System News Releases
Tech college System Board elects officers, receives graduate employment report
July 18, 2014 | Conor Smyth
MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board elected officers this week while convened at Milwaukee Area Technical College. In other business, the Board received the System’s annual graduate employment report, which assessed outcomes for 2013 WTCS graduates six months after graduation.
The Board unanimously elected Drew Petersen, a senior executive with TDS Telecom in Madison, to serve a second one-year term as Board President. John Schwantes, a director with Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan, will again serve as vice-president, and Phil Baranowski, a retired K-12 administrator from Green Lake, continues as the Board’s secretary.
"This is an exciting time for the technical colleges, and I look forward to the leadership opportunities that lie ahead for our Board," Petersen said. "First among them is the chance to have a discussion with the Legislative Council study committee this summer, which is reviewing technical college funding strategies and governance structure. I also believe we maintain a strong case for additional investments in technical education in the state’s 2015-17 biennial budget to address the skills gap and acute workforce training needs identified by Wisconsin-based businesses."
Petersen believes that part of that case hinges on the graduate employment report released earlier this year and discussed by the Board on Wednesday. The report was based on a survey of each of the nearly 27,000 students who graduated from Wisconsin’s technical colleges in 2013.
With 66% responding, the report indicated that 89% of graduates were employed within six months of graduation, including 84% in Wisconsin and 74% in their field of study.
" Our colleges work exceptionally hard to generate such a high response rate, and we consistently see these types of outcomes," said WTCS President Morna Foy. "The best part is our graduates not only have a strong start, they have incredible career and educational opportunities ahead. Our most recent five-year follow up survey found 48% salary growth during that period, and the choices for continued education with us or a four-year partner continue to grow."
WTCS is set to conduct the five-year follow up survey again in the coming year.
The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized business solutions and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. More than 340,000 individuals access the technical colleges for education and training each year.