Daily Bread for 12.8.22: Enrollment Grows at Wisconsin Technical Colleges

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:13 AM and sunset 4:20 PM for 9h 07m 15s of daytime. The moon is full with 99.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets at 6 PM

 On this day in 1941, President Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy,” after which the U.S. declares war on Japan.

Much — but not all — of the news about enrollments at post-secondary schools points to decline. Wisconsin’s technical colleges are seeing increases in enrollment, as Rich Kremer reports in Enrollment at Wisconsin technical colleges grows by more than 10 percent:

Enrollment across the Wisconsin Technical College System grew by more than 10 percent during the 2021-22 academic year. The increase follows a double-digit enrollment decline driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and marks the largest gains for the system in at least a decade. 

All of the state’s 16 technical colleges saw enrollment gains during the 2021-22 school year, according to the most recent WTCS Factbook.

Nicolet Area Technical College in Rhinelander saw the largest increase of 21.9 percent over the previous academic year. Western Technical College in La Crosse reported a 19 percent increase and Northcentral Technical College in Wausau posted gains of 15.5 percent year-over-year. 

The enrollment growth marks a notable turnaround for Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, which saw a 13.2 percent decrease during the 2020-21 academic year driven by the pandemic. During that span, a majority of colleges saw double-digit declines and some saw enrollment fall by more than 20 percent. 

Overall, WTCS added 25,669 students in the 2021-22 academic year. 

WTCS President Morna Foy told Wisconsin Public Radio the enrollment growth is great news for the state’s tech colleges, but there’s still a ways to go before numbers hit pre-pandemic levels. 

Wisconsin’s key requirement for K-12 education is to assure that by the time students leave high school, they have a strong foundation for whatever awaits them next. Whether it’s full time employment, a technical college, a two-year college, a four-year program, or a combination from among these choices, students graduated from high school can and should have foundation in humanities and sciences. 

A good high school education should prepare students to express themselves in standard spoken and written English, to grasp principles of math and science, and to understand the history and laws of our people.

It is both false and wrong to say that this cannot be done, to ignore doing so, or to ignore explaining plainly how one is doing so.

More important than a referendum, more important even than particular candidacies for a school board, is a review of what and how a district explains at each opportunity what it is doing to teach students these fundamentals. 

That’s a worthy project.

Putin vs. the Priest: A Big Story About a Small Sermon:

The Opinion video above tells the story of Father Ioann Burdin, a priest with the Russian Orthodox Church who ran afoul of his government soon after Russia invaded Ukraine. His crime? Well, we don’t want to spoil the plot for you. Suffice it to say, Father Ioann’s tale shows the hazards of following your moral compass in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. (He’s still paying the price.)

The story also explores the often tragic absurdity of the modern Russian state, something that Father Ioann, in our conversations with him, described with a wryness and wit that informed our telling of his story.

To help capture this sensibility, we invited Gary Shteyngart, a Soviet-born American satirist and best-selling author, to serve as the video’s narrator. Born in Leningrad in 1972, Mr. Shteyngart immigrated to the United States when he was a child and grew up in Queens, New York. A critic reviewing his latest book for The New York Times described him as “a writer comparably superb at demonstrating absurdity and generating pathos.” That’s a fair summary of our intention with this video.

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

Wholeheartedly agree.