Minnesota State College Southeast - News, Events, and Updates MSC Southeast - News and Events
Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College


MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

Pitches and Prototypes - A Winona Collaboration

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Pitches and Prototypes - Winona Student Start Up

Students from MSC Southeast and St. Mary's University work together on design challenge

View the Facebook Photo Album

Students from MSCS, WSU, and St. Mary's

It's not every day that you find students from Minnesota State College Southeast and Saint Mary's University working together on a common goal. But over the past month, four students from MSC Southeast and five students from Saint Mary's have been collaborating on the rapid innovation, planning, and launch of hypothetical products.

The Winona Student Start Up launched on March 5, when the students divided into three teams, which were student-led and mentored by faculty from Winona State University, MSC Southeast, and Saint Mary's.

But it wasn't a battle between the schools. Instead, the teams combined MSC Southeast's Prototype Engineering and CNC/Machine Tool students with Saint Mary's business and marketing majors, leveraging the talents and skills the students are learning in college. 

"Our students can learn so much from these partnerships as they combine their business and engineering skills to design and develop prototypes of potential new products," commented Christine Beech, Executive Director, Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and an assistant professor of business at Saint Mary's University.

The teams were given one month to work on their co-creations. On Friday, April 5, they met up at Miller Ingenuity's Creation Station to pitch their ideas to local industry representatives. 

Team Snap SolesNew products begin with a problem that needs solving. Team Snap Shoes, Team Fin Flick, and Team LAZ Cup took turns defining problems and pitching their imaginative solutions.

  • How about too many shoes cluttering your closet? Team Snap Shoes conceived of a shoe with replaceable soles. One shoe + a variety of soles for different purposes = a solution for closet clutter and the expense of buying different shoes. (Pictured: Isaac Al-Abad of Team Snap Shoes)
  • If you've ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, you know how hard it is to walk wearing flippers. Team Fin-Flick designed a flipper with an adjustable dial that rotates the front of the flipper up and off the ground, allowing for a more natural gait.
  • Finally, who hasn't spilled a tall water bottle or cup of coffee in their car because the cup holders aren't deep enough? Team LAZ Cup came up with a solution: a cup adapter that fits into the cup holder and secures taller beverages. 

"It's wonderful to see our students put their prototyping and CNC skills into a practical application," Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology at MSC Southeast, said. "This project is a perfect opportunity for them to see how these competencies are used in a business and manufacturing setting." 

Christine Beech was also pleased about the collaboration. "We are excited to see cross disciplinary students coming together in a spirit of entrepreneurship and problem solving," she said.

The Winona Student Start Up was made possible by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary's University, Miller Ingenuity, the Garage Cowork Space, Winona State University, and Minnesota State College Southeast.

MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

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MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

Winona/Cotter High School FIRST Robotics team place in the top 20!

See the Facebook Photo Gallery

FIRST Robotics CompetitionOver the weekend, MSC Southeast was involved with the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin (Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th). This event pulled together robotics teams from high schools across the region, including schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and beyond. 

Paul Sorenson, CNC Machine Tool instructor, helped mentor the Winona/Cotter HS First Robotics team, which took 17th overall out of 54 teams! Paul Melling, a former MSC Southeast student, also served as a volunteer mentor.

CNC Machine Tool instructor Roger Holland and Winona Admissions Representative Chris Cook were at the event to talk with students and parents about the programs available at Southeast. These programs include: CNC Machining, Welding, Electrical Engineering, Network Administration, and two new programs for Fall 2019, Bicycle Design and Fabrication, and Mechatronics Technology.

Bicycle Design & Fabrication celebrates Grand Opening in Red Wing

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MSC Southeast will celebrate Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening April 8 in Red Wing

Bike Event InviteOpportunity to meet with new instructor Chase Spaulding, members of program Advisory Board

Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening
Monday, April 8, 2019, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN
Free and open to the public - everyone is welcome!

Excitement has been building throughout the year for the opening of the new Bicycle Design and Fabrication program at MSC Southeast in Red Wing. The college will celebrate the program's launch on Monday, April 8 with a special event starting at 5:30 pm in the bicycle program labs on the Red Wing campus.

  • 5:30 pm: Public Reception and Refreshments
  • 6:00 pm: Ribbon Cutting, then Presentation on Program with Q & A
  • 6:30 pm: Facilities Tours

The Grand Opening will be the first opportunity for the public to meet Chase Spaulding (pictured), who recently moved to Red Wing from Raleigh, NC to lead instruction in the Bicycle Repair and Fabrication program. Chase has bachelor's and master's degrees from North Carolina State University in Industrial Design. His background ranges from fabricating architectural metalwork to building custom motorcycles, putting academic theory into practical experiences and real world creations.

