Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Daudt, Rarick focus on early childhood ed, funding at PTCC

Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Rep. Jason Rarick made a stop at Pine Technical & Community College during a recent tour of the region.

Pine Technical & Community College Dean of Students led the Representatives on a tour of the college, providing them an opportunity to see how legislative funding through HEAPR and leveraged equipment funds has an impact on student learning.

Following the tour, the pair met with PTCC students, faculty and staff for a listening session. While funding for the college continued to be a focus of the listening session, conversation started with funding for education at a much earlier age.

Funding $100 million for early childhood education was one of a top accomplishment for Daudt. “I’m proudest of the work we’ve done there. My goal is to fund scholarships for every student living in poverty,” he said.

Annette Weaver, professional development support coordinator for Child Care Aware, expressed her gratitude, as children in the region will be recipients of some of those scholarships. She also expressed concern about regional early childhood education providers’ ability to access the training needed to achieve a three star Parent Aware rating. “If we could get that deadline extended by even a year, would be a help,” Weaver said.

Turning back to funding for the college and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Daudt thanked the faculty and staff for their work in preparing the workforce. “We have employers that have positions they can’t fill. We funded MnSCU because of the innovation ways you’ve found to meet employer needs,” he said.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pine Technical & Community College named to Military Times 20 Best for Vets

The Veterans’ Center on the PTCC campus is a place for students who are veterans, active service members or family to meet, connect with resources and even study. From left is Veterans’ Club advisor Chris Morgan, Duluth Vet Center Readjustment Counselor Stacy Rhodes, Veterans’ Center student worker Daniel Sawatzky and Veterans’ Club student president Haven Badrawi.

 PINE CITY, Minn. – Pine Technical & Community College is proud to be included in Military Times Best for Vets: Career and Technical Colleges 2016 rankings. PTCC was ranked number 17, one of only two Minnesota schools to earn a spot in the top 20 career and technical colleges.

 The organization, made up of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, focused on culture and curriculum that caters to military veterans when conducting and scoring the annual survey of schools that self-identify as career and technical colleges.

 “We’re very honored by this distinction, because it continues to validate our efforts to help veterans achieve their education goals,” said PTCC President Joe Mulford. “After the sacrifices our veterans and active service members make, we’re proud to give back.”

 “This is an important distinction because it shows that the college not only cares about their veteran students, but care enough to share what they are doing in hopes of making it better on a national scale,” said Chris Morgan, a veteran who is now PTCC’s Cyber-Security instructor and Veteran’s Club faculty advisor. “The Military Times website is a one-stop-shop for not only active duty, but all veterans from all branches to find out the latest information that effects them and their benefits.”

 As with all of the Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans. Career and technical colleges respond to the same Best for Vets: Colleges survey as two-year institutions on up.  The survey tool is a highly respected analysis of a college’s complete offerings for veterans.

It’s not just the items measured in the survey that make PTCC a veteran-friendly school, according to Morgan. “I can sum it up with one word -- attitude. As a 26 year Air Force retiree, I never expected the treatment I received when I first started here at PTCC. I was welcomed with open arms and treated like I was family,” Morgan said. “My transition to civilian life was not easy. I have numerous deployments and years spent away from my family. I joined when I was 17 years old and the military was all I ever knew. The administration and staff at PTCC understood that and became like a second family to me almost right away. It is this “attitude” that has led PTCC to receive this distinction, I have no doubt.”

 “It’s the people like Shawn Reynolds (financial aid director and veteran’s coordinator) and Paula Hoffman (dean of students) that ensure this program is meeting the veterans’ needs to ensure current and future success,” Morgan continued.

Pine Technical & Community College has an active Veteran’s Center and Veteran’s Club on campus. In addition, admissions and financial aid staff can assist veterans identify and claim their education benefits. For more information about PTCC’s programs, including information regarding how to apply call 320-629-5100 or online at www.pine.edu.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rep. Nornes and Rep. Rarick visit PTCC

Pine Technical & Community College President Joe Mulford confirmed the impact of state legislative support can have on the college’s ability to purchase cutting edge equipment for its programs, such as the transmission dynometer, purchased through leveraged funds and matches through federal grants and PTCC Foundation initiatives.
Rep. Bud Nornes, chair of the Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee, and district 11B Rep. Jason Rarick visited Pine Technical & Community College to conduct town hall meetings with students, faculty and staff. It was also an opportunity for the PTCC community to demonstrate the importance of legislative support.

