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

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!

Dahl Automotive Gives Back

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Dahl Automotive gives back to the community

Company donates GMC 2500 Duramax Diesel to Automotive / Light Duty Diesel Tech program

Andrew Dahl and daughter Katherine

This semester, students in the Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology program will gain hands-on experience with diesel technology, thanks to a generous gift from Dahl Automotive.

Andrew Dahl, President of Dahl Automotive, and his daughter Katherine came to the Winona campus in August to turn over the keys to the GMC 2500 Duramax Diesel, valued at $21,500.

"One of our core values is giving back to the communities we serve. Being able to partner with the college in this way, to be able to donate the vehicle, is a benefit for the students," Andrew said. "And we feel it's also a benefit to us in that someday some of the students will come to work for us and join our team."

Instructor Josh Jacobsen explained that with the vehicle from Dahl Automotive, the college can train students on today's light duty diesel technology and the vehicles they will be working on at the dealerships after graduation.

"Diesels have completely different engines, different fuel systems, they're much heavier duty. It takes a whole different set of skills to work on them," he said. "We are very lucky and grateful that Dahl Automotive made this donation."

Good jobs await graduates of MSC Southeast's Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology diploma program. Both Vinnie Pontius, Director of Operations at Dahl Auto Plaza in Winona, and Andrew Dahl mentioned that currently the job market is very tight, and it's not easy finding well-qualified employees.

"What a lot of people don't understand is that a career in automotive is a good career. You can earn a very good living for your family, make very good money," Andrew Dahl pointed out. "When I talk to our technicians about why they love what they do, they say it's because they love the challenge: The satisfaction of diagnosing a vehicle, figuring it out, being able to fix it properly, and getting it back on the road again brings a lot of satisfaction."

Thanks this gift from Dahl Automotive, MSC Southeast automotive technology students will be getting their careers on the road with an even broader range of experience -- ready to work on light duty diesel engines.


Graduating from college before getting a HS diploma

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Spencer Speltz: Earning a college degree before his high school diploma

Spencer Speltz

PSEO is a great way for high school students to get a head start on college. Just ask Spencer Speltz! 

In May, he crossed the stage at MSC Southeast's graduation ceremony and received a degree in Business Management with high honors. Then in June, he graduated from from Lewiston-Alutura High School.

PSEO coursework allowed Spencer to earn college credit at no cost for tuition, fees, or books. 

Spencer's family is a model of commitment to Minnesota State College Southeast. Both of his parents have degrees from the college. His father studied CAD and runs his own pattern shop; his mother studied medical support careers and works at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. 

Spencer's sister graduated from associate degree nursing, is working in the field, and continuing her education toward a BSN. His other sister also participated in PSEO at MSC Southeast.

"We are graduates of Minnesota State College Southeast and know the value that community colleges offer on the staircase of life," said Spencer's mother, Carrie Speltz.

Spencer started taking PSEO classes at MSC Southeast when he was in 10th grade, beginning with a 9-credit certificate in CAD Drafting Technology

He continued to combine high school and college through his junior year, playing high school soccer, basketball, and baseball.

As a senior, Spencer realized he had enough credits to finish an associate degree, but he would have to make a sacrifice. He gave up going to high school so he could attend MSC Southeast 100% online. But he kept up with his sports and extra curricular activities -- and was even elected Prom King!

This fall,  Spencer is starting college at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. He plans on studying engineering with a minor in business administration.

Spencer credits several of his instructors with their willingness to add additional flexibility in the delivery method of the courses at times that allowed him to participate in high school sports.  

"This is exactly what PSEO was created for -- to give high achieving students like Spencer the opportunity to excel as high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors," said Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President of Minnesota State College Southeast.

Sustainable Agriculture Speaker Series in Winona this fall

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Explore Sustainable Agriculture in Winona this fall

Renowned author Mark Shepard will speak on campus on September 20

Mark ShepardUpdate: These events are FREE for students! Just present your student ID at the door.  

This fall, the Sustainable Agriculture Speaker Series at Minnesota State College Southeast will offer a chance to meet several inspiring individuals who are challenging conventional food and farming systems with alternatives that are socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. Four exciting speakers will come to the college's Winona campus on select Thursday evenings to share their insights into this important field. 

The common thread among the speakers is a shared value system based upon community, economic security, and environmental protection. The first speaker will be Mark Shepard on September 20. He has graciously offered to come to Winona to show his support for Sustainable Agriculture at Minnesota State College Southeast.

Sustainable Agriculture Speaker Series
5-6 pm Social Hour, 6-7 pm Speaker Presentation
MSC Southeast Winona Campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN
Cost: $15 per meeting; $50 for the series of all four meetings
Register online or call 507-453-2740


  • September 20 - Mark Shepard, author: Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers
  • October 25 - Jim Riddle, Blue Fruit Farm: The past, present, and future of agriculture in the Winona area
  • November 15 - Norm Erickson, Hazelnut Valley Farm LLC: Growing hazelnuts in Minnesota as a sustainable, environmentally friendly crop
  • December 13 - Bruno Borsari and Liz Micheel: Introducing the new Sustainable Agriculture program at MSC Southeast

A sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally, Mark Shepard is the renowned author of Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers. He is also the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC and founder of Restoration Agriculture Development, Inc. He runs New Forest Farm, a 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States. 

In addition to speaking on Thursday evening, September 20, Mark will present a workshop on local permaculture design concepts on September 21. Registration is limited for the Permaculture Workshop and the cost is separate from the Speaker Series. For more information about the workshop, please contact Liz Micheel at 507-458-4829 or emicheel@southeastmn.edu. 

© 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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