The MCTC News Blog

PSEO Places Student on Path to Success

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

Philip Mestenhauser used his PSEO experience at MCTC to jump start his careerBy all appearances, Philip Mestenhauser was your typical high school senior. The 17-year-old attended South High School in Minneapolis and enjoyed camping, canoeing and road biking in his spare time.

Mestenhauser, however, was no ordinary student. Since the start of his junior year, he had been enrolled in Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), a program that allows high school students to take college courses and earn high school and college/university credits in the process. Mestenhauser split his days between South High and MCTC. When he graduated from South in the spring of 2012, not only did he have a high school diploma, he had 54 college credits, all earned for free.

Outside “the high school box”

Students must meet strict academic requirements and be mature enough to handle college coursework to participate in PSEO. That sums up Mestenhauser. Not long after starting at South, he realized high school didn’t suit him. “I never fit into the high school box,” he said. “PSEO seemed to work better for me, offering additional academic challenges to my coursework.”

PSEO allowed Mestenhauser to pursue his true passion. “I’ve always liked working with my hands and MCTC has many classes to enhance my skills and interests,” he said. “I love the sense of self-sufficiency and accomplishment you get from creating something.” That’s one reason MCTC appealed to him. He initially took welding courses, earning three certifications in the process. Afterwards, he moved into the college’s Machine Tool Technology program where students learn everything from computer-integrated machining, computer-aided design and manufacturing and programming to complex mathematical calculations and advanced measurement techniques.

As the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand, Mestenhauser’s technical skills will be in increased demand. Case in point: before graduating, Mestenhauser already had internship with a starting salary close to $20 per hour. Not bad wages for a 17-year-old.

Next steps

The internship was only the beginning. Last fall, Mestenhauser enrolled full-time at MCTC to finish his Manufacturing Technology and Welding diplomas. From here, he plans to work for a year and apply to the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering program. His longer-term aim is to work as an engineer with a team of machinists.

Thanks in part to MCTC, he’s closer to his goal than most people his age. “MCTC has been great for me,” he said. “The classes have been challenging, and I can look back and say I’ve learned a significant amount here. I’m really looking forward to starting up again after this summer and moving forward with my education.”

MCTC offers continuing education for manufacturing and construction professionals

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Xavier Escobedo, MCTC Manufacturing and Skilled Trades instructorXavier “X” Escobedo has worked in the manufacturing and construction industries as a manager, safety representative and instructor, and has been teaching OSHA Safety and Environmental classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College for the last eight years. As a bilingual speaker, he also provides interpreting and training to non-English speaking individuals. “I see MCTC as a leader in providing customized training solutions to the manufacturing and construction industries to prepare them for the future,” says Xavier. “I enjoy teaching at MCTC because it provides me with state of the art facilities and provides our students with space to teach with lectures and to use hands-on and guided-practice learning techniques.”

iPhone and iPad App Development among MCTC’s newest Continuing Education courses

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

ImageAmong course listings in HTML, Java development, SQL Server Database Design and Flash, there’s a new group of Continuing Education classes offered at Minneapolis Community and Technical College: iPad and iPhone Application Design and Development.

Why offer iOS development courses? The MCTC Division of Workforce Development, Continuing Education and Customized Training offers dozens of courses in multiple programming languages—isn’t that enough?

“The technical programs that Continuing Education offers are well-defined programming languages,” said Bob Cahill, instructor for the iOS course series. “However, this is a programming language used within an interactive, intuitive device that’s dependent on usability as the outcome, so there’s a need for students to develop a specific set of skills—and then to keep developing them.”

Continuing Education offers four sequential courses in iOS development this spring. Students can pick and choose one or more classes, or complete all four for a certificate in iPhone/iPad application design and development. The first class in the series starts Saturday, Jan. 26.

“This class teaches students to create applications that meet the expectations of the users,” said Bob. “It’s best to use a device’s native programming language to create apps.” No prerequisites are required for the course, although previous programming experience is significantly helpful.

“This climate changes quickly. The classes next year will be different than the classes we’ve designed this year,” said Bob. Click here to read course descriptions.

The Division of Workforce Development, Continuing Education and Customized Training offers hundreds of noncredit night and weekend courses for adults. Enrollment at MCTC is not required to take these courses, and courses start throughout the year. Click here to learn more or to view the course catalog.

MCTC one of the “best places” for computer classes

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is one of the “best places” to seek continuing education computer classes, according to a recent story published by CBS.

The article specifically highlights MCTC’s SeniorNet program. SeniorNet, offered through MCTC’s department of Continuing Education and Customized Training, offers extremely low-cost classes to people age 50 and older in a supportive environment.

For more information on Continuing Education and Customized Training, or to download a course manual with hundreds of course offerings, click here:

MCTC’s DECA club partners with Twin Cities Rise

Posted on: December 13th, 2012 by insidemctc 2 Comments

DECA logoDECA, a student-led business club at MCTC, partnered with the local non-profit Twin Cities Rise (TCR) in an all-day mock interview event held at TCR’s Minneapolis location on December 4, 2012. 

TCR helps the chronically unemployed seek promising job opportunities. It places program participants in positions that pay at least $20,000 annually, provide benefits and offer potential for advancement. Prior to job placement, TCR provides training in interviewing skills to help prepare applicants for the workforce. Typically, TCR uses human resource professionals from its corporate partners–many of which are Fortune 500 companies–to conduct the interviews. The partnership of DECA and TCR was a natural fit, as both groups focus on professionalism, career development and confidence building. “I learned a lot from teaming with the human resources professionals. I saw firsthand how they approach interviews and what they look for in candidates” said DECA president Matt Hatle. 

DECA members teamed up with TCR’s corporate partners to conduct 20 mock interviews of TCR’s participants. After the sessions, interviewers met with participants to offer feedback and tips to better their interview practices. “Roleplaying the interviewer really helped raise my awareness of what I should be focusing on when I’m interviewing” said DECA member Errol Ilbuga. 

“It felt good helping people who had faced some adversity in life develop a real job skill. I interviewed a disabled veteran, candidates with felonies and single mothers with several children,” said DECA member Nada Elsewehy. 

MCTC’s DECA club competes in business competitions around the country, builds campus life and volunteers in the community. DECA meets weekly in MCTC’s Helland Center, and welcomes new members from all majors. If you have questions, please contact the club’s advisor, Jason L. Cussler at