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Felisha Burns: Seeking a Career, Not Just a Job

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Felisha Burns, MCTC alumFelisha Burns had to grow up fast.

A native of South Minneapolis, she lost her mother at age 13. “My dad raised me, but he worked a lot,” she said. “He worked second shift at the postal service. If I got home from school and he wasn’t there, I had to work things out for myself.”

She began working at age 14—first at Burger King, then at a gas station near Loring Park in Downtown Minneapolis. “I worked there for awhile and made enough to pay for my own place. It was great while I was young, but eventually I asked myself if I wanted to be doing that for the rest of my life.”

When Felisha’s cousin told her she was considering going back to school, Felisha realized it was a great next step. “We did it together,” she said. “That’s when my journey began.”

When Felisha began studying at the school then known as Minneapolis Community College (MCC), she focused her energy on acquiring one degree. “When I was done just two years later, the college was called MCTC, and I had five diplomas and certificates.”

Felisha knew she wanted to work in a business office, and throughout her studies in Business Office Technology picked up skills in keyboarding, data entry, business math and specialized office support. She needed a job to support herself during school, and started working at TCF Bank, where she would stay for five years. During her time at MCTC, Felisha was invited to participate in a business speaking competition in Duluth. “I was surprised my instructor asked me, but she believed I could succeed,” she said. “When I arrived at the competition and drew a random speech topic, it turned out to be the same topic I focused on all semester in class. I knew I could deliver that speech.”

As graduation grew closer, Felisha grew into her adult self. “When my classmates and I first started at the College, we didn’t have a clue who each other was,” she said. “But the closer I got to graduation, the more nervous I was, and my classmates felt the same way. We all had things going on in our lives. We all knew what our goals were and we all supported each other.” Felisha and her classmates attended graduation together in the Northrup Auditorium.

Furthering her career, Felisha moved from TCF to a position with Hennepin County, where she provided economic assistance to elderly or disabled individuals. “I worked there for another five years,” said Felisha. “It gave me an understanding of our society and people who are in need. Ever since then I’ve been committed to working with people in need. I love it.”

Now, 15 years after she graduated from MCTC, Felisha works with the City of Minneapolis, working as a personal assistant and attending outreach events. “I work with the Step Up program, adults, dislocated workers, families and high school age students,” she said. “Whenever I see young people come in, I ask if they’re planning to go to school.”

Felisha looks back at the last two decades and sees much to be proud of. “I went from low income to the middle class,” she said. “I tell other young people that I had to grow up fast, and if I can make this success happen, so can they. Along the way they’ll meet some amazing people, and they just need to start the process.”

MnSCU and MCTC Waive Application Fee for High Schoolers Oct. 27–31

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

High school students.For a limited time, college and university application fees will be waived throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) in recognition of College Knowledge Month, a statewide effort to provide every interested person—especially underrepresented individuals—with the opportunity to apply to college. Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will participate in this initiative, waiving application fees for the week of October 27–31.

“Our colleges and universities are committed to making sure every Minnesotan has access to an extraordinary education,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “College Knowledge Month is a wonderful opportunity for us to encourage more people to apply for college. It gives our colleges and universities an opportunity to show students who might otherwise think college is beyond their reach that resources are available to help them pay for higher education and complete their degree.”

College Knowledge Month encourages high schools and post-secondary institutions to collaborate to engage, inform and support students as they enter into the college application process. The month-long event ends with a week of waived application fees for any interested individuals. Application fees for qualified low-income students are always waived at all MnSCU colleges and universities.

“We are delighted to offer the application fee waiver as a way to further encourage future students to visit our campus and begin planning their transition to college,” said Laura Fedock, dean of Enrollment Management.

For a complete list of participating colleges and universities, visit the MnSCU website here. To apply to MCTC, click here.

Graco Grant Provides MCTC with Scholarships, Equipment

Posted on: June 24th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Graco and MCTC form industry partnerships.A generous donation from Graco, Inc. will provide Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) with three pieces of machining equipment as well as $10,000 in scholarship funds for first-generation college students.

Long-term industry partnerships with local businesses have been fostered by members of the MCTC faculty, and have enabled the College’s Machine Tool Technology program to maintain updated technology for its students. “Our connections with Graco have allowed MCTC’s program to stay relevant,” said Machine Tool Technology Instructor Kim Munson.

Funds from this grant will allow the program to acquire three pieces of equipment: the Mazak CNC machine and simulators will allow students to virtually design and test machining parts for functionality. “Students will have the opportunity to better their knowledge of machining with this equipment,” said Munson. “It’s where the industry is going.”

In addition to the equipment, Graco is providing scholarship funds for Power of YOU students enrolled at MCTC. The Power of YOU program covers the costs of tuition and fees for two years for students who have families with low incomes, are first-generation college students or identify as students of color. Read about recent scholarship winners here.

“Having access to state-of-the-art equipment will make a profound impact on Machine Tool Technology students’ abilities to enhance their education and better prepare them to join the workforce after graduation,” said Angie Wordell, operations director at Graco. Angie was responsible for establishing a summer internship program placing MCTC Machine Tool Technology students with Graco—a partnership which could lead to a path to employment for some hard-working students.
“Several of my students through the years have gone on to be hired at Graco,” said Munson. “This internship program creates a pathway that strengthens our students’ connection to industry jobs.”

Photo: Angie Wordell, Graco operations director; Kim Munson, MCTC Machine Tool Technology Instructor; Mike Christenson, MCTC associate vice president of Workforce Development.

The Groove: MCTC’s Alumni Magazine (Spring 2014)

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Groove magazine, spring 2014groove [grüv]:

(v.) to appreciate and enjoy; (-y) (n.) up-to-date

The MCTC magazine for alumni and friends is hot off the press! Read this spring’s edition for great stories about:

The Groove is released twice a year to MCTC alumni, friends, donors and the greater Twin Cities community. Read the spring 2014 Groove edition here!

For more information contact marketingdesk@minneapolis.edu.

Chancellor Rosenstone to Visit MCTC June 4

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will visit MCTC to discuss the presidential transition with students, faculty, staff and community leaders. The chancellor would like to hear from you about the qualities critical to the success of the interim president and the continued success of MCTC.

Presidential Transition Open Forums with Chancellor Rosenstone
Wednesday, June 4
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Helland Center Multi-purpose Room (H.1002)

3–3:30 p.m.     Students
3:30–4 p.m.     Staff
4–4:30 p.m.     Faculty
4:30–5 p.m.     External Community

If you are unable to attend this session, the Chancellor welcomes comments to be sent to him at chancellor@so.mnscu.edu.

Read the full letter from Chancellor Rosenstone.