WCTC Campus

About WCTC

Beyond the Horizon

Waukesha County Technical College stands at the forefront of a new era in higher education. Surrounded by a rapidly-changing landscape, we’re forging ahead while keeping our eyes on the horizon.

At the precipice of a new educational frontier, WCTC recognizes the importance of being proactive, agile and forward-thinking in order to meet the diverse needs of learners in the 21st century. We invite our students, faculty, staff, and the entire WCTC community to join us in transforming the future of higher education.

Mission Statement

Waukesha County Technical College provides accessible career and technical education to strengthen our community through lifelong learning.

Horizon Statement

To be the modern comprehensive regional college that ignites people to thrive in a changing world.

WCTC aerial view

Aims for the Modern College

Shape the Future

Shape the Future of Higher Education

Transform WCTC to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Thriving Academic Mission

Thriving Academic Mission

Deliver an unparalleled education in a rapidly changing world.

Cultivate Inclusive Experiences

Cultivate Inclusive Experiences

Foster an environment where people reach their full potential.

Vital Collaborative Alliances

Vital Collaborative Alliances

Ensure successful partnerships and community prosperity.

Premier Regional Hub

Premier Regional Hub

Evolve into a vibrant, multifaceted heart of the community

Sleek, Simple, Intuitive

Sleek, Simple, Intuitive

Streamline all college functions.

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People

Leadership

Many talented people work together to shape the future of WCTC.

Meet our Leaders
Money

Foundation

WCTC's Foundation works to foster lifelong learning and workforce development in our community.

WCTC Foundation
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Accreditation

WCTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Accreditation Details
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Campus Climate

WCTC recognizes cross-cultural engagement, access, inclusion and belonging as core institutional values.

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Why WCTC?

Many students feel lost in large lecture halls and learn better in small classes with individualized attention. WCTC’s average class size is approximately 16 students, so your instructors will get to know you well and help you achieve your personal goals.

All of WCTC’s instructors are qualified to teach in their area of instruction, with industry-recognized degrees and occupational experience in their area of instruction.

Our students learn on the most advanced technology available in their fields, from world-class IT networking labs to our state-of-the-art Robotics and Human Patient Simulation labs.

Incoming students can earn significant credit through their school, work and life experiences. WCTC also offers numerous transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities for those interested in continuing their education.

Rather than simply memorizing theory, you’ll apply what you learn through hands-on projects. This applied approach helps reinforce concepts and keep you interested and motivated.

WCTC students complete internships at more than 100 different companies, allowing them to gain relevant work experience while earning college credit. More than 60 percent are hired by their employer upon completing their internship.

Employers consistently hire WCTC grads because they know they have the skills to immediately contribute. More than 1,400 business leaders serve on WCTC advisory committees, ensuring that what we teach in the classroom reflects the latest industry trends.

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Book

Newsroom

Read the latest news and updates from Waukesha County Technical College.

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Book

Publications

Find the latest editions of the student handbook, IMPACT magazine, newsletters and more.

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Policies

Learn about the policies and procedures that govern life at WCTC.

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Critical Life Skills

All students are given opportunities to develop and demonstrate critical life skills.

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By the Numbers

View more WCTC data on the National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator. For more information on student success statistics, contact Viktor Brenner, Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, at 262.691.5577.

  • 17,343 total enrollment
  • 9,056 enrolled in Associate of Applied Science degree courses
  • 1,480 enrolled in Technical Diploma courses
  • 664 enrolled in apprentice-related training
  • 3,519.0 full-time equivalency (FTE) of college enrollment
  • 3,463 high school students took WCTC courses through partnership agreements
  • 6,779 adults enrolled in continuing education (includes Corporate Training Center)

Students may be enrolled in more than one of these areas.

