Posts Tagged ‘Distance Education’

Can’t believe it. It has been 10 years since I’ve done this:




Yep, that’s me graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout exactly a decade this week in 2006. The dude in the middle shaking the Chancellor’s hand of Charles Sorenson.

May 13th, 2006 will be long remembered for me as making it to a point where I couldn’t reach. It was Mother’s Day weekend at the time, and yes mama was happy. How did I get here and there? I’m going to a point in this story that I haven’t done: There were some faults and concerns that some thought I had to skip campus classes or having a concern that the program of Industrial Management with the tool of Distance Education has not been a concern! So as a heads up, I’m going to be unapologetic on this notion. Be advised. This is not a drill.

First: I already got the knowledge of two-way teleconferencing way back in 1995 as a High School Senior here in Milwaukee. For your new readers it’s called “Skyping”. But Skype was not around between 2002 – 2006. And Social Media wasn’t a thought until after 2006.

Plus the start of this goes back to 2001, after being laid off from UW-Milwaukee as a press operator. Then later on in the year I took some courses at MATC to build up more in my attempted education. In between one of my former church members told me about Stout as a thought of attending. Another was one of my former MATC Graphic Arts teachers told me about Stout in a choice between that, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Platteville. In November of 2001,  I went to a college fair at MATC to visit the various UW colleges and universities. And the last college I visited to discussed was UW-Stout. I applied to UW-Stout in 2002 and got accepted in September of that year. The program was Industrial Management by using Distance Education in Milwaukee.

Second: As I previously described, I took the Distance Education Classes here in Milwaukee at my old Tech College. The rooms I was in looked liked this:




Every week we had our live interactions with the teachers and students from Menomonie, Waukesha, Madison and Stout. Hey haters, you see this?


This is what I had to go through EVERY WEEK! Did I survive? You bet the so-called pensions, absent minded, retirement funded nose up the par,  and stock attitudes.


Third: Online Classes. Back in the day, the Distance Education tools were young. About 2-4 years young. But every Sunday at 11:59pm, the assignments have to be due via the Learn At Stout Website. Even we had to fax our homework. No matter it was Summer, Fall, or Spring.

Fourth: One of my Capstone Classes, we had to Phone up. Once a week, we all had to phone in the Strategic Management. We previewed our assignments, went over folks houses to complete our assignments, emails and still got good grades. As a GROUP!

With the homework assignments, I studied them EVERYDAY! Even on Sundays in Church! No lie. So, I was one of those workaholics that grinded.

Speaking of haters: This is where I have to get real. I will be unapologetic in speaking and keeping it 100. And will hold nothing back with the following uncut commentary.

Plus names will be mentioned.

I have to bring up at least “two haters” that were just rude at the time: First, if you work for the Milwaukee Urban League, and worked with a woman named Betty J. Speed, you want to put away your work assignments and pay attention. And if the CEO of the Urban League is available, tell him or her to come to a private computer because, what I’m about to say may not  be suitable for anyone that is a devoted member, and/or worker. Pay attention. This is real and not a smear campaign.

Back in October of 2004, I came to the Urban League looking for work around my distance education college schedules with the University and the outcome was not great. Not at all. The ending result of the help was disastrous. I explained my interest in working in the printing area in which at the time was my strongest. I felt I could still go along with it. But for her, she mocked me in a unethical professional manner. By the way, she was Black. Her attitude was mean stricken, and not nice. She accused me of having this so-called “behavior problem” in which she had the behavior problem towards me out of frustration. She also said something about no one will give a da*n about me, and the last thing she said was so hateful:

You better not come back here if you can’t find a job.

Yes she did! Those exact words,”You better not come back here if you can’t find a job” was the most discouraging, and most unethical sentences that coming from a black woman like her was just disgusting! And even struck  a nerve with my education. That was personal. I was being attacked.

Another hater to highlight was Manpower. I had a interview with this white woman named Brook. This lady had the gaul to ask about my earnings of how I’m getting money, how I’m taking my classes and other personal endeavors. She assumed that she wasn’t accusing me of anything in her words, but the fact is she stepped over the line! All because of my education, work history, and many other factors that wasn’t so professional.

What did I do in these situations? I wrote a letter of complaint! I got on my computer in May of 2005, and I wrote the hardest complaint letter to the point. I was very upset, and felt that I needed to say something to defend myself. And I was in my final year with Stout’s Distance Education area with Industrial Management on the point.

