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Independence

Your Community. Your College.

At Western Technical College in Independence, the education you need is never far away. If you are a high school student looking to get started on your college education, an adult looking to update your workplace skills, or a community member interested in lifelong learning, we have what you need.


Michelle's Story

"I believe that continuing education is the key to success for a business and its employees," says Michelle Weisenberger, Trempealeau County Clerk of Courts and Western graduate. It's a belief she put into practice. Michelle enrolled in the Human Resource-Business Management program at Western's Independence location, a program that combined her love of people with business management skills that have served her well in her career.

When Michelle enrolled at Western, she was working full-time at an area bank and raising a family, something she found that was common among her peers. "When I first returned to college as an adult, I was a little nervous, apprehensive," says Michelle. "But what I found was that there are a lot of people who return to college as adults. They have families and jobs. They go back to college to pursue their career goals."

She found a way to pursue her goals by setting priorities and carving out time for both work and study. "A person needs to realize the goal they want to achieve," she says. "And you get into the mindset of scheduling classes around work, families and study time." She advises that students set aside time to complete their studies, because the goal at the end is what they're aiming for.

Michelle also made it work by taking advantage of the variety of course delivery options offered at Western, including face-to-face, online, and interactive or distance learning classes. "I participated in all of those and each has an advantage," she says. "The classes taught in Independence are work-learning, hands-on classes with skills that relate to real-life experiences."

That real-life perspective was courtesy of her instructors, including Kim Clatt, who brought "wonderful insight and shared a lot of helpful, real-life examples," says Michelle. Instruction often focused on real-life businesses, while class projects included consulting with local businesses about their procedures. She found her instructors to be engaging and helpful, and always willing to help if questions arose.

She found that same friendly attitude in all of the staff. "The staff is wonderful," she says. "They are always willing to help and show you your options." And that philosophy of working with and helping people is something she brings to her own position as the clerk of courts. "The part I like most about my job is working with people," she says. And it's what she liked best about the program. "I utilize the business management and the people skills that I learned in the program every day."