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Minnesota State College Southeast
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Updates from the President

Hats off to the Skilled Trades

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Hats off to the skilled trades

By Larry Lundblad, Interim President 

Republican-Eagle, May 16, 2021
Winona Daily News, May 23, 2021  

 

Dr. Larry Lundblad 2020

On May 1, the country celebrated National Skilled Trades Day to honor the contributions men and women working in the skilled trades make to our local, state, and national economies and quality of life. These workers perform a variety of jobs that require specialized skills that are learned on-the-job, through apprenticeship programs, and at two-year colleges.  

These occupations are frequently referred to as blue-color or hands-on jobs, implying that they typically involve physical effort to build, maintain, drive, assemble, repair, or administer the required activity.  

Lingering beliefs about the undesirability of this work prevail despite the fact that the physical requirements and where it occurs have changed dramatically. Advanced manufacturing today does not look anything like the factories of days gone by. Truck and heavy equipment cabs are as comfortable as the interior of a luxury car. Skilled trades workers deal with sophisticated systems and equipment that require critical thinking, teamwork, and high levels of proficiency to navigate and operate.  

Over the past 30+ years, interest in skilled trade occupations has waned as a career. The increased emphasis on four-year college degrees as the preferred means to a middle-class lifestyle has resonated with a large share of the population.  

People may mistakenly believe that jobs in the skilled trades are low paying. This is reinforced by studies that compare lifetime earnings at various different levels of educational attainment. Typically, the conclusion is that higher levels of education lead to higher earnings.  

However, this is changing. Wages in many skilled trades fields are increasing significantly. Many Minnesota State College Southeast graduates will have the potential to earn into the six figures with a few years of experience on the job -- or when they go to work for themselves.  

The book The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko, 1996) comes to mind. Though it was published 25 years ago, it is relevant today. Based on extensive research, the authors concluded that most millionaires tend to be middle class, blue-collar workers - individuals who drive a truck and have their own business in the trades.    

A value add for skilled workers is that many companies will pay for additional education for the motivated employee. This is often a matter of necessity for the employer to obtain the necessary skill sets for the company to operate and keep up with constantly changing technologies. 

Growing numbers of skilled trade workers will soon retire. With less than 20% of high school graduates indicating an interest in a skilled trade occupation, the situation is becoming dire. The work that skilled trade workers do cannot be sent overseas. Opportunities for the next generation to find employment in these fields are expanding. 

I experienced firsthand the value of the work done by skilled trades persons during a recent kitchen remodel at our home. The cabinetmakers and installers, the electricians and plumbers, and the plasterers did an outstanding job. I could not safely have done this work, nor would I have been able to do it to the degree of precision that was required. I was very willing to pay to have this work done. The final bill confirmed to me that there is money to be made in the trades! 

Minnesota State College Southeast has the distinct honor and privilege to prepare many of our students for jobs in the skilled trade occupations. We need to encourage our educational systems to promote the skilled trades as worthy career choices that are on an equal basis with the professions and white-collar occupations. 

So, belated hats off to the skilled trades and to the many workers who, very successfully, earn a living providing the products and services that we all enjoy and take for granted! Society will benefit when we give these occupations and skilled trades men and women the recognition and status that they deserve.  

 

Times are changing at MSC Southeast

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Times are changing at MSC Southeast

By Dr. Larry A. Lundblad, Interim President

Dr. Larry Lundblad 2020The Times They Are a-Changin' was a song by Bob Dylan that captured the changes underway in the early 1960s. Although his focus was on the political changes underway at the time, the title is certainly appropriate to capture what is occurring in the world economy of today.

Terms like big data, smart factories, driverless vehicles, 3D printing, and cloud computing appear in the various media to describe new ways of connecting, doing business, and living our daily lives. 

Every sector of the economy and society is being or will be affected -- healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, mining, retail, and education. There is much speculation that the current pandemic is accelerating many of these changes, as individuals have had to embrace technology in order to work and live during times of lockdown and reduced social contact -- and that the post-pandemic world is going to look a lot different. 

In industry and manufacturing, these changes in production, supply chain, and distribution are being referred to as Industry 4.0 -- the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Automation and the use of robots that are doing the assembly are creating smart factories.  At Siemens in Amberg, Germany, smart machines are already coordinating production and distribution.

In the smart factory, devices embedded with sensors and software are connected to each other using cloud computing. This is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). The integration of computation, networking, and physical processes result in cyber-physical systems that create an action loop. 

This automation and connectivity are allowing for the collection of massive amounts of data on all of the operations. Internal and external sensors and monitors provide data that can be used by teams to analyze, monitor, and improve operations and to create new ways of doing things. Currently, there is a gap between the amount of data generated and its use.  

The adoption of lean and Six Sigma principles that focus on quality and zero defects along with 4.0 technologies are revolutionizing the workplace. Employees are empowered. In some cases, the individual employee can stop production when they see that something is amiss. To be successful in this environment, workers need formidable technical skills. They also must be able to problem-solve, analyze data, work in teams, and communicate. 

Education needs to change to prepare workers for the emerging workplace. At a recent virtual conference on workforce development sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, a number of employers shared that they base their hiring decisions on demonstrated and documented competencies by the prospective employee, rather than degree attainment. 

These same employers suggested that the development of these competencies must begin at the high school level and that clearly defined pathways to the occupation or next level of education must be created. The employers also stressed the importance of workers keeping their skills current -- giving credence to lifelong learning. 

It was strongly suggested that the learning environment needs to be created that takes advantage of advances in education technology. Virtual learning that incorporates simulations, games, and discussions with others (who can be at other sites and in other parts of the world) are becoming commonplace and a way for self-directed learners to access the training that fits with their schedules and meets their needs. 

At Minnesota State College Southeast, the times they are indeed a-changing! We are developing training and learning opportunities to prepare our students for the emerging workplace. The investments of the past few years in our shops and labs will continue as the resources become available. The college is dedicated to being responsive to the rapidly occurring changes in business and industry and to preparing our students to be productive employees, lifelong learners, and good citizens. 

   

 

Letter following the events of January 6, 2021

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The events of the last few days that include the storming of the U.S. Capitol, which is at the heart of our democracy, should be of great concern to all of us. It is a wakeup call that our democracy and way of life — that we too easily take for granted — can be readily compromised and lost. None of us thought we would ever witness the many events surrounding the recent election and an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

During the Faculty Development Days this week, time was spent reviewing the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation criteria. It was noted that, as an institution of higher education, we are entrusted by the public to prepare our students to be productive citizens. This can be accomplished through a variety of activities that include coursework, student involvement in civic engagement and service-learning opportunities, and their participation in co-curricular organizations and student government.

As faculty, staff, and administration, we have an obligation by word and action to teach our students to be productive and engaged citizens. We must teach them to seek the truth and respect the Constitution, their fellow citizens, our institutions, and our way of life. We must teach them to contribute in a positive way to create a society that is inclusive and provides for equality, justice, and opportunities for all.

The events of the last few months indicate that, as a college, we must renew our dedication to this most important endeavor in intentional and meaningful ways. This is a part of our mission as a college and our commitment to furthering the public good.

Sincerely,

Larry Lundblad - signature

Dr. Larry A. Lundblad
Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

Larry Lundblad: Innovation and dedication are allowing students to achieve their academic goals

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Innovation and dedication are allowing students to achieve their academic goals despite challenging times

By Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast  

November 24, 2020

Dr. Larry Lundblad 2020Greetings from Minnesota State College Southeast! It is hard to believe that there are only a few weeks remaining in fall semester. Once the college year begins, it always seems to move quickly. The pandemic has brought many changes to our operations - changes that continue to occur in response to the current surge that is taking place regionally and across the state. Despite the many changes, things are going quite smoothly. Fall enrollment is positive. We will show a slight increase over last year by the end of the semester. 

To date, the college community fortunately has had a low incidence of confirmed cases of COVID-19. The on-campus safety protocols that include social distancing, masks, daily electronic self-reports, hand hygiene, and sanitation are working. Currently, our trade, technical, transportation, music, and health careers students are on campus. It is our intention to continue with on-campus instruction for these programs for the rest of the year. The challenge over the next several months will be to successfully navigate having everyone in more confined spaces during the cold weather season and the upcoming holidays that will bring people together in off-campus settings. 

Our faculty and staff have been phenomenal in maintaining high levels of instruction and service to the on-campus and off-campus students. Their innovation and dedication allow our students to pursue and achieve their academic goals. Everyone is becoming very adept at using technology. The college's culture of caring is very evident during these trying times. 

Presidential Search

As my service as an interim president is coming to an end in 2021, the official search for a new president is underway. Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra held Zoom listening sessions with community leaders and college students, faculty, and staff on October 22. The search firm (the Pauley Group) is finalizing a presidential and institutional profile and will soon be advertising the position nationally. A search committee including community members has been determined. In February, the first round of interviews will occur narrowing, the field to three or four candidates. In late March, finalists will be on the college campuses to interview before a final round of interviews with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, and Minnesota State Board members. The Chancellor's recommendation will be acted upon at the April board meeting of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. The new president will start on July 1, 2021. 

Grants

The college is aggressively pursuing a number of grants. We were recently awarded a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant of $400,000 to develop a mechatronics program on the Red Wing campus. Mechatronics is a field that integrates mechanics, electronics, and computer technology to support automation system and computer-controlled equipment. Students gain an understanding of basic electricity, fluid power, sensors, motors/drives, PLCs, and robotics. With the rapid changes in manufacturing that are taking place, these skills are essential and lead to high-wage jobs. Seven Red Wing/Goodhue County manufacturers are partners in the grant. Employees from these companies will receive the training initially.

Previously, the Winona campus received two similar MJSP grants to build capacity in mechatronics and to provide training for employees from eleven Winona manufacturers. The curriculum being developed will be the basis for diploma and associate degree programs that will prepare students for high-skill high-wage industry jobs in mechatronics.  

In addition to seeking grant funding for programs, the college is looking for ways to fund expanded services for our students. We are very focused on creating holistic services that support the wellness and well-being of our students. More and more, students are struggling with life issues. These struggles are being magnified by the pandemic. Food insecurity, housing concerns, mental health issues, loss of jobs and part-time work, and lack of childcare are taking their toll. The issues prevent good learning from taking place.   

We have been successful in securing grant funding to support students. Recently, the college received a SNAP education and training grant of approximately $500,000. The award is based on student enrollment in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These dollars will partially fund a director of equity and inclusion position and two AmeriCorps positions. Each campus will have an AmeriCorps intern who will help connect students with community services. In addition, the college recently received grants to support our food pantries. Our Winona and Red Wing campuses each received $4,000 from the Minnesota Department of Health to purchase refrigeration units and shelving so that the types of goods offered can be expanded with an eye to healthy food choices. The latest grant of $10,000 from regional CARES funding will supplement the donations that are occurring.  

Note of thanks

We are very grateful for the growing levels of support from our communities. The grants, partnerships, gifts, and active engagement of the many community members who serve on advisory committees, assist with the Foundation, provide clinicals and internships, and provide part-time and permanent employment opportunities are most appreciated. 

 

Manufacturing and Technology Month - We Are Proud to Partner with Region's Manufacturers

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MSC Southeast - Proud to Partner with Region's Manufacturers

 Dr. Larry Lundblad 2020By Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

October is Manufacturing and Technology month, a time to recognize this important sector of the economy. Minnesota manufacturers add billions of dollars to the state in terms of goods produced, payroll, and tax revenues, and the Southeast region has one the highest concentrations of manufacturing in the state. 

With campuses in Red Wing and Winona, Minnesota State College Southeast is proud to partner with the thriving industrial sector. Over 100 manufacturers are located in Winona.  Likewise, Red Wing can point to an impressive number of manufacturers. These companies produce a broad array of products for national and international markets. 

When you see a Gatorade towel at a sporting event, watch the industrial wench lower the ball in Times Square on New Year's Eve, notice the Braille pads and buttons in an elevator, warm up in front of a gas fireplace, ride an electric bicycle, or purchase top-quality work boots, high-end skates, or a world-famous brand of vanilla (and the list of world-class products goes on and on, including industrial fasters and medical devices) -- chances are that these products were made in Winona, Red Wing, or in the Southeast region.       

I've heard a common theme at many of the events occurring this month: the manufacturing sector is rapidly changing. Much of this change is attributed to reshoring, changes in the supply chain, and the digital transformation that is driving automation, expanding internet connectivity, and the emergence of artificial intelligence. 

As a result, high-wage, high-skill jobs are being created that require new skills sets for both incoming employees and incumbent workers. A speaker that I heard recently said that the emerging new jobs in manufacturing are not "white collar" or "blue collar," but "new collar."

Technical and community colleges like Minnesota State College Southeast are responding to these changes. To be a vital partner, we must ensure that our programs are aligned with the emerging workplace and provide the training needed by our regional manufacturers.

One of our most important initiatives is the development of pathways to manufacturing (and other trades programs and transfer majors) that begin at the local high school. MSC Southeast is working with industry, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, workforce development boards, Chambers of Commerce, and secondary partners to create these pathways. High school juniors and seniors in our pathways are earning certificates that lead directly into the workplace or onward to a 2- or 4-year college degree. 

Another important pathway program is the Winona Chamber REACH program, that continues to thrive despite the current pandemic. Juniors and seniors from Winona High School, Wabasha-Kellogg, and Lewiston are participating. Students earn a transferrable certificate through MSCS and gain valuable soft skills that align with "new collar" jobs. 

