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College Visited by U.S. Sec. of Labor Thomas E. Perez

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

Secretary PerezMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) was honored to host U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez this week for a roundtable discussion with some of the Twin Cities leaders in business, education and technical careers in light of a nationwide push for tuition relief programs for community colleges.

During the event, co-hosted by Scholarship America with discussion moderation by their CEO Lauren Segal, Secretary Perez was joined by Congressman Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, former mayor R.T. Rybak, Sen. Terri Bonoff, Rep. Frank Hornstein and other business and community leaders for an hour-long roundtable held at MCTC. Speakers discussed the need for community and technical college tuition relief in line with President Barack Obama’s proposed America’s College Promise. “The President’s ‘America’s College Promise’ is about making higher education accessible to everyone,” said Secretary Perez. “Our discussion today is about a movement. We want to create a movement to make sure this is a nation in which everybody gets the education they need for their job, whether it’s a job as a CNC machinist at Graco or a job in IT.”

The Secretary’s visit comes at the closure of the Minnesota legislative session, in which a proposal to fund a state-level tuition relief program for community and technical colleges passed with $100 million in biennium funding. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, the Minnesota legislator who introduced the legislation, shared his inspiration for the proposal with roundtable attendees. “Minnesotans love education,” he said. “Education is the tool with which we’ve been able to keep the state’s economy going.”

MCTC and partners Saint Paul College and Metropolitan State University lead the way in statewide tuition relief programs, boasting several programs including one of the state’s first Power of YOU programs offering free tuition to qualifying first-generation high school students, a partnership with Hennepin County, and the fledgling Destination Diploma to Degree (D3) program. “We’re looking at career pathways from high school to postsecondary institutions,” said Sarah Caruso, president and CEO of the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

“Partnerships like D3 incorporate an understanding of the depth and complexity young people face as they consider college.” The D3 program places qualifying students from alternative high schools in relevant college classes, and recently received support from the United Way to grow its program beyond its initial launch.

“We are making college relevant for high schoolers,” said Pam Costain, president and CEO of AchieveMpls. “Minnesota is a national leader in youth employment and internships, making college relevant for high schoolers. I’m intrigued by the movement-building approach of the Secretary. It would require all of us in the room to collaborate with each other.”

“I think we’re making a mistake by assuming grade 12 is an end point,” said MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa. “We should shift our mindset so that instead of K-12, P-14 is the base level of education we expect. If we don’t prepare young people to step into jobs, we’ll all suffer.”

See photos from the roundtable and press conference on Flickr. Coverage of Sec. Perez’s visit was also published in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Downtown Journal.

Photo: Congressman Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez

MCTC Students Talk Diversity at Itasca Community College

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC students at ICCMembers of the MCTC African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) and MCTC Director of Diversity Whitney Harris were invited to visit Itasca Community College (ICC) earlier this month for a day of professional development.

Representatives from ICC had visited MCTC’s AME program last semester, and invited Dr. Harris and the students to speak in light of increasing enrollment of students of color at ICC.

MCTC students from the AME program delivered presentations to ICC faculty and staff and participated in panel discussions addressing teaching in diverse classrooms and managing institutional diversity.

During the panel, MCTC AME student Michael Elliot encouraged ICC faculty and staff to use the experiences each student brings to the classroom as learning opportunities.

“You have to be aware of the needs of your diversifying student population,” Elliot said.

Harris believes both the MCTC AME students and ICC faculty and staff learned from each other by having the opportunity to share their knowledge and stories.

“The students were able to integrate what they had learned at MCTC through their own experiences and teach these college employees about it,” Harris said.

MCTC AME student and tutor Jeodaun Lee described the experience as “a slice of humble pie.” “They rolled out the red carpet for us and wanted to learn,” he said.

“ICC was very receptive of what we had to offer in the realm of diversity and administrative and faculty connection to the student body,” said Elliot.

AME is expected to make a return to ICC in the spring to hold a similar conversation with students.

