For Immediate Release
Contact: Brianna Williamson, Recruiter/Alumni & Development Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: September 8, 2022
Hill’s academic journey took shape at Southwest TechFennimore -
Matthew Hill utilized his associate degree from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College as a springboard for his bachelor’s and upcoming master’s degrees. As a high school senior at Iowa-Grant, Hill knew he wasn’t quite ready to commit to moving far from home. Once he’d made the decision to pursue a college education, Hill decided Southwest Tech was a nice, comfortable step that he felt certain he could take. “I have a couple of family members who went to Southwest Tech and I knew the type of people that I’d be associated with and I knew it’d be a positive environment,” he said.
Another positive feature about Southwest Tech was the accessibility of the campus facilities. Hill has a physical disability that requires him to utilize a reverse walker and he was thoroughly impressed when he learned that many of Southwest Tech’s facilities have underground tunnels or connecting indoor hallways, eliminating the need to walk outside when traveling to classes and any other areas of campus during the winter.
When asked how he chose Southwest Tech and Nicolet College’s University Transfer – Liberal Arts program, Hill said it wasn’t something he discovered himself but learned of it when it came up in conversation with his advisor. Hill’s career goal at the time was to get involved with sports and extracurriculars. He had a specific passion for working on the communication side of things as well as being an advocate for others. The Liberal Arts program was a step that would provide an opportunity to pursue additional degrees in the future, in addition to being a great way to get used to college coursework and requirements. “I’m a big believer in the liberal arts degree and a huge supporter of it if it’s the right fit for the student, of course,” said Hill. “To me, the biggest bonus of the program is that I could see the endless opportunities it could provide for me after graduation. In addition, it was slightly under half the cost of attending a four-year college for two years.”
Since Hill’s time at Southwest Tech, the college has transitioned the University Transfer Liberal Arts degree program away from Nicolet College and will be offering the program exclusively on campus beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year. Students will have the option to choose either an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree path. This transition also allows Southwest Tech to offer additional higher-level courses in language, math and English that will transfer directly into four-year universities. Graduates of Southwest Tech’s Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program will have increased transfer opportunities to various institutions like University of Wisconsin four-year campuses and Lakeland College, to name a few.
One of the things Hill loved most about Southwest Tech was that it’s a great place to make the transition to college because there’s so much support and he never felt alone. Hill shared that he received multiple scholarships at Southwest Tech and was amazed by the number of staff, faculty, and friends of the college who donate to support students. “There really is a great connection between the students and the faculty and staff,” said Hill. One memory of Southwest Tech that he’ll never forget happened within his first week of school. Hill had previously shared with staff members his concern about not being able to carry much food if he were to order from the cafeteria. Having come up with a solution, Hill ordered food one day and sat down to eat when he was approached by the college president, Jason Wood, who asked if he could join Hill for lunch. Hill says of the memory, “everyone at Southwest Tech, even if they weren’t an instructor of mine, always said ‘hi’ to me and that meant a lot.”
Hill’s advice for someone considering college is, “the sooner you reach out to the college and make connections with their staff, the better. Networking is so important in every aspect of the college process, from choosing a program of study to creating a resume or LinkedIn profile when you’re ready. All of these things are easier to do when you’ve taken time to build relationships.” For those considering attending Southwest Tech, Hill reiterates that it’s a great place to start, especially if you’re nervous about transitioning to college or are from Southwest Wisconsin and want to attend college close to home.
After completing his associate degree at Southwest Tech/Nicolet College, Hill transferred to UW-Platteville to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Hill chose to study Sports Management, Communication and Marketing, an individually contracted major, with a minor in English. In the spring of 2022, four years after graduating high school and two years after graduating from Southwest Tech, Hill graduated from UW-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree. Hill’s educational journey is still not complete, however, as he will be starting a master’s degree in Sport Administration this fall through UW-Platteville.
One last piece of advice Hill has for individuals considering college is, “I encourage people to search for opportunities and take advantage of them,” he said. “If you know you want to attend Southwest Tech but aren’t sure what for, just know that the employees are there to help you.”
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |