Frequently Asked Questions | Western Technical College

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated September 22, 2021

Common questions and answers related to Western's response to COVID-19 are below. Please check back regularly as this page will be updated as new information becomes available.

What is the current status of Western campuses? 

Starting Monday, September 27, Western will transition to a Modified Medium Risk category of our Return to Campus Plan. All Western buildings will be open during regular business hours and during after-hour class times. 

This category allows for a return to in-person services. You're encouraged to call ahead and make an appointment before coming on campus. Check Student Support Services for a list of services and links to pages with specific hours, formats, and contact information.   


Are there computer labs available on campus for me to use?

All computer labs will be available during regular hours.


When will classes be fully back in person?

Fall 2021 term classes are scheduled with face-to-face programming and services with continuing safety measures.


How will I know what format my classes will be?

Your MyWestern Student Portal has the most up-to-date information available for course format. You can check the class format when registering for classes. Once registered, you can confirm the format following the instructions below.

To check your class formats:

  1. Log in to your MyWestern Student Portal
  2. Under My Links, to the right, click on Self Service
  3. On the red tabs at the top, click on Classes
  4. Click Schedule
  5. Click Student Schedule
  6. Click on the name of each class
  7. Within the course description, you will see the Delivery Method

I don’t know if I can take remote classes successfully.  Will you have resources available for me?

Western is 100% committed to ensuring you have the support you need to be successful in a remote learning environment. We can help with everything from Access Services and Military Connected Services to Technology Support. Our instructors are personally committed to your success in the online learning environment.

Prior to beginning classes, Western requires a Student Readiness Training for online, hybrid, and blended courses. This training will help prepare you for these formats.


Will I be required to complete screening each day?

After June 1, 2021, Western will no longer be requiring daily screening for entry into our buildings.


Do I have to wear a mask?

Effective August 9, 2021, Western is requiring face coverings inside all buildings for all students, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. This comes from the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local and state data, which recommends the use of face coverings where there is high or substantial community spread of COVID-19.

If you have a condition which makes wearing a mask difficult, you can request an accommodation through our Access Services department. Contact Kris Follansbee at follansbeek@westerntc.edu.


Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is an important step in protecting yourself and others from getting COVID-19. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccinations as soon as they are able. Below are links to resources that provide more information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

La Crosse County

Please also check the website of your county of residence.


How will the college communicate with me? 

Western is committed to timely, accurate, and honest communication to our entire community. Our latest updates will be sent via email and posted on our website pages devoted to COVID-19, or follow news updates we provide on our official FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts. 

Employees may also find updates relevant to their work on Western’s intranet site


How do I get my books?

The Campus Shop bookstore is open weekdays. Visit the Campus Shop website for more information.


Is food service available on the La Crosse campus?

Yes, the Union Market will be open for breakfast and lunch. Staff will be following guidance from the CDC and La Crosse County Health Department to prioritize the health and safety of employees and guests. For more information, including menus and hours, visit www.theunionmarket.com.


What if I experience or observe harassment or discrimination? 

Western is committed to providing a safe space for all students, employees and staff. Prejudiced behavior violates our values and our policies, and should be reported. If you experience or observe harassment or discrimination, Western’s Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy outlines how to address and report these types of unacceptable incidents. 


I work to pay for college, but I lost my job due to COVID-19. How can the college help me stay in school?

If you are experiencing financial challenges due to COVID-19, you can apply for assistance through CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.   


How do I get access to Wi-Fi and a computer to take online courses?

If you are a currently registered student, Western is providing access to free wireless access points in several parking lots. See Wi-Fi Locations for details. The college is also loaning laptops to qualifying students free of charge. Contact your College Advisor for more information on our laptop rental options.

Additionally, the Main La Crosse Campus and our Regional Locations have open computer labs. For available hours, visit the Computer Labs or Regional Locations web pages.


Will my tuition change due to COVID-19?

Western’s tuition is set by the Wisconsin Technical College System state board, so we do not have local control over tuition rates. We don’t anticipate that the System will make any alternation to tuition at this time.

Western has made many accommodations to assist students, however. We understand the potential financial hardships, not to mention the emotional stress that has been caused.

To date, our response includes:

  • Waiving the application fee for the summer and fall 2020, as well as the spring, summer, and fall 2021 terms
  • Promoting our Student Emergency Fund and seeking additional donations
  • Coordinating special COVID-19 federal student funding 
  • Allowing qualifying students to check out laptops for the term, free of charge
  • Waiving the parking permit requirement for fall term for those who come to campus for any reason

I think I may have COVID. What do I do?

We have created a symptom chart found here. If you are experiencing symptoms or have concerns about already being exposed, please:

  1. Stay home.
  2. Contact your healthcare provider.
  3. Students notify your instructor, employees notify your supervisor.
  4. Fill out the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form and a staff member will contact you within 24 hours to obtain additional information and offer assistance.

For questions or concerns related to Western’s COVID-19 precautions and preventative measures, contact the COVID-19 Monitoring Team at covid19@westerntc.edu.


What happens if I have to miss classes due to having COVID or being exposed?

As part of Western’s ongoing safety measures, students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure are asked not to come to campus. We realize this precaution can impact class attendance. With that in mind, we have revised the Excused Absence Policy. In summary, it expanded a policy to include COVID-related absences as accepted circumstances for missing class without penalty, provided qualifications are met.


Who do I contact at Western for general help?

If you’re new to Western, an Admissions Coach can help you get started. If you’re already registered for classes, your College Advisor is always a good place to start. If you’re unsure where to direct your questions, call our main number 608-785-9200 for assistance.

Regular business hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00-4:30, Friday 8:00-4:00.

CONTACT US

Have questions or concerns related to Western’s COVID-19 precautions and preventive measures? Contact Western's COVID-19 Monitoring Team: