Spring semester certainly has been extremely productive and passed by quickly.  We are completing the final preparations for Commencement scheduled for Thursday (May 19, 2016) at the Brooklyn Park campus, and I look forward to seeing each of you as we celebrate this milestone with our students.

I want to take a moment to thank faculty, staff, and students for your many and significant contributions to our college.  Our mission is to provide excellence in career and technical education for employment and advancement.  During this past academic year, we continuously worked with others who share our mission and vision of creating opportunities for our students by pulling together to build and strengthen our partnerships.  This year we focused on our partnerships with employers, industry partners, donors, local school districts and the community.  We have laid the groundwork for continued student success.  I look forward to continuing this work.

Please take the opportunity to see our great work in these updates.  I am very grateful to share these wonderful outcomes in celebration of all that we have accomplished together.  As we complete this academic year and look ahead, I would like for you to know my sincere gratitude to those of you who are committed to to our college's mission and our students.

Wishing you all a relaxing summer.

Merrill Irving, Jr., Ed.D.



Commencement Ceremonies are scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 11:00 am and 4:30 pm.  The ceremonies will be held outdoors at the Brooklyn Park campus unless inclement weather is present.  Commencement is an opportunity for our students to share their excitement and the importance of their academic accomplishments with their peers, family, friends and college faculty and staff.  It is also a time for the college administrators, faculty and staff to pay special tribute to our students for the outstanding efforts they have shown in earning their degrees.  

Many volunteers are needed to make this a memorable event for our students and guests. If you have not signed-up to volunteer, it is not too late.  Sign up online today.

Faculty – please notify Jake Johnson as soon as possible as to which ceremony you will participate in.

Commencement Info


Racial and Ethnic Relations

On March 25, President Irving visited the Sociology 2200: Racial and Ethnic Relations class to deliver a guest lecture. He spoke and answered questions from students for an hour about the obstacles he has faced in his life from racism and homophobia and how he overcame those obstacles to achieve his goals. Students were inspired to persevere in their own journeys and not let the actions and reactions of others stand in their way.


EMS Students Learning Life Lessons

On Thursday, May 12, a group of EMS students performed CPR on a guest that was on campus to visit the Hennepin Room (gourmet dining room).  Read more about this story on WCCO, Channel 4.


HTC to Graduate First Class of Plumbing Technicians

Congratulations to HTC’s first graduates from the Plumbing Technology program!  Fourteen students completed their one-year diploma program; many of the students found immediate employment at their internship sites.

HTC’s Plumbing Technology diploma is designed to provide students with the technical knowledge and skill development needed to begin a career in plumbing and pipefitting.  Students learn and develop the technical understanding and skills needed in order to carry out the wide range of tasks normally performed by both residential and commercial plumbers including the installation of fixtures, pipe threading, use of tools and equipment, hot and cold water supply, drainage systems, fabrication and testing, maintenance and repair of plumbing and hydronic heat. 


HVAC Excellence

This spring, HTC’s HVAC program (BPC and EPC) received their 5-year re-accreditation through HVAC Excellence.

HVAC Excellence is a not-for-profit organization that has been serving the HVACR industry since 1994 with the goal to improve competency through validation of the technical education process.  They ensure that training programs are meeting the necessary standards to ensure a highly skilled workforce and that individuals responsible for training are knowledgeable and competent in their technical and teaching skills.


Program Advisory Dinner

Hennepin Technical College administers, faculty and staff hosted the Annual Program Advisory Dinner and Celebration on April 28 at the Brooklyn Park campus.  This dinner and celebration provides HTC with an opportunity to thank all Advisory Committee members for their guidance in training the future workforce.



Senators Klobuchar, Baldwin Host Roundtable at HTC

With skyrocketing higher education costs, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is pushing legislation to make a college education more affordable and drive down student debt.

Klobuchar joined U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., higher education administrators and students at Hennepin Technical College on Wednesday, May 4 to discuss college costs and a Senate Democratic proposal (In the Red Act) aimed at helping students and recent graduates weighed down by debt loads.

Event Photos


Fluid Power Alumni & Industry Celebration

After a combined 63 years at Hennepin Technical College, Fluid Power Faculty Ernie Parker and Bob Yund are retiring!  An Open House and BBQ was held on May 12 to celebrate and recognize the rich history of successful industry and alumni relationships established by Ernie and Bob over the past 41 years.  These dynamic relationships have provided over $1.6 million dollars to support student success through scholarships, equipment, and financial donations.

To honor the valuable contributions of Ernie and Bob’s extensive partnerships, the HTC Foundation is creating a Fluid Power Endowment fund for continued student scholarships.  Donations can be made online or by contacting the HTC Foundation.

Event Photos


MnSCU Board of Trustees 2016 Awards for Excellence

On April 20, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees presented the Awards for Excellence, honors conferred to recognize professional achievement and excellence. The awards included the Professional Excellence Award for Administrative Service Faculty and the Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

“Outstanding faculty at all our colleges and universities make it possible for us to provide an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans,” said Mike Vekich, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The programs our faculty deliver – academic programs, advising, financial aid, registration, residential life, and student affairs, just to name a few – are vital to our ability to serve students and communities in every corner of the state.”

Congratulations to HTC’s nominees: Linda Paquette, Information Technology and Computer Careers faculty and Jeff Thorstad, Automation Robotics Engineering Technology and Packaging faculty.


Earth Day & Day of the Child

Hennepin Technical College celebrated Earth Day & Day of the Child on Friday, April 22 at Eden Prairie campus.

Special guests were a class of 2nd graders from Shakopee Public Schools that participated in hands-on, interactive activities and campus tours.  They were paired with high school buddies from Shakopee and Brooklyn Center High Schools.

Highlights included:

  • Presentation by James Vukelich on the Seven Generations (traditional teachings of the Anishinaabeg)
  • Creating music beats with Audio Production alumnus Rich Morris
  • Story time with high school buddies (books provided by HTC Library)
  • Making grass seed crafts with Child Development faculty Deborah Schierbeck
  • Tour of the Automation Robotics Engineering Technology classroom led by the IOPP Student Club

A special thanks to our Latino Student Club, Student Ambassadors, and TRiO/SSS students for assisting with the day, and to event sponsors Admissions & Outreach, Diversity, Student Life, and TRiO SSS & ETS.

If you would like to help plan Earth Day & Day of the Child for April 2017, please contact Yolanda Martinez-Pineda or Jean Maierhofer.

Event Photos


Metro Transit Technician Training Program

This legislative session a bill (SF 2879) was introduced to provide $407,000 appropriation to DEED for a grant to Twin Cities RISE in collaboration with Metro Transit and Hennepin Technical College for the Metro Transit Technician training program.

Metro Transit Technicians maintain the mechanical performance of Metro Transit’s fleet of 900 buses that are the backbone of the public transportation system in the Twin Cities.  Metro Transit Technicians work indoors at one of Metro Transit’s garages in the metro area and use state-of-the-art tools and equipment to determine problems with equipment and make repairs while upholding the highest-level requirements of industry safety.


Manufacturing Updates

The manufacturing team has hosted a number of high school groups to expose them to careers in the manufacturing field.  Over 1200 middle and high school students have visited the Eden Prairie campus spending time with our faculty teams in both the classroom and lab setting.  Most recently the college hosted an Engineering Design Challenge for 150 Shakopee 9th graders.  The day included industry speakers, presentation of student designs to industry members and testing and judging of the student built launchers.

The team is currently working with Waconia High School and industry partners to set up a Manufacturing Career Day for fall 2016.  This day would include a Career Fair at the high school as well as a college tour and visits to local industry partners.

Faculty members Jeff Thorstad and Brad Thorpe testified in front of the MN House Education committee regarding the DOLI Pipeline grant with bill sponsor representative Marion O’Neill (Buffalo).

The Brooklyn Park team hosted a successful Manufacturing Career Fair with over 40 companies represented.


Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards

Congratulations to the recipients in the 2016 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Upper Midwest Student Production Awards!  Recipients were announced at a ceremony on Sunday April 10, 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Mall of America.  Jay Olstad from KARE-TV hosted the award ceremony and presented Crystal Pillars to the recipients.  The awards are presented to the schools for promotional purposes to encourage students to pursue the media arts.

Eight HTC programs were nominated for an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy, and HTC received four Crystal Pillar awards.  Please congratulate the following 2016 College Student TV Award Nominees:

C-05: College – Music Video

Bethany Lynn Cox – Being Someone Else Dennis Trevino, Director

  • Julicia Ellis, Camera Operator
  • Shawn Marpe, Camera Operator
  • Sam Schatz, Camera Operator/Talent
  • Jonathan Berger, Lighting/Talent
  • Richard Oxley, Advisor

C-06: College – Fiction

Swamp Buck

  • Shawn Crossen, Camera Operator
  • Sam Schatz, Camera Operator
  • Mike Patterson, Grip
  • Ryan Hall, Camera Operator/Audio Technician
  • Shawn Marpe, Lighting Technician
  • Tong Lee, Lighting Technician
  • Kayleigh McKee, Audio Technician
  • Cassandra Shields, Camera Operator
  • Richard Oxley, Advisor

C-07: College – Non-Fiction

The Music of Bethnay Lynn Cox

  • Derald Butler, Director
  • Cassandra Shields, Writer
  • Cameron Nettle, Lighting Technician
  • Ryan Hall, Camera Operator/Audio
  • Richard Oxley, Advisor

C-11: College – Public Service (PSAs)


  • Sam Schatz, Director
  • Dennis Trevino, Editor
  • Alex Musial, Production Assistant
  • Perry Nguyen, Production Assistant
  • Ethan Pike-Nobile, Writer
  • Richard Oxley, Advisor

C-14: College – Animation/Graphics/Special Effects


  • Shawn Marpe, Animator
  • Mike Patterson, Animator
  • Stephen Hohertz, Animator

Miss Muffet Animation

  • Sean Barnes, Animator

C-15: College – Director

Michael Shynes – Crest Tattoo Studio Session (CRYSTAL PILLAR AWARD WINNER)

  • Cassandra Shields, Director

C-16: College – Editor

Michael Shynes – Volunteer (CRYSTAL PILLAR AWARD WINNER)

  • Dennis Trevino, Editor


HTC Students Win SkillsUSA State Awards, Head to Nationals in June

Hennepin Tech had a strong showing in the 2016 SkillsUSA Minnesota competition in April: Seven students placed first (gold) in their division and will travel to the national competition in Louisville, KY, in June. Seven placed second (silver), and seven placed third (bronze). If the students moving on to nationals place first there, they’ll have the opportunity to compete at a World competition. The winners are enrolled in HTC programs ranging from Automotive Technology to Cabinetmaking to Culinary Arts to Graphic Design to Child Development—illustrating just how diverse SkillsUSA programs are.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that provides leadership opportunities through educational experiences and teamwork components for people involved in career and technical education programs. Nationally, over 300,000 students are registered; in Minnesota, there are approximately 3,000 students from 32 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers.

For more information and to view all the pictures from the state competition, visit the HTC website.

Event Photos


Fluid Power Competition

On April 21, the top six Fluid Power students from each of the four campuses in Minnesota that offer training in the Fluid Power field, met at Alexandria Technical College to compete in the Minnesota State Fluid Power Skills Competition.  The contest included hands-on, written, and verbal portions that tested the students’ knowledge of engineering, troubleshooting, and design in hydraulics and pneumatics.

The results of this contest are as follows:

  • 1st place went to a student from Granite Falls campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • 2nd place went to Jesse Lucking, Hennepin Technical College – Eden Prairie campus
  • 3rd place went to Lucas Schoen, Hennepin Technical College – Eden Prairie campus
  • 4th place went to Steve Hoium Hennepin Technical College – Eden Prairie campus
  • 5th place went to a student from Alexandria Technical College

Jusse Lucking was also recognized as the Outstanding Student of the Year for Eden Prairie Campus.  Congratulations to all the Fluid Power students on an outstanding competition.


Annual American Indian Graduation Banquet

Historically, American Indian college graduation rates are far below other ethnic groups. Volunteers who recognized the importance of honoring American Indian graduates created the American Indian Graduation Event in 1986.  This special event brings together American Indian graduates, representing institutions from post-secondary institution throughout the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area, their families and American Indian community leaders from across the state and is fully funded by donations and organized by volunteers from post-secondary institutions and community members.

Hennepin Technical College had 29 American Indian students complete a certificate, diploma, or degree during this past year.  Four of these students and their families attended the 30th Annual American Indian Graduation Banquet on Friday, April 22 at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  Graduates were honored with an innovation from an American Indian spiritual leader followed by a keynote speaker and an honor song from a Powwow Drum.  The event concluded with a recognition ceremony for the graduates.

Additional pictures from the event can be found on the American Indian Graduation Facebook page.


Information Technology Reminder

It is important that faculty and staff save their data to their H drive and NEVER save files locally to the desktop and/or My Documents.  By saving files to locations other than the H drive, there is NO backup in the event of a computer failure.  Saving files to external devices is not supported and should not be done. Depending on the type of data, it can also be a violation of MNSCU Policy.  If you have questions regarding this, please contact the technology services help desk or Jason Kopp, Director of Technology.


Coming Fall 2016: Office 365 for Faculty and Staff

Starting in the fall of 2016, the technology services team will be deploying Office 365 for all faculty and staff. This modern tool with give employees the opportunity to collaborate and share files between employees, text message and video chat. It will also give the technology services team the ability to remotely support faculty when they are working from home. In addition, an instructional collaboration tools (OneNote Class Notebook) provide a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaborative space for lessons and creative activities.

Additional training resources will be provided when this tool is launched.  In the meantime, watch the Office 365 YouTube video.


Assessment Update

The Assessment Committee is excited to announce a webpage dedicated to assessment at HTC.  An overview of the assessments that a student may encounter from “Entry to Exit” at HTC is provided along with information on current assessment activities, reports on past projects, and links to resources for faculty.  Check it out online or type “assessment” in the search field on the HTC home page.

The Assessment Committee is also pleased to share the final results from the FY15 College-Wide Assessment of Oral Communication.  While this project was completed in the spring of 2015, the results were not able to be analyzed until now when an upgrade in the DARS system at MnSCU was finished.  This was needed in order to be able to pull the target group that had 70% of their credits completed toward their award and a 2.0 GPA.  Based on the analysis, HTC students meeting this criteria demonstrated a Proficient level of oral communication overall.  Further analysis indicated students were Proficient in all skill areas except fluency and non-verbal which fell just under the Proficient level.  The full report including comparison to the FY14 results can be found under “Previous Assessment Activities” on the Assessment webpage.  The Committee is planning activities to assist faculty in increasing these skill areas and to further promote proficiency in this institutional outcome of oral communication.  Watch for workshops scheduled in the coming year. 

Additionally, the first year of the College-Wide Assessment of Written Communication is nearing completion.  The writing samples collected in the fall semester have been assessed by teams of two faculty and the samples from the spring semester will be assessed early this fall.  Then the results will be analyzed and reported to the college.  The Assessment Committee sincerely thanks all the classroom instructors who contributed writing samples and the faculty who served as assessors.  Your time and expertise were invaluable to the success of this important project.  Please note that the Committee will be collecting writing samples again next year so consider including an assignment as you plan your courses for the fall. 

Finally, any ideas or questions you have about assessment can now be sent directly to the Assessment Committee’s new email address:


Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Accreditation

Thank you to all the faculty and staff who assisted with the recent administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). We had a total of 660 respondents for this period.  Thank you for allowing us to come into your classrooms for this important survey.  Results will be shared during fall semester.


TRIO Student Support Services

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.

HTC received a new TRIO grant this year which will provide support services to additional students! Applications are still being accepted in the TRIO Offices located in F-130 on both campuses.

To qualify for TRIO, a student must meet one of the following criteria:

  • First Generation (neither parent has a 4-year degree in the US)
  • Financially Disadvantaged
  • Have a Documented Disability as Defined by the US Department of Education

TRIO Support Services include:

  • Individual Advising
  • Course Specific Tutoring
  • Academic, Career & Personal Counseling
  • Monitoring Academic Progress
  • Financial Aid Assistance / Literacy
  • Access to Books and Study Aids
  • Strategies for Testing and Studying

If you have students struggling in your class that would benefit from the services provided by TRIO, please encourage them to stop into the TRIP Offices and complete an application.  Together we can assist HTC students to persist and succeed at HTC.

If you have any questions, concerns or would like a TRIO representative to come to your class and talk to your students please contact Jonathan Aldana or Nhia Xiong.


Crisis Grant

In January, Hennepin Technical College was awarded the Great Lakes DASH Grant for a total of $54,500 for academic years 2016-2018. These dollars are used to provide assistance to students facing unexpected financial emergencies. Crisis funds were created to help students stay in college and achieve their educational goals.  Grants are awarded up to $500.

Crisis Grant applicants are required to:

  • Be a current student
  • Be enrolled in 6 or more credits
  • Provide documentation of the financial emergency. Advisors and Counselors can assist students through this process

For additional information or to apply for a crisis grant, please click here.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristine Ramos-Walker, Dean of Enrollment Services.

Crisis Grant


MnSCU Colleges and Universities Exceed Performance Goals Set by Legislature

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has exceeded all five of the performance goals the legislature set during the 2015 session. Five percent of the system’s fiscal year 2017 appropriation was contingent on meeting three or more of the performance goals. As a result of this achievement, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will not forfeit nearly $32 million in funds.

The goals specified in the legislation and the actual performance were:

Increase the number of degrees, diplomas, and certificates conferred (FY2008 vs. FY2015):

Performance goal:        4%
Actual performance:     17%

Increase the related employment of graduates (2011 graduates vs. 2015 graduates):

Performance goal:        5%
Actual performance:     8%

Reallocate costs in FY2016:

Performance goal:        $22 million
Actual performance:     $38 million

Decrease headcount of students enrolled in developmental courses (FY2013 vs. FY2015):

Performance goal:       10%
Actual performance:     25.5%

Cumulative Credits at Graduation: Increase the degrees awarded to students who took no more than 128 credits for a baccalaureate degree and 68 credits for an associate degree (FY2011 vs. FY2015):

Performance goal:       5%
Actual performance:     23%


Summer Hours - Reminder

As a reminder, Hennepin Technical College will be 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.

Last updated by lopem : 2016-05-18 17:15:04