Chase Spaulding"Chase has assembled a broad range of competencies from which he can educate and inspire. He has strong capabilities in design, fabrication, and college-level instruction," said Dean of Trade and Technology Travis Thul. "He is the perfect individual to help us build this innovative new program."

Mike Ford will also be teaching in the bicycle program. A long-time Red Wing area resident, Mike has been an instructor in welding at the college since 2016. He is a retired iron worker with experience in construction welding with organizations like the Army Corps of Engineers, Rosemount Pine Bend Refinery, and 3M.

"We couldn't have designed this program without the help of our Advisory Board team members from top companies including QBP, HED, Eric's Bike Shop, Trek, Hawk Racing, Kirk Pacenti, and Wolf Tooth," said Travis Thul. "The board will be meeting on campus on April 8, and we'll celebrate their contributions at the Grand Opening."

Students in the program will explore a mechanical engineering technology and design curriculum in the nation's only two-year degree focused on the fabrication of bicycles and associated components. Interest has been very strong, with applicants from around the globe.

"Anyone who is curious about Bicycle Design and Fabrication is invited to join us for the Grand Opening, including bike enthusiasts, prospective students, and college and community supporters," said Travis Thul. "Everyone is welcome!"

Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9

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MSC Southeast Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 4 to 5:30 pm

Winona Students

Back in February, an Open House was planned to welcome the community to Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona. Unfortunately, the event landed on one of the many snow days that we endured this winter and had to be postponed! Now the college invites everyone to an Open House on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. 

"Get to know the dedicated, friendly, student-centered people of Winona's only two-year college! Faculty and staff members will be available to answer questions about the college's wide range of educational options," said Tammy Vondrasek, Director of Admissions and Enrollment. "We know people can be intimidated about the admissions process, so we want to make it as easy as possible. This is a chance to meet with our instructors and staff one-on-one and see how we can help you reach your goals."

MSC Southeast Winona Open House
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 -- 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast - Winona campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona

At the Winona Campus Open House, people can:

  • Meet with instructors in various business, trades, technology, and liberal arts programs
  • Tour campus classrooms and labs, such as Construction Technology, Nursing, and the Transportation Center
  • Visit the college Bookstore and Learning Resource Center
  • Meet with Continuing Education about adult education/training options
  • Learn about financial aid and MSC Southeast Foundation scholarships
  • Save $20 -- we'll waive the application fee if you apply at the Open House!

The Open House take place in the late afternoon -- a convenient time that's after work and before dinner for many people. But just in case you're hungry, refreshments will be provided -- help yourself to hot dogs, chips, and popcorn. There will be drawings for a variety of fun prizes, too. 

"The Open House is an opportunity for people to engage with our entire team," added Tammy Vondrasek. "We want to know how we can support you in meeting your goals. We're here to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be."

Strings, Winds and Brass at the Sheldon on April 6

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Strings, Winds & Brass showcases the unique talents of the college community at the Sheldon in Red Wing on April 6

Strings Winds and Brass 2019

Where can you find a heavy metal string quartet and a blues singer on the same stage? At Strings, Winds & Brass, Minnesota State College Southeast's annual showcase of the college community's amazing talents! Strings, Winds & Brass will take place at The Sheldon Theatre on Saturday, April 6 (7:30 pm) in Red Wing.

Strings, Winds & Brass
Saturday, April 6, 2019 (7:30 pm)
The Sheldon Theatre,
443 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, MN.
Tickets: www.sheldontheatre.org, 800-899-5759, at the box office, or at the Red Wing campus Bookstore
Only $5 for students, $15 for adults!  

Every year Strings, Winds & Brass is a different experience. At auditions in February, ten original acts were chosen to perform by a panel of music and arts professionals. This year, look for Tech Support Brass Quintet covering the classics and The Flying Chuck Keys, a brass rock band, covering pop tunes. Welding instructor Mike Ford will play harmonica and sing the blues, and the intense cello duo Metalbuddah will dazzle with their virtuosic original music. MSC Southeast Dean of Students Josiah Litant is on deck to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

View our Facebook photo gallery of all the performers

And it's not just about entertainment. The performers are "paying it forward," as proceeds from the variety show are directed into Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation scholarship funds which will benefit future students.

The Red Wing campus's band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States, many with advanced music degrees and professional performance experience. This year, Strings, Winds & Brass will feature the talents of 24 performers from as far afield as Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and of course, Minnesota.

