graphic design for the Sun Post and NHCC's column

As our name implies, North Hennepin Community College is deeply rooted in and around our community. We believe in the power of education to change lives, and recognize that teaching and learning inside and outside of the classroom is critical to student success and the building blocks for a stronger community and workforce.

To do this, NHCC creates synergy with community partners who share similar values. Here are a few recent examples of partnership that I hope will inspire new opportunities!

Prior to the start of the 2022-2023 academic year, Osseo Senior High School needed an American Sign Language instructor to teach 80 students who had registered for the course.

After a failed search, Osseo reached out to North Hennepin. Thanks to the great work of Osseo Assistant Principal Kim Berling, Osseo Career Specialist Michelle Mazanec, NHCC Director of Partnerships & Collaboration Katie Elsbernd, NHCC Dean of Fine and Applied Arts, Global and Cultural Studies Kathy Hendrickson, NHCC ASL Faculty Rene Martinez, and Osseo Paraprofessional Bradford Johnson, NHCC was able to provide a college faculty to teach American Sign Language to three sections of Osseo students, allowing them to earn high school and college credit!

This fall, NHCC is participating in Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s Gateway to Legal Education program that encourages interest in the law among students from historically underrepresented communities.

As part of this collaboration, NHCC Psychology Faculty Sean Payton and Mitchell Hamline Faculty Rick Petry are co-teaching Psychology, Race and Law, and eligible students have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of the course. The goal is to ensure that NHCC students interested in practicing law have a connection to Mitchell Hamline as an option to legal education or a legal career after their bachelor’s degree.

In May 2023, five students from the Stillwater and Shakopee Correctional Facilities will graduate from NHCC with a Paralegal Certificate, thanks to a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Corrections and All Square. NHCC is the first ABA-approved paralegal program in the nation to enroll incarcerated students into its Paralegal Certificate program.

NHCC Paralegal Program Director Mary Fenske said, “It’s imperative to work within the system to provide education to incarcerated individuals so they can use their legal knowledge and skills towards their own cases and when they enter the job market upon release.”

In July 2022, NHCC was also one of five local colleges selected for the Second Chance Pell Experiment which provides federal funding to educate people who are incarcerated.

On October 5, NHCC’s CARE Center held a Resource Fair for students to connect with community services related to basic needs such as transportation, food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and much more.

Thank you to the Sexual Violence Center, Avenues for Youth, CAPI and others for participating and educating our students about your resources.

On October 11, NHCC’s Workforce Innovation and Experiential Learning Center hosted a STEM Career Fair for students to explore career fields in health, science, and technology. Thank you to Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Mayo Clinic, General Mills, Great River Energy, Fuse Fitness Coaching and others for sharing career opportunities and networking with our students.

Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota have entered into a collaboration to reimagine nursing education and address the growing shortage of nurses in Minnesota by forming Coalition for Nursing Equity and Excellence.

NHCC Interim Associate Dean of Nursing Amy Goman said, “The coalition will be important in drawing from the nursing education expertise across all educational systems technical, associate and baccalaureate and advanced practice. NHCC will have the opportunity to be part of the next generation of nursing education and have a voice in how this is shaped. The diversity of the future healthcare workforce will be influenced by these educational opportunities.”

Rolando García is president of North Hennepin Community College.

Copyright © 2021 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. North Hennepin Community College received prior written consent from Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota in order to digitally disseminate this content.

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