The new 'weekend warriors'

The new "weekend warriors"

Weekend courses at Fort McCoy serve those who work full time

A-TEN-shun! Fall in! Today, students, our lecture is on task analysis. Sound like a military base? Or a college classroom? It's both.

UW-Stout is offering a new "college weekend opportunity" at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy military base. In two years, participants can graduate with a master of science degree in training and development.

"Stout's master's degree in training and development prepares training professionals to meet the technical training needs of business and industry," Julie Furst-Bowe, program director, noted.

Furst-Bowe said that graduates of the program will be able to analyze training and development needs; design, develop, deliver and evaluate training programs and materials; manage and coordinate training efforts; and develop training and development competencies in managers and supervisors.

She said that organizations spend "billions of dollars" each year on employee training and development. "Companies need people who are responsible for training employees to do their jobs effectively," Furst-Bowe said.

UW-Stout faculty members and trainers from business and industry, such as Miller Brewing and Phillips Plastics, make up the teaching staff.

Steven Schlough, of UW-Stout's communication, education and training department, taught for the third time at Fort McCoy last fall. "I enjoy it because most of the students are employed full time and have background knowledge. The discussions are great." Schlough said he usually gets information to bring back to UW-Stout as well.

He doesn't mind the weekend trips to Fort McCoy, some 100 miles away. "To be competitive in today's market, public schools like Stout need to be flexible."

Jim Breen, of Phillips Plastics, and Joel Benkowski, of Miller Brewing, team-taught the first class offered for the fall semester. "It was a unique synergy," Breen said, "because most students had industry backgrounds and there was so much give and take. There was a wealth of knowledge there already." Breen said it was also rewarding for him personally to get the military training perspective "which has been working for years" and bring that back to Phillips. "It was enriching for everyone involved," he said.

Leon "Carl" Stough, military instructor at Fort McCoy, was a student in that class. "I feel it's an outstanding program," Stough said. "It's an exceptionally well put-together weekend program for people who work full time." Stough said also that he was impressed with the training staff. "They were so knowledgeable and so accessible," he said. "They were even willing to give their home phone numbers if we had questions." Stough noted further that he found the college weekend format to be an "economical program."

Stough said he had looked at several programs which would allow him to obtain a master's degree while still in the military full time and that UW-Stout's program was very economical compared to many others.

Trudy Kroeger, manager of human resources at Jerome Foods in Barron, is earning her master's degree through the college weekend program while remaining employed full time at Jeromes. "The program is ideal for me," Kroeger said. "I want to earn my master's degree, but I need to work full time." Kroegler said she looked at programs at several colleges, but she likes the flexibility UW-Stout provides.

UW-Stout's weekend college opportunity enables individuals like Kroeger and Stough to remain employed full time while earning master's degrees-with ease. Or is that "at ease."?

Outlook Winter '96