2 Year or 4 Year College? Why I Chose Western Technical College in WI

Senior year of high school is an exciting but stressful time in life. Everything you’ve known is coming to an end and you’re about to get thrown into a whole new world. Deciding if you want to attend college after high school, and deciding between colleges, is the biggest stressor. A big question that comes up in high schooler’s minds is, “should I go to a 2 year college or 4 year college?” There are many factors to consider, and after a lot of researching, thinking, comparing, and touring, I decided that for me, Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI was the right place to go to.

2 Year vs. 4 Year College

Photo of girl researching, deciding if she should go to a 2 year or 4 year college

There are many reasons why I chose to come to Western Technical College.

Inexpensive  – The cost of schooling is a huge factor to consider. It determines if you can even afford to attend somewhere, the amount of loans you’ll have to pay back, and the number of years after graduating the you’ll be paying loans. Tuition and fees at Western Technical College for a year are inexpensive: around $3,784, but at UWL for example, it would be about $8,832 (for in-state), which is more than double! This is a big thing when deciding to go to a technical school vs. a university.

Hands-on Classes – A big aspect Western advertises is that their classes are hands-on and career-focused which helps students directly learn skills needed for their future. The staff focuses on the end goal of getting that job you want in your field, so they teach you skills and information that will be needed and useful in the real world

Up-to-date Technology – This is another reason why Western is a good choice, especially if you’re going into fields that use technology. From what I experienced, the graphic design department’s technology was up-to-date, which kept students up educated about current trends and taught them the skills they’ll need in future jobs.

On-campus Housing at a Technical College – A huge consideration for incoming college students from high school is where they are going to live. Western Technical College’s on-campus dorms, called the Residence Hall, is a great option.  This is an easy choice for high school students if they want secure, spacious, modern, and on-campus dorms to live at and meet friends at. It’s one of the few technical colleges in Wisconsin that have dorm rooms!

Western’s Extracurricular Activities – The small things at a college matter as much as the big things. Western offers various extracurricular activities to do along with your schooling. Check out the list of the clubs and organizations you could join. There are also recreational and intramural sports that anyone could join!

Western Tech’s Marketing and Graphic Design Program

I came to Western to enroll in their 2 year Graphic Design program, which I have loved and learned a lot from. Along with my graphic design classes, I decided to go a little out of the way and take a class in the Marketing program, called Promotion Principles. It was one of the recommended electives for students in my program, and I wanted to get as much as I could out of my college experience, so I decided to enroll in it. All of my program’s classes had been very graphic design heavy (which was good, since that’s what I wanted to do with my degree in the future), but I didn’t learn very much about the business or marketing side of things. I’m very glad that I decided to take the class — it helped show me what a graphic designer’s work can accomplish and what businesses would want my work to accomplish.

An example of this is when I learned about the creative brief in my Promotion Principles class. A creative brief is a document that’s written in a business or agency that explains the product specification, target audience, brand positioning, objectives, creative strategy, and creative execution for a promotion; this is then handed down to the graphic designers who actually put the creative brief into action and create or design the promotion to fit those specifications. Learning about that showed me a different perspective and helped put the puzzle pieces together in my head of how a business works in the real world. Learning about marketing side of business made me feel like a more well-rounded graphic designer.

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