Skip to main content

Siblings take parallel paths to earn degrees

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: Siblings Taryn, left, and Taylor Maki of Rice Lake are on similar higher education journeys by attending UW-Eau Claire – Barron County before continuing at UW-Eau Claire.

Siblings Taylor and Taryn Maki are on parallel higher education paths that started by taking college credits at Rice Lake High School to get a jump on their future studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County.

Older sister Taylor, after earning her associate of arts and sciences degree, transitioned to UW-Eau Claire’s main campus, where she will graduate May 20 with majors in psychology, behavior analysis and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Taylor Maki

Taylor Maki

“After UWEC-BC, I was already familiar with the UWEC system, so it made sense to continue at UWEC,” says Taylor, who competed in volleyball and basketball at the Barron County campus. “All of my credits transferred, I was fairly familiar with the area and I was still close to home. I also figured I would find similar support from faculty, students and staff at UWEC that I found at UWEC-BC, and I did.”

Following a similar trajectory, Taryn will graduate with her associate of arts and sciences degree from UW-Eau Claire – Barron County on May 18; she will enroll in the fall at UW-Eau Claire with plans to major in psychology.

“I think Taylor and I both chose the smartest and most efficient option for us in terms of postsecondary schooling, and I think it's pretty cool that we are representing UWEC-BC and UWEC as siblings, graduating two days apart,” Taryn says.

Taylor and Taryn’s similar education courses highlight how seamless the transition can be from UW-Eau Claire – Barron County to the university’s Eau Claire campus, says Dr. Abbey Fischer, campus director at the Rice Lake campus.

“Taylor and Taryn illustrate the strength of the UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County connections and how well we serve our community,” Fischer says. “Both took classes with UWEC – Barron County as high school students and started their college careers at our two-year Rice Lake campus with its affordable tuition and small class size. The quick and easy request to change location made it simple to pursue their bachelor’s degrees at UW-Eau Claire after earning their associate degrees at UWEC-BC. Our campus is proud of Taylor and Taryn.”

Taryn Maki

Taryn Maki

Both Taylor and Taryn say the decision to take college credits in high school and to live at home while obtaining their associate degrees helped reduce the cost of their educations.

Taryn says she knew in high school that she would follow her sister’s lead and attend the Barron County campus before transitioning to the Eau Claire campus because for her, it is the most efficient and cost-effective route to a bachelor’s degree.

“I think UWEC-BC was the right choice for me as it saved me money while still being able to receive my general education credits and my associate degree,” Taryn says.

Taylor agrees, saying: “I would definitely recommend the educational path that Taryn and I took. We were both able to save money by staying home after high school, and we still got degrees.”