The MCTC News Blog

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

A welding instructor with a liberal arts background

Posted on: April 10th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments
Todd Bridigum, MCTC instructor

MCTC welding instructor Todd Bridigum inspects the work of a student

What sort of academic background would you expect of a welding instructor who also teaches machine tool technology and HVAC-R, and dabbles in the art of printmaking?

Todd Bridigum has a bachelor’s degree in English.

Todd fell in love with visual arts and sculpture while he was studying for his bachelor’s degree. After completing his degree he went back to school for welding and metal fabrication. He worked in a manufacturing company for several years before joining Minneapolis Community and Technical College as a welding instructor and faculty coordinator. He also has his own studio space where he continues his studies in printmaking, drawing and metal sculpture.

Todd’s liberal arts background has come in handy—he was given an offer to write a book on welding. Since its publication, his book How to Weld has received international demand.

Read more about Todd here.

MCTC Apparel Technology student wins “Best in Show” design competition

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Kelly Keene's award-winning dress design showcased at the American Heart Association's "Hearts for Fashion" show February, 2013

MCTC Apparel Technology student Kelly Keene and her model, MCTC alum Behtsee Millman, at the AHA fashion show.

The American Heart Association’s “Hearts for Fashion” show was held at the Mall of America in February as part of AHA’s national “Go Red” women’s heart health awareness campaign. The show featured the designs of nine MCTC Apparel Technologies students along with students designs from other schools. Students were asked to incorporate the theme of heart health—as well as the color red—in their designs.

This year a “Best in Show” award was given to MCTC Apparel Technology student Kelly Keene for her ball gown. Kelly’s design—and her model, MCTC Apparel Technology alum Behtsee Millman—were then featured at the “Go Red Collection” benefit fashion show Feb. 17 at the Graves Hotel. All proceeds raised from the show will go to AHA’s women’s heart health programs.

“I read a lot of romance novels, and they were my partial inspiration for this design,” said Kelly, designer of the winning dress. “People in romance novels are often in denial about their feelings, just like people can be in denial about their heart health.” Her dress was capped with an intricate metal piece in the shape of a heart formed from cogs and gears.

Click here to view a photo on Facebook—and be sure to “like” MCTC while you’re there!