Monday, April 7, 2014

Pine Innovation Center ribbon cutting ceremony set

Pine Technical College’s business incubator, Pine Innovation Center, will officially open its 7,500 square-foot facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 18. The Pine Innovation Center is located at 585 Hillside Avenue Southeast in Pine City.
Following a welcome from PTC President Robert Musgrove, the ceremony will include special remarks from Minnesota District 8 Congressman Rick Nolan, Minnesota District 11 Senator Tony Lourey, Minnesota District 11B Representative Tim Faust, Jerry Fallos, representing U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Pine City Economic Development Authority member Frank Christopherson. Refreshments and tours will also be available after the ceremony.

The incubator will house and support hi-tech and light manufacturing entrepreneurs in the community, and, at the same time, the incubator will provide PTC students access to internships and practical experience in cutting-edge, hi-tech industry. The Pine Innovation Center holds the potential to become an effective tool to foster an environment where manufacturing and high-tech jobs can grow and develop and to create wealth within the region. The incubator will house light manufacturing and technology-based businesses working toward producing innovative products or services, and it has been designed to house two start-up companies simultaneously, as well as comfortable meeting space.
PTC and a body of experts from the Pine Area will provide consulting services, technical expertise, product evaluation, assistance with marketing and business planning, and much more to start-ups and growing businesses choosing to reside in the incubator while putting down roots. New companies will stay in the incubator for 3-4 years, while they are solidifying their businesses.  Then they will be required to move out, and the College will bring in another fledgling business and repeat the process.

According to Musgrove, it is a job creation strategy which improves the success rate of new companies.  “Around 50% of new companies don’t survive five years,” he explained.  “However, research shows that an incubation program boosts that success rate to around 84%.  And 87% of companies who are incubated remain in the community where they started.”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pine Technical College’s Medical Assisting Program Earn Accreditation

Clearwater, FL – At its meeting on March 21, 2014, the Board of Directors of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) granted initial accreditation to the Pine Technical College’s Associate in Medical Assisting Program. Pine Technical College is located in Pine City, Minnesota.  The CAAHEP Board acted upon the accreditation recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Through the accreditation process, which includes a thorough review of the program, curriculum, faculty and staff, as well as a site visit of the program, the Medical Assisting program at Pine Technical College in Pine City, MN, was determined to be in substantial compliance with the nationally approved Standards and Guidelines for educational programs as established by the Medical Assisting profession. 

PTC’s Medical Assistant program prepares students to perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. Designed with flexibility in mind, coursework includes phlebotomy and electrocardiography (EKG/ECG) training, as the duties of Medical Assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty.

CAAHEP accredits nearly 2,100 educational programs that prepare health professionals in 24 different disciplines.  Accreditation is one step in a process that is meant to protect the public and ensure a supply of qualified health care professionals.  For more information about CAAHEP and accreditation, visit

For information on the Medical Assisting program at Pine Technical College visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pine Tech Community Forum Addresses Mental Health Needs

The recent closure of Riverwood Centers underscores the lack of mental health workers and patient services throughout Minnesota, which is an ongoing concern for state officials. To address the issue, the Minnesota Legislature asked MnSCU to convene a summit and develop a state workforce plan. A community forum is slated for 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 at Pine Technical College.

Forums will be held throughout the state with the goal of developing a comprehensive plan to increase the number of qualified people working at all levels of Minnesota’s mental health system, ensuring appropriate coursework and training and creating a more culturally diverse mental health workforce.

“This is a large undertaking, and we need the community’s input and help,” said Stefanie Schroeder, Pine Technical College’s dean of workforce and economic development. “We want to gather information from providers, employers, consumers of mental health care, educators and others to assess the gaps and shortages in the mental healthcare workforce.”

Forum topics will include, but are not limited to, the wait time for individuals to see a mental health professionals, the challenges and length of time to fill mental health professional positions, whether students and graduates are meeting expectations of providers, strategies to recruit individuals to the mental health field and improvements needed to the mental health workforce and delivery system.

A team will use the results from the Pine Tech forum, as well as other forums held throughout the state, to create the comprehensive plan at a summit scheduled for May 28.

Forum organizers ask attendees to pre-register at and clicking on Pine City.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Michael Olesen Joins PTC Staff

Michael Olesen,  a technology and grant administrator with over 33 years of experience in higher education, has been appointed Director of the Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) Consortium at Pine Technical College. He will begin Monday, Feb. 10.
Back in September it was announced that Pine Technical College has received an $18.3 million four-college, multi-state consortium grant in part of an effort to expand demand-driven skills training, and strengthen employer partnerships. These grants are the third installment of a nearly $2 billion community college initiative, and the four-year grant began Oct. 1, 2013.    
Over the past five years Olesen was the Director of Information Technology, Biosciences, and Research for the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR). With UMR's transition to a system campus and the introduction of a Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology Research and Academic program and the launching of BS in Health Science in fall 2009, Olesen played the lead role in planning, developing, implementing, and managing UMR's information technology infrastructure. This included facilitating the development of UMR’s leading-edge Minnesota High Tech Associate (MHTA) TekNe award winning learning management system iSEAL (intelligent System for Educational Assessment and Learning) and implementing active learning classrooms at UMR. In addition, he was responsible for research administration and research programs of the Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (BICB) program.
Prior to joining UMR, Olesen was Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center where he was involved in building university-industry research consortia and Assistant Director of the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute where he implemented high performance computing solutions.