Did I received responses back? You bet I did.

For the Urban League, I wanted to grab the attention of the Urban League President in regarding the incident. But it was picked up later on. When Betty Speed answered my Cell Phone: My reaction was like this to start: “You gotta a lot of nerve calling me on my cell phone!” And in between I told to her over the cell phone: “Shut up! I’m Talking!” and “Excuse me! I’m Talking!” I went in on her like white on rice! Everything she told me, mocked me, saying no one will care, and thing is, I struck back hard! And about the thing with my education, she said back in 2004 that some employers that may have this assumption that I would leave to go back to Stout at the time. HELLO! I was a DISTANCE EDUCATION student studying my classes in the City! I explained at the time, but the thing is, forgive me to say this: she was stubborn and to quote Roland Martin, “stuck on stupid”. Didn’t know about my upbringing, ideas to commence, nothing. I also hit her on this comment that she said the most: “You better not come here if you can’t find a job.” And then she had to comment “we want you to come back….” SERIOUSLY?! Yeah right.You talk about “behavior problems?” “Stuck on stupid”. Pay attention, Milwaukee! And this was a jobs advisor for an organization that helps black folks and alike to find work in the community?! How really STUPID! I told her after an heated argument, (and trust me it was heated), that I will no longer use their services or her any more. The Milwaukee Urban League maybe an assist to needs to the community for a long time, but for me, in that incident was a slap in the face. She tried also to say that she tipped her hat to me in some sort of empathy of what I was trying to accomplish. But I was not feeling it from her. Nope. Not so sorry! And plus, in regarding attire, there were no signs of that. None!

You always hear about, “oh its the crabs in a bucket mentality”. Guess what? What I had encountered here, was an example of a crabs in a bucket mentality. Even your own people, specifically black folks would try to shake your hand and stab you in the back! Although there are those of African-American I do reach out to, but for this: NOT SO SORRY!

For Manpower, the branch manager was a white woman named Cathy Wagner. Folks, like Betty Speed, I too went in on her in a heated exchange in regarding what her employee Brook had told me. I also told her about the “Red Flags”comment, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I repeated the question. It was stupid of her not to get a real comment over the phone. And she said that my resume at the time didn’t have a history. I told her in a demanding voice to TURN THE PAPER OVER! Oh she was scared and terrified and noticed my work history. And education. Plus she talked about all “what are you doing for the Memorial Day weekend” questions. That had NOTHING to do with the matter at the time. NOTHING!

In a letter that sent to me in May 2005, she offered her “apology”. Which was not so real! It was really weak, fake and not so sincere. She also claimed that Brook was trying to counsel me about the document and others in corrections. But I was NOT convinced. And I responded in a follow up letter stating that I will never return to use Manpower’s Services no more. This was their Kilbourn Office in Downtown Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Center building to be exact. And the same with the Urban League in October of 2005, a year after I went in for job seeking.

Yes, my blood was boiling at them! So much.

Since then, I have not talked to anyone who has a working history with these organizations and companies. And also, when they come up on Facebook or any part of social media for example, I just don’t pay attention to them. I don’t look at their jobs, events, activities, NONE of the above. And if were to get an invite to an Urban League Event, or a Manpower job offer,  I just simply decline. Now many of you are probably saying, “what will it take for you to get back on one page?” I can’t answer that. If some of you whom are currently working for these organizations, active as stakeholders, active as donors, or received community awards based in service, I’m not blaming you. I’m blaming the experience that your former or current colleagues, or supporters had put out on me.

I know that I might get on the commentary board and explain my grievance liberties, but what I have explained here, on this blog,  I will NOT apologize. And I won’t apologize to the Stout Alums or the so-called old traditional folks about my one day visit on the Commencement Day in 2006. Nope! Sorry. I am done apologizing! Other Stout Alums whom graduated after me, with being Distance Education Students graduating, did the same thing. With this, I am not ashamed! No reason to be. I am becoming awake with being unapologetic with no explanations of this. Never will. Even it concerns my previous education with UW-Stout which I don’t sleep nor forget! So technically being now a former Distance Education student of the school is like being unapologetic. The most important thing I did is getting the degree. Bar none. Are you listening? And I hope that those whom are currently in the programs using Distance Education will never be ashamed of not going on campus! Just come on out with it. And when they graduate, they will prove a point. Just like it has been done before.

