Moraine Park Technical College saw major changes in 2015, from physical appearance to top personnel and educational partnerships.
The most significant change was Bonnie Baerwald being named Moraine Park Technical College president. That appointment came in May, after Baerwald had served as interim president following the departure of former president Sheila Ruhland in January.
Baerwald has been with Moraine Park since 1993, starting her tenure with the college as senior accountant. Over the years, she went on to serve as financial services manager and vice president of financial management before being named vice president of finance and administrative services in 2007.
“I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve Moraine Park and to help our students succeed no matter what their goals,” Baerwald said. “Throughout this year and the next, our college focus will be on innovative programming and expanded services for all generations of learners, creating new initiatives to make Moraine Park an employer of choice; enhancing and streamlining our administrative and instructional technologies; and working with our educational partners and community leaders on innovative solutions to enhance career readiness and skilled workforce training for economic growth and success.”
One significant partnership in 2015 came with Marian University in Fond du Lac. The two colleges agreed to offer 11 new academic transfer agreements and also formed an “Educational Fusion” program. Students who enroll in “Fusion” may take courses at both institutions while working simultaneously toward both their associate and bachelor’s degrees.
Another key change was the completion of a major addition and remodeling project at the Fond du Lac campus in spring. The project created a “one-stop shop” Student Services Center. The 5,212 square foot addition and remodel project also introduced a more architecturally prominent main entrance for the college.
Serving veterans was also a highlight for the college. Moraine Park was named a “Military Friendly” school for the sixth year in a row and also ranked ninth place in the nation in the Military Times’ “Best for Vets” list; served as hosts for the second annual Wisconsin Technical College System Veterans Services Summit in November; and President Baerwald and Dr. Stan Cram, Moraine Park’s vice president of student affairs, both received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.
Moraine Park also became the first technical college in the U. S. to achieve Fair Trade status. Fair Trade is a global trade model that promotes the purchase and sale of goods produced ethically and fairly. It ensures fair wages, safe working conditions, and environmental sustain-ability while prohibiting forced labor. Fair Trade products such as coffee, tea, chocolate and greeting cards are available at all three Moraine Park cafeterias and bookstores.
Looking forward to 2016, this fall Moraine Park will add two new infor-mation technology programs. The two new associate of applied science (AAS) degree programs will be the IT Web Development and Design Specialist and the IT Mobile Applications Developer. Because these two programs are similar in content, students can achieve both AAS degrees in five semesters, if they choose. This option would provide students with additional skills and enhance their value in the labor market.
To learn more about all the opportunities available through Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.