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Waukesha County Technical College works toward fall reset, campuses to fully open in August

Fall semester will offer in-person, hybrid and online courses


PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Tuesday, March 30, 2021) – Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) leaders have been working diligently to create a fall 2021 reset plan to fully reopen its main Pewaukee and Waukesha campuses on Aug. 2, with the fall semester beginning Aug. 16.

Because of COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, in spring 2020, the College had to adjust its campus hours and access, shift course delivery options and provide alternative technologies to be used in placed of in-person meetings. Additionally, WCTC implemented strict safety, cleaning and disinfecting practices, along with enforcing masking and social distancing guidelines to keep the WCTC community safe. The College has followed, and continues to follow, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local health agencies.

As part of the fall reset, WCTC is looking forward to welcoming back students with in-person classes and labs at pre-COVID-19 levels, business hours returning to normal and support services being available in person. Prior to the virus outbreak, courses were offered in online, in-person and hybrid options and have been continuing in that manner.

WCTC President Rich Barnhouse, Ph.D., said the College and the country is at a very different place than it was 12 months ago, and that has helped shape the return-to-campus plan.

“What we do know is this is not March 2020 … when we had no control over the virus. We are not at the same level of concern as a year ago. Very soon, in Waukesha County, most people who want a vaccine will be able to receive a vaccine,” Barnhouse said. “We’re building a plan for return based on today and moving forward toward August.”

The return to campus is not unique to WCTC, Barnhouse said, as most colleges and universities around the country – and locally, including those in the Wisconsin Technical College System – will be reopening their physical doors in fall. However, he stressed, health and safety remains paramount.

“We’re changing the philosophy of: if it can be done off campus, then it must be done off campus, to if it can be done safely on campus, then it should be done safely on campus,” he said.

Both Barnhouse, and WCTC’s Vice President of Learning Brad Piazza, Ph.D., praised College employees for their commitment, flexibilty and dedication to WCTC and working creatively throughout the pandemic to provide positive experiences for students.

“If we think back to where we were a year ago and where we are now … that’s a testament of the work of everybody from one end of this campus to the other,” Piazza said.

Barnhouse added that he is looking forward to the energy that will return to campus with students, staff and faculty back in classrooms, labs and offices.

“We are going to be a vibrant campus, because presence matters,” he said.

>> For comprehensive, up-to-date information on how the College is navigating the health crisis, visit

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 150 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit