Close to Home

Close to Home

Spring 2019

| By: Britten, Casey

A strong regional presence puts everyone closer to a college degree.

Once three of her four children were old enough to be in school, Kim Ebben-Kalbus felt it was time for her to go back, too. “I started taking a few software classes in Clintonville because it’s so close to home,” she says. “It became evident that I could easily earn a college degree because everyone was so supportive and friendly.”

Today, the 31-year-old native of New London, Wisconsin, is working toward degrees in Accounting and Business Management. She attends on-site classes at FVTC’s Clintonville Regional Center or uses one of its learning spaces to take web-based collaborative classes. “I’m taking between nine and 13 credits each semester,” she says. “My kids always remind me to do my homework, just like I’m always reminding them.”

Ebben-Kalbus recommends using an FVTC regional center for continuing education. “Clintonville is just 15 minutes from my home, and everyone there makes going back to school more than doable,” she notes. “The staff and instructors helped me plan my course load and overall schedule while providing resources for extra help, if needed.”

Ebben-Kalbus will graduate with both degrees in less than three years. She says her friends are surprised that she has the time to go to school. “My husband and I farm about 400 acres,” she says. “In addition, we own a trucking company, and I work part-time at ThedaCare with a young child at home.”

FVTC regional centers are designed to support busy rural students like Ebben-Kalbus. “FVTC helped me gain the skills I needed while keeping up with four kids and other daily work duties,” she says.