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Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

Class of 2021: Graduate Success Stories

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Class of 2021 Graduates

Michaela Spear, Mathew Chesang, Helen Schmitz, and Braxton Waller

Class of 2021: Graduate Success Stories

Graduating from high school and college - at the same time

Michaela Spear was on track to get enough credits to graduate from Houston High School by the end of tenth grade, so she started taking college classes at Minnesota State College Southeast through the PSEO program, which allows high school students to take college classes at no cost.

This spring, she graduated from both high school and Minnesota State College Southeast at the same time, having already completed a two-year college degree in Administrative Assistant. Read Michaela's story

Grateful for the support that made his success possible

Last December, Mathew Chesang graduated from Minnesota State College Southeast's Practical Nursing program with honors. He passed the NCLEX-PN(r) exam this spring to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Now he is ready to enter the workforce and move forward with his hard-won professional skills. 

He appreciated the welcoming environment at the college. "Everyone was very friendly to me, very helpful, the students, the staff, and the teachers. I also liked it that there were small classes," he said. As he celebrates college graduation, Mathew is grateful for the support of his wife, his kids, his classmates, the nursing department faculty, and the staff of CareerForce Winona. Read Mathew's story

Back to college while caring for her family

Helen Schmitz remembers the exact moment she decided to go back to college. "It was the last Sunday in July of 2018. I literally woke up that morning and thought, I want to go back to school. I knew there had to be some kind of program for me at Southeast," she said. 

She found success at the college. Though she's considered a member of the class of 2021, Helen actually graduated from MSC Southeast at the end of Fall Semester 2020 with an associate of applied science degree in Criminal Justice. She has already moved on to the next stage in her education, having transferred to Winona State University's Legal Studies program for a bachelor's degree. Read Helen's story

Southeast changed his perspective

MSC Southeast wasn't Braxton Waller's first attempt at going to college, or even his second. Previously he had enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and later UW-Stout. But Southeast became a home to him. He graduated with honors this spring, having completed an associate of applied science degree in Information Technology Support.

"I struggled with school my whole life, but there was a shift when I started doing it for myself -- not because someone else expected me to. Southeast has actually shifted my perspective," he said. Read Braxton's story

DiaSorin donates state of the art lab machine to Biomed Tech

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DiaSorin Donation

DiaSorin donates state of the art lab machine to Biomedical Equipment Technology program

Liaison® XL diagnostic machine can run 180 lab tests an hour

When you go to the doctor's office, you need to be confident that your test results will be delivered quickly and accurately. Medical laboratory testing equipment makes such results possible. And Biomedical Equipment Technicians make sure that the equipment runs perfectly. 

Students in the Biomed Equipment Technology program at Minnesota State College Southeast now have the opportunity to train on diagnostic equipment donated to the college by DiaSorin. Based in Italy, DiaSorin operates globally in laboratory diagnostics. The company develops, produces, and markets testing devices and equipment that enable doctors worldwide to accurately diagnose medical conditions.

"We were happy to donate one of our flagship laboratory devices and install it in MSC Southeast's lab. We hope that this contribution can better prepare students to enter the diagnostics job market," said Jennifer Theisen, an HR executive at DiaSorin. "We already have a great partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast. We have had several interns from the school and were pleased to place graduates of the program in full-time positions."

"This is high end lab equipment from a worldwide company," said Marc Kalis, an instructor in the Biomedical Equipment Technology program. "Having it in our lab will be a good marketing tool to show prospective students what they will be working in our program. DiaSorin will use it for a recruiting tool also, because they need technicians."

The Liaison XL allows med lab techs to run multiple tests on a continuous basis. "The med lab techs can load in samples, and the machine automatically adds the correct reagents and incubates them for the correct amount of time," explained Marc Kalis. "This machine has the capability to run 180 tests per hour, and it can run more than 100 different types of tests."

A key step in operating such equipment is making sure it is properly calibrated. The Liaison XL will alert the operator if it requires service. If a machine isn't performing correctly, a trained biomedical equipment technician will perform diagnostics and make necessary adjustments and repairs. 

"Not only did DiaSorin donate and install the Liaison XL, but they will also send us a trainer to show us maintenance and repair procedures in detail," said Marc Kalis.

"We are very grateful and excited for this donation. Partnerships and support from world class companies like DiaSorin allow us to provide the highly trained technicians our communities need," said Chad Dull, MSC Southeast Vice President of Academic Affairs. "Biomedical Equipment Technology is a vital and important program that meets the needs of our community and provides our students with a family supporting wage. MSC Southeast is committed to providing world class education and training to our students and this donation allows us to do just that."

Biomedical equipment repair is an up-and-coming occupation that is in high demand. The number of job openings is expected to outnumber qualified applicants, due in part to the increased demand for health care services and the increasing complexity of the medical equipment used in hospitals and by private practitioners. 

For more information about the program at MSC Southeast, see Biomedical Equipment Technology.

Photo caption: Biomedical Equipment Technology students gather around the new Liaison XL machine donated to the college by DiaSorin.

