Wednesday, December 24, 2014

PTCC Foundation Receives $8,000 Onan Family Foundation Grant

Funds provided for Bridging the Dream Scholarships

Pine Technical & Community College Foundation’s Bridging the Dream scholarship program will be able to help a few more students achieve their educational and career goals, thanks to a grant from the Onan Family Foundation. The Onan Family Foundation recently award an $8,000 grant to provide "Bridging the Dream Scholarships" to qualified students attending PTCC. The Onan Family Foundation has indicated to the college that they intend for the grant to be ongoing.

The Onan Family Foundation is based in Minneapolis and supports nonprofit and community organizations through grants. Its founder, David W. Onan, was a man who never shied from hard work and felt the need to give back to the community that had always supported him and his business endeavors. His grandson David W. Onan II, now a trustee of the organization, said the Onan Family Foundation had often supported colleges in the past, mostly liberal arts schools. The trustees of the Foundation sought an opportunity to support technical education.

“The family started as tradesmen, and we want to support the trades of any kind – all the things that put people to work. We need people with hands-on skills,” said Onan. “What [PTCC] does is an ideal fit.”

Onan explained that by supporting the trades, the Onan Family Foundation can also help foster entrepreneurism and the regional economy. His daughter, Karen Onan Amundson, was excited for the opportunity to support a college she felt she had an affiliation to.

“The trustees are giving to the organizations that we feel strongly for. We’re feeling a connection to those that we’re giving to. With what Pine Tech does, it supports the community,” Amundson said. “And I think a lot of the folks that go there have a thought to start their own business. That’s something my great-grandfather would have been proud to support.”

“We are indebted to David Onan and the Onan Family Foundation for their great generosity.  This partnership will ultimately benefit a great number of students, enabling them to attend college and gain the benefits that technology education can provide,” said PTCC President Robert Musgrove. “In some cases, a scholarship can mean the difference between going to college or putting those dreams on hold. Our graduates go on to be some of the very finest entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, business leaders and tradesmen that our community relies on. And we’re proud to help them achieve their goals with the generous gift from the Onan Family Foundation.”

Each year, scholarship recipients share a similar story: Bridging the Dream Scholarships have made a difference in their lives.

“I would not have been financially prepared to go back to college if it wasn’t for the Bridging the Dream Scholarship,” said Nicholas Seeger, a 2013 scholarship recipient.

“Receiving this scholarship played a key role in helping to achieve my educational dreams,” affirmed 2012 scholarship recipient, Jamie Anderson.

“We are a small foundation, and we do things in small ways,” said Onan.

The Onan family tradition of helping the community dates back to the 1930s, when David W. Onan became the president of Optimist International and began volunteer work building a boys’ camp. Helping to improve the lives of children was always close to D. W. Onan’s heart, and became the impetus for the Onan Family Foundation. Today, the Onan Family Foundation has provided more than $10 million in grant funds to various nonprofit, arts and education organizations throughout the region.

For more information on the Onan Family Foundation, go to To learn more about the Pine Technical & Community College Foundation, or to contribute to scholarship funds, go to

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Phi Theta Kappa members inducted

2014 Phi Theta Kappa members inducted

Congratulations to the members of Phi Theta Kappa, who were inducted at a December 1 ceremony. From left are: Chapter President Robyn Miche, Betty Dockham, Ciara Hill, Karissa Hill, Sara Jensen, Jenna Michel, Nick Seeger and Chapter Advisor Tony Mueller.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. PTK is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 200,000 students each year. To learn more about the PTCC chapter, visit our website.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Award for Excellence in Teaching 2014-2015 Nominations Open

Pine Technical & Community College and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the Award for Excellence in Teaching. This is the ninth year of the awards.
The MnSCU Board of Trustees bestows the award to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The winners will be selected from faculty members named Outstanding Educators by the presidents of their respective institutions based on nominations by students, faculty peers or staff.

Evaluation criteria include: content expertise and professional growth; teaching strategies and materials; assessment of student learning and performance; and service to students, the profession, the institution, and the system.

Nominations are open until November 24, 2014.  MnSCU has established criteria as to who is eligible to be nominated. For a nomination form, email Joan Bloemendaal-Gruett, Chief Academic Officer at

Nominations may come from students, staff, faculty, alumni, administrators, or community members. 
The faculty nominated will complete additional information.  The nomination committee will review this information, using scoring criteria.  Then one faculty member will be selected in December and represent Pine Technical & Community College by submitting a portfolio to be considered for the Educator of the Year: Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Quality Matters recognizes PTCC for its commitment to course quality

 The Quality Matters (QM) Program, a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that certifies the quality of online courses, has recognized nine courses from six different faculty at Pine Technical & Community College for their commitment to quality assurance by designing courses that meet Quality Matters standards.
Quality Matters has developed a widely respected set of standards for the design of effective online courses and a rigorous, faculty peer review process for applying these standards to existing courses. Through this process, reviewers provide instructors and instructional design teams with insights and recommendations that increase learner engagement, retention and satisfaction, and, ultimately, learner achievement. The PTCC faculty and their courses that earned QM certifications include Elayne Beehler, Introduction to Health Care Careers; Phil Darg, United States History Since 1877, Minnesota History and American Government and Politics; Melissa Felland, Children with Challenging Behaviors and Working with Diverse Families and Children; Stacey Foster, College Composition; Gavin House, Introduction to Business; and Chris York, Introduction to Creative Writing.
Quality Matters (QM) is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. QM subscribers include community and technical colleges, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and systems, government agencies, corporations, and other education-related organizations.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Pine City Area Early Childhood Coalition and Pine City Honored

The Initiative Foundation has selected Pine City and Pine City Area Early Childhood Coalition as the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Community Initiative Award for their efforts to build thriving communities and a strong economy in Central Minnesota.

The awards ceremony will be held in May, where the agencies will receive a grant for nonprofit, government or public school initiatives.

Pine Technical & Community College is proud to partner with both Pine City and Pine City Area Early Childhood Coalition and congratulate them on this great honor.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Additional scholarship funding available



Important News!

Additional Early Learning Scholarship funding is now available! Kanabec County has been added!

Did you know half of all Minnesota Children are not fully prepared for Kindergarten?

High-quality early learning ensures our children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life; because of this, The Minnesota Department of Education is offering scholarships to help more families afford high-quality child care and early education programs. 

Do you have or know of a family who has a child age 3 or 4 as of September 1st, 2014?

*Exception: parents under the age of 21 pursuing a high school or general education equivalency diploma - Children birth to 5 are eligible.

Does the family live in Pine, Isanti, Mille Lacs, or Kanabec County?

They may be able to receive up to $5,000.00 to help offset High Quality Child Care!

Scholarship eligibility is based on family income. To find out more information please contact:

Annette Weaver
Professional Development Support Coordinator
Early Learning Scholarships
Pine Technical and Community College

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dr. Musgrove Announces Retirement

Pine Technical College President Robert Musgrove recently announced plans to retire at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. Dr. Musgrove has served as president of the college since 1998.
“I am very proud of the many accomplishments PTC has seen during the 16 years I have been privileged  and we have improved the quality of our programs. We’ve grown in just about every possible way, and we have brought improved technology to the community. The faculty, staff, and students can be very proud of all that we have accomplished, and it has been a privilege to serve with them.”

Enrollment at PTC has increased 74 percent since 2003, which Musgrove believes is a direct reflection of the way the staff approaches program quality and student services. Musgrove views the change in the college’s mission and name – Pine Technical College will soon become Pine Technical and Community College – as a major achievement. The name change has been approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees and will become effective upon approval by the Higher Learning Commission.

“President Musgrove has left his mark not only on Pine Technical College, but on the state higher education landscape as well, earning recognition as the President of the Year in 2001 by the Minnesota State College Student Association,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “He has brought to his presidency an entrepreneurial spirit that has had a tremendously powerful impact on the way all of our colleges and universities are working together to find solutions to common challenges.”

Originally from Texas, Musgrove started his career in education teaching at Walton Middle School in Charlottesville, VA, in 1975. He held a number of positions within the public school system and private sector before joining the Texas State Technical College at Sweetwater in 1986 as an instructor and program chair for the English department. He was chief academic officer when he left Sweetwater in 1998 to join Pine Technical College. Musgrove was drawn to PTC in part by the possibilities he saw in the higher education merger that produced the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
A national search for a new president will be initiated in the fall with the expectation of an appointment to start on July 1, 2015.

Musgrove’s advice to his successor is simple: “Learn the place. Learn the people.”