The MCTC News Blog

Ahmed: Using Career Services to Get Ahead

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

ahmed, mctc student“When I started at MCTC, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. That’s why I studied Liberal Arts—it gave me the most options for transferring,” said Ahmed Abdulle, MCTC alum and current University of Minnesota student.

Ahmed’s story represents the experience of many students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College: he went to high school in the Twin Cities, knew he needed to go to college, but didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, so he entered with a broad plan to get his generals out of the way and then transfer to a four-year college.

“I needed a work-study job while in college, but I wasn’t even sure of where I could work,” Ahmed said. “I connected with MCTC’s Career Services department and they helped me so much. I actually wound up working with them in a work-study job. While helping to pay for some of my studies, I learned about how to be professional, develop confidence and keep my mind open.”

Through Career Services, Ahmed connected with Minneapolis Urban Scholars, a 12-week leadership development internship program aiming to provide students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with professional experience in order to develop leadership skills and create career pathways to positions of influence. “Through my internship with the City, I had the opportunity to meet the mayor and the City Council several times,” said Ahmed. “The people I met working with the City are people who both live and work right here. They know the community well, and they were committed to diversifying the city’s workforce specifically with programs like Urban Scholars.”

Now studying IT Infrastructure at the University of Minnesota, Ahmed has a goal. “I’m focusing on the strategic, business, planning side of IT along with the traditional topics like networking and storage,” he said. “I’m a tech-savvy person, but I’m more interested in focusing on planning.” Ahmed is currently interning with a cloud team at Thomson Reuters to support some of its business units.

“When I started college, I didn’t know what I wanted to study or what my skill level was,” he said. “The Career Services staff helped me understand my strengths, areas for improvement, how to develop work ethics and how to network. I was able to drawn on their experience and knowledge base to get ahead in life.”

MCTC Waives Application Fee for One Week During College Knowledge Month

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC campusThis October, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will waive its $20 application fee for one week in celebration of College Knowledge Month.

Celebrated in October, College Knowledge Month is a statewide effort between high schools and postsecondary institutions to engage, inform and support students as they enter into the college application process. Every one of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities across the state is waiving application fees for all or part of College Knowledge Month.

Interested students can begin the application process here.

“Every day, our colleges and universities deliver the highest value, most affordable higher education option in the state of Minnesota,” said Steven Rosenstone, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities chancellor. “In keeping with this commitment, we are pleased to waive application fees as part of College Knowledge Month and look forward to partnering with high schools as they encourage students to explore the many ways higher education offers a path to a brighter future.”

Throughout the month and around the state, staff from all the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will be volunteering at high school events to assist students with applications and sharing information about the college experience.

Application fees for qualified low-income students are always waived at all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.\

For more information, contact any of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.

MCTC Student Support Center Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month with Events

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC studentsIn recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the MCTC Student Support Center is engaging with the college and local community to present these events. All faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to attend and participate!

  • Monday, Oct. 5: Domestic Violence Unity Day and kickoff of cell phone drive for domestic violence shelters
    • MCTC community members who have old cell phones can donate them! Donated cell phones will be distributed to domestic violence shelters. In addition, Verizon will make a donation in the name of the college that receives the most donations for this event. The drive runs through Friday, Oct. 30. Donations can be made on Oct. 5 in the T Skyway, and in T.2300 for the remainder of the month
    • Wear purple, the color of domestic violence awareness, on this day—or pick up your purple pin to show your support for domestic violence awareness!
    • This event is sponsored by MCTC Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities as well as the Compliance department.
    • This event is co-sponsored by Verizon Wireless, on behalf of MCTC and a select number of other colleges, in support of domestic violence awareness. Verizon will be tabling on this day and raffling products like tablets
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20: Mental Health Awareness Day
    • 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.: Mental Health Fair, T Skyway
    • 1:30–2:30 p.m.: NAMI speaker session—Insights: Confronting and Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness. Refreshments will be available. L.3100
    • 2:40–4 p.m.: Depression screening, Disability Services suite, T.2400
      • Not concerned about depression? This is an opportunity to learn more about tools that may relate to future work or personal interactions. There is also an opportunity for students to assist with scoring or other related activities
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: Bullying Prevention Awareness Day
    • Wear orange, the color of bullying awareness, on this day— or pick up an orange pin in T.2300 to show your support for bullying prevention awareness!
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27: Domestic Violence Awareness and Bullying Resource Fair
    • 11:30m.–1:30 p.m: Tabling. Local agencies related to domestic violence and/or bullying will be tabling to share information, education and aid available to those in the MCTC community. T Skyway
    • 1:30–3 p.m.: Domestic violence panel. The panel will address the effects of domestic violence on individuals, families and the community as well as provide an opportunity to share personal experiences and stories. L.3100
    • This event is sponsored by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities and the Compliance department


In the News: Central Corridor Anchor Partnerships Gain National Attention

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Members of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) met at the White House Summit on Apprenticeships recently to discuss a resolution passed this May to support a pilot initiative to integrate education and career planning for two-year degree nurses. “This is fantastic news for the students we serve who are pursuing health care careers,” noted MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa in this article from the Central Corridors Anchor Partnership. “It is gratifying to see a White House Summit bringing attention and traction to an apprenticeship model that is very relevant to our students.”