Workforce Development Scholarships increased to total of $162,500 for 2020-2021

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Workforce Development Scholarships at MSC Southeast available again in 2021-2022 academic year

Liz LeeThe ongoing shortage of qualified employees in Southeast Minnesota continues to be an issue for the region's employers. Fortunately, even with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been coming to campus at Minnesota State College Southeast to train in high-skilled, high-demand occupations. 

However, the cost of tuition and other college expenses is still be a challenge. 

"The pandemic has created additional financial burdens for many students. This year, Workforce Development Scholarships are providing our students with the  funds they need to stay in college and complete their degrees for the many well-paying jobs that are currently available," said Larry Lundblad, Interim President of Minnesota State College Southeast. 

Recognizing the need for more graduates in career and technical programs, the Minnesota State Legislature first allocated funding for a program piloting Workforce Development Scholarships in 2017.  In 2021-2022, the state of Minnesota has allocated 34 Workforce Development Scholarships for $2500 each for MSC Southeast students, a total of $85,000. Additional funds may be designated by Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation for workforce scholarships.

"I'm proud to have been the chief author of this original legislation and have continued to support this funding every session. The Workforce Development Scholarships have allowed many students to pursue and complete their career and technical education goals and enter the workforce in high demand fields," said Rep. Barb Haley (District 21A, Red Wing). "MSC Southeast's implementation of these scholarship programs also encouraged private dollars, which further leveraged the opportunities for more students. The Workforce Development Scholarships are a win-win-win: students benefit, businesses and industry benefits, and the college benefits!"

Liz Lee (pictured above) is a Practical Nursing student on the Red Wing campus and was awarded a two-semester Workforce Development Scholarship this year. "I can take what I learn -- hands on, clinical, classroom, and lab -- and be ready for job interviews and actually working in the field," she said. 

"We are very grateful that the Minnesota State Legislature is providing the resources to encourage students to pursue these career fields," said Larry Lundblad. "Workforce Development Scholarships help make it possible for them to stay in college and complete their programs."

To apply for a 2021-2022 Workforce Development Scholarship, go to southeastmn.edu/wfs. The deadline to apply for Fall scholarships is June 1, 2021.

 

Graduate Akilah Childs returns to MSC Southeast to serve as Basic Needs Outreach Specialist

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Akilah Childs - 2021Back to school - to serve

Graduate Akilah Childs returns to MSC Southeast to serve as Basic Needs Outreach Specialist through the AmeriCorps VISTA program

When she was a student at MSC Southeast, Akilah Childs made a major impact, serving on Student Senate, working as a peer tutor, planning campus events, and helping Student Services with recruiting and admissions. She graduated from the Early Childhood Education program in 2016.

MSC Southeast is excited to welcome Akilah back! In January 2021, Akilah returned to serve the college community in a new role - as an AmeriCorps VISTA member volunteer. 

"A lot of people at Southeast were very supportive of my success and helping me find my way. I made really strong connections with my teachers, my advisors, and people in student affairs," explained Akilah. "I think I found myself here. It's very fulfilling and it makes me feel good to know that I made an impact by who I was."

Akilah Childs in food pantryAmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) volunteers serve full time in non-profit organizations and public agencies for one-year terms. Academic Success Coordinator Arielle Pompilius, who has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer herself, was instrumental in applying for the college's participation in the program.  

"We have been awarded a five-year grant to participate. In the first year, we are in Phase One, which is needs assessment," Arielle said. "Phase Two runs for three years and is focused on building community partnerships. And in the last year of the grant, we will survey the program's efficacy."

At MSC Southeast, Akilah will serve as a Basic Needs Outreach Specialist. "My role here is to provide service to both the Red Wing and Winona campuses, helping strengthen and find new relationships within the communities to help our students. I will also be a resource for our students, whether that means food security, transportation options, finding jobs and other resources after graduation, drug and alcohol mitigation -- any type of resource that would fulfill a basic need for any of our students."

When she's on campus, you're likely to find Akilah in the food pantries (now located in Room 313 in Red Wing and adjacent to the Student Commons in Winona). She is responsible for stocking and organizing the pantries. With the aid of CARES Act and state grants, the pantries have expanded to include refrigerated and frozen foods. Custom cabinetry has been built and installed by Construction Technology program students and additional shelving has been purchased.  

Food insecurity - and other concerns

"We know that food insecurity is an issue that is impacting students not only nationally but also locally. A 2019 survey of Minnesota State 2-year college students reported that one in three ran short on food, and 26% said they went hungry," said Melissa Carrington-Irwin, MSC Southeast Associate Dean of Students & Director of Student Success. "By offering our students access to fresh food as well as to non-perishable staples, we are helping to reduce the stress of wondering where their next meal will come from."

As Akilah recalled, "I was a single mom when I was going to school here. The last thing you want to do after working all day, or being in school, is going to pick up your kids and then hitting the grocery store. Especially in a time like now with COVID, everybody could use a little bit of help. And the support is here. We want to normalize the idea of getting help, remove the stigma."

