The evening during registration lends itself to an indescribable opportunity to network and discuss college relations with fellow Trustees from other Districts around our State, and again- as usual- I took advantage of this opportunity.
Friday In-service: Student Mental Health Needs / Veteran Services
MPTC Dean of Students Scott Lieburn, and Steve Pepper, Student Veterans Specialist, described for us just what today’s Veteran looks like, and how to bridge the gap and build relationships with them. MPTC uses tool kits such as Kognito to help them do that. MPTC has been recognized as a Military friendly school for nine years, and Veterans help to build a more diverse campus for them.
Judith Roemer gave an overview of how mental health becomes an impediment to student success and offered statistics on the number of students seeking counseling for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and adjustment issues related to them. There is an average of 22 suicides each day by military veterans – including spouses and non-active veterans. Half of the 14/100000 student suicides were never diagnosed as having mental health challenges. Hiring one veteran can provide a faculty member, an advisor, a counselor, and a liaison for military students. Seventy-five per-cent of mental health issues start before the age of twenty-four.
As it was noted that MPTC had a suicide last year, I reflected back to 2011 when fellow student Patrick Trotter unexpectedly took his own life in the midst of our IT-Web programming class at BTC.
Margo Keys – V-P of student services at CVTC, next talked about the steps CVTC has taken to make advising services available in person and on-line. She notes that 40% of beginning students need remedial math and 12% needed writing remediation. CVTC takes advantage of the Carnegie math pathways courses and they use the four pillars of success model – clarify, get aboard, and stay on the path to ensure learning – to build student success. They also attended the HLC Persistence & Completion academy – a collaboration between academic and student services leadership teams. All of CVTC’s curriculums include six hours of embedded ‘start strong’ modules including health, money, and student resources focused on student success.
The ratio of student counselors/ advisors to students nationally is nearly 1000:1 and this number needs to be around 200:1 under the “Guided Pathways” model.
Dr. Jeannie Worden (Executive V-P of NTC), and Dr. Amber Schmitt and Michael Brown, (both with Student Support services at NTC) then joined with Margo to discuss Emergency Financial assistance to students. CVTC partners with the local United Way to provide an additional $90,000 in financial assistance to needy students in high-demand fields. Those funds are on top of the state-funded emergency assistance program and the Great Lakes/Ascendium privately funded emergency assistance program available at all 16 colleges.
Following the in-service, we were given a short tour of the MPTC Fond du Lac campus – showcasing their Electro-Mechanical and IT-Networking programs.
During lunch we heard from Katy Pettersen, Director of our Statewide Marketing Consortium, whose mission includes promoting career-focused education, raising awareness of programs and services, and fostering collaboration between our 16 technical colleges to reduce redundant tracking and analysis. They are working with entities including the WEDC and the Wisconsin School Counselors Association to increase awareness of advantages we provide in filling jobs of the future.
Reference link: FAQ's
The groups then went to their respective committee meetings.
Banquet and Media Awards –
Three 2019 Media awards were given at the Friday evening banquet. Mark Leland received an award from FVTC for his video on their Pilot Training program. Ashley Haynes received her award from WCTC for a news-article about students in non-traditional programs including women in welding classes and men studying for health-sciences occupations. The third award was to Terri Pederson given by host MPTC for her article on Boot Camp programs at their Beaver Dam campus to attract students towards filling job needs in Industry.
The student ambassador presentation was given by Aurelio Rosas who graduated from the MPTC Medical Office Management program. As Aurelio shared his family crisis and financial struggles, it was obvious of the dedication and assistance MPTC provides to its students.
Saturday Spring Membership Meeting & Reports –
During the Annual Spring Meeting Vernon Jung (MPTC) was elected President. Also elected were Betty Bruski Mallek (MSTC) as Vice-President, and Dawn Garcia (CVTC) as Secretary-Treasurer of our association.
WTCS System Board: Jim Zylstra noted the success of the Student Showcase, reminded us of the National Ag Day to be held at Lakeshore, explained that all 16 colleges have a ‘champion’ studying OER (Open Educational Resources), and highlighted the new Graduate Outcomes Report and the Tech Effect publication .
WTCS Presidents Association: Bonnie Baerwald reported that the Governor recommended we receive half the $36 million in operating revenue and nearer to $3.6million vs the $46 million in student financial aid grants we requested in the next State budget. The Governor also proposed 2% net new construction be a floor for Property values for the tax levy. Dr. Jason Wood of SWTC has been elected to succeed Bonnie as the groups next President of the Presidents Association.
ACCT Wisconsin Coordinator: Dawn Garcia reported that April is Community College month, and that WITC has submitted a name for National recognition – Let’s all wish them luck!
WTCS Insurance Trust: Ron Bertieri informed us that Karen Garvey has been hired as the Executive Director of the Employee Benefits Consortium. Savings for the eight members has been over $3.6million. Savings for the sixteen districts in the Insurance Trust is over $16 million since its inception.
The Bylaws committee met and voted that, after stating we are a 501(c)(6) Corporation, all other references made to ourselves within the Bylaws shall be revised to read as ‘the Association’. We further voted to leave the terms of the Officers at one year – elected at the Spring annual meeting.
The External Partnerships committee toured the Mercury Marine company. Because of security (they are classified as a Federal Port of Entry) the tour was limited to the assembly area only. It was learned that they employ nearly 7000 employees worldwide – with approximately 3600 in Fond du Lac. With a current market share of 45%, they hope to increase that to 60% with a new-product turnaround of three months. They have had a partnership with MPTC for over twenty years, but they are currently recruiting H.S students from as far away as Ohio! On the horizon is an Engineering Tech certificate program at MPTC.
The Internal Best Practices committee spent more time engaging with Katy Pettersen on better communication with school counselors and parents of high school students. A recent survey indicated a nearly equal split of promoting post-secondary education at Universities vs Technical Colleges, and that more information would be beneficial. Statistics show nearly half of UW students drop out in two years.
DBA Executive Director Layla Merrifield has been meeting with legislators and the Joint Finance committee, which toured MATC’s Oak Creek campus, advocating on our behalf for resources – including additional funds for CTE credits. Outreach has been made on expanding the number of transfer credits with the UW system. It was noted that under State Statutes s. 36.31, the UW system and the Technical College system cannot expand their training missions without mutual agreement.
Board meeting - with 11/16 colleges represented - President Carla Hedtke reported on the executive committee’s performance evaluation for Layla Merrifield – all in agreement that she has done a tremendous job for us since her hiring in 2015.
NLS feedback – Sen Ron Johnson was ‘off-script’ a bit, but does support expansion of 2nd chance Pell grants. Noah Brown will be at the Fall Quarterly Meeting in Waukesha Oct. 30th – Nov. 3rd. Vernon, Laverne, Dawn and John were assigned to explore topics for that visit, including OER (Open Educational Resources), our District Boards Association, and collaboration through our website.
The Board’s 2019-2020 budget was approved by all 11 districts in attendance reflecting a 2% increase over 2018-19. Concern over the Board’s Budget process presented by Resolution from one of the Districts was presented and discussed. It was noted that the process is open and transparent, beginning in November for the next year, and is available to all sixteen districts - and the Presidents Association at their meetings. Layla will look at historical ROI and make it available to all 16 district boards.
Steve Tenpas reported that 40 Trustees and 5 Presidents were registered for the conference, and again encouraged us to see our web site for our history, orientation, a recap of this meeting, future in-service and other topics of interest.