After Stout, I landed with some closely related seasonal jobs with UPS, and later on currently with my church, which I’m still active. I also applied as a Election Inspector, and if this keeps up, this fall will be 10 years on the spot with the City of Milwaukee. I am a Executive Alumni Board Member for my former High School for five years serving, and also a newly Executive Board Member for a Scholarship Coalition named after a prominent Civil Rights Leader here in Milwaukee. And this scholarship coalition, assisted me with 5 of 6 Scholarships while taking the Distance Education courses with UW-Stout. And also, I earned a Unsung Hero Community Award from the NorthWest Side CDC in 2014. As for the jobs, I still search for jobs through networking of Stout’s Career Link page, the Wisconsin Job Centers, Facebook, LinkedIn, those I know personally, and even some former employers that know me since my younger days and family connections.

And I’m still in the hunt of getting my chance more out of my degree. I’m not giving up. I don’t quit that easily. Better be watchful, simply what I’m saying is there will be an uprising for those whom have been attacked and doubted. And I’m telling this to those whom have been offended by those whom I like to call “grown bullies” in the workplace or community.

Plus, I had attended Milwaukee Area UW-Stout Alumni Events from networking meetings at the Harley-Davidson Museum, Miss Katie’s Diner, Killawatt Restaurant, The Rumpus Room and Milwaukee Brewers games at Miller Park. All sponsored by the UW-Stout Alumni Association. And the sole purpose to meet and get to know Stout Alums here in Milwaukee. Basically, it was a goal that I needed to do, and I did that. Plus I went to Stout related Campus visits to WCTC in Pewaukee.

So yes, I AM A STOUT ALUM!!!!

And still I go to these events. And one point or two, I donated to the University! Plus for those who doubt the “not so much” talkative, introverted, still workable and rising, single Black Men like me: WAKE UP! Even if you’re black yourself. Hate to say it.

Knowing this, it’s my 10th Year as a Stout Grad. Very happy for this and thankful. And I know it’s the University’s 125th Anniversary. But I will never forget what I went through in getting this degree and stamp my name in Stout’s History. Specifically with Distance Education. And I had other bloggers from My Fox Milwaukee (mostly white folks) telling me that “just say you got your degree from Stout.” Even though that was part of the story, but that doesn’t tell the ENTIRE story!

They say Distance Education doesn’t work? Calling out the sleepers and doubters! Ask those who know the lingo everyday. Ask those who have to teach them to themselves without the teachers or students with them. Go ahead and challenge this former Pioneer Student like me who had to go through the cracks to get this degree. And I hate to bust the bubble of those who don’t know, UW-Stout’s Distance Education goes back to 1906. It’s been around for over a century when the instructors used recordings onto phonographs or vinyls to hear the lessons of the classroom lectures. Yes that was then, now it’s the advancement of computers via Social Media, Smartphones, Apps, and many other devices that are still in the game and waiting to be in the game.

I said this years ago and I’m saying it here: this is not my mother’s education. This is not my father’s education. Nor my sister’s education. This is no old school education in house! This was my education, my investment in the UW-School System. This didn’t happen with UW-Milwaukee. Nor UW-Madison. Nor Marquette. Nor UW-Stevens Point. or any UW-School not on my to pick. This happened with a school is now based in “Polytechnical Innovation.” And that school is UW-Stout.






As I said many times that I was a Distance Education Student of the University of Wisconsin – Stout between 2002 to 2006. And yes, I acquired the degree of Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Management within those four years.

Was it really all that to go though?

Check out these comparisons and yes, for you traditional going into the classrooms and learning in stuff students, and former students, and those companies or businesses whom are so skeptical in Human Resources: read this article. This might surprise you.

Don’t be a hater!

Plus, if there are those whom might think that Online Education is easy: like the classroom, it can be as hard as the regular classroom!

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

I need to chance to vent out right now. Forgive me WordPress, I have to do this. This past week it was reported that a current MATC Student was taking a test via blackboard, and after looking at the results which was not the only results. But what was the THE result of this matter was the fact that the students username had included the words dumb N****r after her given name. The student, Erica Hughes was upset and sad that this tragic racial slur  has to hit the college, and in this 21st Century of being able to learn and work. And plus, the word about this slur stuff got on the internet via a Facebook Group Political Page, through the community activists about the problem at the school.