New pathways leading to the manufacturing certificate are being replicated in four regional high schools, including Red Wing High school. A National Science Foundation grant is providing resources for curriculum development and equipment. Local manufacturers are excited about this opportunity for local students and are providing additional funding.   

This year, we worked with representatives from business, industry, workforce centers, and 22 partner secondary schools to develop a joint proposal for Perkins funding, a federal grant supporting career and technical programs. I am happy to report that the proposal was funded! The school districts and the college are now working on achieving the grant goals, including creating pathways to manufacturing.

Here at MSC Southeast, we have been expanding long-standing relationships with the manufacturing sector to add new programming and upgrade existing offerings to align with workplace needs. Along with new curricula, equipment is being upgraded to prepare students for the emerging workplace. 

Over the past two years, the business community has made a significant investment in the advanced manufacturing program to transform the learning spaces on our Winona campus. These donations have been leveraged, resulting in a number of state and federal grants that add more resources for curriculum development and equipment. In addition to college students in the degree program, 60+ industry technicians from eleven companies are in training this semester. 

A similar initiative is underway on Red Wing campus, where a new mechatronics lab is being developed with local industry and community support. The new program will provide training for incumbent workers and, longer-term, a two-year degree in mechatronics. 

In conclusion, we are proud of our regional manufacturers and the value add that they bring to the region and state. MSC Southeast is excited to partner with our regional high schools, Chambers, workforce development boards, and the industrial sector as we prepare current and future employees for "new collar" careers in manufacturing.  

 

Join us for Student Success Day on September 22

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Join us for Student Success Day 2020

   

Transcript: 

Hi, I'm Larry Lundblad, interim president here at Minnesota State College Southeast. And I would like to invite students, faculty and staff to attend the Student Success Day on September 22nd. 

This is a day when we interrupt regular classes to have an exciting day of breakout sessions on various topics. This year's theme is racial equity, an important topic. We all need to understand each other, learn from each other, and work with each other. 

We will have great keynote speakers, and a panel, presentations and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. It'll be a great day all on Zoom. 

Again, I would encourage faculty, students and staff to attend. It's all on Zoom. You'll need to get the link ahead of time at www.southeastmn.edu/successday to sign up in advance. Again, I would encourage you to attend. Have a great day.  

Welcome to Fall Semester 2020

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Welcome to Fall Semester 2020 

 

Transcript: 

Hello, I'm Larry Lundblad, interim president here at Minnesota State College Southeast, and I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all our students as we begin a new academic year. 

We've been anticipating this day for some time. The faculty and staff have been working hard to get ready for the year. Like all of higher education, we're going to look a little bit different this year. 

Some of you will be taking your courses online. Others will be taking courses in a hybrid format, and a number of you will be on campus. 

We've had students on campuses since June and so we know how to keep students safe. For everyone who will be on campus, we ask that you do your part to keep yourself and everyone safe. 

By first of all, doing the daily screenings. Green screen indicates that you've been cleared to come to campus. Red - if you're not cleared, you will stay at home. 

Wear a mask. You can wear your own or we can provide you one. 

Practice social distancing, practice good hand hygiene, and keep an eye on your email for updates. 

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. 

We're all in this together. Together we can make this year a great one, despite the pandemic. 

All the best to each of you and stay safe. And we'll see you around campus!

Fall 2020: Let’s make it a productive and safe year at MSC Southeast

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Fall 2020: Let’s make it a productive and safe year at MSC Southeast

Dr. Larry Lundblad 2020As we begin Fall Semester 2020, great things are happening at Minnesota State College Southeast! We are eagerly looking forward to the start of the new academic year. New ways to learn in response to the pandemic and new programs will provide our students with expanded opportunities.

Our faculty, staff, and administration have been working hard over the summer to ensure everyone's safety as students return to our campuses this fall. Keeping everyone safe is our first concern. Safety protocols are in place. In the classrooms, distancing and the mandatory use of masks will reduce exposure to the virus. The technical, occupational, music and health programs have developed safety guidelines that allow students to come to campus for hands-on training in our labs and shops. 

Students from our auto technology, auto body, mechatronics, welding, truck driving, CNC, and guitar programs are already on campus. These students are finishing spring semester classes or enrolling in accelerated courses to obtain the skills to get a job quickly. 

To reduce the number of individuals coming to campus, students have the option to access lecture-based classes online. Many of these classes and programs were online prior to the pandemic. Therefore, our faculty are skilled at teaching online. Many instructors include pre-recorded lectures, video clips, and online discussion groups to enhance the online learning experience and to incorporate interactivity.

Another exciting new option is Hy-Flex, where we're using Zoom technology to create a live-time interactive learning experience that links students who are taking a class on-campus with students who are learning remotely. Hy-Flex allows students to see, hear, and interact with others in the class and the instructor in real time. Students can rotate days in class and days at a distance to reduce student numbers on campus. Plus, the sessions can be recorded and made available to students for make-up and review.  

In addition to changes in the classroom, we are now able to offer two great new majors. The college continues to respond to the employment needs of the region we serve. Manufacturing and healthcare are two of the major employers in the region. 

Manufacturing continues to evolve with automation and robotics becoming widespread. Mechatronics is a new major that will prepare students for high-skill high-paying support positions that keep the manufacturing facilities of this region running. State-of-the-art labs await students. We are excited to be eventually offering this training on both campuses. 

Another new major that starts this fall is the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). The demand for registered nurses continues to grow. The ASN degree will be offered on both the Winona and Red Wing campuses. We are pleased that the Board of Nursing recently approved the program. The approval has taken a significant amount of work by our faculty under the tremendous leadership of Associate Dean of Nursing, Janine Mason. In addition to the new ASN program, the college offers the Practical Nursing diploma and Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. 

We are looking forward to the coming year and to welcoming our students. We will do our very best to keep everyone safe and to provide a dynamic learning environment. For those who are seeking employment, now IS the time to upgrade skills. Many companies are looking for skilled workers despite the pandemic and related economic downturn. Our faculty and staff will assist you to make your transition smooth. We are committed to making this year a productive and safe one!  

Larry Lundblad - signature

Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President
Minnesota State College Southeast

Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020

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MSC Southeast Logo



George Floyd Mural - Photo by Lorie Shaull June 2, 2020

Dear Members of the College Community,

This has been a horrific week for the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota and for our nation. The brutal and tragic death of Mr. George Floyd on May 25 that was captured on video will forever be etched in our memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the members of his community.

This senseless act once again shows that we live in an unjust society that tolerates acts of violence against certain segments of our population. While answering violence with violence cannot be condoned, the right to protest and to demand justice is enshrined in our Constitution. The peaceful demonstrators are advocating for long overdue, fundamental changes that address the racial inequities that exist in our society.  

The American Revolution was fought so that the opening words of the Declaration of Independence would become a reality -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Sadly, across this nation and here in Minnesota, these rights are denied to many in our society because of the color of their skin, national origin, orientation, or religious beliefs.

