Military Family Day: DCTC Welcomes Ryan Schmidt

Story of inspiration, perseverance and overcoming PTSD

Dakota County Technical College Military Family Day
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dakota Room

Students, staff, faculty and community members are welcome!

Speaker Ryan Schmidt | 12 – 1 p.m.
Join us to hear Ryan’s inspiring story of his military service and perseverance to overcome the obstacles he faced in his life after his service, due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ryan is a retired Sergeant and U.S. Army recon sniper. He served in Afghanistan (2004-2005) and Iraq (2006-2008), and experienced combat injuries. Ryan has physical injuries, as well as chronic and severe PTSD. Ryan also served as a Corrections Officer for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department. He is a former member of a world-wide biker organization; current owner/sole proprietor of Consummate Warrior LLC; and a veteran’s advocacy consultant/public speaker.

Veterans Resources Open House | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • Meet and Greet – Stop by the Veterans Club table to take a quiz about Veterans Day and get a free “Support our Troops” yellow ribbon pin! Also, meet representatives from the Veterans club and learn more about how you can get involved. The Veterans Club will be hosting a social on November 18 at 1 p.m. in the Student Life Center. All students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend! Contact: travis.ahlquist@dctc.edu; darryl.erickson@dctc.edu
  • DCTC Photons Club Raffle for Holiday Portrait Sessions - The Photons Club will be selling raffle tickets for a Holiday Portrait session! You can purchase a session for $25 or enter a raffle for $5 at their booth on Military Family Day. Three raffle winners will be selected.
  • Medical Assistant program collecting items for deployed troops - The Medical Assistant program is collecting items to ship to troops overseas. Please donate any of the following items: Travel size toothpaste, shampoo, etc; Ramen noodles, Little Debbie’s snacks, gum, health/fitness/auto magazines, hard candy, sunflower seeds or jerky. They will also be making Support our Troops Survival Bracelets to raise funds for shipping the items to troops. Suggested donation for the bracelets is $5. Contact: margaret.noirjean@dctc.edu.
  • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community Network
  • Veterans Resource Center
  • Workforce Center
  • Workforce Center
  • Family Assistance Center
  • DCTC Veterans Services
  • Veterans Services Office

Lions Club Meeting | 1:15 p.m.
The Lions Club is supporting the Rosemount Community food shelf by collecting non-perishable food items. If you bring in a food item donation and stay for the Lions Club meeting free appetizers will be provided! Contact: brett.kolles@dctc.edu.

For more information about Military Family Day activities, contact:
  • Anna Voight
    Assistant Director of Student Life

2013-2014 Student Survey

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CP Donates $10,000 for RR Conductor Scholarships

Historic rail carrier supports DCTC students

Locomotive on the prairies | Photo courtesy of www.cpr.ca

The Canadian Pacific Railway, or CP, donated $10,000 to the Dakota County Technical College Foundation. The Canadian Pacific Scholarship will fund 10 $1,000 scholarships each year for students enrolled in DCTC’s Railroad Conductor Technology program. The railway committed to annual contributions for the 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16 academic years.

Canadian Pacific is committed to helping students obtain a college education so they may pursue lasting and productive careers. “We pride ourselves on being good corporate neighbors in DCTC’s community and recognize the importance of working together to support students’ educational goals,” said Heather Woods, coordinator of community investment at Canadian Pacific. The hope of the scholarship is that by aiding students in their pursuit of higher education, DCTC will continue to produce well-trained graduates to the benefit of employers, employees, families and communities.

About CP
Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is a low-cost provider that is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise.

About the DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology program
This program prepares students to serve as railroad conductors in the railway industry, which is critical to our nation’s livelihood. Retirement rates of current conductors promise excellent job opportunities. Railroad conductors oversee train routes, movements and car switching through a range of duties, including the relay of signals in emergency situation. Conductors work irregular hours, including holidays, weekends, days and nights for shifts up to 12 hours. Constantly alert to changing conditions, they are trained to act safely and responsibly.

About the DCTC Foundation
Established in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the DCTC Foundation is governed by a board of directors with up to 18 members. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated more than $3.2 million in financial assistance for students while building a general endowment fund and establishing private endowment funds.

For more information about the DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology program, contact:
  • Don Spano
    Railroad Conductor Technology Instructor
For more information about the DCTC Foundation, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni

DCTC Receives Assets for Independence Grant

Network of six MnSCU colleges awarded $1 million from the Office of Community Services

Assets for Independence

As a member partner of TuitionMatch-MN, a network of six Minnesota State Colleges and Universities community and technical colleges and their respective foundations, Dakota County Technical College received $166,667 in funding as part of a $1 million grant from the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program of the Office of Community Services, an office of the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Inver Hills Community College served as the lead institution for TuitionMatch-MN with Century College, Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Saint Paul College and DCTC as the other members of the network. Tim Wynes, J.D., IHCC president and DCTC interim president, noted that TuitionMatch-MN will support 700 Minnesota residents age 18 or older who qualify for Federal Pell Grants.

“The AFI funds will allow TuitionMatch-MN colleges to develop a 3:1 matched savings Individual Development Account program to help low-income Minnesotans build the financial assets they need to pursue a college education,” Wynes said. “Cost is the number one barrier to obtaining a postsecondary degree for low-income individuals with no previous college experience. By 2018, 70 percent of Minnesota jobs will require education beyond high school.”

TuitionMatch-MN IDA funds may be used only for college tuition and additional costs required for obtaining a postsecondary degree. Eligible TuitionMatch-MN participants may save up to $960 each, and can deposit the full $960 of earned income when they open their savings account; or, they can make monthly installments over the course of two years. This initial investment will be matched 3:1 (1.5 by AFI funds and 1.5 from each partnering college), for a total of $3,840 per student.

Eligible TuitionMatch-MN participants must:

  1. Qualify for Federal Pell Grants
  2. Deposit up to $960 of earned income into the IDA
  3. Complete a 1.0-credit equivalent one semester tuition-free financial literacy course
  4. Complete one semester of tuition-free one-on-one career coaching
About Assets for Independence (AFI)

AFI is a community-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. Utilizing existing individual and community assets, AFI strengthens communities from within through the use of matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Through financial education, AFI demonstrates the use and impact of IDAs to help low-income individuals move toward greater self-sufficiency.

For more information about the DCTC Foundation and TuitionMatch-MN, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation & Alumni

Automotive Techs Help Each Other

Diaper party brings this year’s class together

Automotive Technician class at DCTC | Second year students

Automotive technicians work hard and get their hands dirty but Dakota County Technical College’s Automotive Technician class has no problem setting their tools down to help out a fellow classmate. “We came up with the idea and everybody jumped on it immediately,” said Mark Brantner, automotive technology instructor. When Bill Maraski, second year student in the program, welcomed his new baby girl into the world on Sept. 30, the class of 19 organized a diaper party for the new dad.

Jesse Tuma of the Automotive Technician class felt good about supporting Bill. “He’s in school, why not do it for him? Bill is a great guy in general and this is a way to be proud.” Garrett Baack, also in the class, explained that it’s nice to know people are doing this to help his classmate.

“It was great to see this group of students, who have only known one another for a couple of months, pull this together to help out a fellow student,” said Brantner. “It just shows how much we go out of our way for each other.”

Not only did the class present Bill with almost 800 diapers, they also painted a happy reminder on his truck saying, “It’s a girl.” Bill said, “I didn’t see it coming. I was so surprised! I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Left to Right: Garrett Baack, Jesse Tuma, Bill Maraski | Automotive Technician, second year students

For more information about the Automotive Technician program at DCTC, contact: