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Hennepin Technical College event supports First Generation college students in Robbinsdale Area Schools

Hennepin Technical College logo

students in photo booth with props

Brooklyn Park, November 21, 2019 – Hennepin Technical College (HTC) is helping students embrace being the first in their family to attend college. On November 13, HTC held its First Generation Day for students from Robbinsdale Area Schools.

More than 40 students from Robbinsdale Middle School and Robbinsdale Cooper High School spent the day at HTC to tour the campus, receive encouragement and learn about resources to succeed in college.

“We are celebrating students who are the first in their families to enter college,” said Dr. Merrill Irving Jr., president, HTC. “As a first generation college student myself, I relate to the students’ struggles and it’s a privilege for me to help them achieve their dreams. This is part of HTC’s commitment to providing access to an affordable education for students from underrepresented communities.”

During the third annual First Generation Day, students participated in a hands-on demonstration of the medium and heavy truck program and learned about career options, such as nursing. They discussed barriers to accessing postsecondary education and received advice from role models, including HTC students and staff who are first generation college graduates. Staff from Robbinsdale Area Schools also joined the discussions.

The students who attended the event are familiar with HTC because they are among the participants in Educational Talent Search (ETS), a federally-funded TRIO program. Throughout the school year, 500 students receive academic advising and tutoring from HTC staff at their middle school or high school in Robbinsdale Area Schools. For decades, ETS has had a track record of increasing high school graduation rates and preparing students for college.

Since March 2019, HTC and Robbinsdale Area Schools have engaged in a strategic partnership to strengthen pathways to articulated skilled trades, technical education and postsecondary opportunities. This collaborative partnership also enhances communications about workforce readiness with students and families at both educational institutions.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College (HTC) is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college has a diverse student population of more than 18,000 and offers degree and non-degree coursework in over 45 programs. Achieving a 99% job placement rate, HTC prepares students for in-demand and high-paying employment opportunities. HTC is a member of Minnesota State, which includes 30 colleges and seven state universities. For more information, visit

Media contact: Lisa Kiava, 612-559-8068,

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-08-01 09:11:26