As a college community, we must do our part to create a better tomorrow for all of our students, coworkers, communities, state, and nation. For the Minnesota State system, the goals and objectives outlined in Equity 2030 will help us to move forward to create a system that is focused on equal opportunity for all. At Minnesota State College Southeast, our strategic and diversity and inclusion plans are linked to Equity 2030 and include goals and objectives to create an inclusive culture at the college. The recent work on poverty issues is a first step to understand better how we, as a college, can address the inequities and disparities that many of our students face each day.

However, before we can make a difference in our students' lives and affect the larger culture, each of us will need to exam our own motivations, biases, prejudices, and attitudes towards individuals with different backgrounds, ethnicities, belief systems, and opinions. One of our six college values is diversity. As a college, we must have dialogue around what this value means to us. Next, we need to ask ourselves if we firmly embrace and are committed to this value. Finally, we need to take bold action.   

I look forward to our work together to move to a better tomorrow. This will be challenging, yet rewarding, work as we create opportunities for all in an inclusive environment that allows us to celebrate our unique qualities, characteristics, and backgrounds and grants each individual the freedom to contribute to the greater good.     

Sincerely,

Larry Lundblad - signature

Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President
Minnesota State College Southeast

Higher Education: One sure pathway to a better future in uncertain times

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Higher Education: One sure pathway to a better future in uncertain times

By Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

Congratulations to Minnesota State College Southeast's Class of 2020! We are taking this opportunity to celebrate our students' success in reaching their academic goals. Little did we know at the beginning of the academic year in August that the world would be turned upside down by the end of the year in May. None of us will ever forget Spring Semester 2020!

It has taken a lot of hard work, determination, and sacrifice on our students' part to complete the requirements for graduation. This year has added many challenges to reaching the academic finish line, and our graduates are emerging into an uncertain future. We do not know when the pandemic will end or what a post- COVID-19 world will look like. 

In the same way, we do not know what our future as a college will bring, but we are certain MSC Southeast will be here to educate students in the coming year. Online summer classes are already beginning, and we are making plans for a variety of scenarios to teach this fall, whether online or on-campus with safe social distancing practices. 

When our students began Spring Break on March 9, we expected them to return to campus a week later. Instead, with two short weeks to prepare, we reinvented much of the college and its programs. Higher education has a reputation for being slow to innovate and change, but we proved that is not necessarily the case when years of innovation happened in weeks. As an early adopter of online and distance education, our expertise goes back many years. This means when we had to pivot to new teaching methods, we had the resources to do it well. 

We found a number of ways to help our students progress toward their goals, such as:

  • Our online faculty rallied to support our face-to-face faculty in developing new instructional approaches
  • We deployed simulation software to create learning experiences for students in many fields, including healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing
  • Video conference technology was used to provide live and recorded instruction and lectures -- even creating hands-on lecture demos with Go-Pro and microscope cameras
  • Our Information Technology staff provided professional development and innovative strategies
  • Faculty held virtual office hours and connected with students regularly through phone, email, and video conference to support them during the changes.

We also quickly moved our Student Services operations online, ensuring no disruption in services to students. The college utilized a myriad of technological solutions to ensure that academic support could continue, including individual tutoring over Zoom. We launched weekly drop-in sessions for key student service functions, such as financial aid, registration, and disability services. Staff began meeting with students by phone and video for drop-in and scheduled appointments.

Our Admissions and Enrollment team went into action to design and implement a series of Virtual Open Houses, providing direct access to program faculty and admissions representatives for our prospective students. We created virtual Orientation and Registration days where students get advising and registration support for fall from faculty and staff.

We have kept our campuses in Winona and Red Wing open for students. The computer labs are accessible, sanitized, and available to students who may not have computer or internet access at home. The food pantries are stocked, and students have needed those resources. With financial support from both our Student Senates and Foundation donors, we continued to provide free transportation for area students through our local bus services in both Winona and Red Wing.

In short, we are making every effort to maintain access to services and excellence in instruction. Whether hosting a Zoom Open House or making videos with a GoPro camera, the faculty and staff at MSC Southeast have worked tirelessly to ensure student learning and offer the opportunity for social mobility that a technical and community college provides. The culture of caring makes MSC Southeast a special place, and this has never been more evident.

While we hope the Fall will bring a return of students to campus -- and that the Class of 2021 will be able to walk in a graduation ceremony as in times past -- know that Minnesota State College Southeast is ready to adapt to changing circumstances. In this uncertain time, higher education is one sure pathway to a better future for all, and we are here for you.

Commencement Ceremony, May 15, 2020

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Commencement Ceremony, May 15, 2020

The following is the text of Interim President Larry Lundblad's address to the graduating Class of 2020. You can view the Commencement Ceremony online on this page.

Dr. Larry Lundblad - Graduation 2020Good Day! I am Larry Lundblad, Interim President of Minnesota State College Southeast and I would like to congratulate the Class of 2020! We are taking this opportunity to celebrate your success in reaching your academic goal! We want to acknowledge your disappointment in not having a traditional ceremony and celebration. However, we still can acknowledge your accomplishment and the honors that you so richly deserve. Little did we know at the beginning of the academic year in August that the world would be turned upside down by the end of the year in May. You will never forget spring semester 2020! We certainly want to extend our thoughts and prayers to those who have been stricken by the disease, to those recovering, and to the family and friends who have succumbed to this virus.

We all recognize that it has taken a lot of hard work, determination, and sacrifice on your part to complete the requirements for a degree, diploma, or certificate. This year has added many challenges to reaching the finish line. Graduates, this is your time to be recognized. However, some other individuals need to be recognized as well. Your family and friends have been there for you in many ways. If you are watching this with your family and friends, please hit the pause button and thank those supporters who are with you. And, take a some time in the next few days to send a text or call those who helped you along the way.

There is currently a lot of uncertainty. We do not know when the pandemic will end or what a post- COVID-19 world looks like. The impact on the economy is already significant and this is affecting employment prospects. For those of you continuing your education, there is uncertainty around what the next academic year will look like. 

I would like to offer two strategies that will be of benefit to you as you navigate the next few months and beyond. The first strategy comes from the Stoics. The Stoics were Greek and later Roman philosophers who developed a practical set of guidelines designed to help individuals cope with life and the perils often encountered -- both big and small. One of the main tenets of this philosophy that has been put into practice over many centuries down to our present day is the "Dichotomy of Control" that encourages us to distinguish between what is up to us, what is in our power and control, and what is not. 

In our current situation, we cannot individually control the COVID-19 virus -- where it goes and whom it infects -- nor can we control the economic havoc that it brings.  However, we can control our emotional reactions and behaviors. We can chose fear, despair, and disempowerment or we can choose to bravely move forward, follow safety protocols and take positive actions to mitigate the impacts. The serenity prayer written by Rein hold Niebuhr that is used by many 12-step programs embodies this strategy.    

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. 
 
