There’s something especially special about a scholarship established by a MATC alumni. They know first hand the value of community and technical college and the incredible life change that happens here. Eric Bjornsen has recently set up a scholarship for Electric Engineering Technician students who plan to transfer to UW-Platteville, paralleling a new articulation agreement between our two institutions. Read more about the articulation agreement here.
I became interested in electronics at a very early age. The interest remained my primary focus through high school. The traditional high school curriculum often interfered with my area of interest. Upon graduation I was ill prepared to enter a typical university. Madison College provided an opportunity to further expand my interests. With the direction of the instructors, I excelled at the opportunity. Madison College provided an excellent introduction to structured education and contributed to many lasting relationships.
Upon graduation I was determined to continue my education. Unfortunately, there were very limited opportunities to do so. Consequently, I took a job as an electronics technician for a span of four years. My interests continued to grow, and the additional opportunities presented to graduate engineers became increasingly more apparent.
Fortunately, the University of Wisconsin began to offer a program to transition to an engineering degree specifically for those with my background. My return to academic life was immediate and I thoroughly enjoyed another two years of formal education. Shortly after graduation I was saddened to learn that this program was discontinued. Nevertheless, I began a successful thirty year career as an electrical engineer. The thought that such an opportunity for others no longer existed haunted me.
While reflecting on my life after retirement I learned of a new developing program between Madison College and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. This program would allow for a smooth transition from a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree to a four-year Bachelor’s degree and beyond. This immediately drew my attention, and I became engaged with the process. This led to numerous interactions and site visits. I became convinced that both institutions were committed to filling the educational void which had continued to bother me.
I have chosen to support this partnership in the form of a shared scholarship between both institutions. Students with similar backgrounds and academic commitments as I shouldn’t be limited in their pursuits by financial limitations. I look forward to assisting in the administration of this scholarship and encourage others to do the same.