Program-level students (not including high school dual enrollment):

  • 50% males
  • 50% females
  • 26.5% ethnic minorities, of those for whom ethnicity is known
  • 24 median age
  • 94% of WCTC graduates in the job market are employed within six months.*
  • 97% of WCTC graduates were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the education they received.*
  • 96% of employers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the education and training their employees received.**
  • The median salary of WCTC graduates working in their fields was $50,000.*
  • WCTC’s graduation rate (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) is a four-year average rate of first-time, full-time degree-seeking students completing a program within 150% of the expected time to degree. For example, students completing a two-year associate degree within three years are counted toward the graduation rate. For 2022-23, the Student Right to Know Graduation Rate (the average of the last four years’ graduation rates) is 44%.
  • WCTC's retention rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students is 75%. This number represents the percentage of first-time, full-time students starting in fall that either graduated within the first year and/or were re-enrolled for classes in the spring.
  • Some first-time full-time students opt to transfer to another institution prior to completing a degree. As of 2022-23, WCTC’s transfer-out rate was 8%.

* Source: WCTC Graduate Success 2021
** Source: Employer Follow-up 2018

Our History

Since 1923, Waukesha County Technical College has been preparing students for success within the regional and global economy. Learn more about WCTC’s history in Education for a Lifetime.

1923

First Instructor Hired

The newly formed Waukesha Vocational School occupied the basement of Waukesha High School (now Les Paul Middle School). J.E. Worthington, who was the principal of the high school, served as part-time director. The 1920 board minutes authorized the purchase of materials to build 20 manual
training benches and 20 mechanical drawing benches – to be constructed by students as their first project.

O.B. Lindholm was hired as the school’s first manual training instructor-turned-director. The school was officially established on May 1, 1923.

Enrollment was 443 – half were daytime continuation
students and half were evening adult students; none
were full time. The school’s annual budget was $15,500, which included $4,500 in federal aid.

1920

1930

Enrollment Continues to Grow

By 1930, Enrollment rose to 700 and the school outgrew its space in the high school basement. A new building was constructed at 222 Maple Ave. for $68,000.

Anthony J. Natalizio took over teaching in the general education classroom until 1937. Natalizio would eventually become the president in 1949, leading the school until 1973.

1930

1938

 

Enrollment reached 1,400, and a combination gymnasium/
auditorium was built. As the only local gym available to adults at the time, the new space was a popular addition.

Historical WCTC Photo

1944

GI Bill Brings New Students

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, or G.I. Bill, was signed into law in 1944 and provided WWII
veterans with funds for college education, unemployment insurance and housing. This caused a spike in postwar college and vocational school attendance for both men and women, and it provided financial assistance for tuition, books, supplies and counseling services, along with other benefits.

Historical WCTC Photo

1949

Lindholm Vocational and Adult School is Born

Anthony J. Natalizio was named the school’s director/
president after O.B. Lindholm’s death and served as president until 1973. Natalizio was unanimously selected by the board; he had been associated with the school as a teacher and administrator for nearly 20 years before taking on the top leadership position.

The school changed its name to Lindholm Vocational and Adult School to honor its longtime director.

Historical WCTC Photo

1953

 

The school's staff grew to 49 people, and more than 3,000 people used its facilities for classes, recreation and social activities. Most students were now over the age of 25.

Historical 1950s Birdhouses

1956

Expanded Offerings

In 1956, the school completed an 11,500-square-foot addition to its 11-room Maple Street location. The $186,000 addition, which opened in 1957, included classrooms for arts and crafts, home furnishings, drafting, social studies and sewing, as well as a large multipurpose classroom. After this expansion, enrollment skyrocketed by 800 students.

1961

New Programs Open Doors

The school changed its name to Waukesha Vocational, Technical and Adult School.

The Wisconsin Board of Vocational and Adult Education authorized the awarding of two-year collegiate associate degrees and one- and two-year vocational diploma programs. WCTC's first two diploma programs were introduced: Business Education and Metals.

Maple Street

1962

 

The first two-year programs were added in 1962: Electronics and Basic Electricity.