Michael has a B.A. in History from Hamline University and a MS in Higher Education Administration from Saint Cloud State University.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pine Technical College Expands Mission, Changes Name Change

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved on Jan. 22 an expansion in the mission of Pine Technical College to a comprehensive technical and community college. The change enables the college to offer, perhaps as early as the Fall, the Associate in Arts degree. To reflect this change, the Board also approved a change in the name of the institution to Pine Technical and Community College. The change in mission will also require approval of the Higher Learning Commission, at which time the name change will become effective.

“The mission expansion, coupled with this name change, empowers the college to continue its record of service and program excellence,” said Robert Musgrove, President of Pine Tech. “A balanced offering of liberal arts and sciences and workforce programs is a critical need in our region.”

The new mission will remove barriers that prevent students from taking advantage of higher education due to location or financial issues. “We can now allow undecided students to enroll with a declared major in the Associate in Arts degree and maintain eligibility for financial aid while they are exploring degree and career options,” said Musgrove. “This change will allow us to provide an extraordinary education to more students in our region seeking a broader range of excellent educational experiences.”

In making this change, Pine Tech will retain its focus on serving the needs of students seeking a technical degree. “Our history, heritage, and culture have centered on technical education, and this change will not diminish that focus,” said Musgrove.

The college’s change request to the MnSCU Board also substantiated the need for the expansion by pointing out the low rate of degree attainment in the region.  Each year according to the data, almost 70 percent of 10th graders in the region intend, at that stage of their lives, to seek a bachelor’s degree.  However, the reality is that only around 40 percent  of graduates in the region actually do enroll after graduation.

“That translates to over 770 high school graduates each year who do not enroll in college – even though they said as 10th graders that they wanted a career that requires a bachelor’s degree,” PTC Dean of Students Paula Hoffman explained.  “We hope to provide initial access to that degree through our AA for as many of those students as we can reach.”

For further information about PTC’s mission expansion and name change, contact Katie Krier at 320-629-5174, or; Paula Hoffman at 320-629-5180,; Robert Musgrove at 320-629-5120, or

Pine Technical College, established in 1965 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, serves more than 1,300 students and awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. PTC’s notable programs include Accounting, American Sign Language, Automotive Technology, Business Administration, Business Technology, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Early Childhood Education, Gunsmithing Technology, Computer Network Administration, Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing, Precision Manufacturing/Machining, Automation/Robotics Technology, Plastics Technology, Medical Assisting, Human Services Eligibility Worker and many more.

Pine Tech is accepting applications for new students in all programs. For more information about PTC’s programs, including information regarding how to apply, call 320-629-5100 or visit the website at .

PTC is a proud member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which include 24 two-year community, technical, and comprehensive colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.

Friday, November 22, 2013

PTC hosts "Family Fun Night"

Hey all you Pine Tech community members, check out some family fun photos from our Oct. 25 fall family fun night.
PTC students, staff, faculty and their families came to the campus to celebrate fall, some dressed in costume, with games, food, laughs, and more!
Don't miss out on our next family fun night - PTC's Holiday Party, sponsored by Student Senate. The festivities will be on Friday, Dec. 20 from 5 to 8 p.m., and will include the ever popular photo booth, good food, and goody bags for kids! Look for reminders as we get closer to the event!

Friday, November 8, 2013

PTC set to host Thirteenth Annual Donor Recognition Event

Pine Technical College will host the Thirteenth Annual Donor Recognition Event Friday, Nov. 22, with social hour beginning at 5 p.m., at the North West Company Fur Post in Pine City. The event honors those who have given financial contributions to the college in support of PTC’s various scholarship programs, as well as the college’s many scholarship recipients.
“This is a very special event that means a lot for our students and for our donors,” said Sandi Carlisle, Executive Assistant to the President and PTC Foundation Coordinator. “This event provides a perfect opportunity for scholarship recipients to meet and thank Foundation donors, and it’s also a more elegant, upscale evening that we intentionally create for honoring the achievements of our students while enjoying the best hors d’oeuvres, wine, and entertainment our community has to offer,” Carlisle added.
The event will open with a social hour and wine tasting while attendees enjoy musical entertainment by Mary Ovick, accompanied by PTC’s very own Connie Odendahl. Manufacturing student David Grosshauser and nursing student Sandra Oachs (both scholarship recipients) will be attending as speakers. Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will also be in attendance as a guest speaker. This fall, the PTC Foundation has awarded $54,500 to 51 students.
The event is open to the public, and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle with prizes that include an IPad Mini and 29” Vizio LED HD TV. Contributors for the prizes have come from PTC College Foundation, Pine City Walmart, Voyaguer Bottle Shop, and Janet Musgrove. Raffle tickets are available for $5 at Voyageur Bottle Shop or PTC’s President’s Office. Winners do not need to be present to win.  
Tickets for the event will be sold at the door, or at PTC  for $10, and all proceeds will go to the Bridging the Dream Scholarship fund. The event’s refreshments will be provided by Chris’ Food Center, Chubby’s Restaurant, Grand Casino – Hinckley, Miley’s Catering, Tesora Restaurant, and Wings North, with wine provided by Voyageur Bottle Shop.