Since the autumn of 2013, each spring and fall a dedicated group of staff and faculty from all 16 colleges that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System gathers to share updates and insights related to the U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT3 grant funded INTERFACE Project. These meetings are a unique opportunity for members of the state-wide consortium to interact face-to-face.
The most recent meeting was held at Madison Area Technical College on April 14 and 15, 2016. Seventy-five individuals gathered in a sunny room for day one of the INTERFACE Spring 2016 Biannual Meeting. Attendees included representatives from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) State Office, all 16 WTCS colleges and the UW-Stout Applied Research Center Evaluation Team.
The meeting began with a warm welcome from Madison Area Technical College Vice Provost, Dr. Turina Bakken, Madison Area Technical College Vice Provost Dr. Turina Bakken welcomes attendees. and Federal INTERFACE Project Manager, Kathy Spada. Later in the day the student support circle discussed their group’s future as the grant moves toward the final year, and the UW-Stout Applied Research Center Evaluation Team presented information about impact evaluation, college specific evaluation projects and year three reporting for evaluation liaisons. The afternoon also included an overview of grant closeout procedures. The day generated an abundance of ideas and discussion that some attendees carried over as they continued their conversations and camaraderie informally over dinner.
Day two started with an enthusiastic panel discussion focused on building partnerships with workforce development partners. Later, energetic walkers toured the impressive Madison Area Technical College Information Technology facility while others stayed behind to have a one-on-one discussion with Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) Consultant Terri Johnson, discuss college cohort models and internship fairs, or participate in an in-depth Basic Computer Skills Course “train the trainer” session.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Strategic Partnerships Manager, Ann Franz, gave an inspiring and informative presentation about how to start, grow and sustain sector partnerships. A captivating workshop with professional storyteller Sara Slayton on framing the INTERFACE narrative concluded the meeting.
Attendees left the Spring Biannual Meeting with an arsenal of best practices, a renewed sense of team and ideas for new INTERFACE stories to collect and share.
The next INTERFACE Biannual Meeting will be held at Moraine Park Technical College, West Bend Campus, on October 20 and 21, 2016.