Occupational advisory committees were formed to provide real-world input into the development of new programs. Today, more than 1,400 industry pros serve on WCTC advisory committees.

Enrollment reached 3,600 and the school announced an addition for a student center, library, classrooms, labs and offices, which was completed in 1965.

Historical WCTC Photo

1964

A Year of Many Firsts

The first student government organization was formed, the first formal athletic program began, and the first formal graduation ceremony was held.

1966

Nursing Program Introduced

The first health occupations program was offered in 1966: Licensed Practical Nurse.

Historical WCTC Nursing Photo

1967

New Horizons, New Name

In 1967, Waukesha Technical Institute became Waukesha County Technical Institute (WCTI).

1968

Police Training Begins

A small group of law enforcement officerts - the Waukesha County Chiefs of Police - organized a police training school that would provide officers with practical training.

1969

 

WCTI purchased 110 acres of farmland on the outskirts of the Village of Pewaukee from the Steele family as the site for the new campus.

This land is ceded land of the Menomonie, Potawatomi, Sauk and Winnebago peoples. The College honors this ground as sacred, historical and significant to the First Nations People.

Steele Farm Silos

1970

WCTI Breaks Ground in Pewaukee

On April 4, 1970, the College broke ground for WCTI’s historic new $7 million campus in Pewaukee.

1970

1972

Classes Begin at the New Campus

Classes at the new campus began in February of 1972, with 12,147 students enrolled in more than 500 credit and noncredit courses. A formal Admissions and Counseling department was formed.

1973

Richard T. Anderson Named President

Richard T. Anderson, Ed.D. was named director (then president) and retired in 2002.

WCTC

1975

WCTC Gains HLC Accreditation

WCTC first gained accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on July 24, 1975. The HLC assures quality by verifying an institution meets standards and is engaged in continuous improvement.

WCTC

1977

WCTC Foundation Established

The campus expanded to included space for an outdoor sports facility, emergency vehicles operations course and additional parking.

The WCTC Foundation was established in 1977 with a clear mission: to secure charitable resources to help our students achieve their educational goals.

1978

High School Diplomas Offered

WCTI established the state's first formal "external high school" and offered adults options to earn their high school diplomas.

1970-86

WCTI Owls Win Big

Coached by Athletic Director Wally Wiese from 1970 to 1986, the WCTI Owls basketball team enjoyed 14 straight seasons with more than 20 wins, 13 league titles and eight state championships.

1970-1986

1980

 

With endorsement from the state, the district began to develop customized training classes specific to employers that were not available to the general public, and in 1981, the School offered courses at 20 companies.

1980's WCTC Students

1982

Recession Leads to Record Enrollment

Aside from the 2007-09 recession, 1981-82 was the worse economic downturn in the history of the U.S. since the great depression. Because of the economic crisis, WCTI achieved record enrollment, with more than 36,000 students taking credit, noncredit and enrichment classes. Historically, the demand for technical and vocational education increases during challenging economic times.

1980's WCTC Students

1983

Customized Corporate Training Begins

The board approved a policy to allow WCTI to contract entire customized programs for specific employers or employer groups. Examples include an Electronics program for General Electric Medical Systems, a customized degree program for Wisconsin Bell and a Real Estate program for Merrill Lynch Realty.

1986

Classic Room Opens

The Classic Room on-campus student training restaurant opened.

WCTC Student

1988

WCTI Becomes WCTC

In 1988, Waukesha County Technical Institute changed its name to Waukesha County Technical College to better reflect its mission.

WCTC

1991

 

Enrollment reached 36,304 students, and WCTC continued its efforts to support its growing student body with updated facilities and new technology.

The federal Vocational Education and Applied Technology Act provided funding to help high school districts collaborate with technical colleges.

1994 WCTC Construction

1994

 

WCTC welcomed its first high school juniors and seniors into the Youth Apprenticeship program in 1994.

Youth Apprenticeships

1995

Early Online Classes Begin

WCTC made its debut on the internet in 1995 and began offering online courses in business law, financial planning and real estate.