Personally, I need to say this as an MATC Alum who knows the game of online distance learning (and conversely a UW-Stout Distance Education Alum too) what in the living HELL is going on? Who in their right mind would trample on this student’s username stuff and had the nerve to add dumb n****r on the blackboard account? Hold up, I thought we are supposed to live in this “post racial” society, right? What a joke. Hey Ann Coulter fans, you want to see where the real racists are, look in your classrooms online and many other areas. As an alum, I find this to be embarrassing, disappointing, and also being very disrespectful towards students of African-Decent! And stuff likes this, keeps Milwaukee, or should I say “the Greater Milwaukee Area” pinpointed as being the most Segregated City in America. When I was doing Online classes back in the day, I never had that happened to me. EVER. If the school does not get their stuff together, I as an alum will probably NOT donate nor set foot in that school until this is resolved! I’m serious. I’m pulling a UW-Stout protest on this one. Either they fire the instructor, or IT person to get this resolved. The last time that MATC had a problem similar to this, a guy that worked in the Distance Education department was fired because he was drunk back around early 2004.  I kid you not! I should add, it was a white guy. Plus, what is the MATC President saying in all of this? Haven’t heard nothing.  I know the school has been in existence for 100 years. But for stuff like this, is not an excuse. And already the news media is on the case.

MATC: I say this as an Alum, Get your stuff together! 

Greetings Americans. Happy B-Day. 235 years, huh? Not knocking the notion on Americans Independence here. But I am glad by the grace of God that I can still type and breathe on this day of Independence. But also are those who don’t have a heart nor will to celebrate. I was reading The Grio website, about two articles: one about blacks shouldn’t celebrate the fourth and the other about the 4th belonging to us. Yes, it’s true not everyone will or had celebrated the nation’s independence. For most who keep score at home, the Declaration of Independence was signed at the same time when blacks were still slaves. It took from 1776 to 1865 just to get the shackles off of the ankles of my black forefathers. Frederick Douglass asked the question in his day; “What to the slave is the Fourth of the July?

This was a real question that had to be answered. What did it meant? The slaves didn’t have any right or privileges. The only key to their freedom at the time was joining up with the Continental Army under George Washington. And the same with the British. Read about this stuff and you’ll know why, especially those who refuse to celebrate. I think to myself, what would it take for African-Americans to celebrate the 4th? What would it take? The previous holiday independence for us black folk was Juneteenth Day. Most of us think and believe that is OUR Fourth of July. This however, not much. I think one option that would be beneficial for this, is to summarize that even though that African-Americans had it bad in various eras in American History, but there were some positives. And also those positives lead to pointers to help build this nation. Why can’t that be recognized by US?! (that much) Why can’t other folks give us credit that we deserve? Ranging from Fresh Ideas of inventions, to novels, to handling the ability to take out Osama Bin Laden.  That’s right George W. Bush fans. At least give President Obama credit or some street cred on this.

Sadly after this day is over, and we the next day go back to work or summer school, the same everyday problems will continue happen ranging from Racial Profiling, High Unemployment, and discrimination against blacks for not getting the jobs in general. For once this happened to me. Last year, I wrote about Dresser Waukesha for not hiring African-Americans in Wisconsin. I was one of the 390 African-Americans who received a $5,000 Check based on the thought that I was dissed because of my black skin color. All I did was handed in a resume. The city I reside in, is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. The issue is the fact that yes, independence was handed to me personally. And yet I begin to ask, if this country of America is SUPPOSED to be a nation of freedom, why was I discriminated against my race over job opportunities? IN WISCONSIN! Five years ago, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management. I used the notion of getting the degree by using Distance Education in which some here in the Milwaukee area (either locally or personally) thought I had to go onto campus just to finish it. Also, some of those locally ranged from the Milwaukee Urban League, Manpower and a company that was too personal – Spherion. They dissed me folks. All because they thought that I wouldn’t find a job in all. They thought I was wasting my time and attacking me all because I wouldn’t do the education thing the old school way. After realizing this, it was not my mother’s education, my father’s education, NOR my sister’s education. This was MY education. I made this Stout thing for me, and I finished this Stout thing for me. Talk about getting my independence. When I got my degree, I thought about the haters that I previously described (as in Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success). This Distance Education thing may not be a traditional thing for some, but it worked for me in getting that piece of paper. Where are the haters on this issue now?

