The MCTC News Blog

Michael Rosenberg Gets Involved, Receives Two Degrees

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Michael Rosenberg, graduating MCTC studentCreative, Committed, Confident—Michael Inspires and Succeeds

Michael Rosenberg is accomplishing a unique feat: He will graduate from two colleges with two degrees in the same year.

Originally from Memphis, Michael lived a lifetime even before deciding to pursue his education: As a child, he heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his last public speech prior to being assassinated. As an adult, Michael spent three years as an Americorps VISTA, worked with AVID students to tutor fourth graders and served in the U.S. military. In 2006, he decided it was time for a change.

Having visited family members in Minnesota, it seemed like a natural place to start the next chapter of his life. “I was so committed to making the move, I didn’t even have a place to live at first. For the first three weeks after I moved to Minnesota, I slept in my car at a rest stop. However, I was determined to make it work.”

When he found housing in downtown Minneapolis, a neighbor suggested MCTC for its convenient location down the block. Michael looked into the Nursing program and decided to take the leap. “I hadn’t been to school in 35 years, and I had no idea if I would be accepted by the younger students on campus,” said Michael.

While completing the requirements he needed to become a certified nursing assistant, he also took care of his general education courses and got involved in student life. He joined Veterans Upward Bound, became the founding president of the MCTC Student Veterans of America club (SVA) and later, while attending the regional SVA conference, was named State Director of SVA. Michael also worked with MCTC faculty to bring renowned Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, founder of the national chapter of Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) to campus, which inspired Michael to work with others to found MCTC’s own SAAB chapter. “When we formed SAAB, there was a critical need to look at the challenges facing African American men and men of color in higher education,” said Michael.

Michael excelled in his classes in addition to remaining thoroughly involved in student clubs and groups, but a period of tragedy set him back: his family experienced four deaths within a short period of time, and Michael temporarily relocated to his home city of Memphis to settle matters. “I needed to be by my family,” said Michael. “We needed to be strong. My family always said if anyone was going to succeed, it would be me.” Michael remained in Memphis for several months, though continued his studies at a local community college.

When he returned to Minneapolis, Michael picked up his studies at Metropolitan State University, aiming for his four-year degree. He completed four semesters with near-perfect grades, landing on the Dean’s List each semester. Graduation was in sight, but one hurdle held him back.

“I had great grades, an internship at Project for Pride in Living doing exactly what I want to do and all I needed was one last math course,” said Michael. “Math is not my strong point.”

He came back to MCTC because the College offers a satisfactory Logic course. “From the very beginning my instructor, Dr. Lisa Bergin, told everyone in the class ‘you can get to this.’ It has been tough. I kept thinking I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t get to it.”

Michael’s Logic instructor worked with him to find his path to success. “It’s been a long haul this semester, but my instructor worked with me the whole way. Now my last final is coming up, and my instructor told me she hopes she gets to meet my family at the graduation ceremony.”

Michael will be attending two graduation ceremonies this year—he will receive his associate of arts (A.A.) degree at MCTC’s graduation ceremony in May 2014, and his bachelor’s degree at the Metro State ceremony in December.

“These two degrees showed me I could do anything,” said Michael. “I found I could communicate with my 18-year old classmates. I learned I can bounce back, because not everything’s going to be hunky-dory. I learned to stay involved. If it wasn’t for being involved in SVA and SAAB, I probably would have fallen off and given up. But instead, I developed a sense of pride.”

“I’m getting two degrees in one year. Who does that? People ask me how I found the time to do everything I did. I made time, and it’s paying off. MCTC makes it easy for you to be a part of their family.”

Michael would like to thank MCTC Logic instructor Dr. Lisa Bergin, Sociology instructor Dr. Catherine Miller, Dean of Arts and Humanities Derrick Lindstrom and Veterans Upward Bound Director Joy Wise. “Without these remarkable instructors and mentors keeping me focused I would be just another statistic.”

Training Program Matches Educational Pathways to Hennepin County Jobs

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Photo: A view of MinneapolisIn a move that will diversify Hennepin County’s Human Services Division and bring together community partners, Hennepin County has changed its education hiring requirements for the Human Services Representative position to recommend either a two-year degree, graduation from a county-approved training program or a combination of education and experience.

