Lakeland financial literacy leader recognized with state award
Timothy O’Driscoll, director of Lakeland University’s Center for Economic Education and a longtime Wisconsin educator, was named a Legacy Award winner as part of the 2017 Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards.
The awards, selected by the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy, were announced recently by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. O’Driscoll was one of 18 individuals, businesses, and organizations who were honored.
The Legacy Award is given to an organization, business or individual whose purpose and heritage is ingrained in sustained financial literacy and capability. This lifetime recognition is intended to be conferred once to the recipients.
O’Driscoll has gone far beyond the traditional classroom to educate and inspire others related to financial literacy. He has made more than 500 economic and financial literacy presentations for groups ranging from EconomicsWisconsin to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, women’s clubs and public libraries.
During his 36 years of teaching at Arrowhead High School, O’Driscoll taught more than 10,000 students. In addition, his presentations to groups statewide have reached at least another 10,000 people.
O’Driscoll measured many programs’ results with pre- and post-presentations tests, and test results showed an average improvement in attendees’ financial knowledge of 20-30 percent.
This year’s winners will be honored at a ceremony at the Capitol later this year.
Lakeland accounting students prep free tax prep site
Lakeland University and Lakeshore Technical College are partnering again this year to help collect tax refunds for area residents who need it the most.
Students in the accounting program from each institution will provide free tax preparation and electronic filing for low income tax filers. This service is available through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which is designed to help low-to-moderate income people file their tax returns. Schenck SC is sponsoring the VITA program again this year.
Students from Lakeland will be available at the Sheboygan Salvation Army, 710 Pennsylvania Ave. The tax preparation service will be open on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. starting February 3 and ending April 12.
The service is also available at LTC’s Cleveland campus on Tuesday nights from 6-9 starting February 6.
Reservations are required for the tax service and will be accepted beginning January 25.
To reserve a spot at the Salvation Army, call 920-565-1000 ext. 2290. Phone calls are accepted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To reserve a spot at LTC, call 920-693-1398. Phone calls for the LTC site are accepted between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Last year, Lakeland and LTC students prepared and filed approximately 500 returns that helped local taxpayers collect more than $1 million in refunds.
People interested in taking advantage of this free service must have income under $54,000 a year. Applicants must bring:
- A photo ID
- Social security cards for themselves, their spouse and dependents
- W-2 forms
- 1099 forms
- Rent certificate or 2017 property tax bill
- A copy of their 2016 tax return.
Returns cannot be done for those taxpayers having income from outside Wisconsin sources, those having complex tax returns, those having rental income, those who are non-US residents and those who are married filing separately.
Johnsonville gift supports innovative new Lakeland program
Lakeland University has received a $500,000 gift from Johnsonville to fund the nation's first food safety and quality bachelor's degree program.
It's the latest move as Lakeland continues to expand its new Cooperative Education Program, which will see students earn academic credit and money working in full-time jobs at local companies, giving them professional work experience and the ability to reduce or eliminate student debt.
Lakeland's food safety and quality program blends the science of biology and chemistry with best business practices to prepare students for careers in food processing. Graduates will be well-rounded manufacturing professionals equipped to advance in the production of food, while also possessing finance, management philosophy and other skills needed to lead people to their potential.
According to FoodManufacturing.com, the food industry was valued at $2.45 trillion in 2015.
"We are so thankful to Johnsonville for being a corporate partner in this program and making this generous investment in our shared vision," said Lakeland President David Black. "Johnsonville's investment is an example of the partnership we are developing with local companies who are dedicated to developing the curriculum needed in this major to create a premier and sought-after degree in the food industry.
"More employers are joining us to grow our Cooperative Education Program as we re-invent the way we deliver a college education."
The gift from Johnsonville will fund:
- creation of a state-of-the-art, on-campus lab allowing hands-on experience and real work replication;
- student transport to Johnsonville facilities for real work experiences;
- educational trips to food companies, and other programs costs.
"Johnsonville is excited to partner with Lakeland to create a unique degree in the food industry combining science, technology and business acumen to enhance food safety and production throughout the entire industry," said Michael Stayer-Suprick, president, Johnsonville Sausage – International. "This will be a great opportunity for many in the years to come as they look for exciting and rewarding careers."
Unlike a food science degree, which prepares students for food research and development, Lakeland's food safety and quality program, which is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, focuses on the safe production of food.
Students in the program will learn from food industry leaders by working and earning credit both in Lakeland's classrooms and at local employers.
Coursework has been developed in partnership with local food companies who are in need of graduates in this area, ensuring content is relevant to the needs of today's marketplace.
Students can enroll as either full- or part-time students, and most courses will be available online and through Lakeland's BlendEd delivery model.
Lakeland awarded grants to expand financial literacy programming
Lakeland University has been awarded two grants totaling $275,000 from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to house the Office for the Advancement Free Enterprise Education (OAFEE) and expand economic and financial literacy programs in the community.
