BY BARBARA MCDONALD
Signs of summer are here in more ways than one – warm weather, the end of the 2017 legislative session, the start of summer courses and preparations for fall. Let me highlight each of these.
First, a big thank you to Gov. Dayton and our legislators for supporting the higher education omnibus bill that included funding for Minnesota State and its 30 two-year colleges and seven state universities. This funding is critical to ensure an extraordinary education at an exceptional value, and to deliver on our mission of engaging students and changing lives.
Accelerated summer courses are in full swing with the final session beginning on July 3. On Monday, NHCC’s Upward Bound program welcomed 30 students who attend Robbinsdale Cooper, Brooklyn Center High and Park Center High for a six-week summer program on campus providing intensive academic coursework. Many of these students also receive services during the academic year, including after-school tutoring, ACT prep, academic advising and mentoring. Recently, NHCC learned that grant funding for Upward Bound will continue for an additional five years!
North Hennepin is also one of eight Minnesota State colleges to receive a $1 million gift from Beverly and Richard Fink to establish an innovative program to ensure that students are college-ready by fall semester of their freshman year, at no cost to the student. The “Summer Scholars Academy” is a bridge program that assists new, entering students in the areas of mathematics, reading, and writing, as well as time management, study skills, academic and career planning and more.
Looking ahead to fall semester, we recently launched a free credit program to help our students save money and get a step closer to completing their degree. Students interested in this option must register for 13 or more credits by July 17, and one of those credits will be free. You can learn more about the free credit program by visiting nhcc.edu/FreeCredit. Also in fall, North Hennepin is offering Transfer Pathways – a more seamless transition for students to complete a two-year degree at NHCC onto a four-year degree at any of the seven Minnesota State universities. Business administration, biology, communication studies, psychology, and Theatre Transfer Pathways will be available in fall, with 26 academic programs being added fall 2018.
Last, but not least, I want to welcome Dale Fagre as the new executive director of the NHCC Foundation. Dale brings over 25 years’ experience in philanthropy and operations in the fields of higher education, health care, human services and youth programming. He is anxious to meet our community members and identify partnerships and opportunities that fulfill the Foundation’s mission of creating access to education.
As you can see, there is a lot going on at North Hennepin Community College. We are your community college, and invite you to take advantage of these opportunities, attend an information session, or just stop by and say hello!
Barbara McDonald is President of North Hennepin Community College