Akilah's job is a creative challenge, because as an Outreach Specialist, she needs to find ways to connect with students. "I'm looking forward to doing the advertising and marketing to the get the word out to everyone. I encourage students to email me and ask me for things they want to see in the pantry, or ask me questions about anything they might need."

She said she had already connected with students about how they can get assistance paying for their prescriptions or eyeglasses. "It's not just about having food pantries on campus; it's helping with anything our students need."

You can contact Akilah by email at Akilah.Childs@southeastmn.edu. She would love to hear from you!

 

Mental health first aid class offered at MSC Southeast

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Mental health first aid class offered at MSC Southeast

Eight-hour class will be held online on January 15

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental health or addiction disorder each year, and an upcoming class through Minnesota State College Southeast can help people know what to do when someone has a panic attack or is in crisis.

The class is called Mental Health First Aid and will be held Jan. 15 from 9:30-4:30 in an online format. The instructors are Elaine Vandenburgh and Susan Danovsky, and they will be teaching the skills to recognize the signs of a mental health or substance use disorder crisis, identify community resources, and link individuals in need of treatment and support to the proper resources.

Those taking the class will learn a 5-step ALGEE action plan that can be used to help those in need which includes assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen non-judgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help, and encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Upon completion of the course, each participant will leave with a mental health first aid "e-card" and the mental health first aid participant manual.

Cost for the class is $195 per person including the book. Register now through the Custom Training division of the college.  

Winter Break is here!

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Winter Break is here!

In 2020-2021, Winter Break runs from December 21 to January 8. The campus buildings will be open during much of that time so students have access to the food pantries and The Roost for computers, printing, and wi-fi. 

The buildings are all closed from December 25 to January 1. 

Enjoy a relaxing, restorative, and safe Winter Break!

Spring Semester starts January 11, 2021

There is still time to apply for admission and start college in Spring Semester. For more information, see the Future Students section of the website.

Winter Break Dec. 21-Jan. 8, Campus Buildings Closed Dec. 25-Jan. 1

SNAP partnership will allow MSC Southeast to expand impact on students' lives

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Education and Training Partnership with state SNAP program will allow MSC Southeast to expand impact on students' lives

Pantry Food ItemsMinnesota State College Southeast is now one of only a handful of organizations in southeast Minnesota which partners with the SNAP program to offer education and training services. The college signed a SNAP E&T partnership agreement this fall.

The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. 

Through the Education and Training (E&T) partnership, the college will provide education and training to recipients of SNAP dollars so they will be better prepared to find regular employment that leads to economic independence. 

College staff will begin by helping students identify whether they are eligible for SNAP, and if so, help them apply and get enrolled in the program.

"So many students are in need. The cost of education has gone up, it's hard to work and go to school at the same time, and employment options are closed off right now due to COVID-19," said Josiah Litant, MSC Southeast Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. "We can make sure that people are knowledgeable about the funding available through SNAP and have help in accessing those resources. We are trying to remove the stigma around these critical supports, as we work to help students on a path towards greater independent financial stability." 

When students don't complete their education, it's often because of outside pressures such as finances, food insecurity, childcare, access to housing and transportation, or other non-academic issues. 

Because of the SNAP E&T partnership, MSC Southeast will be able to invest much more in support services to help students overcome these challenges and graduate with the skills they need to find employment.

"The money we are getting through this grant will not just be used to support SNAP students. While we will invest in supports for that population, we can actually use the funds broadly and the college will be investing them in programming, staffing, and outreach to support many of our student needs," explained Josiah Litant.

Count On Me - To help prevent the spread of COVID-19

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MSC Southeast focuses on a safe and strong finish for Fall Semester

New strategies include COUNT ON ME, class changes, and Table for One

Since Fall Semester began, MSC Southeast has been fortunate that so far, the number of COVID-19 cases has been relatively low. The college is committed to helping students complete the semester successfully. 

Just before Thanksgiving, several new strategies were announced to further mitigate the hazards of COVID-19.

COUNT ON ME

MSC Southeast is joining with Winona State University and other community organizations in the COUNT ON ME campaign - five steps to take every day. 

  • Mask Up - Wear a mask on and off campus when indoors, and outdoors when close to others. 
  • Back Up - Keep a physical distance of at least six feet from other people in addition to wearing a mask. 
  • Wash Up - Frequently wash hands for 20 seconds or longer. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in shared spaces. 
  • Check Up - Each time you come to campus, take the COVID-19 Self Assessment to screen for symptoms before you arrive. 
  • Check In - Text, call or spend time with friends and families to support one another during these stressful times. 

GET TESTED

Students are encouraged to get tested before and after heading home for the holidays. It is critical to be tested to learn if you are an asymptomatic carrier. Don't wait until the last minute - get results back before you travel. See our website for a list of local sites for getting tested. 

CLASS CHANGES

On a program-by-program basis, instructors are considering whether they can complete classes early and/or move in-person classes online after Thanksgiving. 

  • Classes that require on-campus lab time after Thanksgiving will continue with existing safety protocols in place.
  • Online classes are not affected.

GOING REMOTE

The college is moving more staff members to remote operations to further decrease the number of individuals on campus.

