PESHTIGO—Peshtigo students toured the Marinette campuses of Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB).

Both colleges welcomed students with a campus tour. In addition, professors and student ambassadors spoke with eighth- grade students about classes offered and gave suggestions to Peshtigo students on how to prepare for college.

This activity was coordinated by guidance counselor Angie Matykowski as part of Peshtigo’s eighth-grade career exploration class taught by teacher Sam Zuehls.

“It’s never too early to start career planning,” Matykowski said. One of the old sayings Matykowski likes to use is, “If you like what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” She emphasizes, “Our goal is to match students’ interests, abilities, post-secondary education plans and values with future careers.”

The eighth grade class introduces students to a variety of career fields. Students study the job market to learn which career areas are in demand. Salaries and job growth outlook data is evaluated using updated websites like the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students also explore their interests, aptitudes and skills plus their individual learning styles in order to find possible career matches.

“We have awesome college opportunities right here in our backyard,” Zuehls said. “We have highly skilled, highly trained, and experienced professors right here at both colleges here in Marinette.” He said that he encourages students to consider these local colleges for future planning.

“Just because a college is further away, does not mean it’s somehow better,” Zuehls said. “Sometimes we think we’re getting a higher quality education if we travel further. No, that’s just not the case.”

Zuehls adds that some larger colleges do offer more programs.

“Both of these colleges right here in Marinette, work very hard to work with other colleges, committed to offering classes meeting the same standards as other colleges require,” he explained. “Years ago, when I was attending college, many larger colleges didn’t accept transfer credits from smaller community colleges. That’s changed.”

Zuehls stated that Wisconsin has reformed their college system. Most other colleges which are part of the Wisconsin university and technical college system accept classes taught here at UWGB and NWTC in Marinette. Most UW colleges also accept transfer credits from NWTC in Marinette.

“Both UWGB and NWTC, in Marinette, have long standing roots in the community and a proven record of educational success,” Matykowski said. “Now more than ever the leaders at both colleges have worked hard to make transferability of college classes between the two institutions seamless.”

Some students take UW classes during the traditional school year and take additional classes at NWTC during the summer session to shorten up the amount of time it takes to earn a traditional four-year undergraduate degree.

At NWTC, Peshtigo students met with professors or student ambassadors in different departments including: accounting, information technology, English, electromechanical, welding, and nursing. Peshtigo students raved about their experience.

“The amount of hands-on courses was amazing and all of the students seemed to love their classes,” stated Sophi Hornick.

“I liked talking to the English teacher (Scott Harpt),” said Abbey Graf.

Jestin VanHecke shared, “I want to be a nurse. It’s hands-on and I love everything about it.”

Both Brayden Klimek and Lincoln Nemec were impressed by meeting with the information technology professor, Bob Limburg.

“Seeing inside of a computer, and the dual monitors that come out of the table,” Nemec said.

The biggest hit at NWTC was the welding department. “I liked that we got to try welding, rather than just watching or hearing about it,” shared Ella Maxwell.

Brayden Kodric said, “Hunter (Shepek-NWTC student ambassador) gave me great instructions on how to weld for the first time.”

Klimek felt similarly, “I got to weld, and it was fun!”

Lily Sabel chimed in, too, “The NWTC students we met welding were really funny and nice,” she said.

At UWGB, Peshtigo students met with chemistry professor, Mark Klemp.

Student Mackenzis Shepherd stated, “We got to see some cool experiments in the chemistry lab.

Klemp discussed possible job opportunities in science and more specifically, chemistry. He demonstrated some principles of gasses, which included lighting a balloon filled with hydrogen, which caused an explosion.

Student Karsen Villas stated, “My favorite part of the visit was the experiments in the chemistry lab. I’ve always loved chemistry.”

Students also met with UWGB history Professor Dan Kallgren. “I most liked talking with the history teacher,” shared student Angelina Chapman.

Kallgren coached students on options and choices, and emphasized that they challenge themselves now in middle and high school. Student Preston Block stated, “The history professor really opened my mind about what I should do with my future.”

What did students learn after visiting NWTC and UW-GB?

“College is a lot more fun than it sounds,” stated Kodric.

Student Brady Robison said “Now I know how many different subjects you can study here.”

College isn’t the best choice for all students, but students have learned that if they’re interested in attending college, to consider attending UW-GB or NWTC. Nemec adds, “I didn’t know how cool college is.”

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by the Peshtigo School District.