Patrick Lair Receives the Bernie McCoy Community Service Award

Director of DCTC Admissions honored by Hastings Community Education

Patrick Lair, Director of Admissions, Recruitment, and Outreach at Dakota County Technical College, received the Bernie McCoy Community Service Award at the Hastings Community Education Advisory Council awards dinner held May 29, 2012, at the Point Restaurant in Hastings, Minn. The award recognizes an individual, agency or organization that has exemplified support and service in the development of Community Education in Hastings School District 200.

“It’s one thing to be recognized by your peers, it’s another thing to be recognized by your organization, but to be recognized by the community we serve really made my year,” said Lair. “You don’t often know how the work you’re doing is effecting the community.” As a result of Lair’s efforts, Hastings citizens have a direct and personal link to academic support. “My job is to get students enrolled at the college, but it’s always been more than that to me,” he said. “It’s also about making people feel comfortable, welcomed, and ultimately making sure that DCTC is a good fit for them.”

Lair (front left) at the Community Education Advisory Council awards dinner, May 29, 2012

According to Bill Postiglione, a teaching assistant in Hastings Adult Basic Education program, and Lair’s nominator:

“Patrick was nominated because he has a most positive attitude toward our students. Right away you know when a person is really interested in you, and for our students, a positive attitude and friendly welcome is a game changer. Patrick is the real deal. On several college visits with our students, we have witnessed his genuine commitment to the needs and concerns of our students. Patrick has dedicated his life to helping others by helping them transition into a successful college career. Think of someone you love that is looking at college and you would want Patrick to help your loved one.”

DCTC has served the Hastings community for some time now, inviting adult learners in their GED classes to the college during Tuesday campus visits. This year marked a new collaboration with Hastings Community Education. Lair assisted in scheduling a GED / ACCUPLACER preparation class right on the DCTC campus, two days each week from March through May.

The class couldn’t have come at a better time. Beginning July 1, 2012, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2012 will require all students enrolling in a college program to have a high school diploma or GED diploma in order to be eligible for financial aid. “If we are talking to a prospective student who wants to come to college and they don’t have a high school diploma or GED diploma, it would be nice to steer them to a class here on campus so they can start working on their GED,” said Lair. The ACCUPLACER prep course offered at the same time would be for students who need to improve their scores on the ACCUPLACER or to be accepted into a certain program.

Lair plans to continue strengthening relationships between DCTC and Adult Basic Education centers in the area. He would like the collaboration to offer free, flexible GED diploma and ACCUPLACER preparation classes on a regular basis and, as part of DCTC’s course offerings. “People in ABE centers are very passionate about what they do and want to see their students succeed,” said Lair. “They are fun to work with and I’m excited to have an opportunity to do even more with them.”

For more information, please contact:
  • Patrick Lair
    Admissions, Recruitment, and Outreach Director
Article about the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2012:

No Diploma, No GED, No Aid by Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed

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