For the last two years, OAFEE was housed at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), which closed on June 9. The Bradley Foundation financially supported that partnership.
Over the past two years, OAFEE has developed and offered economic and financial literacy seminars for Wisconsin veterans and police, teachers, school leaders, journalists (with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago), elected officials and others.
This new Bradley Foundation grant will house OAFEE at Lakeland University, and the institution will expand programming to include:
- Economics for Heroes: A series of two-day, face-to-face, web-supported seminars on personal finance and free-market economics for Wisconsin’s heroes – military veterans police officers and fire fighters and their spouses – as a way to improve their financial well-being and to increase their understanding of free enterprise.
- Economics for Opinion Leaders: A series of two-day, face-to-face, web-supported seminars on free-market economics for Wisconsin opinion leaders – teachers, clergy, managers of non-profits, elected officials, and media professionals – to increase their understanding of free enterprise.
- Entrepreneurship Economics Community Partnership: A five-day, face-to-face, on-campus education program for high school juniors and seniors to increase their understanding of free enterprise and stimulate their interest in starting a business and/or working in the private sector.
- Economic Episodes in American History: Offer workshops for Wisconsin high school U.S. History teachers on integrating economics into their history curriculum.
Seminar participants, because of their various positions, will share what they have learned in their professional and personal circles, further contributing to the impact of the programming.
A goal of the high school program is to change the trajectory of these students’ lives by providing quality instruction focused on the key principles of entrepreneurship, economics and personal finance.
Mark C. Schug, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, will be named OAFEE program director and a seminar instructor.
Schug taught for 36 years at the middle school, high school and university levels. A widely recognized scholar, he has written and edited more than 230 articles, books and national curriculum materials. His latest books are “Teaching Economics in Troubled Times” published by Routledge Press and co-edited with William C. Wood of James Madison University and “Economic Episodes in American History” published by Wohl Publishing and co-authored with Wood.
Schug has received national awards for leadership, service and research in economic education. He received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award in 2011. He has served on the boards of several non-profit and professional organizations including the (national) Association of Private Enterprise and the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy.
Scott Niederjohn, dean of Lakeland’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship and Charlotte and Walter Kohler Professor of Economics, will serve as OAFEE senior program advisor and a seminar instructor.
Lakeland awarded $250,000 gift to support Cooperative Education Program
Lakeland University has received a $250,000 grant from the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation to support its groundbreaking new Cooperative Education Program.
This fall, Lakeland became the first institution of its kind to adopt a cooperative education model, which will help students address the issue of post-graduate debt and respond to employment gaps in Wisconsin's private sector job market.
"Too many students graduate from private colleges and universities with crushing levels of student debt, while lacking the skills desired by the private sector job market," said Lakeland President David Black. "At the same time, in our local Sheboygan County area, the unemployment rate is among the lowest in the state and world-class employers struggle to attract and retain great talent.
"Students enrolling in Lakeland's Cooperative Education Program will find a way to graduate with little or no student debt, while working for these local world-class companies and positioning themselves for long-term post-graduation employment."
Lakeland students will alternate semesters of study with semesters of full-time work experience, gaining academic credit and professional soft skills demanded by employers.
The Bradley Foundation funds will support the continued development of the Cooperative Education Program in Lakeland's School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Dollars will be used to:
- Support the recruitment of qualified students with financial need to participate in the program;
- Support on-campus wages for first-year students with financial need as they begin to develop the professional skills desired by the local job market;
- Support the development and implementation of co-curricular programming for co-op students, including economic and financial literacy, etiquette events, mock interviews and other soft skills.
"We are grateful to the Bradley Foundation for their investment in this significant change in how we will deliver a bachelor's degree," Black said. "Cooperative education will set Lakeland up to be a primary source of talent for this region, and our graduates who choose to settle here will be able to engage in the local economy immediately without debt weighing them down."
Lakeland students will graduate with 12-16 months of full-time, paid professional employment. Students have the opportunity to earn up to 30 academic credits during these experiences.
Lakeland is currently in talks with several major local employers about the Co-op Program and their involvement, and Black anticipates announcing those corporate partners shortly after the holidays.
"In a tight job market like this area is experiencing, this program provides local employers with a new skilled labor force," Black said. "We are adjusting our academic calendar to fit the needs of employers. For example, students working in hospitality management roles will stay in those jobs into October and take seven-week classes for their fall semester."
Students will have the opportunity to apply a significant portion of their wages to their tuition and room and board expenses, allowing many students to graduate debt free.
"The student debt crisis needs to be addressed, and our Co-op Program provides our students with a road map to avoid or minimize post-graduation debt," Black said.
Learn more about Lakeland's Co-op Program at Lakeland.edu/coop.