TABLE FOR ONE

We are decreasing the number of tables in common areas and limiting chairs to ONE per table. Since we can't wear masks while eating and drinking, we expect everyone to eat alone. After lunch, people can enjoy social time with their friends wearing masks and keeping distanced. 

Josiah Litant, Vice President of Student Affairs, said, "We've all got to do our best to avoid getting exposed to this virus. What you do off campus and over the break will impact everyone's ability to come back and complete the semester. On behalf of the college, I want to thank you. It takes all of us to make this work. We're counting on you, and please know you can count on me."

MSC Southeast honors Native American Heritage Month throughout November

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MSC Southeast honors Native American Heritage Month throughout November

Native American DancerAmerica is a vast land of many cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. The history, heritage, and culture of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are part of communities across the country today.

"This November and every month, we celebrate the culture and heritage of the indigenous Americans who deeply enrich the quality and character of our nation, state, and region. Our campuses are located on former native lands," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "Like many other underrepresented populations in this country, much of their story is rarely told in our public settings or taught in its entirety in our schools."

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have joined forces to create a website -- nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov -- that serves as a comprehensive source for exploring the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

Many special virtual events will be offered on the website throughout the month including webinars, a Native Cinema Showcase, and art exhibits.

Visit nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

 

Photo: 2017 Prairie Island Wacipi (Pow Wow) by Lorie Shaull 
(Creative Commons 2.0 )

MSC Southeast celebrating National Tutoring Week October 5-9

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Free one-on-one Tutoring Services offered to all students at MSC Southeast

"There's nothing better than seeing the light come on and then seeing their confidence grow" 

Peer Tutor 2020

Every October, colleges and universities across the country celebrate National Tutoring Week with a week of appreciation for tutors and the students they help. "This year we are celebrating not only the great tutoring that happens face-to-face on campus, but also the wonderful, impactful tutoring we are able to provide online," said Academic Success Coordinator Kate Parsi.

In early October, tutors were honored with gift bags featuring an array of "MSC Southeast Swag," donated by MSC Southeast Foundation, Enrollment Services, and the Marketing Department.

"Our tutors strive to motivate students to better understand the material outside of the classroom. Many students find it difficult to make the initial appointment with a tutor due to the stigma of asking for help," said Kate Parsi. "At MSC Southeast, we want to make 'tutoring the normal thing to do,' and we can't wait until our students meet our tutors!"

Students may sign up for tutoring using the online scheduling system. Tutoring can be conducted either in person or virtually over zoom depending upon topic and/or tutor preference. 

"I can easily say without the help of MSC Southeast tutors, I would not have gotten this far in school," said one current student.

Another student said, "I was really nervous about tutoring through Zoom, but I have now made several appointments and I am doing well in my math class -- thanks!" 

Arnie Duseth 2020MSC Southeast tutors are patient, hard-working, understanding and committed to the academic success of their students. They model good study habits and share college success tips that students can take away from a session and apply on their own when working independently. 

Kate Parsi explained that tutors not only to assist with a certain problem or project, at the end of a great tutoring session, the student should leave feeling better about what THEY now know, not how much the tutor knows. 

"Being an effective tutor is much more than being smart or being really good in certain academic subjects," she said. "A tutor is a role model and someone who can help the student discover what they are capable of and help them discover that they too can achieve great academic success."  

One of the college's professional tutors said, "Tutoring means to me being there for the students -- whether it is weekly appointments to keep up in a difficult class, explaining a homework question they are stuck on, helping study for a test or proofreading a scholarship application. It also is celebrating with the students as they achieve their goals big and small and being there to congratulate them on graduation day."

"As a tutor, I enjoy restarting a paper, project, or problem with a student to help them figure out a new way of approaching the task, said a MSC Southeast peer tutor. "There's nothing better than seeing the light come on and then seeing their confidence grow."

  

Sign up for Tutoring Now


Photos:
Above: A Peer Tutor shows off her gift bag, given in appreciation during National Tutoring Week in October.
Below: Professional tutor Arne Duseth is a familiar face at The Roost on the Winona campus.

Online, on campus, hybrid, HyFlex - we're here to meet our students' needs

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Online, on campus, hybrid, HyFlex - MSC Southeast is welcoming students to Fall Semester with education options

As Fall Semester begins, Minnesota State College Southeast is meeting students' needs with a unique mix of approaches designed to keep the college community as safe as possible. 

Some students are coming to campus, especially for classes that require hands-on experience. Others are taking classes online. Hybrid courses are a mix of on-campus and online instruction. 

"We're here, we're ready for you - masks, gloves, keeping the place as clean as we can," said Amanda Griffin, Automotive Technology instructor. 

Instructor Jonathan Powell is teaching his Construction Technology lectures using HyFlex technology. Students can choose to come to campus, or they can participate via Zoom. 

"I had students who wanted to be in my program but didn't want to be in close proximity to others in a classroom," he said. "By doing HyFlex, they can still attend lectures from home. I still have a requirement that students actually attend together at the same time. In my classes we have a lot of conversation, and I want the students to be engaged in discussion with each other." 

