PSEO Student Spotlight: Dru Vogland

Dru Vogland

Information Systems Management major will graduate from high school and DCTC at the same time

Dru Vogland, 17, is a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student at Dakota County Technical College. Dru is earning an A.A.S. degree in Information Systems Management with plans to graduate from DCTC and Minnesota Online School, St. Paul, in June 2025.

“My goal is to transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “Eventually, I would like to be employed as a solution architect or principle software engineer.”

Margaret Milne

In fall semester 2023, Dru took an English Composition course taught by Margaret Milne, English and humanities faculty in the college’s Liberal Arts & Sciences department. Margaret told DCTC News that Dru hit paydirt on an extra-credit project where no other student had previously succeeded.

Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is a military cemetery in Margraten, a village in the Netherlands,” Margaret explained. “On certain occasions, staff at the cemetery like to attach a picture of each military member next to his or her grave marker. They also like to post corresponding photos on the tablets of the missing—those who did not survive the war, but whose bodies were never located. There are more than eight thousand graves and seventeen hundred tablets of the missing at the cemetery. Around fifteen hundred are missing photographs.”

Margaret noted that the extra-credit assignment required her students to complete research on the cemetery’s deceased American WWII veterans who lacked photographs with the goal to locate the absent images and send them to cemetery staff.

USAAF SSgt Zolynski

“Rarely do students succeed in actually finding a photo—okay, never until Dru Vogland did last semester,” Margaret said. “Dru succeeded in finding an image of Staff Sergeant Chester Zolynski, a tail gunner on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress with the 486th Heavy Bombardment Group in the U.S. Army Air Forces. USAAF SSgt Zolynski was shot down and killed in action somewhere over the North Sea during the war, but his body was never recovered. He is memorialized at Netherlands American Cemetery on a tablet of the missing.”

Dru reported that she tried locating photos of one or two departed servicemen on Ancestry.com, but that approach didn’t work—and she soon realized the task would be harder than she had originally thought. But knowing she had found photos of her own relatives during previous research, even as far back as the late 1700s and early 1800s, she trusted her job would not be impossible,

“So, I decided to try searching for their names on Google to see if any photos came up,” she said. “After trying different servicemen at random, I came across Staff Sergeant Zolynski and tried him. Finally, I discovered a site from Britain that contained his photo and some information about his time in the U.S. Army Air Forces.”

After the initial shock of finding the photo wore off, Dru was very happy.

“My great grandfather was in the Air Forces during World War II and realizing I had helped someone he had served with was a great reward in itself,” she said. “Multiple relatives of mine were involved in WW2, including my great aunt who was in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).”

Margaret subsequently emailed the photo of SSgt Zolynski to Netherlands American Cemetery. “A couple months later, the cemetery staff replied, thanking me for finding the photo,” Dru said.

More about Dru…

Dru Vogland

Dru described her family in detail to DCTC News:

My dad, Jeremy, is a warehouse worker who enjoys building dollhouses for my sister and me. He can always make us laugh with his great sense of humor and always tries to cheer us up when we’re sad. My dad is also a really good writer with a great talent for storytelling.

My mom, Kim, is a solution architect, a great cook, and a very creative person. She has made many crafts that turned into priceless family heirlooms. My mom is the inspiration for me heading to college during high school, and the one who I’ve always wanted to be like since I was really little.

My sister, Danialle, is a creative kid. She has created unique characters that appear in their own series topped with hand-drawn pictures. Like myself, Danialle has plans to become a programmer as well.

Reba is a treeing walker coonhound mix who we adopted from the Animal Humane Society in 2016. Originally, Reba was my mom’s dog, but my mom later gave her to me as a surprise. Before we got her, Reba was found wandering in Texas. Then, she was shipped from shelter to shelter before we adopted her. Reba is a sweet little dog who, despite her age, is always energetic.

Piper is a border collie mix who we bought two years ago. Piper was originally a farm dog who always lived outside, but now she enjoys living inside. My sister adores her and takes her to agility training with the hopes of going into competitions with her in the future.