The original story is posted below.

Nursing Apprenticeship Concept Gains National Attention

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A White House Summit on Apprenticeships last week shone a spotlight on an apprenticeship model to promote greater access to healthcare careers.  Laura Beeth, Fairview’s System Director of Talent Acquisition and chair of CCAP’s workforce development work group was one of 100 leaders at the national summit, and she spoke to the gathering immediately after Vice President Joseph Biden.  U.S. Senator Al Franken was a keynote speaker at the event, along with Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Beeth learned in Washington that Fairview will receive a $750,000 grant to support 150 nurses and other healthcare workers advance on career ladders through a Department of Labor apprenticeships grant.  A key focus for the project is supporting two year degree nurses to obtain four year degrees and better wages, which the Partnership believes is a critical element to its goal of hiring more Central Corridor residents.  The funding for Fairview is part of a $5 million federal grant to the Minnesota Department of Economic and Employee Development (DEED) and the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to expand registered apprenticeships in high-growth jobs, including health care.

“It is great news to receive such strong support from the White House Summit,” reflected Beeth. “Now I hope that this grant can inspire additional funding to adapt and expand this model and serve a larger number of Central Corridor residents seeking health care careers.”

CCAP Support for Apprenticeships Model

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership adopted a resolution on May 12 this year to support a pilot initiative to integrate education and career planning for two year degree nurses to work for several years in long term care, while they complete a BSN degree and receive training and support for ultimate employment opportunities in acute care.  The Partnership has recognized that there are strong national, state, local and organizational pressures to have at least eighty percent (80%) or more of hospital nursing jobs filled with four year BSN nurses by the year 2020.  While significant progress is being made to promote more diversity in four year BSN programs, two year degree nursing graduates have traditionally been a more ethnically and culturally diverse population than the four year degree graduates, and thus are important to the CCAP’s workforce goal and objectives.  Sixty-five percent (65%) of St. Paul College’s nursing students, for example, are persons of color; sixty percent (60%) of MCTC’s nursing graduates this year were born outside of the U.S.

“This is fantastic news for the students we serve who are pursuing health care careers,” noted Avelino Mills-Novoa, President of Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  “It is gratifying to see a White House Summit bringing attention and traction to an apprenticeship model that is very relevant to our students.”

Time for Creative Partnerships

MCTC has a nursing education partnership with Augsburg College, where MCTC nursing students are provisionally admitted to Augsburg’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.  According to Augsburg’s President and CCAP Chair Paul Pribbenow, this is but one example of strategic alliances that the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership can pursue to promote educational and economic opportunity for  students.  “We are living in a time where creative and nimble partnerships are increasingly important,” Pribbenow observed.  “And you can see from the White House Summit that our Anchor Partnership is on the right track with this model.”

Two year degree nurses are more likely to find employment in long term care, where wages are lower, and resources for tuition reimbursement and nursing education advancement are more scarce.  Without thoughtful intervention, a more diverse nursing workforce in acute care is less likely, and the population of more diverse two year degree nurses are more likely to stay employed in long term care, where wages are lower and advancement opportunities are less.  The caregiver turnover rate and vacancy rate for long term care facilities in the Twin Cities are significant; and while many four year RNs may start their careers in long term   care, most have moved to acute care settings within a relatively short time.

Next Steps and National Significance

The Partnership’s work group is currently solidifying participation among hospitals, long term care facilities, and nursing educators to build the apprenticeship model and prepare funding applications.  The current plan calls for establishing up to 200 additional nursing apprenticeships, which when added to Fairview’s 150 would create a pilot of national significance.

MCTC Interim President and Vice President “Sleep Out” with YouthLink

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

YouthLink sleep outAs the night sky darkened under a rare “super blood moon,” MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa and Alberto Day, YouthLink ambassador and MCTC student on hiatus, took this photo (right) at YouthLink’s Night of Hope event September 27.

MCTC Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Troup and Avelino talked with Alberto at the event, encouraging him to finish his associate degree. Alberto has a dream of finishing his Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at the University of Minnesota – Morris and continuing on to become a social worker.

Interim President Avelino Mills-novoa would like to thank you to those everyone who generously donated to support YouthLink and its mission – donations totaled $2,500! It is not too late if you want to make a contribution. Please go to and scroll down to MCTC Team, click on the team, and make a contribution supporting YouthLink’s work on behalf of homeless youth. The webpage will be up through next week. Thank You!