Keeping a safe distance

At a community and technical college, some programs just can't be taught online. Students need to have access to campus for the equipment and experience that will prepare them for the career skills they need.

Keeping people safe at MSC Southeast means passing the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment before coming to campus, wearing masks, keeping surfaces clean, and maintaining safe social distance.

One of the most creative solutions to maintaining physical distance has been implemented in the Truck Driving program. "I've installed CB radios in all of the trucks, and I teach by CB radio from a van, where I can keep in visual contact with the truck and the student," said instructor Tom Gierok. 

Having already taught truck driving throughout the summer, Tom is ready for his Fall semester classes. "Every single day when the students arrive, I go over our policy and procedure. Every student wipes down their truck and locks it at the end of the day," Tom explained, adding, "If somebody doesn't feel good, they have to stay home and that's OK. Everybody has got to put safety first." 

Keeping it clean

Rick HengelKeeping equipment sanitized is critical in all of the hands-on programs. In CNC Machine Tool, instructor Rick Hengel (pictured) explained that there will be only one student per machine, so no one will be doubling up on machines. 

"After each student has completed a project on a machine, they will be wiping down the machine to make sure everything is very clean. Students will have a lot of their own tools, but if they are using tools that belong to the college, they will be wiping them down and sanitizing them after they are done using them." 

The Automotive Technology and Auto Body Collision Technology are extremely spacious, allowing for social distancing, spacing out work stations, and excellent ventilation.

The Auto Body classroom area is set up so that there is social distance between students, with only one student per table. The entire shop is large and well ventilated. "If the temperature is 65 or above, the doors will be open and we'll be exchanging the air with outside air on a regular basis," said Auto Body Collision Technology instructor Tom Brandt.

"We are all working hard ensure that you are able to continue your education at MSC Southeast without interruption," said Josiah Litant, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

"We are thrilled to have students back on campus," said Vice President of Academic Affairs Chad Dull. "It means everything to us, and we want you to know that MSC Southeast cares."

Virtual Admissions Open Houses, Financial Aid Help Sessions

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Zoom on in for a Virtual Open HouseZoom on in for Admissions and Financial Aid Help! 

Virtual Admissions Department Office Hours

You are invited to drop in for one of our Virtual Admissions Department Office Hours. A member of our Admissions Team will be available to  answer any of your questions about the college. Just click below to reserve your time to join us for a fast, free, virtual session. A Zoom link will be sent to you after you register. We’ll always waive your $20 application fee when you apply during an Open House or Office Hours! Questions? Email us at enrollmentservices@southeastmn.edu

 

Financial Aid Help Sessions 

Many students have questions about applying for financial aid. Get expert help from our Financial Aid Counselors at one of our online Financial Aid Help Sessions. We'll help you understand how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). A Zoom link will be sent to you after you register. Questions? Email us at at financialaid@southeastmn.edu.

REGISTER NOW

  • Feb 17, Wednesday at 11:30 am or 4 pm

 

REGISTER for any OPEN HOUSE/FINANCIAL AID HELP SESSION

 

MSCS Associate of Science in Nursing program approved by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing

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MSC Southeast's Associate of Science in Nursing program approved by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing

Nursing Instructor and StudentMinnesota State College Southeast is proud to announce that the college's new Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree was approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing at its board meeting on August 6, 2020.

The five-semester program will prepare successful graduates to take the NCLEX-RN® exam and become registered nurses. Students seeking an associate degree in nursing can begin college as soon as Fall Semester 2020.

"The approval of the Associate of Science in Nursing marks a great moment in the history of Minnesota State College Southeast," said Dr. Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast Interim President. "We are excited to be providing students with the associate option that gets them into the field after five semesters. Our nursing faculty and administrators are to be commended on the outstanding job in putting together a program that meets the needs of today's employers and students."

The new program builds on the success of the college's ACEN-accredited Practical Nursing diploma. "The Associate of Science in Nursing allows us to not only meet a need for Registered Nurses in southeastern Minnesota, but provides another career pathway for students with family-sustaining wages," said MSC Southeast Vice President of Academic Affairs Chad Dull. "This double benefit is key to our mission of supporting our students and the communities we live in."

According to MSC Southeast Associate Dean of Nursing Janine Mason, "Launching the Associate of Science in Nursing has been a college-wide effort with high levels of commitment from administration, faculty, and staff. Our clinical partners are equally committed to the success of our students and the program."

Built from the ground up

Nursing Student - 2020MSC Southeast has created completely new curriculum, developed new clinical learning experiences, and set high standards for admission and graduation. In addition, the college has invested in a complete partnership with ATI, a nationally renowned provider of nursing education, to integrate student learning supports and high tech virtual simulation experiences.

Students can begin as early as Fall 2020 at MSC Southeast as Health Science Broad Field majors. They will take two semesters of college-level general education courses prior to beginning nursing courses, including biology, anatomy/physiology, chemistry, psychology, English, and communications. 

They will then apply for entry into the ASN program and continue with general education coursework while their applications are under review by the college's nursing department. Once admitted, they will take three additional semesters of nursing coursework at MSC Southeast, including clinical experiences in regional hospitals and care facilities. 

