Welcome Back!

Welcome to the start of Spring Semester 2016! I hope each of you enjoyed some time off and were able to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. I am eager to continue the great work with all of the projects needing completion for the college.

My first semester as president of Hennepin Technical College (HTC) was exceptional. I had the opportunity to meet many students, faculty and staff as well as industry partners, superintendents and alumni. I have worked diligently with our leaders of faculty shared governance, MAPE, MMA and AFSCME to foster an environment focused on student success. This work leads to meaningful and life-changing opportunities for all our students. We provide the education and training needed to put people to work in high-demand fields that offer outstanding wages and growth opportunities.

As I look back on the fall, I am reminded that we have accomplished a great deal together such as raising the most money ever for our Foundation in a Fall semester. The funding efforts include increased scholarships and corporate donations at our annual Foundation Scholarship Dinner in October 2015. We formed a partnership with Metro Transit to train diesel mechanics as part of Metro Transit’s new recruiting and training program to prepare for an expanding transit system and an aging workforce. We have also started partnerships with area high schools to create new contract PSEO and dual enrollment programs.

This semester will provide more opportunities to build and strengthen our partnerships with employers, industry partners, donors, local school districts and the community. We will be able to achieve our outcomes by working with others who share our mission and vision of creating opportunities for our students and the communities we serve.

I hope that you are as excited as I am for Spring Semester. Although this spring semester has just begun, very soon we will be celebrating spring break (March 14-18), the Advisory Dinner (April 28), the Student Academic and Leadership Awards (May 5) and then we will be heading toward commencement on May 19. When we are this productive the time passes by so quickly.

The vision, goals and key actions that requires leadership of the college takes a considerable amount of time. Please know that I am working hard to ensure our college success. I believe in the progress made thus far and remain grateful to each of you for the wonderful work you provide to HTC.

We have a mission to provide excellence in career and technical education for employment and advancement. While we may face challenges ahead, I have confidence in our commitment to emerge successfully in continuing our college mission. Let us seize this moment to commit ourselves to our mission and to move forward with excitement for the semester that awaits us.

Merrill L. Irving Jr., Ed.D.


MLK Day of Service

HTC together with the City of Brooklyn Park and North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) held an inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.The event took place on the Brooklyn Park campus on Saturday, January 16 where more than 75 community members, college employees and students gathered to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.

The event included a showcase of talented HTC and NHCC student singers; a welcome by HTC president Dr. Merrill Irving, Jr., NHCC president Dr. Barbara McDonald, and Brooklyn Park mayor Jeffrey Lunde; and a keynote address by Dr. Whitney Harris, executive director of diversity and multiculturalism at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The day also featured service projects opportunities including making blankets for the Crisis Nursery and CEAP and an opportunity to share opinions with local policymakers.


HTC M-Powered Program Receives Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant

M-Powered is an award-winning, fast-track training program that has successfully trained hundreds of Minnesotans for a manufacturing career. M-Powered has primarily served dislocated workers, the unemployed, and underemployed and provides priority service to veterans and spouses of veterans.

HTC recently was awarded a $446,090 Minnesota Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant to train 84 new and current manufacturing employees.  The three-year project will train employees of Morrissey, Inc., Bloomington; Minnesota Grinding, Inc., Minneapolis; Boker’s, Inc., Minneapolis; EJ Ajax & Sons, Fridley; Marshall Manufacturing Company, Minneapolis; Pellco Machine, Inc., St. Michael; Top Tool, Minneapolis; PERBIX, Brooklyn Park; Harvey Vogel Manufacturing Co., Woodbury; and Dayton Rodgers, Minneapolis. 

HIRED (a Minneapolis based organization that provides personalized career counseling, training, and placement for job seekers while providing employers with workforce solutions and qualified job candidates to bridge the growing skills gap), will recruit, evaluate and enroll 42 entry-level, low-income trainees for the training project and match each one with a case manager for coaching and support services. Both entry-level trainees and current partner manufacturer employees will attend classroom instruction for Precision Metal Stamping or CNC Machine Operator. 

After successfully completing classroom training, the entry-level trainees will competitively interview for a structured 480-hour paid on-the-job training (OJT) with the manufactures.  All participants will earn college credits and have the opportunity to earn NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) credentials. 

For additional information visit HTC’s M-Powered website or email Rich Kelly.


Grants Assist with Increasing Persistence

Fluid Power Program Students

HTC received renewed funding from the Otto Bremer Foundation.  The grant amount of $200,000 will continue the HTC Finish Line Program to facilitate persistence and on-time completion of programs for a select student cohort. The students who are funded through the program will be guided by the following: One-to-One Advising, Student Success Coursework, Student Engagement Student Support Services/TRiO, Tutoring, and Peer Mentoring.  For more information please visit the Achieve Program website or contact HTC Achieve Advisors Angel Hoglund or Todd Carlton.

HTC was also a recipient of a $54,500 grant from Great Lakes through the Dash Emergency Grant Program.  These grant dollars will supplement the HTC Foundation Crisis scholarship dollars and will be used for students who experience unforeseen expenses.  Financial emergencies are among the reasons why so many students abandon their studies before they complete their program of study.  If you have a student who you believe is in a financial crisis, please refer them to a counselor for support and consideration.