Photo: The MCTC delegation at Itasca Community College on a frigid January day. From left to right: Michael Elliot, Clay Bradbury, Ronnie Russell-Bey, Jeodaun Lee, Whitney Harris

MCTC Welcomes Visiting Delegation from Henan University in China

Posted on: November 26th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Delegates from Henan UniversityMCTC was honored to welcome a delegation of about 20 instructors and administrators from Henan University of Economics and Law this week. The visit was part of a broader trip to the University of Minnesota’s China Center for coursework. The delegates were welcomed by MCTC English instructor Wendi Chen, Physics instructor Ningsheng Huang and Nursing student Lourdmy Jean.

MCTC President Phil Davis took questions from the delegation about how American community colleges differ from four-year universities. “Students come to colleges like MCTC for a variety of reasons,” said Davis. “They come to get their associate degree, to learn career and technical trades or to take a couple classes and transfer. Community colleges are affordable options.”

MCTC employees described College processes—from admissions and advising to funding and transfer opportunities—to the audience. Delegates heard from MCTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Lois Bollman, interim Director of Institutional Research Jessica Shryack about data processes and strategic planning, Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Mike Christenson about career and technical programs, Academic Advisor Heidi Aldes about the student academic planning process and MCTC’s academic deans. Presentations were followed by a tour of the campus.

“MCTC is a global college,” said Mike Christenson. “It was a privilege to convey that to our visiting delegation of academic leaders.”

Click here for a photo album.

State Budget Allows for Two-Year Tuition Freeze

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

Photo: MCTC put tuition on ice.Amidst concerns of the growing cost of college and mounting student debt, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) is freezing tuition at each of its 31 campuses for two fiscal years. As a result, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) tuition will remain at its current levels for the next two years.

The two-year tuition freeze was made possible by a $78 million appropriation by the state legislature during the 2013 session. In addition to the tuition freeze, changes in the state grant program will ensure grants for approximately 7,700 MnSCU college students in the 2013-14 academic year. The largest increases in the numbers of state grant recipients are projected to occur among part-time students. “With this budget, we remain the state’s highest value and most affordable higher education option by significant margins,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.

Many students opt to begin their higher education careers at a community or technical college and later transfer to four-year universities, saving tens of thousands of dollars on tuition in the process. The MnSCU tuition freeze ensures transfer students will continue to see this degree of savings for the next two years. In addition to these guaranteed savings, MCTC offers need- and merit-based grants and scholarships to qualifying students.

“The state support is a wonderful benefit to our students,” said Scott Erickson, vice president of finance and operations at MCTC. “This tuition freeze will help our students better plan to cover the cost of education, knowing our rates will not increase for the next two years.”

“Affordable tuition, together with grants to address unmet financial need, will help open the door to educational opportunity for students from all backgrounds,” said Chancellor Rosenstone.

The application deadline for the fall semester is August 9. Click here to apply.

Photo: MCTC tuition compared with other colleges.

MCTC Partners for Third Year with Boston Scientific to Launch Math and Science Initiatives for Minneapolis High School Students

Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

BostonSciMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) announced the third sequential year of its partnership with Boston Scientific Corporation today as part of a multiple partner initiative that encourages Minneapolis high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Summer Jump Start to College initiative is designed to increase the number of low-income students and students of color who are prepared for college-level math and science courses upon graduating from a Minneapolis public high school or Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

Boston Scientific’s funding provides a clear pathway for students who are interested in math, science, engineering and technology but have fallen off the college math track in middle school or high school. The initiative links Minneapolis Public Schools, Robbinsdale Cooper High School and two successful programs at MCTC: the Summer Jump Start to College and the Power of YOU program.

“The generous support of Boston Scientific helps us to address the real or perceived barriers of expectation, preparation, investment and access,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “I am very pleased that Boston Scientific is stepping forward for a second year to work with MCTC to close the gap that exists in preparing students for careers in science and technology.”

The pathway for high school students includes:

  • Summer math, English and reading readiness courses at MCTC that count towards high school graduation and as pre-college developmental (remedial) courses
  • A Boston Scientific STEM Scholars Program as part of MCTC’s Power of YOU program for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math
  • Free bus transportation, textbooks and tuition

“Science and math education are critical focus areas for our outreach efforts,” said Kevin Ballinger, president of Interventional Cardiology at Boston Scientific, based in Maple Grove, Minn. “We are excited to continue this work with MCTC, and look forward to seeing aspiring engineers and scientists on our corporate campus this summer.”