BY: DENNIS BONA Ed.D., COLLEGE PRESIDENT
First, let’s celebrate that February is here and that means we are well past the half way point of winter! I know we are not out of the woods yet, but somehow it just feels better to know that we can reasonably expect 50 degrees in only a month or so! Speaking of heating up, I’m very pleased to make some noise about NCTC recording an actual increase in enrollment this spring when compared to spring of 2015! The increase is barely negligible at less than 1%, but it’s the first increase we have had in the past five years and we are one of very few MnSCU Colleges and Universities that have an increase to talk about!
I’m also confident that this is not a one-time event as I believe this will begin a trend of enrollment gains due to the following three reasons:
- The addition of new programs including General Agriculture Certificate, Precision Agriculture, Small UAS, Dietetic Technician and Early Childhood Education.
- Reinstituting evening programming this Fall, including Liberal Arts, Business, Information Technology and a variety of technical courses.
- The establishment of student housing.
In other NCTC news, I want to thank our colleagues at Bemidji State University for working with us on a joint admission agreement that allows for NCTC students to be dually enrolled at BSU after completing only one year of courses at NCTC. This program takes all of the uncertainty regarding transfer out of the equation and guarantee’s a seamless transition from NCTC to BSU. This means that there is no duplication of courses from one school to the next, saving students both time and money in obtaining their Bachelor Degree.
We are also celebrating the accomplishments of our NCTC VEX Robotics team, which qualified to compete in the world completion in Louisville, KY later this April. The students, led by their coach and NCTC Electronics Instructor Andrew Dahlen have worked extremely hard and demonstrated amazing talent and ingenuity to reach this level of competition.
Also competing at an awesome level is our NCTC Women’s basketball team, which appears to be headed for another conference title and hopefully a trip to the national tournament. I encourage you all to check our Pioneer athletics website for a game that fits your schedule!
Finally, my extreme gratitude is extended to all of those generous donors who helped contribute to our spring scholarship award ceremony where we distributed 99 scholarships to deserving students totaling $50,525. These scholarships can make the difference as to whether or not some of these students can complete or continue their college education.