From facility improvements to new equipment, funding support at the legislative level is vital in helping Pine Technical & Community College serve the needs of its students, area employers and the community as a whole.  

From the auditorium which hosts college classes and community events like the recent Hwy 61 Film Fest, to the-state-of-the-art science lab, state HEAPR (Higher Education Asset Preservation and Renovation) funds have had a huge impact on the facility, allowing the college to continually improve, President Joe Mulford told the representatives while touring the campus. Additionally, leveraged state funds allowed PTCC to purchase a transmission dynometer for PTCC’s automotive technician program, replacing the outdated equipment that was purchased used 40 years ago.

Students were appreciative of the tuition freeze legislation, which has kept tuition rates at Pine Technical & Community College to some of the lowest in the state. “I’m proudest of what we did there, because the focus was on where we could do the most good,” Nornes told the students of his work in higher education policy.

Students at the forum expressed concerned about access to technology on campus and high speed internet throughout the region.

The faculty and staff echoed that concern, along with the high cost of housing in east central Minnesota. Because many of the college’s students are place-bound, PTCC has been creative in providing opportunities to students through collaborations with partner colleges. “Because of our collaborations with other colleges, we offer pathways to our students they wouldn’t have otherwise,” faculty member Melissa Felland told the representatives.
As a graduate of a vocational college, Rarick recognized the significance of the opportunities PTCC provides to the community. “I know the importance of vocational education and the need to provide this type of education so we can replace the workforce. Schools like this are important,” he told the PTCC faculty and staff.

High-tech simulation healthcare lab

Students voice their concerns and support.

Faculty and staff have a Q&A session with Rep. Nornes and Rep. Rarick.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Walmart supports Bridging the Dream Scholarships for PTCC students

Walmart and Associates made a generous donation to the Pine Technical and Community College Foundation for Bridging the Dream Scholarships. Walmart Manager Cody Schmitz presented Pine Technical and Community College President Joe Mulford with a $2500 check. Walmart Associates are very instrumental in supporting the grant money distributions, and President Mulford and the Foundation Board appreciates their generous donation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pine Technical and Community College honors staff for years of service

Pine Technical & Community College honored staff and faculty for their years of service. In the first row, from left to right, is Dawn Sandberg, Continuing Education and Customized Training assistant, five years; Tony Mueller, computer science faculty, five years; Amy Kruse, chief human resources officer, five years; Ann Boldt, English faculty, 10 years and Kris Hanson, Advanced Manufacturing Education Alliance employment and education advisor, 10 years. In the second row is President Joe Mulford; Dave Defenbaugh, gunsmithing and firearms technology faculty, 35 years; Kerry Fridstrom, Rural Information Technology Alliance industry certification and educational advisor, five years; Paula Hoffman, chief student affairs officer and dean of students, 10 years; Stephen Cody, computer programming faculty, five years; Luke Pederson, grants project accountant, five years and Dave Pixley, maintenance, 30 years.

Not pictured: Sandi Carlisle, president’s assistant, five years; Patty Gerhardson, nursing laboratory assistant, five years; Jodie Haavisto, business office, five years;  MaryAnn Schefers, business offices, five years; Keven Wanless, gunsmithing and firearms technology assistant, five years; Teresa Pierce, business office, 10 years; Lisa Hosna, business office, 20 years and Rita Watson, human services eligibility worker faculty, 25 years.

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Transmission Dynamometer Arrives!

Pine Technical and Community College now has an electric Transmission Dynamometer. This new equimpment will be benefical to our Automotive Technology students -- giving them the oppotunity to work with some of the newest and high-tech equipment in the field. Want more information about PTCC's Auto program? Go to http://www.pine.edu/programs/automotive-technology/. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dr. Musgrove honored with scholarship

The PTCC Foundation Board was cooking up a plan to honor Dr. Musgrove even as he was grilling up grub for the annual PTCC Ribfest. The Board, in appreciate of Dr. Musgrove's leadership, renamed the Bridging the Dream Scholarship to the Dr. Robert Musgrove Bridging the Dream Scholarship.