The 2019 Strings, Winds & Brass concert line-up includes:

  • Andrew McGowan -- solo euphonium
  • Big Sissy Love Pig -- singer-songwriter with guitar, banjo, and mandolin
  • Carrie Maynard-Allen -- poet
  • Charlie Wylie -- solo trombone
  • Isabel Collins -- vocals and guitar
  • Mike Ford -- harmonica and voice
  • Metalbuddah -- heavy metal cello duo
  • Mad Dog and the Flying Chuck Keys -- big band rock music
  • Tech Support Brass Quintet -- trumpet, euphonium, French horn, tuba
  • Shagawa Shorty -- blues guitar, mandolin and vocals
  • VC-BC -- two cellos, viola and bass 
Advance tickets are $15.00 adults, $5.00 students. Seats are general admission; doors open at 7 pm day of show.

Pictured above: 
Tech Support Brass Quintet, cello duo Metalbuddah, and Mike Ford, harmonica

MSC Southeast named to 19-20 Military Friendly Schools list

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Nation's Top Military Friendly® Schools Announced; Minnesota State College Southeast is named to 2019-2020 List

Military Friendly Logo 19-20"Better for Veterans" institutions identified across the country

Minnesota State College Southeast is pleased to announce that the college has been named to the 2019-2020 Military Friendly®Schools list. Now in its 10th year, the Military Friendly Schools list sets the standard for higher education institutions to provide the best opportunities for veterans and their spouses. 

"We are very proud to be named a Military Friendly college. This honor is based on sound research and data, and takes note of our explicit commitment to serving the military and veteran community," said Josiah Litant, MSC Southeast Dean of Students. "Our faculty and student services staff go above and beyond to make sure that active service members and veterans are welcomed and respected at MSC Southeast."

The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research, using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions. This year only 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

Minnesota State College Southeast exceeded standards in six areas:  

  • Academic Policies and Compliance
  • Admissions & Orientation
  • Culture & Commitment
  • Financial Aid & Assistance
  • Graduation  & Career
  • Military Student Support & Retention

Specific information about the college's ranking can be found at: www.militaryfriendly.com/schools/minnesota-state-college-southeast

Learn more about Veterans Resources at MSC Southeast

Transportation Career Night on March 26 in Winona

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Transportation Career Night set for Tuesday, March 26 in Winona

 Transportation Career Night

Learn about opportunities to accelerate your career at Minnesota State College Southeast

Transportation Career Night
Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:00-7:30 PM
Transportation Center at MSC Southeast Winona Campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN
Register in advance for chance to win door prize at www.southeastmn.edu/event

Transportation Career Night is coming up on Tuesday, March 26! Prospective students and their families, job hunters, or anyone interested in learning more about the college's transportation programs are all welcome to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.

Five college programs will be represented: 

"All of these programs offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees that can lead directly to high-paying, high growth occupations," according to Travis Thul, the college's Dean of Trade, Technology, Business, and Transportation. "At Transportation Career Night you can tour our state-of-the-art facilities and experience hands-on activities. Plus, industry representatives will be available to discuss opportunities in these high-demand job markets. We want to give current and future students a realistic idea of what transportation careers can offer."

Accelerated Programs

The college recently updated its Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology and Heavy Diesel Maintenance diploma programs so that students can complete a diploma in one year or less. "Knowing that it's a hot job market, we have accelerated our curriculum so that students in these programs can graduate faster, spend less money on college, and get started in their careers sooner," Travis Thul said. 

Transportation Career Night Highlights:

  • Learn more about career opportunities from industry representatives
  • "Toolbox Scholarships" offered at event
  • Tour our shops and see a variety of automotive vehicles and technologies
  • Save $20 -- no fee if you apply for admission at Career Night!
  • College admissions and financial aid information available
  • Plus - amazing door prizes -- must be present to win

Register in advance at www.southeastmn.edu/event for a chance to win a Matco 1/2" Impact Wrench, valued at $450. Check in at the registration table to verify your name and online entry. 

Plus, apply for admission or register for classes at Transportation Career Night for a chance to win a Snap-on Bit Driver Kit, valued at $415. Must be present to win prizes; winners will be chosen at the conclusion of the event. 

*New diploma curriculum - accelerated program

More than $500,000 raised for for Advanced Manufacturing in Winona

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Community support totals more than $500,000 for Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona

Minnesota State College Southeast is excited to announce the launch of a successful new project, the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative (AMII). This effort, a product of local businesses, community advocates, and the college's leadership, will overhaul the college's advanced manufacturing education capabilities and provide state-of-the-art equipment for years to come. 

"The AMII project grew out of needs identified by our manufacturing advisory council members and college volunteers. Together, these team members helped to determine the scope of the project," explained Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology. "Once we defined our goals, our faculty and staff helped design a plan to renovate and install mission-critical laboratory capabilities."

To date, the college has received a total of $524,500 in support towards the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. Individual and corporate donors include: 

  • DCM Technology
  • Fastenal
  • Merchants Bank
  • Miller Ingenuity
  • Jerry & Pat Papenfuss
  • Peerless Industrial Group
  • PlastiCert
  • RTP Company
  • Slaggie Family Foundation
  • Thern, Inc.
  • WNB Financial
  • Watlow
  • Winona Area Industrial Development Association

"With the funds currently raised, deployment of new laboratory infrastructure is scheduled to start in May 2019 and end the first week of August, in time to begin the 2019-2020 academic year," said Travis Thul. "The lab will house modern and uniform robotic computer numerical control (CNC) systems, brand new precision machining tools, and rapid prototyping capabilities, including additive manufacturing/3D printing." 

"This lab will also complement the recently launched industrial automation laboratory, helping to make MSC Southeast one of the most technologically sophisticated two-year colleges in the state of Minnesota," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "Local employers tell us that many high-demand, high-paying jobs are going unfilled. Facilities like these will help us meet the needs of the region and prepare graduates for the jobs of today and tomorrow."

"Our total goal is to raise $1.4 million, allowing us to continue upgrading laboratory capabilities," said Travis Thul. "We will be able to procure additional equipment pertinent to mechatronics, automation, electronics, and construction technology as the AMII closes in on its ultimate goal."

Winona business leader Jerry Papenfuss has been a supporter of MSC Southeast since the mid-1960s, calling the college "a great cornerstone of this community."

"Winona has over 70 manufacturing companies, unique for a community of our size, so technical education is critical to provide workers for this huge element of our community," he said. "Under President Lundblad and Travis Thul's leadership, Southeast is leading the way in providing an education that is affordable and results in opportunities for graduates to lead successful lives."

Fundraising continues to support the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at MSC Southeast. If you or your company is interested in becoming involved, please contact Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology, at 507-453-2738 or tthul@southeastmn.edu.

Student Music Association hosting Swap Meet on Feb. 23

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2019 Swap MeetRed Wing Student Music Association hosting Musical Swap Meet on February 23

On Saturday, February 23, the Minnesota State College Southeast Student Music Association (SMA) will host the annual Musical Swap Meet on the Red Wing Campus. The Musical Swap Meet is a place for vendors to display, sell, and trade new and used musical instruments, accessories, tools, and supplies. Both individuals and music stores are represented at the Swap Meet. The event is free and open to the public. 

SMA Musical Swap Meet
Saturday, February 23, 2019
10 am to 3 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast, Red Wing Campus
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN

"The Swap Meet provides both students and community members an opportunity to showcase their musical activities and products," said Jacob Vidourek, President of the MSCS Student Music Association." There's a great music community in Red Wing, and we are thrilled to invite everyone to our campus for this event!" 

MSC Southeast's signature musical instrument repair programs draw students from across the country to study violin repair, band instrument repair, and guitar repair & building. This year's Musical Swap Meet coincides with the regional NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians) clinic, which will bring experts in band instrument repair to the Red Wing campus from all over the Midwest.

Vendors who would like to participate may request a table in advance by email to jacob.vidourek@fulbrightmail.org. 

Workforce Development Scholarships for New Students

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MSC Southeast to offer 8 Workforce Development Scholarships valued at $3500 for Minnesota students entering college this fall

Application Deadline extended to March 15

Workforce ScholarshipsThis spring, eight lucky students will receive $3500 Workforce Development Scholarships from Minnesota State College Southeast. The scholarships are available to students who will start college next fall in a field that will help meet the area's workforce needs, including manufacturing, health care, information technology, and agriculture (see list of programs below).

Workforce Development Scholarships are intentionally targeted to recent high school graduates and adults coming to college to train for a new career. They are designed to help prepare the next generation of workers in high-demand fields. Only eight (8) $3500 scholarships are available, and applicants must be Minnesota residents.

"This is an incredible opportunity! A $3500 scholarship will cover more than half of a full-time student's tuition," said Casie Johnson, Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation Associate Director. "Plus, students who are admitted for 2019-2020 are still eligible to apply for other scholarship opportunities through the MSC Southeast Foundation."

