This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
UW-Eau Claire Teams With NTU to Offer Classes
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900
web http://www.uwec.edu
e-mail newsbur@uwec.edu

MAILED: March 5, 1998


EAU CLAIRE -- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has teamed with National Technological University to offer Chippewa Valley residents a variety of technical courses they normally wouldn't be able to take in the area.
The university hosts a number of National Technological University (NTU) courses, enabling community members to downlink master's level engineering and noncredit technical and managerial courses through satellite technology.
By means of instructional television, those enrolled can tune in to courses offered by top faculty and experts of the nations' leading engineering schools and other organizations and institutions selected because of their special expertise.
UW-Eau Claire is one of more than 500 sites around the country offering NTU courses, which originate from 47 universities including the University of Arizona, Stanford University, Northeastern University, UW-Madison and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The site on campus, which started operations in January, is the fourth in Wisconsin and the first for a comprehensive university in the UW System.
Before the NTU collaboration with the university, the closest locations people in the Chippewa Valley could enroll in engineering courses was at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities or UW-Madison, said Fred Waedt, assistant dean of the College of Business executive and professional programs at UW-Eau Claire.
"This is a great opportunity for the community," Waedt said. "It gives those enrolled a chance to excel close to home."
Formed at the request and funded up front by local high tech companies W.L. Gore, Hutchinson Technology, Johnson Matthey, Sequent Computers, Silicon Logic, Northern States Power and Ayres Associates, the site at UW-Eau Claire currently enrolls more than 40 engineers from area businesses, Waedt said.
The companies were interested in allowing employees to advance in their fields by taking engineering and technical courses close to the workplace, Waedt said.
"Companies in the Chippewa Valley enjoy this because new subjects can be covered continually in a current setting," he said.
Hutchinson Technology engineer Aaron Halberg said his plan to enroll in the program this fall will allow him to earn a master's degree in manufacturing systems engineering.
"I'm pretty excited that I have the opportunity to enroll in a graduate program while I'm still working full time," Halberg said. "It's giving me the chance to earn a second master's degree in engineering without leaving the Chippewa Valley."
This fall, Halberg said he plans on spending about five hours a week attending live and videotaped classes via satellite communications.
Hutchinson Technology will fully reimburse him for the expenses of earning the degree upon completion of the program, he said.
"I think this will help me a lot," he said. "It's providing me with the resources to further my formal education while I'm still gaining experience in an industrial setting."
Practicing professionals from companies around the nation in 1996-97 chose from more than 500 NTU academic courses providing 22,000 hours of instruction, plus another 500 days or 3,000 hours of continuing education. During the 1996-97 school year, 1,300 working professionals and managers were admitted to NTU degree programs.
The engineering and technical credits and 14 master's degree programs are offered directly by NTU and are designed specifically for technical professionals.
For more information on the NTU collaboration with UW-Eau Claire, contact Fred Waedt at the Executive and Professional Programs office on campus at (715) 836-5637.

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UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: March 5, 1998