WBAY-TV covers Engineering Technology launch

“From Oshkosh Truck to Generac to Ariens, Northeast Wisconsin is a manufacturing region of the state. So, when those industries put out a request for more employees with engineering technology degrees, Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance or NEW ERA, comprised of 13 local colleges and universities as well as UW Extension, responded.” That’s how WBAY Channel 2 began its telling of this week’s public launch of a new degree program involving UW-Green Bay – see story.

News release, video: Engineering Technology moves forward

The new and collaborative Engineering Technology program that allows students to begin their degrees at any one of 13 regional institutions and finish at UW-Green Bay or UW Oshkosh is moving forward with official accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. We’ve mentioned the news here previously, and you’ll find an update on the program in your hot-off-the-presses spring issue of Inside 360° magazine. Today, Northeast Wisconsin Education Resource Alliance partners (including us) sent a news release updating the program’s progress and offering thoughts from many of those who have been intimately involved. “The program will provide students with a degree that has some very explicit and specific employment opportunities in areas which manufacturers are saying they need,” Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Scott Furlong says. “For students who have always thought about doing engineering or engineering-type work, it provides a Northeastern Wisconsin option for them to do that.” The NEW ERA release also links to a video featuring Chancellor Tom Harden and other NEW ERA-member college and university presidents, CEOs and chancellors talking about the program.
Press release / Video

Landmark, collaborative, regional Engineering Technology program moving forward with final approval

new-era-logoNortheast Wisconsin
Educational Resource Alliance
1716 Lawrence Drive
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.609.6399

Thirteen educational “points of entry” in one region. Two four-year state institutions from which to earn a diploma. One high-demand career field with a need for locally-developed engineering knowledge and talent.

And, now, a clear path to launch the academic program, propel students and drive northeast Wisconsin’s regional economy in the process.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has officially approved the groundbreaking, new Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology, innovatively and collaboratively developed by the 13 Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) institutions and colleges and regional manufacturers.

It is full-speed ahead for the academic partnership and programs, which will welcome a first cohort of students later this year.

Authorized by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents last summer, the three engineering technology majors within the program are hyper-collaborative in design and delivery. They were developed by faculty from the 13 NEW ERA partner colleges and institutions and by leaders of regional businesses, including those within the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance.

The goal of the programs is to make the Bachelor of Science in electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering technology more easily accessible to students living in the New North region while addressing regional manufacturers’ demands for new infusions of well-prepared engineering graduates. Students entering the new Leadership in Engineering Technology program and pursuing any of its three degrees will be able to begin their academic studies at any one of 13 NEW ERA institutions and colleges. They finish the program and earning their degrees at either UW-Green Bay or UW Oshkosh.

“If you’re a technical college graduate with a degree in a program such as electrical engineering technology, electronics, electrical-mechanical engineering technology, automation engineering technology, environmental engineering technology, mechanical design and several others, you now have a chance to complete your bachelor’s degree while living in northeast Wisconsin,” said Mark Weber, dean of Trades and
Engineering Technologies at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “Efficiency is the real key here; we tried to efficiently use the resources we have.”

The new program is a convenient, rigorous and extremely high-quality education guided by employer- adviser panels and, upon completion, gives students incredible opportunities to enter a high-demand career field. NEW ERA institutions will deliver the Engineering Technology program based on the breadth of faculty expertise, both conceptual and hands-on application, combined with the state-of-the art laboratory equipment, technology and facilities at the region’s four technical colleges, the five two-year UW Colleges, UW-Green Bay, UW Oshkosh and the College of Menominee Nation.

“This program will provide students with a degree that has some very explicit and specific employment opportunities in areas which manufacturers are saying they need,” said Scott Furlong, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UW-Green Bay, one of the two four-year institutions that will graduate the program’s students. “For students who have always thought about doing engineering or engineering-type work, it provides a Northeastern Wisconsin option for them to do that.”

Fred Rice, Ph.D., Moraine Park Technical College Dean of Applied Technology and Trades, said the new program capitalizes on the distinctiveness both technical college and university educations. Students in the engineering technology program can progress through and benefit from the knowledge and expertise within both environments and communities.

“All too often, students are faced with an ‘us or them’ proposition when it comes to college choices,” Rice said. “The Engineering Technology degree is different in that it is actually an ‘us and them’ opportunity for students. From development to offering, this degree has been a unique cooperation from the NEW ERA schools.”

John Koker, dean of UW Oshkosh Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, where the program is also offered, said there are already students lining up to enroll and pursue the degree as partners finalize program details.

Prospective students’ interest is just as robust as employers’ demand for a program built ground-up by higher-educational and workforce partners’, Koker said.

“There may be no other region in the nation collaborating with partners like ours to design a responsive program that is as rewarding for its graduates as it is for the employers who will benefit from the infusion of highly-educated and skilled workers,” Koker said. “It is a tremendous accomplishment to have had an array of faculty and manufacturing leaders scattered throughout a region coming together, listening to their needs and hopes and working alongside one another to create an academic program that meets all of our different goals and honors our diverse missions.”

VIDEO: Hear more from NEW ERA-member college and university presidents, CEOs and chancellors on the landmark, collaborative engineering technology program moving forward (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjg0wKYOXBI).

Learn more about the Engineering Technology program: uwosh.edu/engineeringtech. For more information about the program, contact Engineering Technology Director, Greg Kleinheinz at kleinhei@uwosh.edu.


Eco-municipalities expert Lahti to present lecture, discussion April 28

An award-winning author and international leader in sustainable community planning and development will share his knowledge with a presentation and discussion from 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, April 28 in Alumni Rooms A and B of the University Union at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Torbjörn Lahti is trained as an urban planner, and during the past 30 years he has provided education and consulting in the “eco-municipality” systems approach to sustainable development — including with a number of communities across Wisconsin. The initiator of Sweden’s national association of eco-municipalities, Sekom, Lahti is the author of several books on the subject, and is co-director of the Institute for Eco-municipality Education and Assistance.

Lahti’s presentation is supported by UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI), the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. It is free and open to the public.


Eco-Challenge is off and running, through March 26

Faculty and staff members, give your students the opportunity to show their eco-knowledge, and they could win an iPad! UW-Green Bay is encouraging students to participate in the first annual Eco-Challenge sponsored by NEW ERA (Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance – http://neweraonline.org). A 16 question Eco-Challenge tests knowledge about sustainability in Wisconsin, our nation and around the world. Go to http://neweraonline.org/sustainability and click the Test Your IQ for an iPad Challenge graphic to be taken to the quiz. All student participants who complete the challenge are entered into the iPad drawing.