In addition, Eaton Foundation provided HTC with a $20,000 grant to fund scholarships for students enrolled in the Fluid Power Program, and Xcel Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to be used for economically disadvantaged students who are majoring in STEM-specific programs.  For more information on HTC grants and scholarships, visit the scholarship webpage.


New Partnerships Increase Enrollment

HTC has focused additional efforts to drive enrollment through building relationships with area high schools. In addition to the traditional PSEO courses, HTC has now expanded into offering courses through Concurrent Enrollment and Contract PSEO. Between Concurrent Enrollment and Contract PSEO, it is projected that there will be an increase in credits sold from 23 in FY15 to 214 in FY17.


Summer Hours

HTC Leadership has met with union leadership for all bargaining groups regarding a proposal to follow a 4 10-hour day schedule during the upcoming summer.  The proposal includes closing offices and buildings on Fridays-Sundays during the period of May 18 through August 9, 2016, in order to save energy costs associated with keeping the building open when there is minimal activity occurring. 

Summer Hour Dates:
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 through Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Building Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
(May 18 – August 9)

Campus Core Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
Friday through Sunday: Closed
(May 18 – August 9)

Additional information regarding summer hours:

All offices must be staffed during core hours.  The supervisor(s) has the responsibility and discretion to schedule employees to ensure college services are provided.

The supervisor(s) has the discretion to schedule employees Monday-Thursday from 6:00 AM through 10:00 PM as long as the department is open and covered by knowledgeable employee(s).

College employees normally scheduled outside campus core hours must work with their supervisor(s) to determine summer work schedules.  With supervisory approval, employees may choose to use vacation, comp time, or voluntary reduction in hours (as permitted by union contract) on Fridays, rather than adjusting their work schedule.

If an employee has a need for a disability accommodation, please email Sharon Mohr, Chief Human Resources Officer.



Academic Leadership Changes

Marguerite Dummer become the permanent Academic Dean supporting Manufacturing, Emergency and Public Services, and Math. She has served as the Dean of this division in an interim capacity since late September. Previously, Marguerite served as the Dean of Health, Sciences, and English for the past eight years and a Nursing faculty member prior to that. Please welcome Marguerite to her role!

Jason Kopp has accepted the position as Director of Technology. Jason will bring a wealth of technology, leadership, and IT supervision experience to this position. He has seven years of experience working as an IT adjunct faculty member at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and St. Cloud State University, as well as an adjunct and full-time faculty positions here at HTC. In addition, Jason has eight and half years of combined experience managing and supervising IT teams at Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916 and Cambridge-Isanti High School. Jason will begin his new assignment on January 28, 2016. Please welcome Jason to HTC's IT team!


HTC MnSCU Board of Trustee Awards for Excellence in Teaching

The MnSCU Board of Trustees presents its Awards for Excellence each year to express the system’s pride in its faculty.  The awards honor the dedication and accomplishment of faculty members who provide students with the highest quality instruction and service.  The awards celebrate excellence in teaching and fostering student growth and development. 

Since 2007, the Board has recognized 279 faculty as Outstanding Educators, and 35 of them have received the Educator of the Year award. HTC Faculty Ernie Parker and Susan Thaemert have been recognized as Educators of the Year.  This recognition program is the result of the dedicated work of faculty, students, campus award committees, and a system-wide award review committee. Each year, campus committees review nominations and select a few names to forward to presidents, who in turn designate faculty as Outstanding Educators to the Board of Trustees.   

This year, HTC received nine nominations: Craig Anderson, Joan Bernard, Rick Montzka, Linda Paquette, Mike Rudolph, DeDe Theroux, Darlyn Thomas, Jeff Thorstad, and Jason Burrows.  From there, each nominated faculty member completed an application and a committee selected two faculty to move forward in the award process.

For the 2016 award program, the committee selected Linda Paquette, Information Technology and Computer Careers and Jeff Thorstad, Automation Robotics Engineering Technology and Packaging, to be forwarded to the Board. Congratulations to Jeff and Linda!

The 2016 Celebrating Excellence ceremony and luncheon will be held on April 20 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, St. Paul.


Linda Paquette has been an instructor for three years with HTC's Information Technology program and is known for her unique teaching style and focus on students. She shifts her focus away from her delivery in the classroom to group exercises and open discussions thereby activating student engagement and learning. Linda has become the go-to person between businesses in the IT sector and students in need of part- and full-time internships in IT.

Jeff Thorstad is an instructor in the Automation Robotics Engineering Technology and Packaging Program. Jeff has five years of teaching experience under his belt. His teaching style is to provide opportunities for students to learn in multiple ways in the classroom including reading and web-based assignments, actual hands-on activities, and industry training videos. Over the years he has facilitated the need for students to understand what they will face on the job by regular tours of industry, guest speakers, and providing opportunities to attend networking events. Each year he attends and takes students to the Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) in Chicago. This provides students not only knowledge but the motivation to continue in the Program.