Workforce Development Scholarships are made possible by the Minnesota State legislature, with additional funding provided by donors to the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation. 

The deadline to apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship is MARCH 15, 2019. Awards will be announced on April 1, 2018. 

For detailed information and an application form, please see: www.southeastmn.edu/wfs

Qualifying Programs at MSC Southeast


Health Care

Information Technology


Peace Corps volunteer picked up Spanish at MSC Southeast

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MSC Southeast student now a volunteer in Peru with the Peace Corps 

Brian RiversWith a name like Rivers, it must be natural for Brian Rivers to work with water systems. The 2011 graduate from Cotter High School in Winona earned a degree in civil engineering from UW-Platteville in December 2016. 

After college, Brian returned to Winona and applied to serve in the Peace Corps. He was assigned to work in Peru. Knowing he was headed for South America, he thought he should brush up on his high school Spanish. 

He began with a free online class but didn't find it very helpful. "I thought, I'll try Minnesota State College Southeast -- maybe they'll have something, and they really came through!"

He emailed instructor Lynne Rabuse to determine whether he should start with Spanish I or II. That's when he discovered that she had been a Peace Corps volunteer too. It was exciting that both student and teacher had that experience in common.

Most language courses are all about memorization, but Brian says Lynne's course was much more active. "From the beginning, she's getting you to listen, and repeat, and speak. She spoke to us in Spanish from the get go. You get used to hearing the sounds and carrying on a conversation. You get over the hump of being afraid to speak the language." 

Being close to home and affordable were factors, too. "I live about a mile from here. I was super impressed that I could ride my bike down the road to Southeast, take a very progressive, effective Spanish course, and learn so much so fast. And of course, it was relatively inexpensive compared to other colleges."

"It was great having someone in class with a specific goal," said Lynne. "Brian knew he would be applying his new skills in a real world environment, which can be very motivating when one is tackling the challenge of mastering a new language." 

Partway through his second semester, it was time for Brian to leave for his Peace Corps assignment. "Even though I didn't finish the class, it was still worth it!"

Brian Rivers talk at MSC SoutheastWhen Brian was home for a visit over the holidays, he spoke to a large group at MSC Southeast and shared some of his Peace Corps experiences. Now living in a small, remote mountain town, Brian's work is helping people obtain clean water and promoting sanitation and hygiene. 

"Basic things like washing your hands are not as intuitive there. They have access to water, but it's not continuous, and not always clean," he said.

He explained that the Peace Corps doesn't do construction projects. "You don't need bulldozers or shovels to change behaviors. You need time to build relationships, and that's how we bring about change. We are working with communities to take care of the water themselves." 

As Brian returns to Peru this week, we wish him all the best! 

See our photo gallery on Facebook


Med Lab Tech major provides a great return on investment

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Med Lab Tech major provides a great return on investment

Karissa KluzikHave you ever had your blood drawn? Or taken a strep test? When you need medical care, 70-80% of the time physicians order some kind of lab test to find out what's going on. They are counting on the test to be accurate -- patients' lives depend on it.

"Medical Laboratory Technicians perform the lab work behind the scenes," according to Carol Canton, an instructor in the Med Lab Tech Program at Minnesota State College Southeast. "They do the detective work that makes it possible for health care providers  -- nurse practitioners, physician assistants and doctors -- to accurately diagnose and treat their patients."

Karissa Kluzik is one of the "detectives" in the lab at Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center in Wabasha. She graduated from the Med Lab Tech program at MSC Southeast in 2015 with a job offer already lined up. Now only 26 years old, she is well established in her profession and even owns a house!

She is seeing a great return on her investment in a degree from MSC Southeast. "When you get a two-year degree, you may not expect much, but I've got an exciting job with a good salary and benefits. Every day is different, and that makes it fun."

She also appreciated that MSC Southeast was affordable and accessible. "I am so thankful that I had the two-year option so close to home! I know some people my age who have four-year degrees and their student loan debt is incredible. I lived at home while I was in college, so I didn't have to pay for college room and board -- that saved me money too."

Saint Elizabeth's has a relatively small department with only seven Med Lab Techs and three phlebotomists. The lab is bright and clean, with high windows shedding plenty of natural light into the well-organized space. The hospital's connection with Minnesota State College Southeast is strong. Besides Karissa, there are two other MSC Southeast grads working there and a current student doing clinicals.

"We get a lot of emails from potential employers asking if we have anyone graduating that they can hire," said Carol Cantlon. "Once you have an associate degree, the opportunities for advancement in this field are great. You can go on to a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or even a Ph.D. The associate degree can be just the beginning of a life-long career."

