- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
The director of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's adult education programs has been hired by Lakeland College to lead its adult programming.
Zach Voelz, director of adult degree programs at UW-Green Bay, has been named vice president for Lakeland's Kellett School of Adult Education. He will lead all facets of Lakeland's adult learning program, which was established in 1978 and currently serves more than 2,500 students.
"What attracted me most to Lakeland College was its history — the story of Lakeland," Voelz said. "Adult students who return to school do so with life experience and a story they like to share. The opportunity to promote a program and institution that holds such a rich history certainly stood out to me.
"I quickly looked to the four-year institutions in the UW system and I tried to find an equally intriguing story. Aside from UW-Madison and its state-supported inauguration in the 1800's, it is difficult to find an institution like Lakeland College with an alluring, 150-year history that sprung from the tethered soles of immigrants who valued education. A great way to get the attention of adult students is having history, tradition and your own story - a story of passion, challenge, hard work, and prosperity."
UW-Green Bay's adult degree program enjoyed tremendous growth in enrollment under his direction, including a 450 percent increase in students and a 650 percent increase in enrollments over the past seven years.
In announcing Voelz's hiring, Lakeland President Stephen Gould said, "Zack Voelz brings to his appointment here the right combination of relevant experience, forward-looking market insight and technical expertise. These, and his passion for adult and continuing education, will serve Lakeland well in the current, quite challenging, environment."
Voelz joined Green Bay's staff in 2003 in a role that included advising adult students and providing instructional design support to faculty. In 2005 he was named coordinator of the UW-Green Bay adult degree program, and in 2009 was promoted to director.
He was responsible for academic planning and leadership of all facets of UW-Green Bay's adult program, which currently serves more than 900 students. The program had fewer than 200 students when he was named coordinator in 2005.
His UW-Green Bay tenure was marked by creativity and innovation, and included direct support for the creation of a bachelor of applied studies degree, which led to a seamless transition for Wisconsin Technical College graduates to earn a UW-Green Bay bachelor's degree. The applied studies degree — currently offered only through UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh — continues to be used as a model by other UW institutions.
He also led the establishment of several partnerships with other programs and institutions, and played a lead role in implementing new processes and technologies leading to improved recruitment, retention and overall student support.
Voelz noted that Lakeland was a pioneer in offering one of the state's first alternative degree-completion programs for working adults when it debuted 34 years ago. That visionary approach is a good fit for his own leadership style.
"Obviously leaders at Lakeland were thinking about adult education prior to establishing the Kellett School in 1978," Voelz said. "They were on the mark, and well ahead of the game. They were true visionaries. Today, Lakeland holds one of largest student followings in adult education, a following that will only grow as the institution moves forward. This is definitely where I need to be, and I am thrilled to be here.
"When I look at the Kellett School, it is clear it represents a cornerstone of the larger institution. That cornerstone is about to get much larger."
Today, Lakeland serves nontraditional students at seven centers in Wisconsin, with many classes available online or through Lakeland's BlendEd® format.
Voelz earned a bachelor's degree with honors in psychology from UW-Madison in 1998, and a master's in clinical psychology from Florida State University in 2002. His attraction to adult education stems from his personal commitment to life-long learning.
"The needs of returning adult students will play a critical, growing role in the future of higher education as individuals seek personal and professional fulfillment through a continuing process of life-long learning," Voelz said. "Lakeland College is well-positioned to be a leader in adult education for years to come."