News Release

Published on Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Western Wisconsin Technical College District Board voted Tuesday to approve shortening the name of the college to Western Technical College.

The board’s vote moves the proposal to the state level, with the Wisconsin Technical College System board expected to consider the name change at its meeting March 28 and 29 in La Crosse. The name change will affect all seven of college’s campuses.

“This vote gives the college direction in our comprehensive five-year plan,” said WWTC President Lee Rasch. “It will be pretty exciting when we start seeing it in action.”

The name change idea stemmed from a statewide branding survey the state technical college system did in 2003. As a result, the system has asked the 16 state technical colleges to put “a Wisconsin Technical College” underneath their names. Only three of the colleges currently use “Wisconsin” in their branded names.

The name change will eliminate the redundancy created by the WTCS request, board member Jim Shilling said. He pointed out people who live outside of this part of Wisconsin already refer to the college as Western, which is the name the school would go by if approved.

That same state branding survey made administrators aware of how inconsistently the WWTC name is used, with people often referring to the school as TC, for example. “TC is not a unique identity,” Rasch said. “’Western’ puts us on a first name basis with our community.”

Rasch said the school will phase in the new name, replacing existing materials as stocks deplete and as signage is needed. All phased-in activities are included in existing budgets, and no more than $20,000 from the capital projects fund will be set aside for elements that can’t be phased in.

Most of the sign changes at the La Crosse campus will be in conjunction with planned remodeling. “Currently students have to go to multiple locations to submit applications, get financial aid, and register for classes,” said Rasch. “We are looking at establishing a ‘front door’ for prospective students … a one-stop approach to reduce barriers and provide better service. The new name is the first step in our efforts to be more user-friendly to our students and the community.”

For information on WWTC programs and services, please call 608.785.9200 or visit the WWTC Web site at wwtc.edu.