Graduates will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN® board exams and become registered nurses. They will also be offered the opportunity to continue their education and earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Winona State University.

"Advisors from WSU will follow our students along in their journey, providing support and guidance along the way," said Jennifer Eccles, former Dean of Health Sciences at MSC Southeast who is now System Director for Nursing Initiatives at the Minnesota State HealthForce Center for Excellence. "Our partnership aims to increase the number of Bachelors-prepared nurses across the region." 

The college will apply for initial candidacy for national accreditation of the ASN program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), with a vision to complete accreditation prior to graduation of the first cohort of students.

For more information and updates, please visit www.southeastmn.edu/ASN.


Welcome to Fall Semester 2020

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Interim President Larry Lundblad welcomes students, faculty, and staff 

 

As fall semester begins, Interim President Larry Lundblad is welcoming everyone back to college and encouraging students, faculty, and staff to follow guidelines to keep our campuses safe. 

"I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all our students as we begin a new academic year, he said. "We've been anticipating this day for some time. The faculty and staff have been working hard to get ready for the year." 

MSC Southeast has developed a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan which lays out the college's plans for a safe opening of the Red Wing and Winona campuses. (Download COVID-19 Preparedness Plan PDF

The MSC Southeast COVID-19 Preparedness Plan calls for students, employees, and campus visitors to:

  • Pass the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment before entering buildings
  • Wear face masks or cloth face coverings inside campus buildings
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more 
  • Observe proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Keep an eye on campus email for important updates

Classes and programs that require hands-on learning experiences will be taught on campus, with measures in place to assure physical distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfectant routines. Every academic program that requires instruction on campus has developed its own specific return-to-campus plan.

To reduce the number of people on campus, many general education and theory classes will be available online or in a hybrid format.

"We want to keep our campuses open for this semester. So we need everyone's help, students, faculty, staff, to make this happen by following the rules," said Interim President Lundblad. "We're all in this together. Together we can make this year a great one, despite the pandemic." 

Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Preparedness Plan is subject to revision. The college's Emergency Response Team will meet regularly to make updates as needed following direction from Minnesota State, the Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the CDC.

Video

In the video below - see how our band instrument instructors learned how to weld this summer so they could build 9 vise stands, which will help them safely spread out students in the shops this fall.

$325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant will support new Advanced Mechatronics Certificate

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MSC Southeast and six Winona manufacturers awarded $325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant to develop Advanced Mechatronics Certificate

Andy George, Mechatronics InstructorSupported by a $325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant, Minnesota State College Southeast will collaborate with six Winona-based companies -- Acuity Brands Lighting, Bay State Milling, Behrens Manufacturing, Miller Ingenuity, RiverSide Electronics, and Thern Inc. -- to develop a new Advanced Mechatronics Certificate over the next three years.

The new and innovative 22-credit Advanced Mechatronics Certificate will provide employees advanced Mechatronics training that is currently unavailable in southeast Minnesota. The businesses involved in the grant are committed to participating in the design and development of the curriculum as well as enrolling their employees in the training.

"The strong relationship between Minnesota State College Southeast and our business partners will help provide the skilled workers they need, plus help the college add a much-needed advanced technology certificate program that will continue to serve the region after the grant is complete," said Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast Interim President.

Training in Mechatronics spans electronics, mechanics, hydraulics, and motors. Mechatronics technicians work with industrial electricians, engineers, and technical support staff to ensure that production processes and equipment can be expanded and sustained in a wide range of industries.

The Advanced Mechatronics Certificate will include coursework focused on advanced PLC (programmable logic controller) programming, integrated industrial systems, motors and drives, and process control systems.

"Manufacturing technology continues to change and evolve," according to Chad Dull, MSC Southeast Vice President of Academics. "As the relevance and rigor of the courses are shared with area companies, the sustained utilization of this program for employee training is assured."

Minnesota State College Southeast has successfully worked with Minnesota Job Skills Partnership over the past 30 years and has administered training grants in partnership with over 60 companies.  Through a prior MJSP grant, the college developed a 19-credit Introductory Mechatronics Certificate and discovered the need for more advanced coursework.  

"The Advanced Mechatronic Certificate will include competencies needed in today's environment and into the future. This training will give employees additional skills and the opportunity to access a higher pay scale within their organizations," said Larry Lundblad. "As area manufacturers purchase and install upgraded equipment, they will need well-trained technicians to maintain that equipment." 

PHOTO CAPTION: MSC Southeast instructor Andy George will provide Advanced Mechatronics training to the college’s Winona area business partners through a Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant.

MSC Southeast Med Lab Tech program gains maximum 10-year accreditation

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Med Lab Tech program at MSC Southeast gains maximum 10-year accreditation 

Applications being accepted now for Fall 2020 start!

Medical Laboratory Technician GraduatesMinnesota State College Southeast is pleased to announce that the college's Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program has received the maximum 10-year accreditation award from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Board of Directors. 

The program at MSC Southeast met all the established standards in the clinical laboratory science discipline of Medical Laboratory Technician.