In response to this change, a cross-sector collaborative including Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), Project for Pride in Living (PPL), Minneapolis Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Hennepin County has worked together to design a county-approved Human Services Pathways training program specifically intended to educate students for a job with Hennepin County. The eight-month training program provides a curriculum of Human Services, customer service and computer courses in order to prepare individuals for the position of Human Service Representative with Hennepin County. The pilot run of the Pathways program is set to begin this March, and is recruiting 30 students. Click here for an informational flier.

The customized program was designed and will be taught through MCTC’s department of Continuing Education and Customized Training (CECT) in collaboration with Minneapolis ABE. “This has been a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with an employer and community partners to create a program that’s truly designed for what the employer wants and what students need,” said Loretta Anderson, director of continuing education at MCTC. CECT has a long history of providing customized training for Minnesota employers including the City of Minneapolis, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Caribou Coffee and the Department of Human Services.

PPL received a generous FastTRAC grant from the State of Minnesota to launch this new training program. PPL will recruit students for the Human Services Pathways program and provide supportive services intended to remove obstacles to education like childcare and transportation. PPL will also coordinate with Hennepin County to provide internship experiences for students when they near the completion of their program. “From start to finish, PPL will help students by removing obstacles to their success,” said Anderson. “It’s wonderful to have PPL as a partner—they provide a holistic approach to student success.” This is one of four short-term certificate programs PPL has created in partnership with MCTC and other partners, all with the aim of creating life-changing opportunities for low-income individuals to assemble the skills they need to get and keep a job, leading to a career.

Students who finish the training program will earn eight credits at MCTC—six of them in the College’s renowned Human Services program. “Human Services is one of MCTC’s star programs, particularly because it expertly blends work and study through internships that often result in placements,” said MCTC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Mike Christenson. In addition to graduates of the new collaborative training program, graduates of MCTC’s Human Services program will also be eligible for the redefined Hennepin County hiring guidelines.

According to Hennepin County, human services directors recognize the need to hire from a pool of diverse individuals to reflect the clients that the county serves. Programs like the Human Services Pathways program encourage hiring from educational institutions with strong ties to diverse communities and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The County recognizes experience is valuable, especially combined with training and education.

“This move will immediately diversify the workforce of Hennepin County,” said Christenson.

Click here to learn more about MCTC’s Human Services program.

MCTC to Participate in Minnesota FastTrac Programs

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC is pleased to announce our collaboration with Adult Basic Education and Workforce Service Providers to integrate academic preparation and career training through Minnesota’s FastTrac initiative.

Our current programs include a Pharmacy Technician Program and the Minneapolis Northside Initiative.

The Pharmacy Technician Program is designed to build a bridge to sustainable health care careers. This collaboration between MCTC, Minneapolis Adult Basic Education (ABE)  and Project for Pride in Living (PPL) will work to serve low wage and academically underprepared adults, as well as those who are under and unemployed in the Twin Cities metro area. PPL will be providing recruitment and integrated support services, MCTC will be providing curriculum and instruction and Minneapolis ABE will be integrating their support services into the Dose/Calc and Foundational Science courses. The foundational science course was designed by MCTC to help individuals prepare for the college-level science courses required for higher level health care jobs.

This program includes MCTC’s 6 credit Health Care Core/Medical Terminology/Dose/Calc courses and offers a path for participants to pursue Pharmacy Technician employment and national Pharmacy Technician certification or further their education.

For further information on the Pharmacy Technician program, please contact Loretta Anderson at .

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The Minneapolis Northside Initiative partners include the City of Minneapolis, Emerge Community Development and Minneapolis ABE.  This program includes an intense bridge phase to provide math and reading preparation through ABE for individuals with high school diplomas or a GED that are testing below college levels. Following the bridge phase, MCTC will provide integrated instruction with ABE academic support for first year student and career program courses.  Two programs are scheduled and two more programs are in development. The two scheduled programs are Welding and Metal Fabrication beginning February 13 and running through December 2012 and Culinary Arts beginning April 2012 and running through December 2012.

For further information on the Minneapolis Northside Initiative, please contact Ashley Brown at