Miranda Parker of Mondovi is on her way to realizing her dreams through Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), and the first day of the new term Monday was a step along the way.
“I am in the pre-program for Nursing, getting my generals done,” said the second-year student, who will enter the Nursing program in the spring.
After completing the two-year program, she will have her certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), another step on the way to realizing her dream of being a Registered Nurse (RN).
“I want to get my associate degree and eventually go back for my bachelor’s,” she said.
Parker is just one of over 8,000 students enrolled in classes for credit at Chippewa Valley Technical College at the start of the 2012-13 academic year. The college typically graduates about 1,200 students a year in December and May ceremonies.
“The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time at CVTC,” said President Bruce Barker. “I want to welcome the new students starting on their journey toward success, and welcome back our returning students who are taking another step closer to their goals.”
Students are enrolled in 60 different programs in 10 career clusters, all designed with future employment in mind.
“We partner with area business and industry leaders so students have an opportunity to get hands-on experience in real-life settings,” said Barker. “Our programs are designed so that students learn what they need to know in the modern workplace.”
That’s what brought Ryan Ehler and Jason Lindner, two friends and May 2012 graduates of Greenwood High School to the campus for their first day of postsecondary education. Both are enrolled in the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician program.
Ehler is already doing what he can working at K&S Carrier, a trucking company in Greenwood, even if it’s just washing trucks. But he has much larger dreams.
“I work with my brother, and he works as a heavy diesel mechanic. He went to college here, too,” said Ehler, who hopes to be working alongside his brother as a mechanic himself after completing the two-year CVTC program.
Lindner grew up working on his family’s Willow Farm in rural Greenwood. The farm has a number of trucks and tractors that need regular service, which his uncle, another CVTC graduate, takes care of now. But his uncle can’t do it all, and Lindner is focused on gaining his certification and a more defined role on the family farm.
Both Ehler and Lindner are looking forward to starting classes focused on their chosen field.
The employment-focused programs is what brings students to CVTC, and many appreciate how the college’s programs fit into their lifestyle and into their vision of quality education.
Parker has a 19-month-old son to care for, and found the CVTC program filled her needs in terms of education and child care concerns more than the university program where she had been enrolled. Plus, she likes the intimacy of the CVTC approach.
“I had classes with 96 students in them. Here it’s more one-on-one. I like the closeness of it,” she said. “I love the teachers here. They’re very friendly.”
New at CVTC this academic year is the College for Working Adults, a convenient program that offers associate degrees and certifications on a flexible format for adults looking to advance their skills. CVTC will be offering associate degrees in Business Management, Human Resource Management, Liberal Arts and Marketing Management. Certification programs include Leadership/Supervision and Professional Selling.
CVTC has plans to expand the program, with more programs and certificates available, next academic year.