By Carey Behnke The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh — in partnership with Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) — has launched a new technology and engineering teacher preparation program to help meet growing demand in K-12 schools. Students enrolled in the sequential degree program will complete specific technology content courses in construction, transportation, engineering/manufacturing and communication/information technology and all of the coursework required to become a licensed teacher in technology and engineering education for Wisconsin.
Graduates of the program will earn an associate of applied studies degree from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor of science education degree from UW Oshkosh.
UW Oshkosh education professor Michael Beeth said the collaborative degree program blends and leverages expertise at both institutions. The added bonus is that it will increase the state’s capacity to license additional technology and engineering education teachers. “Future educators will benefit from our program’s seamless pathway to gain the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful in the classroom. Graduates will be equipped to teach a wide variety of courses offered by school districts, while preparing K-12 students for immediate employment or continued education,” Beeth said. Appleton West High School Principal Mark McQuade sees the demand for highly skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing in northeastern Wisconsin equate to a need for exceptional technical education teachers. “Technical education teachers are at a premium as districts and the private sector vie for their services,” he said. “I’m excited that Fox Valley Tech and UW Oshkosh recognize an opportunity to train more technical education teachers and are working collaboratively to meet the needs of our schools and the needs of a vibrant, local economy.”
The Technology and Engineering Teacher Education program is now accepting students. Andy Rinke, dean of Transportation Technologies at Fox Valley Technical College, is excited to get this initiative started, adding that these careers are rewarding due to access to the latest technologies and innovative partnerships with industry. “Technical education is a consistent gateway to promising careers, and with a growing and changing economy, we need quality educators to help shape the workforce of today,” Rinke said.