I know this doesn’t mean much today, but it does. I know that getting a $5,000.00 check didn’t meant much, but it does. OK so I have my reasons to get my independence day on. But seriously, I think it would take a while to get us black folks to try to celebrate this 4th of July. And any other 4th in the future. We still go through mess and have to sing God Bless America? Seriously?!!

So this is the 235th year of Independence. But now, at what costs? So as we celebrate, put these in order. Thank God First. Then thank the troops. Then your friends, neighbors, jobs, families and of course YOU! Why God has to be thanked first before the Armed Forces? If it hadn’t been for God, we wouldn’t have a Independence Day to celebrate, PERIOD! And as for the Army Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are concerned, they do a fine job. All the power to them. But they have to realize that they must give God the Glory first too!

Take note Americans.

“Without struggle, there can be no progress” – Frederick Douglass

By now, Wisconsin, we have seen the results and haps of that Rookie Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin, as a fellow in-state neighbor, I told you so! I kept telling you, telling you, and telling you. Didn’t you listen?!!! Now, the rookie governor is taking off more than he can chew. Now even more that the Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, has this so-called “martial law” against all members of the Wisconsin 14, that if they don’t show up, they will be held in contempt. And if they crossed back into the state, they will be arrested on the spot. And forced into the senate chambers to make the vote possible for Walker. Really Scott?! But in a report from Ashland Wisconsin, if offers a different opinion: that if the Senators show up  and handcuffed,  then the Majority Leader himself will be filed in contempt! Simply, they, the  Wisconsin 14 didn’t perform no vicious crimes. They didn’t show nothing in my opinion that would make them to jail! Technically, it would fall flat on Scott Walker’s face. And I mean fall flat! Again, this movement I think, is going to change Wisconsin from a swing state, to a one color state that I think would be best: Democratic Blue.

The Wisconsin 14 have become outlaws! Real outlaws for standing up for those who can’t stand for themselves. Now normally, those oppose them are calling them cowards, and criminals. REALLY?! So you’re the ones who think that having teachers in schools is a crock? You think that having BadgerCare, and Unions are a past signs of the times that should be faded out? So you’re the ones who think that taking 900 Million Dollars from Schools in all and give it the citizens of the rich kids and having those living in the inner city not receiving quality education? Really?!  Is this what this state has come to? Talk about moronic!

I am a product of receiving decent good education. I went through Milwaukee Public Schools, the Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and the UW System (that’s University of Wisconsin to you) just trying to be the best. – EVER. I know I’m not getting any recognitions some time soon, but I can give it to  those over the years that I sat in those classrooms, I can publicly (PUBLICLY) thank all those teachers that put me on the hot seat, those that pushed be to sit in front of the class, those that well, really gave it to me that no one else didn’t do: Encouragement. Those those revered me to say, slow down, start again. Now that’s how to thank teachers. My mother worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools systems for nearly 34 years, and yes I was in her summer school class eons ago. Moving forward, my University Alma Mater – the University of Wisconsin-Stout challenged me to use Distance Education as means to get me engaged in doing education in a semi-tradition manner. A manner in which organizations like the Milwaukee Urban League, and Milwaukee’s Manpower thought that I had “to go on campus and leaving Milwaukee”. – How wrong  and pathetic and stupid they turned out when I didn’t continue with them. And to this day, even it will be 5 years in the making, that I can tell my story and not worrying about some other bloggers in Milwaukee telling me that I shouldn’t . WRONG I should!!!!  For the Technical Colleges, it was another chance for me to redo my college thing, and performing my chance to get my first college degree of associates, and trying it to sell my Printing skills to companies that should matter. And then there’s public schools. All those times I had to go to summer school. All those times when Parent Conferences were worrisome for me. All those times when band directors injecting me with confidence to march in parades, and join jazz ensembles. This is what teachers can do. This is what GOOD teachers can accomplish. And even though that I had some issues, but I can say that they did their job in prepping for my future. This also why I’m giving back as an Alumnus to be apart of Alumni Associations to help out the Old Schools that taught me.