Living one day at a time; 
enjoying one moment at a time; 
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. 

The second strategy is perseverance. Perseverance means not giving up. Perseverance is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it until the end, even if it's hard. Another way to look at perseverance is that it involves the voluntary continuation of a goal-directed action despite the presence of challenges, difficulties, and discouragement. Perseverance is hanging in there - avoiding negative self-talk and not listening to the naysayers.

It is an extension of the Stoic Dichotomy of Control principal. 

Winston Churchill, the great British World War II leader embodied perseverance. It was because of his will and determination that the British people withstood several months of bombing by the Germans when Great Britain stood alone against the Nazis. Eventually, Britain emerged victorious along with its American and Russian allies in the end. 

An often told story about Churchill is his famous Harrow School speech. As the story goes, Churchill was invited to be commencement speaker at the school he attended as a boy. On the day of the event, the auditorium was packed to hear the famous wartime leader. Churchill supposedly strode to podium in his robe and said "never give up. Never, never, never give up" and then he purportedly sat down. 

As stories often go, this wasn't exactly what happened. Churchill was, indeed, asked to give the graduation speech. The place was packed. He strode to the podium in his robes -- and talked for 20 minutes. What he did say in his speech was "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large for petty, never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense."

The backstory is important to understanding the man and this speech. Academically, Churchill was a poor student. His childhood was very unhappy. His parents were inattentive. At boarding schools, he was often the only student at the school on holidays as his parents were busy traveling and cared little about him or his emotional well-being. His military and political careers were punctuated with major disappointments. In the years leading up to World War II, many people had written him off. And yet, because of his perseverance in response to his many personal setbacks, he persisted and is now remembered as a great leader and statesman. He never, never gave in. 

So, in closing, as you deal with the effects of the current pandemic and set your course for the future challenge yourself to move forward in a positive way by controlling that which is in your power to do so and persevere! And remember, that this stretch of disruption will pass, and you will be stronger for it.

As the Class of 2020, we need you. Minnesota needs you and your enthusiasm, skills, training, ideas, innovation, and imagination! 

And now I have the great honor to confer the degrees, diplomas, and certificates that you have earned. By the power invested in me by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees, I hereby grant you the certificate, diploma, or degree that you have earned. 

Now, there is one more action to take. Please figuratively move your tassel from the right to the left side of your cap.  Congratulations!!

 

April 9, 2020: Covid-19 Update from Interim President Larry Lundblad

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Covid-19 Update from Interim President Larry Lundblad

Posted April 9, 2020

Dear Students,

On Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2020, Governor Tim Walz extended the state-wide stay-at-home order to May 4. The current stay-at-home order had been set to expire April 10.

The new order effectively ends any opportunity to complete face-to-face instruction this semester. Also, we are planning to offer online-only courses during the normal summer session.

The remote off-campus learning that is currently taking place will allow the majority of you to complete course requirements online and through alternative assignments. However, in some courses, the face-to-face components cannot be accomplished remotely.

Over the next few days, the deans will be working with faculty to identify alternatives that will allow those who are affected to complete course requirements when it is safe to resume on-campus face-to-face learning in late summer or during the next academic year. Plans will be in place by April 17. Your instructors will communicate completion options to you through email and D2L Brightspace.

These are extraordinary times. I certainly understand the impact that this pandemic is having on you personally. We are committed at Minnesota State College Southeast to helping you achieve your educational goals. Your instructors, the entire staff, and administrators are doing everything possible to help you to cope with this unprecedented situation and to be ultimately successful in your endeavors.

In the coming days, we will continue to keep our Covid-19 and Student FAQ pages updated in the website. Please stay connected and let us know how we can assist you. And, please take the necessary precautions to keep yourself healthy.

Larry Lundblad - signature

Dr. Larry Lundblad
Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

March 2020: Covid-19 Update from Interim President Lundblad

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Covid-19 Update from Interim President Lundblad

Posted Friday, March 27, 2020

Transcript of Video

Hi, I'm Larry Lundblad, the Interim President at Minnesota State College Southeast. As you can see behind me,  the college is quiet these days. Obviously at the beginning of the year we did not know that we were going to be dealing with a pandemic by the end of the year, and so we are in the process of making a lot of changes.

Our first priority is your health and safety. Here are a few of the things that we're doing on campus. We're really focusing on social distancing and keeping groups at 10 or smaller. We're doing a lot of extra cleaning and sanitizing in our spaces. We're allowing as many employees as possible to work at home, and we're closing our campuses to the public. Buildings are still open for students, staff and faculty, however we're limiting access to keep people safe. 

Our second priority is your education. This has been a major disruption, and we've extended the spring break for two weeks, as you know. Your instructors have been extremely focused during this time, preparing learning opportunities so that you can complete the semester. Some of you will be taking courses online; others will be working on projects. Some of you will be completing internships and clinicals, and others will be returning to campus in a very safe environment to complete the requirements for your courses. 

Your instructors have been extremely, extremely focused on how they can best serve you the remainder of the semester. We have the curriculum re-designed, really re-focused and re-framed, so that you will benefit and achieve your educational goals. 

But you have your part to do as well, and how can you help? First of all, check your student email and the D2L Brightspace for information from your instructors regarding the delivery of your courses. Secondly keep an eye on the website for COVID-19 updates and answers to students' Frequently Asked Questions. Finally, reach out to student services and your instructors for help if you need it. The phone numbers are on the website and your instructors and staff will be accessible to you. 

Please take this situation very seriously. Take precautions, take care of yourselves. You are a valued member of the college community. We are here for you. 

 

March 2020: Expanding our impact through innovation, collaboration and action

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Expanding our impact through innovation, collaboration and action

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

March 2020

At Minnesota State College Southeast, we're focused on expansion through innovation, collaboration, and action with the goals of assisting all of our students to be successful and exceeding the expectations of the region. I'm excited to share with you some of the new initiatives that are being implemented at our campuses.

In the past year, we have streamlined admissions and registration processes to make it easier for students to learn about the college and enroll. Current students are benefitting from a restructured student affairs division that offers a holistic approach to expanded student services and support, such as mental health care, social services, and advising. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our own students, Food Pantries are now located on each campus. As we say often, #MSCSoutheastCares!

Student athletics are becoming a reality --- the MSCS Cycling club on the Red Wing campus provides students with the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level (details on page 4). The club already has 20 members, with eight members planning to compete for the team! Other athletic offerings are in the offing as well. 

Our Construction Technology students are gaining first-hand experience through our on-going partnership with Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties. Currently, our students are helping remodel space in a local Winona church that will provide emergency shelter for families in need of short-term housing. 

We continue to focus on new opportunities for a variety of learners, including: 

  • The addition of an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics on the Winona campus. The expansion of programming in mechatronics and advanced manufacturing is being supported by private donations to our  lab spaces. 
  • The proposed two-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree to be offered on both campuses next year.  

