Tuesday, May 17, 2016

$150K grant provides Pathways to Prosperity for PTCC students

A Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development grant will provide more than $150,000 for low income Minnesotans seeking education and training in high demand career fields. The MN Pathways to Prosperity (P2P) grant was awarded to Pine Technical & Community College’s Employment and Training Center, to serve residents of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine Counties.


The P2P grant will provide training, and support services to qualified individuals who are interested in nursing assistant, welding or production technology. Each are short-term courses that provide incumbent workers with the skills to land a good-paying job in a high-demand field.


“With a 25 year history of serving the region, this is a good fit for us,” said Dwayne Green, ETC’s executive director. “It’s in line with our mission of helping people find not just a job, but a career.”


“Our mission at Pine Technical & Community College is to help people wherever they’re at,” said PTCC President Joe Mulford. “Whether you’re starting out or starting over, PTCC will help you reach your goals. And this grant provides an opportunity for those who might not be able to afford a college education, or those who need to get in a good-paying career in a short time frame. We’re very proud to be working with ETC to provide this opportunity to our community.”


Green is excited for this grant because it provides additional support for participants. “This is a little bit different than other grants, in that it’s more comprehensive. It provides training, but there’s also a case management component to help people with job skills and job searches.”


The grant will provide funds in three stages, including summer semester, fall semester and spring semester. Participants in the grant can start some of the classes as early as May 31, when PTCC’s summer semester begins. Individuals are interested in participating in the grant can contact Kris Hanson at 320.629.4568 or email hansonk@pine.edu.

Monday, May 16, 2016

PTCC Confers Class of 2016

Pine Technical & Community College conferred more than 230 degrees, diplomas and certificates, honoring the graduates for their accomplishments and contributions to both the college and the community.

As Chief Student Affairs Officer Paula Hoffman welcomed the graduates, and their families and friends, she shared a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” and spoke of how the graduates are realizing their dreams and taking the next step on their journey.
Student Senate President echoed those sentiments, recognizing the motivation that led each graduate to this day, and urging them to think of graduation as a beginning, not as an end.

“Your college and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees will never stop expecting great things from you,” remarked Trustee Thomas Renier.

Providing the commencement address, Rep. Jason Rarick told the graduates, “Minnesota continues to face a workforce shortage, and you are answering the call. The skills you have learned at Pine Technical & Community College are cutting edge. You are contributing to the economic health of the state.”

President Joe Mulford, presiding over commencement for his first time as president of the college, conferred the graduates, reminding them to take pride in their accomplishments as the college takes pride in each and every graduate and the contributions they’ll make to the community.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pine Technical & Community College now offers MMSC training courses

Motorcyclists, or those looking to get their motorcycle endorsement, have a new training site to go to for Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center rider courses. Pine Technical and Community College in Pine City, Minn. started offering the Basic Rider Course, Intermediate Rider Course and Moped Rider Training this season.
Last year, 61 motorcyclists were killed in 57 crashes on Minnesota roads, according to preliminary reports. That’s up from 46 fatalities in 2014. Thirty-three of those crashes were single-vehicle, involving only the motorcycle. All of these crashes are preventable.
Training is vital to motorcycle safety. The Basic Rider Course helps riders with no experience learn essential motorcycle control skills and earn their motorcycle license. The Intermediate Rider Course helps riders build upon their existing skills and help turn them into better riders. Courses start running in May.
Why take the Basic Rider Course?
  • Riders can get a license and learn essential motorcycle control skills in one course.
  • It’s designed for beginning riders with no previous riding experience and helps returning riders.
  • It’s thorough: Riders spend 4.5 hours learning motorcycle basics in the classroom and 10 hours practicing and mastering basic rider techniques on the range.
Why take the Intermediate Rider Course?
  • It covers skills crucial to safety: Control, finesse, counter steering, cornering, swerving and braking.
  • It’s affordable: The course is $55 for five hours of riding time.
  • Practice makes perfect: This is a great opportunity to tune up your skills early on in the riding season.
  • It opens the door for more advanced courses: After you master the Intermediate Rider Course, the MN Advanced and Expert Rider Courses are next on the list. These courses will turn you into an expert rider, using the same techniques designed to train and keep police motor officers safe in any riding or traffic situation.
How do Riders sign up?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Alexis Grinde PTCC’s Outstanding Educator