Learn more about Med Lab Tech at MSC Southeast

Apply now for admission

Download the December 2018 edition of Campus Connect to read the full story (PDF)


New -- Sustainable Food and Farming program

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Sustainable Farming

MSC Southeast launches new Sustainable Food and Farming program

Agriculture that feeds your pocketbook, your planet, and your soul

The new two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Food and Farming will prepare students to enter the evolving and growing field of specialty agriculture, particularly those students interested in small-scale, diversified production. 

Biology instructor Liz Micheel has worked to develop the program for two years. "It's designed to teach students how to implement integrated farming practices that promote healthy soil, ecologically sound nutrient management, and sustainability," she said.

Liz also noted that the program has a very practical side. "Students will learn the safe and effective use of a variety of agricultural equipment and will develop a sound business plan for a family farm or small-scale agricultural operation."

"Instructors from many different areas of the college will be involved -- biology, business, truck driving, construction technology, electronics -- even welding!" said Jo Poncelet, Dean of Academics. "This is a unique program teaching practical, hands-on skills and business know-how."

In addition to the 2-year degree, there is also a certificate in Farm Maintenance. This 16-credit certificate includes most of the hands-on skills in construction, diesel tech, electronics, truck driving, and welding that are part of the A.A.S. degree.

For more information about enrolling in the Sustainable Food and Farming program, please contact Admissions Representative Chris Cook, at 507-453-2410 (Christopher.Cook@southeastmn.edu).


Veterans Day: Serving those who have served

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Veterans Day: Serving those who have served

Veterans Day Flag CeremonyThe college will be closed on Monday, November 12, in honor of Veterans Day.

November has been declared National Veterans and Military Families Month. Please take time this month to think about how the brave men and women of our Armed Forces have sacrificed to ensure our country's freedom.

At Minnesota State College Southeast, we want to share our commitment to Veterans, Service Members, and their families. We strive to provide the very best customer support and consideration as they pursue their educational aspirations with our college. We take the extra time to evaluate and convert their military experiences and training into college credits. We have experienced staff to assist them in completing educational benefit paperwork and locating funding sources. 

Several of our staff and faculty members are currently serving in the military, and the college has made accommodations to allow them to complete important tours of duty. Recently our Dean of Trade and Technology served in operations to support the victims of Hurricanes Maria and Florence.

Minnesota State College Southeast has been named a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Company. On both our Winona and Red Wing campuses, we have built welcoming Veterans Lounges, providing veterans an opportunity to relax, study, and grab a snack or a cup of coffee, but most importantly, share camaraderie with other service members. (Special thanks to the community members who help us keep these lounges stocked.)

Veterans, Service Members, and Families, thank you for all you have done for our country. We hope we can be of service to you.

MSC Southeast in top 25 Most Affordable online colleges

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At #20, Minnesota State College Southeast named to list of top 25 Most Affordable Online Associate Degrees

Top 20 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree BadgeWe have exciting news to announce! SR Education Group, a leading education research publisher founded in 2004, has just unveiled their 2019 rankings on GuidetoOnlineSchools.com. Ranked at #20, Minnesota State College Southeast made the list of the top 25 Most Affordable Online Associate Degrees

"The 2019 Most Affordable Online Colleges rankings represent online schools across the nation that are committed to providing affordable, economical options for students. Every year, we manually research the tuition rates of every accredited college offering fully online degrees in order to determine and rank the most affordable options," according to Nicole Hopler, SR Education Group.

Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees are available at MSC Southeast in several programs, including:

"At Minnesota State College Southeast, we truly value keeping education affordable while maintaining our high standards," said Jo Poncelet, the college's Dean of Academics. "We are proud to have distance learning students from all across America, and indeed, from around the world."

SR Education Group Methodology:
To be considered for these subject rankings, schools must to be regionally accredited and offer at least one fully online degree. All tuition numbers are manually collected and verified. Figures are accurate at the time of publication; please check with the institution for current tuition rates. Program data including available degrees, tuition rates, and details about program coursework were collected in July 2018 from official school websites, reflecting data for the 2018-2019 school year. Acceptance rates, programmatic accreditation, and profit status of schools were collected from official websites of the accreditation agencies or from the National Center for Education Statistics.

November Open Houses in Red Wing and Winona

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MSC Southeast announces Open Houses in Winona on November 1 and Red Wing on November 8

Events designed to welcome the public to the college, help veterans learn more about education benefits

November Open HouseIn November, Minnesota State College Southeast will hold Open Houses on both campuses. The doors will be open for students to visit one-on-one with faculty and staff, explore the campus and program areas, and learn more about the benefits of attending the college.