We have been very fortunate to secure grant funding to support our work with partner organizations, including:

  • A variety of certificates for high school students offered  in collaboration with local school districts at learning hubs located at regional high schools and on the  Winona college campus. The Red Wing School Board just approved a new CNC Machining certificate to be delivered at the high school beginning this fall. A recently awarded National Science Foundation grant provides some of the funding. 
  • A Minnesota State system partnership grant with the Winona Chamber of Commerce, providing funding to expand the REACH program to Wabasha-Kellogg and Lewiston-Altura school districts.
  • Learning opportunities in manufacturing for women over  age 50, women of color, and low-income women through a Women's Economic Security (WESA) Grant.  Partners include Workforce Development, Inc.; Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED); Winona Public Schools; and Hiawatha Valley Adult Education. 
  • Opportunities in manufacturing and welding for  individuals with a criminal background and low income individuals through a Pathway to Prosperity Grant. Courses are being offered in Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona,  and Houston counties. Partners include Workforce Development, Inc.; Winona Public Schools; DEED; and Hiawatha Valley Adult EducationTraining for incumbent workers in Red Wing and Winona supported by various Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants. These partnership grants, developed with regional employers, provide MSC Southeast with funding to build capacity at the college to meet the immediate and future needs of employers. Over the past several months, grants totaling approximately $660,000 have been awarded to the college and its partners. supported by various Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants. These partnership grants, developed with regional employers, provide MSC Southeast with funding to build capacity at the college to meet the immediate and future needs of employers. Over the past several months, grants totaling approximately $660,000 have been awarded to the college and its partners. 

The hard work of our faculty, staff, and administration is paying off! I am happy to report that enrollment for Spring Semester 2020 is up significantly. We look forward to sharing details when final numbers are available. Meanwhile, the best is yet to come!

November 2019: New energy and excitement building at Minnesota State College Southeast

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New energy and excitement building at Minnesota State College Southeast

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President

November 2019

The addition of new programs, new initiatives, and new faces is creating a lot of energy and excitement across our campuses this Fall semester! As a result, there are expanded learning opportunities for students, increased services, and new instructional pathways to better serve students, our communities, and the region. Here's a quick update on what has been happening.

Transfer Pathways have been expanded to include nine majors in liberal arts, business, and accounting. Students interested in beginning their baccalaureate degrees at Minnesota State College Southeast can enroll in a Transfer Pathway degree with the knowledge that their credits will seamlessly transfer into baccalaureate programs at the seven universities in the Minnesota State system. High school students can begin Transfer Pathways degrees through PSEO and continue at MSC Southeast in a supportive environment. 

Efforts are underway to develop similar pathways for trade and technical programs. The college is fortunate to have received a number of recent grants that will allow us to expand in new directions. A recent National Science Foundation award is providing the resources to create learning hubs at two regional high schools, Chatfield and Cannon Falls. High school juniors and seniors in these districts will be able to earn credentials through MSCS in manufacturing.

A second grant through the Minnesota State system will help expand the Winona Chamber REACH program to Lewiston-Altura and Wabasha-Kellogg school districts. Again, these students will be able to earn college credits through MSC Southeast. Students enrolled in REACH learn the foundational skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and they have access to learning opportunities in real-world settings.

To strengthen our relationships with our K-12 partners, we are currently advertising for a newly created full-time position, Director of Secondary Relations. In addition to providing support for the PSEO/Concurrent program, the director will also be responsible for managing the college's federal Perkins grant. See southeastmn.edu/HR for more information.

As part of our mission, MSC Southeast is also very focused on meeting the training needs of individuals already in the workplace. We are excited to have recently received three Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grants through the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) totaling approximately $500,000!

Up-to-date laboratories and learning spaces are critical to the success of our degree programs and customized training. Through the generosity of many businesses and individuals, the college is close to meeting the $1.4 million goal for the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative (AMII) on the Winona campus. New equipment continues to be added to expand the manufacturing and mechatronics programs. We are also working with community and business partners in Red Wing to identify needs and develop solutions to better support economic vitality and expansion in the Red Wing community.

Our goal with all of these activities is to prepare students for the rapidly emerging workplace of tomorrow and to be responsible citizens. This can be accomplished by bringing together K-12 education, college education, and business to provide all of our learners with the best educational experience possible. High quality education will keep the country competitive and our communities viable. We appreciate working with our partners!

August 2019: Fall Semester Greetings from Minnesota State College Southeast

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Fall 2019: Greetings from Minnesota State College Southeast

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

August 2019

We are excited about the start of a new academic year! We look forward to greeting the many new students who have chosen to begin college at Minnesota State College Southeast and to welcoming back our returning students. MSC Southeast draws students from across the state, country, and world. 

Community and technical colleges are designed to provide accessibility and opportunities for students from a variety of backgrounds. As a result, our students tend to be older, the first in their family to attend college, and from underserved populations including students of color and the economically challenged.  Many of our students have to juggle family and work responsibilities while going to school or travel significant distances to attend classes or clinicals. 

At MSC Southeast, the average age of our students is 27. A significant number of our students are returning to college later in life to gain new skills to make a career change. Some of these individuals are between jobs, others are returning to college to complete their degrees, and a growing number are anticipating retirement and are preparing for a second career. Included in the last cohort are retired college professors, doctors, lawyers, business executives, and individuals from a variety of occupations.    

Our student demographics are also influenced by our programming. Over the last four years, students from 48 states, 33 countries, and six continents have enrolled at MSC Southeast. Many of these students are enrolling in our nursing, musical instrument repair, and bicycle design and fabrication programs. This year we welcome students from China, Egypt, Cameroon, and Brazil. Our growing online presence, which includes complete degree programs, enrolls students locally and at a distance.  

Meanwhile, area high school age students are attending Southeast through concurrent enrollment and PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options). This provides opportunities for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to start their college careers before graduation. In addition to learning course content, these students are becoming college ready. They experience the rigors of college work and learn to navigate higher education processes in a supportive environment. 

Our goal at Minnesota State College Southeast is to help each and every student be successful. As a college, we are committed to meeting the needs of a diverse student body by being innovative in the ways we provide services, deliver instruction, and schedule courses. To that end:

  • We continue making improvements in our Student Services area to update processes and increase efficiency, including making it easier for students to complete registration online.
  • We are redesigning programs to deliver instruction in a more concentrated format so students can graduate and get into the workforce more quickly and at lower cost.
    • For example, Automotive and Light Diesel Technology can be completed in two semesters plus one summer session. This allows students to graduate in just one calendar year with a 54-credit diploma!
  • Instructors are using technology to optimize learning and to reconfigure the learning experience. 
  • We are creating learning hubs at regional high schools to create pathways that lead to college or work. 
  • We are upgrading lab spaces on the campuses, such as the incredible work that is being done through the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative.