"By going through the NAACLS accreditation process our students and employers can be assured that our graduates possess the knowledge and competencies necessary for an entry-level Medical Laboratory Technician," according to Medical Laboratory Technician instructor Carol Cantlon.

Minnesota State College Southeast's Winona campus will be open this fall for programs that require hands-on learning, and MLT instructors at Minnesota State College Southeast are making plans for students to learn in a COVID-19 safe environment. 

Applications are being accepted for the program, and Workforce Development Scholarships worth $2500 may be available to qualified applicants. See the Medical Laboratory Technician AAS page for more detailed information about the MLT program and to apply.

A vital part of healthcare team in combating Covid-19

Now more than ever, Medical Laboratory Technicians are essential for comprehensive patient care and are a critical part of the healthcare team.

"Med Lab Techs play a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. Every day medical lab technicians and scientists are performing molecular tests to help identify patients who have COVID-19. They are also conducting serology antibody assays to determine who may potentially be immune to this novel Coronavirus," said Carol Cantlon.

"Med Lab Techs are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure providers have the information necessary to not only identify and treat COVID-19 patients, but treat all patients," she added.

Over a 3-year period (2017-2019) MSC Southeast MLT Program students achieved 100% graduation rate, 94% first-time board exam pass rate, and 100% job placement. The demand for Medical Laboratory Technicians is very strong. Employment in the field is expected to rise 11% between 2018 and 2028, faster than other occupations.

The Medical Laboratory Program's 10-year NAACLS accreditation will continue until April 30, 2030.

PHOTO CAPTION: Youa Xiong, Oralia Rueda Gomez, and Jesse Lorenz are all graduates of MSC Southeast’s Medical Laboratory Technician program, now working together at Winona Health.

Called to Serve: Confronting Campus Hunger

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Called to Serve: Confronting Campus Hunger 

Thomas Lorenz and Pancake Breakfast

Winona Campus earns LeadMN Hunger Free designation under leadership of Student Senate President Thomas Lorenz 

For Thomas Lorenz, the wakeup call came on the day that he witnessed a student being taken away from campus in the back of an ambulance. She had passed out in class. 

Later, he learned that her diagnosis was simple: hunger. "As a dad, it pulled on my heartstrings. I found out that she hadn't had a decent meal in two weeks and she hadn't had a meal with meat in more than a month. And she wasn't a vegetarian."

Tom, a CNC student and father of five, said he talked to another student who was homeless. "He wasn't even used to having access to running water."

Hunger may be invisible on campus, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The 2020 #RealCollege survey of Minnesota colleges and universities indicated that 37% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days. Students reported high levels of housing insecurity and homelessness as well.

Finding solutions

Thomas Lorenz and twinsWith a background in service, Tom Lorenz wanted to be part of the solution. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17, served until 2006, then stayed in the Army Reserves until 2013. He was a first responder at the Pentagon when it was struck by an airplane in the 9/11 attacks. Though he was not directly wounded in the line of duty, he had injuries to his back, knees and ankles.

His injuries were part of what brought Tom to Southeast. Working with the Veterans Administration, he enrolled in CNC Machine Tool as a new career direction. 

Tom's first step toward setting up a food pantry on campus was finding a spare bookshelf and putting it in the Winona campus student lounge. "My wife and I put $300 worth of canned goods into it," he said.

The PantryTom and the Student Senate enlisted the support of the college to rally around the cause:

  • PTK, Med Lab Tech, and Cosmetology students held food drives. 
  • Instructor Jon Powell and his Construction Technology students built custom cabinetry to house the donated goods. 
  • Sustainable Food and Farming set up an aeroponic Tower Garden to provide greens such as lettuce, basil, and kale. 
  •  The college established a Food Insecurity Task Force including representatives from students, faculty, and staff.

As Winona Student Senate President, Tom was motivated to apply for Hunger Free Campus standing with LeadMN, the statewide organization representing public two-year colleges. The Hunger Free Campus designation was created to recognize colleges that are actively working to reduce food insecurity and helps promote a culture of holistic student support. 

Colleges with the Hunger Free Campus designation show a commitment to identifying barriers to student success and an attitude towards working towards solutions.

Tom was notified in April that the application was successful! MSC Southeast's Winona campus is one of a handful of campuses to attain this status.

Creating a legacy

Plant TowerAs Spring Semester draws to a close, Tom will be graduating from the CNC program. He realized it's not enough to start a project -- it has to be sustainable over the long haul. Responsibility for maintaining The Pantry will be carried on by next year's Student Senate and the Food Insecurity Task Force.

But he wants to leave MSC Southeast a better place than he found it. 

"You can't make yourself indispensable, but you can set up for long term success. We have to do whatever we can to make our organizations better. If people are going to school and they are hungry, we have to make sure that when they come to campus that they are safe and able to learn," he said. "It's a legacy and I want to make sure the place is better than when I came here."

"The Pantry has been a critical lifeline for many of our Winona students, and never more so than during this current pandemic," said Dean of Students Josiah Litant. "The initiative of our Student Senates and PTK members to build food pantries on both campuses has created steady, reliable, and important resources for our campus community."