Oh, I forgot…..some are not down with that. And I think that those who voted up for Scott Walker who wanted things their way may get backfired. Some of the conservatives are now backing off of what Scott Walker is doing favorably. Hold the phone! – Does this mean that the folks should have voted for Barrett? I said this on Facebook, and I’m saying it here: If  Tom Barrett would have been Governor now, the whole country would not had to worry about what’s going on in Wisconsin. High Speed Rail would be a reality. None of the unions wouldn’t be protesting. Teachers wouldn’t be skipping out in support of the unions, etc. And not to forget about those obnoxious recalls info and the Wisconsin 14 wouldn’t be thought about along with the use of actblue. Most of us would still be revisiting the Green Bay Packers winning the SuperBowl all over again, and getting prepared for next season (if the NFL doesn’t have a lockout). And even: Wrestlemania. But those things are not important right now. What is important that folks livelihoods are at stake and it needs to be solved. – The right way. And so far, the Wisconsin14  are doing it their way to make a statement by putting country before party, by thinking about the people.


Here is a Retro Blog I wrote about Distance Education in 2007 on the old My Fox Milwaukee Blog Site. My viewpoint of this was to educate to those who felt about the use of Distance Ed. I was faced a lot of criticism about this, even from organizations like the Milwaukee Urban League and Manpower. I proved that it can work, without attending campus. It wasn’t sacrilegious, it was a point that had to proven. Even I had those close to me thought almost the same way.  But they were all wrong.
Back in January, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a story about Distance Education at UW-Milwaukee. I read about, or in this case summarized how the instructors and students interacted with each other by using online courses, and I think video conferencing for working on their course work. As I was reading the article, I can understand from both sides that some wanted the courses because of work, and others wanted to use the “old-school” method of going into a class room with a teacher upfront.

For those of you checked out my profile, I have a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management via Distance Education from UW-Stout. I earned the degree in May of 2006. I get this question all the time: How did you do it? or What was it like? Alright. Pay attention, and read on because I am going to lend my four year summary of being a distance education student. And also, if some of you bloggers out there have companies that are looking for entry-level, recent graduates, you may need to pay attention also about school my experience also because I am looking for full-time work! The areas I am searching are entry-level work in Customer Service, Engineering, Financial Accounting, Internet, Safety, Entertainment, Graphic Arts, Sports Teams, Administrative Assistance, and Government -either state, federal, city, or county.

The story begins when I was laid off from working as a Offset Press Operator at UW-Milwaukee. I remember telling my mother about what happened in all. But the thing that got me, was going back to school. So a couple months later, I enrolled at MATC by taking extra liberal arts courses. Previously, I earned a Associates Degree in Printing and Publishing in May of 2000. So after a couple of months getting back into college mode, I started to look for universities around Wisconsin. I looked at UW-Milwaukee (of course), UW-Platteville, and the school I recently attended, UW-Stout. I also remember talking to a my former graphic arts teacher, Anne Steinberg about my potential education plans. I told her about Platteville and Milwaukee, but she recommended Stout. The school had connections with MATC with the associates degrees programs like printing. I also noticed that Stout is in a town of Menomonie, Wisconsin. Which is about 4 hours northwest of Milwaukee. So there was another option. Taking the courses through online and video conferencing.

I have already began the familiarity of the new style of distance education. It’s a hustle each day like clockwork. You check your work, contact your instructor, chat with your classmates and get your assignments done in a week. Sometimes in one day depending on your classes. Overall for me it was a hustle, because you do not want to miss anything each time you log on. Plus, there was a chance for me to have a balance between work and study.And this was done mostly through emails, and part of video conferencing.

Speaking of that. The Video Conferencing portion of my degree was like a real classroom. I was with students whom had experiences with their fields of employment. I met them who worked at Modine, Saks, MATC, GE, a hospital, factory, and one from Arthur Anderson! I kid you not! I came into the class with some experience in printing and bindery skills. Also the class format was set at MATC, WCTC, Madison’s MATC and the primary school, UW-Stout. If you ever had gone into a video conference room, it is set with a wall screen, microphones on tables, a control panel that a technician checks out in prior to class time, live cameras – (word of warning don’t cheat!) and additional monitors around the room. This was at MATC’s Downtown Campus in the Student Center.

I had this exposed to me before, as a high school senior at Marshall High School back in 1995. And it was published as the first time that a U.S. High School met a British Technical College via Video Conference hookup. The school’s name was called Hugh Christie Tech School. If I remember, video conferencing was at one time published in the Journal Sentinel Jump section back in March of ’95 (I got the article, by the way).

