A balancing act

May 24, 2013

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Kurt Thern

With nine years of experience in several electronic engineering roles under his belt, Kurt Thern caught the teaching bug and landed a job with Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis., in 2004. A few years later, he decided to further his education.

“A master’s degree in engineering with a control systems emphasis was a natural progression from my work experience and undergraduate degree. Since I teach about automated manufacturing processes, it gave me more in-depth knowledge of the theory and ideas behind the processes,” Kurt said.

The advanced degree also gives him flexibility and opportunity within the Wisconsin Technical College System.

“One of the reasons I chose UW-Platteville was they did a nice job of presenting the online program. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I researched four online programs and UW- Platteville was the most organized. I found the information I needed on the website and was able to plot out my courses for the coming semesters,” Kurt said.

Kurt started in the master's in engineering program two years ago and recently wrapped up his coursework for graduation. “When you’re done, it feels good, a sense of accomplishment and pride."

He was able to balance two courses per semester, along with teaching and family obligations.

Kurt credits his successful balancing act to having a loving family that supported him, and setting priorities.

“Make time for the people and things you find most important. Don’t miss the kids’ school events or the occasional night out with your spouse. Instead, give up the extras. I scaled back on working overtime and volunteering.”

Time goes fast. Kurt’s coursework is complete. And he knows he chose the right program.

“UW-Platteville really has distance education nailed down. The curriculum and the instructors were great. I had good experiences all along. If I did have questions and called the office, Tara [Krueger ] responded within 24 hours. Every encounter was professional and the information was well-organized.

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