Zoom on in for Admissions Open Houses in August!

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Zoom Meeting 2020

Zoom on in for Admissions Open Houses and Financial Aid Help in August!

Get answers to your questions about starting college this Fall

August Virtual Admissions Open Houses 

Are you looking for information about Minnesota State College Southeast? Have a question about a program? Need help with the application or enrollment process? Join us for a Virtual Admissions Open House

A member of our Admissions Team will be available to help answer any of your questions. Just click below to reserve your time to join us for a fast, free, virtual session. A Zoom link will be sent to you after you register. Questions can always be sent to us at enrollmentservices@southeastmn.edu. We’ll even waive your $20 application fee when you apply during an Open House!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - Register

Thursday, August 27, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - Register



August Financial Aid Help Sessions

Many students have questions about applying for financial aid. Get expert help from our Financial Aid Counselors at one of our online Financial Aid Help Sessions. We'll help you understand how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). A Zoom link will be sent to you after you register. Questions can always be sent to us at enrollmentservices@southeastmn.edu.  One-hour sessions will be held on these dates:

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020 @ 12 noon
  • Friday, August 21, 2020 @ 3 pm

Register Now for a Financial Aid Help Session

 

 

 

 

MSC Southeast helps out local hospitals with equipment and supplies

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What can we do to help? MSC Southeast helps out local hospitals with equipment and supplies 

Hospital BedsIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on-campus instruction at MSC Southeast has been suspended for the remainder of Spring semester. Nursing and health care coursework has been adapted to online and distance learning opportunities.

That means the nursing simulation labs at the college, which closely represent real hospital settings, aren’t in use right now. The equipment in these labs doesn’t just look real – it is real – and it could be used to help real patients at area hospitals.

Last week, Minnesota State College Southeast’s Winona campus nursing department loaned 10 hospital beds and 8 nightstands to Winona Health. The college also donated supplies of medical-grade personal protective equipment, including 29 pairs of goggles and 3000 gloves.

In addition, 68 masks were donated to Winona County, and an agreement is in place that the Tandeski Center can be used as a medical facility if needed.

This week, Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing picked up equipment from the Red Wing campus, including 10 hospital beds, 6 nightstands, 8 swing bed trays, and 6 IV poles. 

Dean of Health Jennifer Eccles noted that the entire college worked to create an inventory of supplies. “It wasn’t just the nursing program.  Staff and faculty throughout the college searched cupboards and closets for personal protective equipment. We found medical equipment, goggles, masks, and gloves in classrooms and labs including auto body, biomedical, chemistry, cosmetology, medical lab tech, radiography, welding, guitar repair and building — even the bookstores. We are ready to donate or loan as needed.”

MSC Southeast is grateful to have the opportunity to help out in this crisis situation. 

65 Workforce Development Scholarships available for 2020-2021

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20-21 Workforce Development ScholarshipsOPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: 65 MSC Southeast students will receive $2500 Workforce Development Scholarships in 2020-2021

Application Deadline extended to JULY 31, 2020!

 For students starting or continuing in their education at Minnesota State College Southeast in high-growth, high demand careers this fall, opportunity is knocking -- and the college is planning to open its doors for on-campus instruction in programs that require hands-on training.

This year, $132,500 has been allocated by the Minnesota state legislature for  Workforce Development Scholarships at Minnesota State College Southeast. Combined with $30,000 provided by Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, a total of 65 students will receive $2500 scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year!

Go to www.southeastmn.edu/wfs for the most current information, a list of all eligible majors, and to download the application form. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. 

"This will make an incredible impact on students who need help paying for college-level education in high-demand career areas," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "A Workforce Development Scholarship can cut the cost of a year's tuition in half."

Workforce Development Scholarship Deadline Most Minnesota students who will major in these programs will be eligible for Workforce Development Scholarships:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Food and Farming
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Health Care Services 
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation Careers

Hands-on career programs to be offered on campus this fall

Many of the Workforce Development Scholarships will impact students in hands-on career programs, such as CNC Machine Tool, Construction Technology, and Bicycle Design & Fabrication. Formal safety plans are being prepared for every program that requires hands-on training.

"For example, vehicles in the auto programs will be spaced more than six feet apart throughout the lab to allow for social distancing and adequate workspace," according to Dawn Lubahn, Interim Dean of Business, Trade and Technology. "Students will work individually as much as possible. When social distancing is unable to be maintained, students will wear masks, gloves, and full face shields."

Workforce Development Scholarships are also available for several programs that are offered 100% online, including Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, and Medical Support Careers. 

Affordability a top priority

To further assist students in affording college this fall, tuition is frozen at approximately $172 per credit at MSC Southeast. Making college affordable is a top priority for the college.

"If you will be in an eligible program, we strongly encourage you to apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship!" said Financial Aid Counselor Pam Zimmerman.  "Plus, in addition to Workforce Development Scholarships, students may be eligible for grants which can reduce costs even more."

To apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship, go to www.southeastmn.edu/wfs. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020.

 


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WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

 

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