand areas. The program is also offered
at no cost to the accepted participants.
The 40 students
spent their time attending regular classes at their home high
schools and attending college level courses at WCTC.
Micah Kordik, a
graduate of the academy, was recognized as the most outstanding
student in the IT networking cohort. Kordik said he was
home-schooled all his life and decided to join the academy to get a
jump start on his college career.
“I thought it
would be a great opportunity to earn college credits while still
completing high school,” he said. “It was also great because I’m
going to continue my education at WCTC and now I already have about
half of my credits completed because I went through the program.”
dean of the school of applied technologies at WCTC, said the program
started last fall and he believes the first year went very well.
The majority of
the students are already employed and 100 percent are planning to
continue taking college courses in the fields they began studying at
the academy, according to Shiels.
Shiels said WCTC
worked with local companies to develop the program and has also
received support from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
The program also received attention from Gov. Scott Walker, who
promoted it during a stop at the campus last year and during his
State of the State address in February.
Scott Jansen, the
director of the DWD Office of Skills Development and administrator
of the DWD Division of Employment and Training, made a speech to the
Jansen said after
graduating from the academy, some students are now labeled as
unemployed. He said this is not a bad thing because it means that
these students now have the skills and requirements to go out and
get employed in their field.
the chief financial officer at the Wisconsin Economic Development
Corporation (WECD), also spoke at the ceremony. Walker said how
important it is for the schools and industries to work together to
help make the economy grow within the state of Wisconsin. She said
the students worked hard to learn new skills that will help both the
students and their future employers succeed.
yourself to learn a new skill your senior year of high school is a
very challenging thing and the students should be very proud of
themselves, Walker said.