Fox Valley Technical College is a community technical college in Appleton, Wisconsin and is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System. It was founded as a vocational school in 1912. Today, there is a branch campus in Oshkosh as well as regional learning centers in Wautoma, Waupaca, Neenah, Clintonville, and Chilton. Around 50,000 people benefit from occupational training, adult basic education, employee training, continuing education, and technical education from the college. The college provides opportunities for the community by offering over 200 degree programs, including two-year associate degrees that can transfer to other colleges or universities, technical diplomas, and certificates.
Academic departments include: Agriculture, Horticulture, and Natural Resources; Aviation; Business, Management, and Finance; Construction; Culinary and Hospitality; Engineering and Electronic Related Technologies; Health Science; Human Services; Information Technology, Law Enforcement and Public Safety, Manufacturing; Marketing, Sales, and Service; Printing Technologies; Transportation; and General and Individualized Studies.
There are as many career options for students as there are programs. Students can use their educations to prepare for careers as diverse as crop application specialist, wildland firefighter, e-business entrepreneur, judicial reporting, aircraft electronics, photovoltaic installer, hotel chef, utility vehicle electrical specialist; nurse; pharmacy technician; substance abuse counselor, pc programmer, child protection investigator, engine lathe manufacturer, cybercrime investigator, welder, kitchen and bath designer, package and label printer, caterpillar construction equipment technician, or interpreter.
New and Innovative Programs
The school has a strong reputation for staying on top of new developments in technical fields, and this is evident in the new fields that are continually added to their programs. In recent years, degrees such as supply chain management, writing for the web, digital manufacturing, energy auditor, intelligent interface design, renewable energy engineering technology, and advanced telecommunications were added.
Many students go on from earning an associate degree to earn a bachelor’s at a four-year institution. Fox Valley has transfer agreements with approximately 30 four-year colleges and universities in the area to allow students to make the transition smoothly and efficiently.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Apprenticeships play a key role in the education of many students. The college partners with employers who offer on-the-job training and the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. Most apprenticeships vary in length from two to five years. Apprentices are paid a portion of the rate they can expect to earn after finishing their programs. Trades with apprenticeship programs facilitated through the school include: bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, glazier, pipefitter, ironworker, machinist, millwright, sheet metal worker, steamfitter, and tool and die maker.
In apprenticeship agreements, the employer is responsible for providing safe and adequate facilities for on-the-job training; qualified personnel to teach the apprentice; appropriate supervision; and wages for time spent in related instruction. The apprentice is responsible to be a reliable and responsible employee, work diligently throughout the apprenticeship, and complete all related instruction work as assigned by the classroom instructor. Normally, apprentices attend classes twice a month for 8 hours per session.
The horticultural department offers opportunities for students to create gardens and landscape features in the community, providing valuable, instructor-guided work experiences for students and lasting beauty for everyone. Recent projects include the Riverside Reflection Garden at the ThedaCare Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca and a restored wetland that is part of the Outagamie County Parks Department in Grande Chute. The project included extended walking and biking paths that connect to the Appleton campus, and include plantings of tamarack, swamp white oak, yellow birch, red maple, silver maple, and white cedar.
Resources for Native Americans
A variety of resources and training programs are available to Native American tribes in the area. These include the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program for reporting missing, endangered, and abducted children; and Tribal Justice Training, in conjunction with local police forces, to assist tribes in distributing justice.
In keeping with their mission to provide technical and continuing education to any student who desires to pursue it, the school has open admissions. Prospective students must submit an application with placement test or ACT scores and a modest application fee. Some programs may have additional requirements—check with the department you wish to study in.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in Wisconsin, Fox Valley Technical College offers several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships. Be sure to contact the financial aid office and see if you qualify for these.
Student Financial Aid Details
About 90% of alumni find employment within six months of graduation. Average starting salary is over $33,000, with an average salary increase of 40% over the first five years.
Clubs and Organizations
The student government is the voice of the students with the administration and the community. Student government also oversees the nearly 50 clubs and organizations that serve to develop personal and professional interests for students across the campus. The Fox Times is a student-staffed newspaper that is published weekly throughout the school year. The school maintains a Student Life calendar on their website to connect students with groups, meetings, and academic and social events.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The Foxes compete in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball. Many students also play intramural softball and volleyball.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.