Biology instructor Dr. Alexis Grinde, has been named Pine Technical and Community College’s Outstanding Educator based on nominations by students, faculty peers, and staff members. Grinde is one of 30 across the state to have earned the title – the others having earned the nomination from their respective MnSCU institutions. Grinde, with other MnSCU nominees, was recognized in a statewide ceremony in April.
 The Outstanding Educator designation recognizes the exceptional commitment that each of the nominees have demonstrated in teaching, in their continuous professional development and in their service to students, the college, profession and the MnSCU system.
 Grinde was honored to be nominated by her peers and students. "Biology is an intimidating subject for the majority of students," Grinde said. "It is truly humbling to be nominated as an outstanding educator by past and present students; it shows me that my approach to teaching biology is helping students be successful in reaching their educational goals."
 Grinde teaches a variety of biology classes at Pine including Health and Disease in the Human Body, Microbiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology and Nutrition and Wellness. In her nomination, Grinde was named a trailblazer when it comes to classroom innovations, because she embraces varied and effective teaching strategies that cater to students' different learning styles. Her nomination also noted her expertise in successfully engaging students makes her an invaluable resource to them and her campus colleagues. 
 “Alexis is so deserving of this award,” said Joan Bloemendaal-Gruett, chief academic officer at Pine. “She strives for excellence both in and outside of the classroom. Her commitment to her students and to her field is commendable.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

$39,700 grant supports student emergency fund at Pine Technical & Community College

Pine Technical & Community College now has additional resources to help low-income students weather financial emergencies. Students can apply for small grants to help cover expenses just beyond their means, which allows them to quickly return focus to their academic pursuits.


“Many of our students face unexpected expenses that can often result in them having to put their education, and ultimately their opportunities for a better future, on hold,” said Dean of Student Affairs Paula Hoffman. “The emergency grant helps our students keep their education on track in dire circumstances. In the event they don’t qualify for the grant, we’re still able to connect the student to community resources they would not have known about if they hadn’t come in to discuss the grant.”


The student emergency grant program at PTCC is made possible by a $39,700 Dash emergency grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. PTCC is one of 31 community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $1.5 million in Great Lakes grants to build emergency grant programs that help low-income students overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise cause them to drop out.


“Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges like Pine Technical & Community College that are dedicated to supporting students in times of greatest need,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “Emergency grants are a bridge to college completion and the financial security a degree can provide.”


PTCC began making student emergency grants of up to $500 each in spring 2016. Qualified expenses are paid within 48 hours of an approved application. Students also are referred to additional campus, community and financial literacy resources to supplement the grants, address root causes or contributing factors to the financial emergencies and further support students’ persistence.


To serve greater numbers of students throughout the Great Lakes grant period and beyond, PTCC will contribute matching funds during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. “Our shared commitment is key to making emergency grant programs sustainable long-term,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments at Great Lakes.


The Pine Technical & Community College Foundation pledged a year one match of $4,000 and $8,000 for year two.  


To date, more than $6,100 has been awarded to 13 students since the program began in March.


One student faced an unexpected medical expense that put her at risk of having her electricity disconnected. “I had to choose between electric or a medical expense. With the help I was able to continue my journey at Pine Technical and Community College without the added stress that come with a pending doom of disconnection of my electric.”

Great Lakes will provide a maximum of $6,700 to PTCC during the pilot period of the grant. With funds from Great Lakes and matching funds from the PTCC Foundation, $20,000 will be available in each of years one and two of the grant.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Skills that Launch -- CNC operator training coming soon

CNC operator training is ideal for working individuals looking to upgrade their skills!
Students will get hands-on training with CNC 3-axis mill and CNC 2-axis lathe. Just 60 hours in-lab and 20 hours in-class, and you'll be ready to launch into a great career! 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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

SFC Troy Erickson, Veterans’ Center student worker Daniel Sawatzky, Veterans’ Club student president Haven Badrawi, Veterans' Club faculty advisor Chris Morgan and PTCC president Joe Mulford.
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.