Local colleges can help the undecided map their futures

Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

SUMMER SOLSTICE, the first day of summer joins us on Saturday, June 21.

In most years, it is the start of the best weather of the season, an exciting time for young and old alike. It’s backyard picnics, time at the beach, vacations, warm summer walks, county fairs, parades, and more, all packed into a 90-day period before we end it with fall, children heading back to school and young adults either heading back to school, a job or maybe military service.

For those who recently graduated from high school and have not yet decided what you are going to do, be careful.

Some may be telling family and friends, “I’m tired of school”, or “I’m going to take a year off before deciding what to do”. While this can work for a few people, it is normally not a good idea and could cost you and your future family hundreds of thousands of dollars over your working lifetime.

In material terms, it could mean missing out on a nice home, newer cars, or a vacation home. More importantly for a family it could mean the loss of financial help your children may need to finish college or trade school.

So, it’s your education and your future you should be thinking about.

It is a summer opportunity to review a college or technical school near you that can provide the skills along with a plan that allows you to succeed.

There are many schools in which a student may consider for review and I will list a number located within the lakeshore area.

But if a student has not yet decided what are their goals, I would suggest they limit that educational review to three specific area schools and I will explain why.

Lakeshore Technical College: It is located in the small community of Cleveland, 1290 North Avenue, just north of the Sheboygan/Manitowoc County Line.

If interested in such career fields as Accounting, Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture/Horticulture, Automotive, Business Management, Administration, Energy, Health, Legal, Public Safety and others, this school may be for you. They have 50 one-year and two-year degree programs. It would be important to request meeting with a school advisor

Go.To.LTC or (920) 693-1000. You can be tested on your skill level, take a tour of the campus, try to work out a schedule that fits your needs, and discuss any financial and study issues facing you. The instructors are well trained and they want to teach you.

Lakeland College, located just west of Howards Grove, has developed college programs that fit both young and adult students, with weekend, evening and online classes & career development.

The enrollment at Lakeland College is 900 (full and part-time), they have 30 plus majors and minors, a student to teacher ratio of 15:1, and a willingness to work with students needing help and support. Those interested in a 4-year local college should make an appointment to meet with a counselor and discuss your needs and their ability to try to meet those goals. You can take a relaxed summer tour. The toll-free number to call to make an appointment at Lakeland College is: 1-800- 569-2166.

University of Wisconsin - Sheboygan is located on a beautiful campus adjacent to I-43 and the Sheboygan River.

Being a two-year campus built by Sheboygan County taxpayers and staffed by the University of Wisconsin, it provides classes near your home. It has expanded to provide many no-commute UW bachelor degree opportunities. It has the most affordable tuition in the UW System, has a seamless credit transfer to other UW universities and beyond, courses available to start more than 200 majors, small classes taught by dedicated, caring faculty, along with a full range of student activities. Enrollment in the fall of 2012 was 837 students, 46% full-time and 54% part-time. If interested in visiting the campus and a counselor, please call (920) 459-6633.

Each of these three schools mentioned above pride themselves in giving the best possible direction to students and will point out the tools needed to succeed. The kind and number of classes will depend on the direction you wish to take, the time available and your study needs.

Together, student and school, will work out a plan. But first, it starts with you.

There are University of Wisconsin four-year colleges at Green Bay and Milwaukee as well as another technical college in Fond du Lac that can be an option.

In addition, Silver Lake College in Manitowoc is nearby as are a number of other private four-year colleges located in the Milwaukee area.

But if you are not sure, begin local and succeed locally.

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