University of Wisconsin’s Oshkosh and Green Bay campuses are getting money to start up engineering technology programs.
The schools in northeastern Wisconsin say the courses will help area employers fill the “skills gap.”
When the UW System recently “freed up” more than $22 million to pay for a number of programs around the state, the Oshkosh and Green Bay campuses identified engineering and nursing as places to concentrate.
“These are new for us,” says John Koker, the dean of UW-Oshkosh's College of Letters and Science. “These are engineering technology programs, so they're different from ‘engineering’ in that they're hands-on and practical.”
Koker says UW-Oshkosh will start three programs: electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and environmental engineering technology. He says the programs will be designed so that students can transfer credits from technical colleges towards their bachelors' studies.
Koker says the proposal was crafted with feedback from employers. “We have input from over 70 companies across northeastern Wisconsin that have expressed interest and have responded to surveys saying, 'This is what we need,’” he says.
“We really have no programs like these in northeastern Wisconsin,” continues Koker. “And people have been having to go out of state to recruit and students who are interested in these types of programs have had to leave northeastern Wisconsin to do these types of programs.”
Koker says the schools will split $1.8 million. The money will be used to develop curriculum and recruit instructors. He says the goal is to begin the courses by the upcoming spring semester.