We are looking forward to an outstanding year as we provide an extraordinary educational experience for our students. At Minnesota State College Southeast, we value relationships and strive to create a supportive learning environment for all of our students. We are excited to begin the 2019-2020 Academic Year and look forward to working with everyone to meet their educational goals!

March 2019: Celebrating education that leads to workforce development

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Celebrating education that leads to workforce development

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

March 2019

At Minnesota State College Southeast, we focus a lot of our attention on Career and Technical Education. CTE provides student learners of all ages the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful on the job and in their careers. Our CTE instructors and high school partners are making great contributions to the lives of our students and the economy of our region. 

Right now, we are seeing more and more "baby boomers" retiring, and the current economic expansion is creating an unprecedented number of job openings.  That means it should be easy to find work. However, many of the best jobs and careers require education beyond high school. It's estimated that two-thirds of today's jobs require certificates, certifications, licenses, associate's degrees, or some college coursework--and this need will increase. 

The downside is that individuals who only have a high school diploma or lower level of education will be increasingly disadvantaged as lower skill work disappears due to automation, globalization, and upskilling. 

The good news is that with career and technical education credentials, it is possible for experienced employees with a strong work ethic to earn six-figure incomes. Others find that with a skill set that is in demand, the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and to go into business is an exciting alternative. 

Examples of the rapidly changing world of work are numerous.  Today's employees are expected to solve problems, think creatively, and actively engage in work design. In many manufacturing settings, workers learn and apply the principles of LEAN manufacturing. Auto body, diesel, and automotive technicians use data to diagnose and solve problems. Heavy equipment operators, ag-technicians, and truck drivers use GPS. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and robots is evolving and expanding. 

CTE prepares individuals for high-skilled jobs in transportation, financial services, information technology, public safety, green energy, and advanced manufacturing. There is a growing need for workers in the construction trades, CNC machine tool, and welding. The demand for skilled employees in health occupations continues to expand as well, especially in southeastern Minnesota with an aging population and world renowned health systems. 

MSC Southeast works closely with our high school partners throughout the region to develop programs that allow students to explore options to pursue their interests and establish career goals.  Many high school programs are structured so students can start taking college courses as juniors and seniors. We have strong relationships with the 22 area high schools in the Southeast Perkins Consortium Career, and technical education provides the pathway for high school students to start earning the credentials they will need to enter the world of work.   

At MSC Southeast, career and technical programs are taught by expert faculty who are skilled in their fields. Hands-on training often includes internships, apprenticeships, and clinical opportunities in the workplace. These on-site experiences can lead directly to employment. 

We are also providing opportunities for students to achieve their educational goals and get into the workplace more quickly. Credit for prior learning and military experience reduces the costs and time needed to complete the credential or degree. Increasingly, programs are available online, allowing students to learn when it is convenient for them. 

We are now developing accelerated programs that reduce expenses and allow students to start earning sooner. For example, it's now possible to earn a two-year diploma in Heavy Diesel Maintenance or in Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology in one year or less!

Minnesota State College Southeast is proud of our Career and Technical Education instructors and our high school CTE partner schools and instructors. Together, with vital business and industry support, they are doing an outstanding job of connecting students with careers and jobs in the region and making a valuable contribution to the economic vitality of southeastern Minnesota. 

 

December 2018: Career, technical, and transfer education: gateways to good paying jobs and lifelong learning

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Career, technical, and transfer education: gateways to good paying jobs and lifelong learning

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

December 2018

There are many, many high-demand, high-paying paying job opportunities that require two years of college or less. Locally, employers tell us that many of these jobs are going unfilled -- they just can't find enough people with the training they need. That's where Minnesota State College Southeast steps in.  Our programs reflect the needs of the region and prepare graduates for the jobs of today and tomorrow. 

We are working hard to make sure that prospective students understand that there are excellent middle-level career paths available in the trade and technical areas. Because Southeast Minnesota is a manufacturing powerhouse, a number of our programs prepare students for careers in this area. The advanced manufacturing jobs of today take place in well-lit, well-designed, clean, and safe environments. These positions are exciting, challenging, and require a high level of skills.

They can also be very rewarding financially. Graduates in advanced manufacturing, electronics, biomedical equipment repair, and mechatronics can expect to advance from beginning salaries of $50,000 to $80,000 and up to $100,000+ with experience. Certified welders can expect to start at $40,000 and often advance to $60,000+ annually -- experienced, specialized welders that travel can earn more than $100,000. 

The health care sector, which has the largest number of employees in Southeastern Minnesota, is rapidly expanding due to an aging population, advances in treatment options, and the demand for a variety of treatments and services. With the expansion of many of the regional clinics and hospitals and Rochester's Destination Medical Center initiative, the need for skilled workers is increasing. Many of these jobs require a two-year degree or less. Practical Nurses, Medical Laboratory Techs, and Radiography Techs are in very high demand and can expect to start at an above-average salary and progress rapidly in their careers.

The broad field of transportation offers many opportunities for students who are interested in being service technicians or working in the trucking industry as drivers and dispatchers. At Minnesota State College Southeast, we offer several programs in this area. Potential annual earnings for certified auto and diesel mechanics and experienced auto body technicians can exceed $100,000 per year. Truck drivers can expect starting salaries of $50,000 to $60,000 and can earn up to $100,000 based on experience, distance, and type of freight.    

We have more programs in Business & Management; Education & Human Services; Engineering, Manufacturing & Trades; Health Sciences; Information Technologies; Musical Instrument Repair & Building; and Transportation that we could possibly list here! But all are designed to help students succeed in their careers and employers find the kind of skilled employees they need.

One additional area is important to consider: Liberal Arts & Transfer Studies. Two-year associate degrees are also an option at MSC Southeast. Graduates can enter the workforce directly or go on to earn a baccalaureate degree, saving thousands of dollars over the cost of attending a university for all four years. Transfer Pathway Degrees that guarantee transfer of credits to Minnesota State universities are available for students majoring in Accounting, Business, Exercise Science, History, Pre-Social Work, and Psychology. 

Like many colleges, we are looking at ways in which we can prepare graduates in an even shorter time period using high technology systems, competency-based instruction, and credit for prior learning. We are building enhanced pathways that allow high school students the opportunity to begin their college careers during the sophomore, junior, and senior years. 

Please connect with Minnesota State College Southeast to learn about the many career opportunities that are available in the region and our certificate, diploma, and degree options. We are here to help you reach your goals!

August 2018: Setting new priorities, implementing new goals

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Setting new priorities, implementing new goals at Minnesota State College Southeast

This Op-Ed column ran in three area newspapers: Winona Daily News, August 4, 2018; Red Wing Republican-Eagle, August 6, 2018; Winona Post, August 8, 2018

At Minnesota State College Southeast, summer is a busy time as we focus on admissions and registration for fall semester. A number of our career and technical programs are already full or will be shortly. Welding and Practical Nursing are filling quickly. The Electronics, manufacturing, and CAD programs are experiencing their highest enrollments in five years. Two of the three musical instrument repair programs in Red Wing have waiting lists.