MSC Southeast Winona Open House
Thursday, November 1, 2018 -- 4 to 6 pm
1250 Homer Road, Winona

MSC Southeast Red Wing Open House
Thursday, November 8, 2018 -- 4 to 6 pm
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing

"MSC Southeast has so much to offer with a wide range of career, technical, and transfer programs. We want all students and their families to feel welcome to stop by the campus and learn more about the college," said Tammy Vondrasek, Director of Enrollment Services. "Plus, in recognition of  November as National Veterans and Military Families Month, we will have a focus on higher education benefits available to veterans, service members, and their families."

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Hiawatha ValleyMSC Southeast is a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Company and has been named a Military Friendly college by Victory Media. Dedicated college staff will be available at the Open Houses to explain how state and federal tuition reimbursement, VA benefits, the GI bill, and credit for military experience can help military families afford college.

"Many veterans are not aware of how their benefits can be used by family members, and how recent changes in benefits can help them reach their goals," noted Lieutenant Commander Greg Cady, an instructor at MSC Southeast who will attend the Open Houses in Winona and Red Wing. 

"For example, the Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the 'Forever GI Bill,' enacts several positive changes to GI education benefits. We encourage all veterans, service members and their families to come to our Open House so we can help them achieve their educational dreams!" he continued.

Refreshments will be served and visitors can enter drawings for fun door prizes. The college will waive the $20 application fee for anyone who meets with student services staff and applies for admission at the event.

"We are excited to invite everyone to MSC Southeast for a fun and informative event," said Tammy Vondrasek. "We hope you see you at one of our November Open Houses!"

New Bicycle Design & Fabrication program in Red Wing

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A bicycle built for you - in new Bicycle Design & Fabrication program

 If you love cycling, technology, and the prospects for a great career, then the nation's first 2-year college degree in Bicycle Design & Fabrication is for you!

This brand new Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is based at MSC Southeast’s Red Wing campus. Interest is high in the program is already high, and several regional and national publications have already reported on it: 

Bike in woodsExperts from several leading bicycle-related companies -- including Erik's Bike Shop, HED Cycling Products, Quality Bicycle Products, and Trek Bicycle Corporation -- are serving on an advisory committee working with the college to develop the curriculum.

Students in the program will study the history and theory of bike design and take a course in physics as applied to the operation of bicycles. They will complete coursework on carbon fiber and composites, the mechanics of various bike components, CAD Drafting, 3D prototyping, and industrial testing while gaining hands-on skills in welding and CNC machining.

Perhaps most exciting, in a second-year capstone project, the students will demonstrate the skills required to conceive and build a cycle frame or component of their own design.

"Students can start general education classes this Spring semester, which begins in January 2019; laboratories will open in Fall semester," according to MSC Southeast Dean of Trade and Technology, Travis Thul. "Seats in the program are limited to space available, so the time to apply for admission is now."

In addition to preparing students for careers in the bicycle industry, the skills mastered in this degree can be transferred to any industry involving fabrication, manufacturing, and engineering technology.

"The Bicycle Design and Fabrication curriculum is based on the most current technologies used in the bicycle industry, influenced directly by industry experts," said Greg Alexander, Director of Composite Engineering at HED Cycling. "These skills are beneficial across multiple industries, but students will get to learn them through highly interesting content."

Luke Strauss, Engineering Manager at Quality Bicycle Products, says that having a degree in this area would be a benefit to potential employees at his company or in the bike industry generally.  "As we continue to build and grow our design and prototyping capabilities, it will be great to have a growing pool of students to hire from for internships and careers."

In addition to the opportunity to study bike design and building, students who move to Red Wing for the program will find it a cycling lovers' paradise. This historic town is located on the Mississippi River about 60 miles southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Cyclists can ride scenic bluff roads throughout southeast Minnesota, glide along the Cannon Valley Trail, or take on a challenging mountain bike loop in Red Wing's Memorial Park. 

For MSC Southeast students, the program will combine cycling, high technology, hands-on skills, and the prospects for a challenging career.

"Developing design and fabrication skills through a medium like the bicycle is such a cool idea!  You'll never look at a bike the same way again once you know how it's made," commented Greg Alexander. 



Free Application Week October 22-26

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MSC Southeast offers Free App Week to celebrate College Knowledge Month

Application Fee will be waived October 22-26, 2018

October is College Knowledge Month, and in honor of the occasion, students applying to Minnesota State College Southeast can skip the $20 application fee the week of October 22-26.

