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Gateway gives student hands-on experience for career, transfer path to four-year college

Gateway gives student hands-on experience for career, transfer path to four-year college

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Space Lab & Students - iMET Center - November 20, 2019

Jack Holtman, a recent Gateway Technical College graduate, trains for his career on the college’s technologically advanced equipment. Holtman said the college prepared him well for his career — as well as a transfer to an area four-year college.

Gateway Technical College graduate Jack Holtman’s college project to work with a local nonprofit group prepared him for his career by giving him the opportunity to apply his skills to a real-world situation.

His Gateway degree will also prepare him to continue his education at an area four-year college, saving him time and money — he’ll be able to apply the credits he’s already earned and he will enter that college as a junior.

Holtman graduated from Gateway’s Architectural-Structural Engineering Technician program and says he’s gained some great skills, in part, through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The group needed some very specific, new plans for a home to be built in Kenosha and turned to Gateway to help them out.

Holtman’s home design was one of two from his class selected by Habitat to build in a Kenosha neighborhood. Before he even graduated college, Holtman had already designed an actual house that will soon be constructed and lived in.

“I think this will help me to understand the overall picture,” says Holtman. “When I designed it, I had to think about the fact that actual people would be using this house.”

Holtman says that’s been the core of his Gateway education: instructors helping students focus on how their coursework transfers to actual work in the field.

“Nothing my instructors said was pointless — everything I learned was pretty useful to me. I could always take away a lot of real-world knowledge from what was being taught.”

Holtman says he’s learned much from the college and gained real-life skills in design that he can use in his career — and he can use those skills now. But Jack also wants to continue his education, and he was drawn to Gateway because of the transfer agreements it has forged with four-year colleges.

“Being able to earn my degree and transfer to a four-year college was a selling point for me for Gateway,” says Jack.

“When I heard about the 2-plus-2 agreement between Gateway and Concordia, I knew it was a great deal. I would earn a Gateway degree and then a four-year degree without racking up a lot of debt. I thought that was cool.”

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