The MCTC News Blog

Denisse Linares: On a Path to Success

Posted on: August 14th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Denisse, MCTC gradWhen Denisse Linares visited MCTC this summer to interview Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa, Deputy Education Officer for Minneapolis Public Schools Elia Bruggeman and several high school students for a story on Univision, she walked around like she knew the place. Because she did know the place—quite well.

Denisse began attending MCTC in 2006, when she dove into English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. After several semesters, she transitioned to the Human Services program, and in the meantime served as activities coordinator for the Xicanos Latinos Unidos student club. “I was in school for a long time—first part time, then full time.”

Going to college in Minneapolis wasn’t at the top of her to-do list when Denisse was graduating high school. “My plan was to go back to Mexico,” she shared. Having moved to Minnesota when she was 12 years old, Denisse had strong ties to her family members who stayed behind, and thought for some time she could begin her adult life in the country where her parents started theirs.

But encouraged by a high school counselor, she stopped by an open house at MCTC. Liking what she saw, Denisse submitted an application. And then took the Accuplacer. And finally decided to take a leap—and stay on her path in Minnesota.

“It was a tough decision. At 18 years old, it was a very scary decision,” she said. “MCTC was so helpful when I didn’t know what to do next.”

After committing to staying in the Twin Cities, Denisse flourished. With a strong start in ESOL classes, campus involvement, a major that inspired her and compassionate instructors, she received her Associate in Arts degree in Human Services in 2011. Denisse went on and transferred to Augsburg College where she studied business management, and landed a job as an account executive with Univision.

“Deep inside I think I knew I needed to stay here, even though going back to Mexico would have been easier,” she said. “I would tell someone in my position to continue their education, and to find resources to help them. There are so many more resources now than when I was making my decision: there are scholarships, paid internships and the opportunity to go to school part-time and work in their field.”

After her interviews, Denisse had to leave in a hurry. “The Gold Cup is going on right now,” she explained. “Everyone wants to run advertisements with Univision. It’s a busy time of the year.”

What’s New for Fall

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
Renovated MCTC outdoor plaza

MCTC’s outdoor plaza.

MCTC’s fall 2014 semester presents some exciting opportunities for new and continuing students!

New this Fall

Finish Faster

MCTC has several opportunities for students looking to finish their degree faster. In addition to our evening, weekend and online courses, we also offer:

  • Accelerated English, ENGA 1110, which combines two introductory English classes into one
  • Statway, a Carnegie Foundation initiative to help students finish college-level math courses with less frustration and lower dropout rates
  • Race to Save the Planet, an eight-credit learning community emphasizing Biology and Political Science
  • Academic advisors are embedded within the College academies, so they’re on hand to work with students throughout their time at the College

Read more about these student success initiatives.

Around Campus

  • MCTC welcomes Dr. Avelino Mills-Novoa as our interim president!
  • Our Air Traffic Control program has relocated to its new space in the T Building of MCTC’s main campus after a long spell at the Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie

Click here to register for fall classes, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

MCTC Cinema Division Announces 2013 Excellence Awards Winners

Posted on: September 27th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Cinema Excellence Award logo

The MCTC Cinema Division has announced the winners of the 2013 Excellence Awards. The Excellence Awards ceremony brings MCTC students, faculty, staff and the local film community together to recognize students for their work and award scholarships. Click here for clips of the winning videos, photographs and music selected for the 2013 Excellence Awards.

The Excellence Awards are generously sponsored by:

MCTC One of First MN Schools to Introduce Statway

Posted on: June 27th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC will be one of the first schools in Minnesota to introduce Statway math curriculum

MCTC offers Statway: a new way to learn mathIn the fall of 2013, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will introduce a new kind of math course to its catalog. Statway differs from other math classes and most other Minnesota college math curricula: it is not a class for math majors. Rather, it is a class for people who do not really like math.

“We hear many stories of students whose graduation is being held up by math requirements,” said MCTC Mathematics instructor Carmen Buhler. “Statway is for people who have struggled with math and need a new way of approaching it.”

Statway: A new way of learning math

“The people who will benefit most from Statway are the students who don’t know why they need math in the first place,” said MCTC Math instructor Donna Spikes.

Developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Statway is a two-semester course for community college students aimed at helping them complete a college-level statistics equivalent with less frustration and lower dropout rates. Carnegie Foundation research found only six percent of developmental math students have traditionally been able to earn college math credit within one year of continuous enrollment. However, within the first year of Statway’s implementation at community colleges, 51 percent of its students were able to meet that goal, despite the majority of Statway students beginning the series two or more math courses below college-level math.

“Math is a struggle for many students,” said Ursula Walsh, MCTC Mathematics instructor. “However, research supports the notion that when students are involved in their own learning, they retain it better.”

“Math tends to reinforce every negative impression in a student’s head,” said MCTC Dean of Math and Science Chuck Paulson. “Many students, particularly people of color and women, come to school holding negative ideas about math. Statway is designed to break down those thoughts and empower them toward success.”

Paving the way for other schools

MCTC will be among only three colleges in Minnesota participating in the Statway curriculum, and one of only 30 colleges nationwide. Preparations to introduce the curriculum at MCTC have been underway for more than a year. Much of the preparation involves the faculty’s own participation: whereas most math courses and curricula rely on textbooks, Statway relies on instructor-driven samples and engagement.

“We’re currently experiencing a national crisis,” said MCTC Dean Paulson. “On one hand, access to college is no longer an impossible dream because of schools like MCTC. On the other hand, graduation rates at community colleges are low, in part because of students’ inability to complete math. Statway takes into consideration student values, backgrounds and goals and cuts out what’s not necessary.”

Read course descriptions or register for Statway, Math 0145 (fall) and 1145 (spring). You can watch a video about Statway here.

MCTC Provides Training to Caribou Coffee Employees

Posted on: June 24th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

The Division of Workforce Development, Continuing Education and Customized Training (CECT) at Minneapolis Community and Technical College just completed Project Management: Core training for 24 Caribou Coffee employees on the MCTC campus during June. Caribou Coffee has worked with CECT over the last two years for customized training and to offer continuing education classes to their employees in computer technology and business management. “I believe MCTC is one of the best options for computer training. It has been a great experience,” said Julie Droegemueller, Director of Human Resources.

If you would like more information on continuing education or customized training for your department please have your supervisor contact Jan Morrissey at