About the classwork, usually the instructor have the assignments posted online in prior before class time. Either in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. We go over the work, take quizzes, have class discussions, do the assigned work, the homework is collected by the technician and mailed to the instructor at Stout during the following week, and is handed back by a week later. And plus, I didn’t have to attend the campus according to the Industrial Management Program standards. The classes I took ranged from Technical Writing, Engineering Economy, Management Quality, Leadership, Quality Tools, Occupational Safety/Loss Control, Project Management, Training in Human Resources, Strategic Management, and Financial Accounting just to name a few.

After look back at this, I realized that this was hard work. And in another sense, a gamble. Part of the reason of the gamble because although I kept this ship going, I had told some companies and organizations that didn’t take this as a regular option, in a negative sense. From the Milwaukee Urban League to Manpower, to Spherion, they somewhat that an assumption that I couldn’t get a job because I was taking classes differently, and would not get me a chance because of my commitment to education. Maybe because of their “behavior problems” at me. This was back in 2004, and I was going through a struggling time of finding work. In reality, I wanted to work and I felt frustrated and angry at them. Some of them got real personal about my income, education, and work ethic. But I let my distance education do the talking and I kept my focus on my school work continuously in 2005. I remember telling them that if they wanted to learn about me, they should talk to those who know me besides my former supervisors: my church family! And I am a 4th Generation United Methodist Church member too.

By 2006, I was on my way to the promised land. May 13th of that year will always be the date that I set foot on campus with my family and neighbor. That was the spring commencement. When my name was called, and I walked across the stage, that was a feeling that I did something. Not only I graduated, but I finished my degree by using distance education, in which only a few accomplish. Also, I did additional classwork at MATC to transfer courses to the University every semester. That was also like winning the WWE Championship, and also grasping the common goal of realizing potential. And I remember telling my church the next day about the graduation ceremony that took place at Stout and finishing my major. Plus, it was a mother’s day gift for mom.

So to close, Let this be a lesson to you future UW Students or any college students that are thinking about this style of study. Don’t be afraid to take an opportunity to try. There will be individuals or groups of people that would attack you from all sides, angles and attempt to break you, and hurt your feelings. Just keep focused on what you started and finished it. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if it to your program advisers. I had to do that alot, – kudos to Wendy Dittmann. And the final advice, stay driven to excellence, your beliefs, confidence and faith. Plus, get as many scholarships, grants as you can, while staying over the 2.0 GPA Limit. If you keep this up, better chances you would develop your opportunity for your passion.

To learn about UW-Stout, the city of Menomonie (this is one way spelling the name) and the Industrial Management Distance Education Program (now called Management) visit the website and take notes:

My four year journey as a UW-Stout Student is nearing it’s end. After all the hard work and perseverence will finally payoff, and I’ll be ready (hopefully) for the big time. As I anticipate this event, I must keep in mind that there is a difference between a COMMENCEMENT and a GRADUATION. The term “Commencement” is defined as a exercise ceremony in order to be recogized as a candiate to become a graduate.

The Chancellor and Graduating Class of University of Wisconsin-Stout announce that

Stephen Thomas McClinton, Jr.
is a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in
Industrial Management at the Commencement Exercises
Saturday, May thirteenth Two Thousand Six
at two o’clock in the afternoon
Johnson Fieldhouse
 And “GRADUATION” is defined as well, having the document that you have passed the requirements. So, as of right now, May 13th I will be one of the many at UW-Stout to walk across the stage and be recognized as a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management.
By now, I am checking my grades, for the last time. And it appears that the grades of an A-, A, and a C- would put the nail in the coffin for my education, and a secure investment for my B.S. degree. Also, does education continues? I may expecting a bachelor’s but somewhere down the line that I would think about acquiring a Master’s degree in whatever. If that happens, so be it. But for right now, I want to celebrate my achievement of a bachelor’s degree, and proving in a fashion of completing it via distance education. This same style that some doubted. Some thought it was not possible. Some even thought that I should be on campus. Believe me, folks: it does work, only if you believe.
Four years ago, I never knew anything about UW-Stout, but now, I understand and can tell about the University. Now, I can do what other members of the Alumni are doing as of this point, by telling upcoming college students about the school, and I also want to tell the upcoming students of color (especially black) about having another option of coming to Stout.
Where do I go from here? Like I said in church, I don’t know where it is, or when it is, but I’m a do it.
This mission of obtaining a bachelor’s degree is complete. This was a five year journey that started in late 2001, and now, it has been culminated.
UW-Stout Class of 2006!