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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Embracing the theme, Celebrating Partnerships, Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) and Lakeland College held a special recognition event earlier this month to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the partnership between the two higher education institutions. Activities were held at MSTC's Wisconsin Rapids Campus with presentations from Dr. John Clark, MSTC President; Allan Mitchler, Vice President of Lakeland College's Kellett School; Betsy Feaster, MSTC and Lakeland College graduate; and Katie Wagner Roberts, Director of Lakeland College's Central Wisconsin Center. In addition, Lakeland College donated a bench to MSTC "in recognition of partners in education," said Mitchler.See a gallery of photos from the event
Dr. Clark said MSTC and Lakeland College have a long history of working together to provide accessible, affordable avenues to quality higher education for students in central Wisconsin. "Our partnership with Lakeland for the past twenty years is a significant accomplishment for MSTC students. Lakeland's broad acceptance of credits from technical colleges enhances numerous transfer opportunities for our graduates," said Dr. Clark. Mitchler agreed with Dr. Clark's assessment. "We have shared a common vision of making college as non-intimidating as possible. A lot of students, based on family or geographical limitations, can't 'go away' to school. The partnership between MSTC and Lakeland removes some of those traditional hurdles to a four-year degree."
Betsy Feaster, Wisconsin Rapids, graduated from MSTC, first in 1993, earning a technical diploma in the Information Process Specialist program, then, in 2002 with an associate's degree in Business Administration-Human Resources. Feaster transferred to Lakeland College and in 2007 earned a double-major bachelor's degree in Marketing and Business, and in 2010 earned a master's degree in Business Management. Feaster shared her experiences of furthering her education through the seamless transfer programs between the two educational institutions.
"It is a true student-centered approach and something that made Lakeland College unique and helped me when deciding where to complete my graduate studies after completion of my bachelor's." Feaster said she especially appreciated Lakeland's blended courses which deliver two methods of instruction: online and face-to-face. "With a busy work schedule and not wanting to miss out on family events, the flexible instruction and delivery allowed me the opportunity to complete classes in a format that worked for me," said Feaster. She added that the partnership has done great things for her and so many others. "It truly is a benefit to our communities and the relationship between Mid-State Technical College and Lakeland is one that I hope remains for many years to come."
Dr. Clark said that through partnering with four-year colleges and universities such as Lakeland, MSTC is creating increased opportunities for associate degree graduates. "The goal is to create a seamless track for students to enter into bachelor's degree programs as juniors."
Wagner Roberts said that Lakeland is fortunate to maintain an office within the MSTC-Wisconsin Rapids campus as it aids them in serving students and furthering the strong educational partnership. "Over the past several years, MSTC and Lakeland created interwoven programming, which allows students to take courses each semester from both colleges in one of nine subject areas. After four years, students in the interwoven program have fully completed both the associate's and bachelor's degree. For students who want to earn both degrees, it's an option unmatched in the marketplace that has anticipated the needs of our students," said Wagner Roberts.