When we take a trip, some of us like to plan out every detail beforehand and others like to be more spontaneous as they explore, detour, and go where others might not plan to go.

Similarly, some people have a plan for higher education and do not leave that path. Others start on one road and take a detour to another career path. Others may start down a path but stop, maybe because their map is unclear or because of some important destination (job or family) that they find along the way.

For students who have stepped away from college, it can be intimidating to return. We are here to reassure you that we are here to help you on your journey and provide a way for you to make it to your ultimate destination. You are not alone! We hear from so many students about similar hurdles:

“My credits are too old. I’d have to start over.” These students do not have to start over at the beginning of their journey. We have found many students are closer to their degree than they think. Additionally, work, life, and military experience can make students eligible for credit for prior learning.

“That one class was too hard. I could never pass it!” Over the years, our instructors have developed new programs and new techniques for helping students understand the subjects that caused them the most difficulty.

“I have learned everything I need to on the job.” Our programs and pathways also build a skill set that helps you sell yourself to prospective and current employers, while enhancing employability skills like problem solving and communication.

“I really wanted to apply for that job, but it required an associate degree,” or “I really wanted to move up, but it required my bachelor’s.” We know that certificates and degrees open doors throughout careers. Now that NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus are working together, our advisers can help students see where their credits fit best and how they can complete a program of interest most efficiently.

“I have a family and a job, leaving me no time for school.” College is not just face-to-face. Flexible schedules are available now more than ever. Plus, part-time options make education possible.

“I can’t afford it.” Financial aid and scholarships are available to students of all ages.

“I’m too old. I can’t learn anymore.” Our brains continue to change and grow our entire lives. Our instructors are trained to teach students of all ages. Often, those who come back to study after years away enrich the classroom for everyone.

Life takes twists and turns. We can help you craft a plan that will map out your future. Take those credits you earned, take the work and life experience you have, and let us help you turn that into a life-changing credential. It is not too late to complete your educational trip. For more information, people may call 715-735-9361 (NWTC) or 715-735-4300 (UW) to start that conversation.

Jennifer Flatt is the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Dean. Cindy Bailey is the UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus, Campus Executive Officer.