Integrated Education and Training Students Take First Steps on Path to Success

Program participants celebrate completing healthcare and business management courses

Mark Feldmann,

May 21, 2024

Alexus Shinal

At MATC I have found a new passion for what I want to do, and, wow, it feels great.

Alexus Shinal MATC IET Student

Three months ago, Alexus Shinal sat in her living room and made a list of what she wanted to accomplish in life.

“I had all the determination in the world,” she said. “It was a time for seriousness and success.”

Thanks to Milwaukee Area Technical College, Shinal has checked several things off her list: She earned her GED certificate  and got a head start on college by taking courses through MATC’s Integrated Education and Training (IET) program, where students can earn college credit in certain career areas while simultaneously completing their alternative GED or High School Equivalency Diploma.

On Thursday, May 16, Shinal spoke at a ceremony recognizing 11 students who completed IET programs in Healthcare Customer Service, Office Technology Assistant and Bilingual Office Assistant.

Shinal finished two healthcare customer service courses and is ready to start a new chapter in her life. “At MATC I have found a new passion for what I want to do, and, wow, it feels great,” she said at the ceremony, held at the MATC Education Center at Walker’s Square.

Students received certificates and congratulations from Isamary Reyes, IET coordinator; Dr. Sadique Isahaku, executive dean of academic strategy and innovation; and IET instructors Samira Bourkadi, Cindy Richardson and Tatyana Richardson.

“You have proved that it’s never too late to invest in yourself and your future,” Dr. Isahaku told the students. “This is just the beginning. Showing your competencies in these subjects gives you a strong foundation for continued success in life.”

Students in the program earned six college credits that they can use to start an associate degree or technical diploma program at MATC. 

“These classes count for something,” said Dr. Eric Gass, dean of MATC’s Healthcare Pathway. “You have a head start.”

Carl Meredith, dean of the college’s Business and Management Pathway, told the students to keep moving forward with their education and lives. “Don’t stop here,” he said. “Take the next step and always be a life-long learner. 

“You took these classes while working jobs and taking care of families,” Meredith added. “Those difficult moments make you better. The balance you achieved will give you the resilience and tenacity to be successful in life.”

Learn about MATC's IET programs

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 30,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 180 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities.