Occupational Competency program helps instructors prepare students for success
A message from WCTC President Barbara Prindiville, Ph.D.:
Each year, WCTC instructors are able to participate in the Instructor Occupational Competency Program. This unique learning experience is an opportunity for instructors to build on their skills and knowledge as well as continue to deliver tremendous benefits to WCTC students as they prepare for success in their careers. Chef Jack Birren, a WCTC Culinary instructor, is one faculty member currently taking advantage of this unique opportunity.
Birren recently spent 40 hours learning about organic growing and how to use food as medicine at NuGenesis Farm in Oconomowoc, a non-profit organization working to prevent disease through education, sustainable agriculture and research.
"I wanted to go somewhere to learn more about organic growing, and I was looking for an organization WCTC had worked with in the past," Birren said. Two years ago, WCTC Carpentry and Masonry students designed and built an outdoor pizza oven for NuGenesis as part of a Service Learning project.
At NuGenesis, Birren learned about succession planting, a crop planting method that makes more efficient use of growing space. An example of this is seeding carrots and radishes together. He also helped teach classes.
Birren plans to incorporate what he learned into his course curriculum and hopes to build an organic growing bed at the College to be used by the Culinary program. In September, Birren will bring 36 students from his Principles of Food Preparation class to the farm to help harvest crops and prepare the growing beds for winter.
"I have a responsibility to teach this to my students," Birren said. "The idea of farm to table is becoming a huge trend in the restaurant industry."
He added, "My students have an obligation to give back to the community. NuGenesis is a perfect match."
Child Development Center has 'star' quality
WCTC's Child Development Center has earned a five-star rating from YoungStar, Wisconsin's Quality Rating and Improvement System, which is a program of the Department of Children and Families. A five-star rating is the highest a center can receive and denotes the highest level of quality standards. YoungStar was created to improve quality child care in Wisconsin by evaluating and rating the quality of care given by child care providers, helping parents choose the best early care for their children, supporting providers with tools and training to deliver high-quality early care, and setting a consistent standard for child care quality.
Participation in the evaluation process is voluntary and includes a comprehensive internal self-study followed by an external professional review by YoungStar. Programs are evaluated and given a rating of one to five stars. A program's rating is based on:
- Educational qualifications and training of administration and teaching staff
- Learning environment and curriculum
- Professional and business practices
- Child health and well-being practices
WCTC's Center is one of 171 licensed early care and education programs in Waukesha County, and of these programs, only 14 percent have achieved a five-star rating.
This five-star quality rating is a testament to the hard work, dedication and investment of every CDC teacher and staff member.
Dental Hygiene students participate in sealant program
The Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic works in collaboration with the WCTC Dental Hygiene program to provide an in-school sealant program. The partnership is part of the College's commitment to Service Learning.
The Waukesha In-school Sealant program statistics for this year are as follows:
- Schools participated in the program = 8
- Students who received screening = 445
- Students who received sealants = 283
- Number of sealants placed = 895
- Number of students who had visible decay = 173
- Number of students with urgent care needs = 18
TSA officers complete Homeland Security Education Program with WCTC
A group of 17 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers became the first-ever class in the Milwaukee Metro area to earn a Certificate of Achievement in Homeland Security issued by the TSA Office of Training and Workforce Engagement.
The employees completed coursework through Waukesha County Technical College and were recognized at a June 25 ceremony at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.
"It has been our privilege to provide Homeland Security-related instruction to the dedicated TSA employees at General Mitchell International Airport," said Brian Dorow, WCTC associate dean of Criminal Justice. "They have a significant responsibility each day to ensure the travelling public is safe and I am confident that our courses will increase their knowledge base."
The TSA Associates Program, which partners with community colleges across the country, offers three classes: Introduction to Homeland Security, Intelligence Analysis & Security Technology and Transportation and Border Security. The courses were taught by WCTC Law Enforcement instructor Mark Stigler at the TSA field office in Milwaukee. Officers receive a certificate of achievement upon successful completion of the three classes, but the program also gives them a jump start to pursue an associate's degree from WCTC while improving their career advancement opportunities at TSA.