Strategic Plan  

Over the last several months, the college has developed a new Strategic Plan that will take us through the year 2020. We identified five priorities -- student success; regional engagement; workforce development; building college community internally; and sustainability and growth. Now we are busy implementing the plan to achieve our goals.

As a result, the communities that we serve can expect to see many positive changes over the next several months. As a college we will be more efficient, effective, engaged, student-centered, and intentional in providing top-quality and relevant education offerings.

Student Success

The success of our students is our number one priority. It is our goal to provide our students with an outstanding academic experience and stellar support services that help them succeed. Our student services team has been visiting other state colleges and doing research to identify best practices and ways to streamline our operations. A gap analysis revealed barriers that are being remedied to make the student experience as streamlined as possible. A major initiative this year will be to greatly expand the use of technology to provide the levels of convenience and connectivity to our services that many students expect.

Academic Programs

 

Keeping our trade and technical program curriculum current is always a challenge. We are committed to working with our advisory committees to ensure that we provide the most up-to-date education possible. As a result, exciting things are happening. We have completely redesigned the Construction Technology program to include the application of new technologies and sustainable building practices as part of the curriculum. Our Electronics program is beginning the process of making substantial curricular changes. And, our Transportation programs are in the initial stages for revising and upgrading their program offerings. A new manufacturing program on the Red Wing campus -- Bicycle Design and Fabrication -- is in the final stages of development for fall 2019.

These program upgrades are highly dependent on the purchase of new equipment. A capital campaign led by a community member is currently underway with over $400,000 raised in the last few weeks. This kind of support is greatly appreciated.

We are also strengthening our liberal arts and business offerings. New system transfer pathways have been added to our offerings. Students enrolled in the Accounting, Psychology, Business, History, Pre-Social Work, and Exercise Science Transfer Pathway degrees will take most or all of the required general education credits and some of the credits in the major while at MSC Southeast. The degrees transfer directly into related programs at the seven Minnesota State universities.

Regional engagement/Workforce development

Partnerships are critical to address the current workforce shortage. We are pleased to be partnering with the local Chambers of Commerce, business and industry, k-12 partners, and workforce centers to promote high-skill, high-wage jobs in the trades and technical occupational areas.

An exciting development this past year is the establishment of career academies. These academies provide an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to earn credentials that lead to employment upon graduation or further education. Two academies were launched in Winona — the Chamber REACH Academy at Winona Senior High School and a second academy at MSC Southeast that serves high school students from 12 regional school districts.

The expansion of opportunities for high school students will be supported by Minnesota Department of Labor grants that were recently awarded to Goodhue County Collaborative and the Winona Chamber’s REACH Initiative. These $95,000 grants support the development and implementation of experiential learning opportunities in high-growth, high-demand occupations through local business partnerships, and provide paid learning opportunities and related classroom instruction for students 16 and older. Stay tuned for many more exciting developments as these academies expand!

Sustainability/Growth  

Like any business, the college needs to watch the bottom line. The drop in enrollment that has occurred over the past several years has resulted in a loss of tuition revenue and affected our state funding. Because of this, we will be aligning staffing with our revenues and enrollments. To address the shortfall, we are providing an early retirement incentive, not filling vacancies, and (as a last resort) reducing positions. Failure to make these adjustments will harm the institution long-term.

At the same time, we will be investing in new and existing programs and technologies that can streamline our operations and better serve our students. In the end, our students matter most and we must do all that we can to meet and exceed their expectations.

In conclusion, Minnesota State College Southeast is moving forward on many fronts. Meeting the needs of our students is our highest priority. Our next priority is connecting in meaningful ways with the communities and region that we serve.

A comprehensive community college offers many, many advantages, especially to the underserved, and provides pathways to the world of work and further education. We are a college that cares. Through the efforts of our great faculty and staff, we see lives that are changed for the better every day. The best is yet to come! 

Larry Lundblad is the interim president of Minnesota State College Southeast. 
 

August 2018: Three key ingredients for high quality learning

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Three key ingredients for high quality learning: Expert faculty, professional development, engaged advisory committees

Dr. Larry LundbladBy Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President, Minnesota State College Southeast

August 2018

At Minnesota State College Southeast, our top priority is providing the highest quality learning experience possible for all our students. As I see it, three key ingredients must be in place to make this happen. 

Expert Faculty

First of all, having faculty who are experts in their field is critical to having success in the classroom. We are indeed a community of experts. This fall, we are proud to welcome Kevin Henderson and John Maddox, two new instructors. Students will benefit from their wealth of experience and up-to-date knowledge in their respective fields. 

Our faculty truly follow their passions -- a characteristic that all experts share.  Steve Rossow, Violin Repair, was recently recognized in an international publication. Biology instructor Liz Micheel is sharing her passion for agricultural systems that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable by organizing a Fall Speaker Series on the topic. 

Professional Development

A second key ingredient in providing our students with a high quality learning experience is to help our faculty and staff continually develop their expertise through professional development. A number of our faculty, staff, and administrators are furthering their formal education, acquiring advanced certifications, and staying engaged in their fields. We congratulate Dean of Trade and Technology, Travis Thul on his recent monumental achievement. 

A second key ingredient in providing our students with a high quality learning experience is to help our faculty and staff continually develop their expertise through professional development. A number of our faculty, staff, and administrators are furthering their formal education, acquiring advanced certifications, and staying engaged in their fields. We congratulate Dean of Trade and Technology, Travis Thul on his recent monumental achievement.  

Engaged Advisory Committees

Active, engaged Advisory Committees are the third key ingredient. The goal of an advisory committee is to help ensure that all aspects of MSC Southeast's academic programs reflect the needs and current conditions of the workplace, and that MSC Southeast graduates are prepared to meet the expectations of employers in their field. The CNC Advisory Committee is a great example of a group of advanced manufacturing industry representatives who are making a big difference through their commitment to our programs and students. 

At their most recent meeting, the CNC Advisory Committee  discussed equipment investments needed to outfit an advanced manufacturing laboratory designed for the industry of today and tomorrow. They also provided guidance for facility renovation and modernization. The purchase of new equipment will be funded by a capital campaign for advanced manufacturing programs that is currently underway. The campaign was initiated and is being led by a community member. Many of the companies represented on the Advisory Committee are donors. 

In addition to laboratory and equipment initiatives, the committee also discussed joint training opportunities. This includes facilitating on-site training for secondary and post-secondary instructors at industry locations throughout our region.  

Active advisory committees are in place across the college and draw on a wide range of expertise from across the region, state, and nation. We greatly appreciate all they do for our college!

As you can see, our community of experts and our advisory committees at Minnesota State College Southeast are working hard to instill a love of learning, passion, and commitment to excellence that will put our students on the pathway to becoming experts in their own right.


© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

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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