WCTC Student

1996

Dental Hygiene Clinic Opens

The Dental Hygiene Clinic opened on campus. A newly renovated and expanded clinic opened at the Waukesha campus in 2019.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

1998

Nontraditional Students Shine

The average WCTC student was employed and 37 years old. More than 30 percent of students had previously attended a four-year college and many held bachelor’s degrees. Nontraditional students made up 85 percent of the College’s enrollment.

WCTC Student

2001

Small Business Center Opens

The Small Business Center opened and offered noncredit workshops and courses for small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them achieve success in new and existing ventures.

Small Business Center

2002

Carol Brown Named President

Carol Brown was named president and served until 2006.

The Harry V. Quadracci Printing and Graphics Center (Building G), which houses WCTC’s printing and graphic arts programs and classrooms, was completed in 2002.

Carol Brown

2006

Barbara Prindiville Named President

Barbara A. Prindiville, Ph.D., was named president and served until 2014.

Carbara Prindiville

2007

Building Q Opens

In 2007, the College opened the Harry V. Quadracci Education and Technology Center (Building Q), a 23,600 square-foot facility built as a wing of the Printing and Graphics Center.

Quadracci Education and Technology Center

2009

 

WCTC began offering the first accredited Paramedic program in the state.

Paramedic

2010

New Enrollment Center Welcomes Students

WCTC’s Enrollment Center renovation was completed in 2010. Students now have seamless access to advising, counseling, admissions, registration and financial aid — all conveniently located in the new center. This has streamlined the registration process and shortened wait times for students.

Enrollment Center

2011

Multicultural Engagement Center Opens

WCTC opened the Multicultural Resource Center (now Multicultural Engagement Center), which focuses on creating an accepting, inclusive campus culture through programs, events and leadership development.

Multicultural Engagement Center

2013

 

In 2013, WCTC completed its firing range on Hickory Street, which later moved to the main campus and into a newly constructed space in 2022.

The same year, the Dual Enrollment Academy program began as a way to offer high school seniors a head-start in careers in high-demand fields while providing them an opportunity to earn college credits.

Dual Enrollment Academy

2014

Kaylen Betzig Named President

Kaylen Betzig was named president and served through 2020.

Kaylen Betzig

2016-18

 

In 2016, the 24,000-square-foot Integrated Manufacturing Center (IMC) was built to increase the amount of space dedicated to electronics, automation and manufacturing trades. The center was renamed to honor donor Terry Lutz in 2018.

The Student Enrichment Center opened in Building B in 2016 as a central location to house Academic Support, Library Services and the Service Desk. The TechEx Center was added in 2017, and the WCTC Bookstore was added in fall 2018.

Student Enrichment Center

2017

WCTC Earns CAE-CD Designation

WCTC became the first college in Wisconsin to be designated as a Center of Academic Excellence – Two Year Education (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Cybersecurity

2019

Renovated Dental Hygiene Clinic Opens

The College moved its Dental Hygiene Clinic into a newly renovated and expanded space at the downtown Waukesha campus.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

2020

Year-Round Academic Calendar Launches

In summer 2020, the College launched a year-round academic calendar featuring 8-week terms.

2021

Richard Barnhouse Named President

In January 2021, Richard G. Barnhouse, Ph.D., joined WCTC as its president, bringing with him more than 20 years of progressive higher education leadership.

Richard Barnhouse

2022

WCTC Excelerate Welcomes High School Students

WCTC began welcoming high school juniors and seniors into any WCTC program - just as any other College student - to earn an associate degree or technical diploma at the same times as their high school degree through the Excelerate initiative.

WCTC Excelerate

2023

Liberal Arts Transfer Degrees Offer New Transfer Opportunities

The College began offering Associate of Arts and Associate of Science liberal arts transfer degrees to streamline the transfer process, guaranteeing admission into UW-Milwaukee and other four-year institutions.

WCTC Students