As Mid-State Technical College nears the midpoint of spring semester, I pause to reflect on 100 years of student achievement in the Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS.
After all of these years, the basic premise remains the same: MSTC provides our students with the hands-on skills and real-world knowledge they need to be successful in central Wisconsin business and industry. All 16 colleges of the WTCS stand united in this commitment to student success.
The technical college model responds and evolves as employer needs and local economics change. That's why MSTC graduates are in such high demand year after year. Nine out of 10 (88 percent) WTCS graduates are employed within six months of graduation. And not just any job - more than seven in 10 graduates are employed in a field related to their education and training. Who else can measure up to that?
While it's important that our graduates attain employment, it is also vital that graduates employ their newly acquired skills here in Wisconsin. In fact, 86 percent of WTCS graduates remain in Wisconsin, and two-thirds don't even leave their technical college district. Community and state appropriations for Wisconsin's technical colleges are solid investments in our local and state economy.
Family sustaining wages are also a vital ingredient in a healthy local economy. WTCS associate degree graduates working full-time in a field related to their training earn an average of $36,000 within six months of graduation. A recent study showed this median salary increases to $44,000 within five years of graduation.
Student success is an integral part of everything we do at MSTC, because our graduates are central Wisconsin's workforce of today and tomorrow. We measure our success in many ways. For example, 95 percent of graduates are satisfied with the education and training they receive at MSTC. A ready supply of employers want to hire MSTC graduates: 95 percent of surveyed employers said the education MSTC graduates receive meets or exceeds their expectations.
While I can go on about the many great benefits of a technical college education, seeing is believing. I invite you to attend the second annual Technical & Industrial Division Education Fair from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 12 where you will encounter hands-on activities and learn more about some of MSTC's educational programs that lead to great careers with excellent pay in organizations seeking skilled employees.
Enjoy free pizza, enter a drawing for great prizes, visit with faculty, ask about scholarships and learn about financial aid. During this free event, you can preview all of our Technical & Industrial Division programs, including Industrial Mechanical Technician, Civil Engineering Technology-Highway Technician, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician, Urban Forestry Technician, Electrical Power Engineering Technology, Welding, our unique renewable energy programs, and many more. For more information or to register, call Mary at 715-422-5400.
Sue Budjac is president of Mid-State Technical College.