Advisory Dinner and Celebration - Save the Date

The Program Advisory Committee Dinner and Celebration will be held at the Brooklyn Park campus on Thursday, April 28. This dinner and celebration provides HTC with an opportunity to thank all Advisory Committee members for their guidance in training the future workforce.  Faculty and staff that plan on attending the dinner are asked to RSVP as soon as possible. 



Charting the Future

Charting the Future (CTF) is a strategic effort to help change how we work and encourage collaboration among MnSCU institutions to better prepare our students for success and achieving a more prosperous Minnesota. HTC is fully engaged in implementing the campus-based projected specified in the CTF work plan

HTC’s CTF committee that is responsible for leading the campus based-work includes Drs. Merrill Irving, Jr. and Lisa Larson as well as Annette Roth, Kristine Sladek (AFSCME representative), Ravi Gupta (MAPE Representative), Jenessa Gerling (MSCF representative), and Gretchen Long (MnSCU’s CTF Coordinating Committee representative).   HTC’s student representatives are Jon Norling and Gloria Watkins. A list of projects as well as updates can be found on the HTC CTF webpage.



Commencement will take place on Thursday, May 19 on the Brooklyn Park campus.  For the first time, the ceremony will he held outdoors unless there is inclement weather.  More information will follow as the date gets closer. Please encourage students to regularly check the Graduation web page for updated information. For additional questions please email Jessica Lauritsen.





HTC is preparing for the next steps in maintaining its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. The College's accreditation team including President Irving, Sue Selland, Dara Hagen, Jason Jones, Jeff Peterson, and Donna Statzell will be attending The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Strategy Forum February 17-19 in order to document the steps taken since our last accreditation report and prepare a new Action Project on Assessment of Student Learning. HTC's accreditation on-site visit will take place on April 17-20, 2017. Visit the accreditation webpage or email Donna Statzell for more information.


The Office of Civil Rights Audit


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces five federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.  Each year, the system office conducts OCR campus audits as required by federal law and Board policy.

HTC will be participating in an OCR on-site review and audit January 27-29 at both campuses.   A system office team will be reviewing materials, conducting interviews, and touring HTC's facilities to determine compliance with Civil Rights standards and guidelines.  Questions regarding the OCR audit should be emailed to Jean Maierhofer, Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer.


Notification System and Emergency Response Procedures

HTC has established an Emergency Notification system called Star Alert.  Star Alert sends messages to you through cell phone text messaging and/or email during emergencies that threaten life, safety, or severely impact normal campus operations. These messages may be weather related warnings involving severe thunderstorms, winter storms, tornadoes, or other situations that cause the campus to be closed.  All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to subscribe to Star Alert on the college’s webpage

In addition, the Emergency Response procedures have been updated and new Emergency Response Guides are displayed around campus. Please take some time to review the guides so you are prepared in the event of an emergency.  For additional campus security information visit the Campus Security webpage or email Randy Roehrick, Director of Security.

Active Shooter Training

A MnSCU training video, “Shots Fired on Campus,” is now available for all students, staff and faculty.  To watch this video, you must use your Star ID to login to MnSCU’s Media Space. This video will provide you with information to assist in creating your own personal safety strategy.

Additionally HTC will be providing training to all faculty, staff and students to raise awareness and help prepare individuals to respond to a potential violent encounter.  ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuation) is a comprehensive training method created to increase an individual’s response options during a crisis situation.

The ALICE training program will empower and educate the HTC community on how to handle and survive a critical violent event on campus. The program provides a basic history of school shootings, the motivation of offenders, and options on how to respond if a violent shooter enters your building, office, or classroom, and includes information on how to lockdown and barricade, evacuate, and counterattack, depending on the dynamics of the situation.  

This highly effective and common-sense training has been readily adopted by numerous post-secondary institutions throughout the United States. This training will be available to the entire college community, and will be offered bi-monthly on each campus throughout Spring Semester. The campus security team will also provide this training to individuals/departments on request. Email Randy Roehrick for more information or to schedule an individual/department training.


Storm Water Protection

The quality of Minnesota’s lakes, streams and wetlands is threatened by increasing development and pollution. When it rains, the storm water that runs off driveways, lawns, houses and parking lots can carry pollutants like oil, paint and chemicals down storm sewers and into nearby lakes, streams and rivers.

Periodically, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) conduct comprehensive evaluations and audits of MnSCU campuses to determine if the campuses are conducting activities in way that will protect the watershed against possible pollutants.  HTC is mandated to conduct activities and operations in a way that will protect the watershed against possible pollutants like oil, gasoline, sand and salt. 

To get a better understanding of the audit process and how HTC can prepare for one in the future, safety officer Erin Lynne recently shadowed an audit that was being conducted at Anoka Ramsey Community College.  Erin then provided training to the maintenance staff.  Additional information on how each of us plays a role in protecting the watershed with be communicated around upcoming Earth Day events later this spring.  In the meantime, additional information concerning storm water can be found on the Campus Safety webpage or by emailing Erin Lynne.

Last updated by admin : 2016-04-04 19:36:14