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As the airline industry braces for a shortage of pilots, Lakeland College announced in November the establishment of Wisconsin's only four-year college aviation program. The program is a partnership between Lakeland and Frontline Aviation, a flight school with locations at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport and Green Bay's Austin Straubel International Airport. The program will prepare students for professional careers in aviation and give them the added benefit of a four-year college degree.
"Research suggests that the airline industry needs more pilots, but they want pilots with four-year college degrees," said Kathy Rath Marr, chair of Lakeland's Natural Science division. "Graduates from Lakeland's program will have the technical skills needed to fly, along with the critical thinking and other academic skills that come with a four-year liberal arts education."
A recent study by the International Civil Aviation Organization reported that between 2010-2030 airlines around the world will need an average of 49,900 pilots per year, and current training is not keeping pace with that need.
"The pilot population is aging and heading towards retirement, and the economy has resulted in less people learning to fly," said Bruce Bressler, president of Jet Air Group, Frontline's parent corporation. "This program is for students who are considering aviation as a career or simply as a personal endeavor."
Lakeland will offer aviation courses beginning in the fall of 2011. Since students must pursue a four-year degree, they can enroll at Lakeland and begin their general studies and major coursework as early as this spring. Frontline will provide basic training aircraft to more advanced glass cockpit airplanes and multi-engine aircraft. The program includes ground school courses at Lakeland's main Sheboygan County campus, and flight training in Sheboygan County and Green Bay.
Construction will be completed later this year for a $750,000 facility that will house the Learning Tree Academy, Lakeland's child care program. The new center, located on the south portion of Lakeland's primary campus, will allow the Learning Tree Academy to move from its two current sites into one.
The new facility has been named the Ambrose D. DeLand Child Care Center, thanks to a leadership gift of $300,000 by The DeLand Foundation. DeLand was a prominent early Sheboygan businessman who designated his estate be used to benefit children.
The center will be open for the start of the 2011-12 school year, and will have space for 42 children. Learning Tree Academy, which opened in 1989, is available to all children ages six weeks to 10 years, with special preference given to children of Lakeland employees and students. It is licensed by the State of Wisconsin.
Learning Tree focuses on cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of children by incorporating learning activities into stories, arts and crafts, music and movement, physical fitness, sciences, computers and field trips.
Lakeland president Stephen Gould said research on the powerful effect of quality, early childhood education has motivated Lakeland to offer child care to its students, employees and the surrounding community.
"This child care center will provide a safe environment that's rich in learning benefits for the children, but we also know what it will do for the parents of these children," Gould said. "Having access to reliable, affordable child care makes it easier for these parents to have time to earn a college education."
International students attending Lakeland College contribute over $4 million to the Wisconsin economy according to an annual report by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
NAFSA's annual Economic Impact Statements, released in November, estimate the amount of money foreign students bring to the United States to support their education. The totals are based on tuition figures, enrollment figures, living expenses and financial aid.
During the 2009-10 school year, 173 international students attending Lakeland contributed $4,274,100 to the Wisconsin economy - most of it in Sheboygan County. That ranks Lakeland eighth among Wisconsin's 43 public and private colleges and universities with international students.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. - Lakeland and Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) held a special recognition event last fall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the partnership between the two higher education institutions.
"Our partnership with Lakeland is a significant accomplishment for MSTC students," said MSTC President John Clark. "Lakeland's broad acceptance of credits from technical colleges enhances numerous transfer opportunities for our graduates."
Allan Mitchler, vice president of Lakeland's Kellett School of Adult Education, said the institutions share a common vision of making college as non-intimidating as possible. "A lot of students, based on family or geographical limitations, can't 'go away' to school," Mitchler said. "The partnership between MSTC and Lakeland removes some of those traditional hurdles to a four-year degree."
Lakeland College's Center for Economic Education received a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Excellence in Economic Education (EEE ) grant program administered by The Council for Economic Education. The grant was awarded for a program designed to implement financial literacy curriculum at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), an MPS public charter school.
In addition to traditional K-8 curriculum, BEAM focuses on economics and personal finance. The grant will allow BEAM to increase those lessons with students at the primary grade levels.
Approximately 95 percent of BEAM students are African American, many from single-family households and over 90 percent are eligible for free or reduced price lunch.
Nearly 20 percent have special needs.
"Research shows that when urban, disadvantaged children learn economic and personal finance skills, it provides them with a solid foundation from which they can make sound financial decisions in the future," said Scott Niederjohn, director of Lakeland's Center for Economic Education and an associate professor of economics.
Lakeland business faculty members Rick Gaumer and Bob Martin have earned the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Lakeland is the only program in the state with two faculty members with CFE certification. Gaumer is an associate professor of accounting at Lakeland, and Martin is an instructor of accounting.
Lakeland is the only Wisconsin college/university with a forensic accounting emphasis track as part of its accounting major. "Broadening the study of forensic accounting to more than just a single class, which is typical at most schools, provides another viable career track for accounting students," Gaumer said. "Our students are trained to understand and to apply internal controls and fraud prevention practices in the workplace.
Gaumer and Martin passed a rigorous exam administered by the ACFE and demonstrated knowledge in four areas: fraudulent financial transactions, criminology and ethics, legal elements of fraud and fraud investigation. The ACFE is the world's largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education.
Six Lakeland science students presented their summer research findings at the Marquette University Summer Research Symposium. Students conduct the research through the Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) program, a summer experience that allows a handful of the college's top science students to partner with faculty members. Past LURE participants have been accepted into some of the best graduate programs in the country for science and medicine.
Lakeland students were among undergraduate researchers from Marquette, Notre Dame and St. Cloud State at the symposium.
"The preparation and presentation of the posters requires students to simplify their research findings and put them into a broader scientific context," said Greg Smith, associate professor of biology. "This process challenges them to make their project interesting and accessible to a variety of scientists, from fellow undergraduates to university faculty.
Members of Lakeland's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in "Cans Across the Conference," a competitive food drive between Northern Athletics Conference schools. More than 1,200 food items were donated to the Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Department and Sheridan Elementary School in Sheboygan.
More than 80 percent of Sheridan Elementary students qualify for free or reduced lunches. SAAC donated four laundry-sized baskets filled with food to Sheridan.
"It's important for our student-athletes to give back to the community," said Teri Johnson '00, SAAC advisor and Lakeland's head women's basketball coach. "We are focused on our athletic programs and being competitive, and this is an opportunity for us to be competitive in a different way. Donating to families in need is rewarding for our student athletes."
The Lakeland College Chapter of Student Wisconsin Education Association has received a national award for its literacy work this past school year. The National Education Association Student Program recognized the Lakeland StWEA with the "Outstanding Community Learning through America's Schools Grant Project" Award.
The award recognized the efforts of the future teachers in providing environmental education programs and materials for the Ellwood H. May Environmental Park, a 120-acre park in Sheboygan. The students created a parent's guide to help children learn about nature through reading for pre-kindergarten to first grade, and a guide for readers third grade and above.
The NEA award was the fourth the Lakeland student group received for its work last year.