"Fall is a great time to explore your college options! If you're getting ready to start college in 2019, now is the time to submit your application, because you'll save the $20 fee during Free App Week," said Tammy Vondrasek, MSC Southeast Director of Enrollment.

During Free Application Week, colleges and universities throughout the Minnesota State system are waiving the standard fee for applying. "Minnesota State offers powerful educational opportunities to anyone hoping to build a brighter future," said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. "These are key first steps on a path to outstanding programs that prepare our students for a career and for lifelong learning."

To apply for admission to Minnesota State College Southeast, go to www.southeastmn.edu/apply and fill out the online application form.

Did you know?

Test your College Knowledge! Here are a few key facts about Minnesota State College Southeast:
  • MSC Southeast has launched 13 new programs in the past year alone!
  • Our students' average age is 26
  • We have enrolled students from over 30 different countries
  • Tuition for residents and non-residents is the same
  • Over 24,000 MSC Southeast alumni live in every state and around the world
  • Best of all -- our programs average 95% job placement!

Winona campus Boy Scouts Merit Badge Fair on Sept. 29 a success

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Almost 300 Boy Scouts, volunteers leave no trace at MSC Southeast following Merit Badge Fair

Scouts Flag Ceremony 2018When students and staff came to school on Monday, October 1, it was business as usual at the Minnesota State College Southeast Winona campus. If you hadn't been there on Saturday, you would never have guessed that 235 Scouts plus 50 adult volunteers had invaded the campus on Saturday, September 29!

On September 29, Boy Scouts came to MSC Southeast from all over Southeast Minnesota -- from as far away as Rochester and Red Wing as well as nearby Wisconsin towns. 

They were there to attend the Sugar Loaf Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair. This is the fourth year running the Minnesota State College Southeast has hosted the event.

Roger Holland and Scouts 2018Merit badges are awards based on a specific area of hands-on experience and study. The purpose of the merit badge program is to allow Scouts to examine subjects to determine if they would like to further pursue them as a career or vocation. 

The current requirements for Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting, involve earning at least 21 merit badges.

300 Merit Badges Achieved

At this year's Merit Badge Fair, 24 different merit badge classes were offered, and by the end of the day, 300 badges had been achieved!

Minnesota State College Southeast college instructors volunteered their time to spend the day working with the Scouts on badges in Automotive Maintenance, Chemistry, CAD Drafting, Electronics/Electricity, Salesmanship, Truck Driving, and Welding.

David Echelard and Kelly Kluver

"It was a wild day, but it was really successful," said David Echelard (MSCS faculty), who helped organize the event along with Kelly Kluver (MSCS maintenance department). "It was amazing to see such great turnout for the event on our campus."

Kelly Kluver noted that there was a lot of community support for the event. "We appreciate assistance from Winona Chrysler, PlastiComp, Fastenal, Steak Shop Catering and many others organizations in the community for helping make the Merit Badge Fair a success."

"This is a great way to connect the college with the area and do some volunteering for a very worthy cause," stated Larry Lundblad, interim president on Minnesota State College Southeast.

Top - Opening Flag Ceremony
Middle - Roger Holland works with Scouts on CNC Machine Tool
Bottom - David Echelard and Kelly Kluver

Check out the Facebook Photo Gallery: 

Construction Tech Students working on-site in Winona

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Boots are on the ground this fall with the debut of MSC Southeast's partnership with Habitat for Humanity in WinonaMSC Construction Technology Students

With the launch of the new Construction Technology program at Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona college students are getting hands-on experience on a large-scale commercial project -- and it's for a good cause.

Mornings are spent in the classroom learning at the college, but afternoons you can find them working at the Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties job site renovating the future 8400 square foot ReStore and constructing a 1500 square foot addition to the building from the ground up. 

The completed project will unite Habitat's office operations, increase ReStore retail space, and add storage for construction materials on one central site. 

MSC Southeast students are currently at work most afternoons from 12:30-3:00 pm. Even though it's only their third week in college, they've already poured footings and foundations for the new Donation Dropoff and Processing Center. Currently backfilling is under way to prepare for the concrete floor. 

"Three weeks ago, most of these students didn't know what a footing was," says their instructor, Jonathan Powell. "Now they not only know what it is, they know how to pour one."

Amanda Hedlund is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties. She anticipates that the project will increase the organization's ReStore sales by more than $200,000 annually. "It's not just a short-term benefit. This partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast provides us with a ReStore expansion that will help us build and repair homes for decades to come." 

Follow the college's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for updates to this story as the year goes on!

© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
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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