Opal is a calico cat who my mom adopted after visiting the Animal Humane Society in search of a new cat for her mom. My mom wasn’t expecting a new cat, but after Opal decided to try and get into her purse, my grandmother convinced her to adopt Opal.

Butch is a toad that we took in after finding him in our yard. He was just a little baby, smaller than a quarter when we got him two years ago. Now he is the size of my sister’s hand.

Dru works while going to college and high school as a self-employed student tutor and pet sitter. “I enjoy taking care of the animals,” she said. “My favorite breed of dog is the Morkie, a cross between a Maltise and a Yorkie. I’ve taken care of a Morkie multiple times—and she is the funniest dog I have ever seen.”

Dru’s favorite type of cat is the calico. “Even though it isn’t a breed, I’ve always enjoyed calico cats,” she said. “My mom has one, and she is the sweetest cat I’ve ever come across, even though she can be a handful at times.”

When asked what advice she would give someone thinking about becoming a student tutor, Dru said, “Have a lot of patience because many people don’t understand the material the first time. It might take them a couple tries and a couple visits for them to understand what you’re trying to teach them.”

In her free time, Dru works on cars with her mom. “Currently, our project car is a former highway worker truck,” she said. “We are focusing on repairing the body and reconstructing the doors that have rusted away. It is a hard task, but very rewarding, and we’ve already reconstructed most of the doors. We’ve been working on this truck for a couple years now, and it looks very different from when we first got it.”

Dru is a multi-instrumentalist who knows how to play electric guitar, keyboard, acoustic guitar, drums, and the harmonica. “I’m mainly self-taught, but I’ve taken a couple lessons over the years,” she said. “I collect record albums and currently own more than a couple thousand records. Being the owner of a large collection, sorting and keeping track, is a hard thing. I’ve lost track of the exact number, but my collection takes up multiple, cubed IKEA shelves. My records span from the 1940s up to today.”

Dru resides with her family in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, her hometown.

More about PSEO at DCTC…

The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program at DCTC allows high school students to earn college credits for free while they are still attending high school. As a qualifying high school student, you will be able to seamlessly transfer the credits you earn at DCTC to nearly any college or university in Minnesota—as well as many other institutions nationwide.

PSEO is a program for motivated high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to take classes at a college or university while in high school. In the PSEO program, high school students who meet qualifications will take classes at a college on campus or online. These classes will earn them dual credit at high school and college.

PSEO students can take one class through the program, or they can take all their courses through college. PSEO can be used to explore the college experience, try different technical classes to help decide on a future career, or complete a full associate degree or certification program while in high school.

PSEO is designed for high school students to take charge of their education. At DCTC, PSEO students work closely with their advisor to ensure they are meeting their educational goals, succeeding in their classes, and navigating the next steps after PSEO.


Attention prospective PSEO students!

DCTC PSEO ADMISSIONS DEADLINES

Please email all your documents to admissions@dctc.edu.

The fall semester 2024 deadline to apply is Monday, July 1, 2024. All your documents must be received by the July 1, 2024, for you to be accepted as a PSEO student for fall semester 2024 at DCTC.

PSEO INFO SESSIONS

DCTC is currently accepting PSEO student applications for fall semester 2024. Learn more about PSEO by attending one of our information sessions:

  • Thursday, March 13, 2024
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2024
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Options are available virtually and in person. View available dates and REGISTER NOW!
LEARN MORE ABOUT PSEO…

Dru Vogland Q & A

Dru Vogland

What inspired you to attend DCTC as a PSEO student?

My mom was the one who suggested the idea of attending college as a PSEO student. After visiting my dad’s college while he was just enrolling, they learned about the program and suggested to me that I try it once I was old enough.

I started as a PSEO at Normandale College in Bloomington, where both of my parents and my grandfather had attended. After one semester there, I transferred over to DCTC. DCTC was another college that both of my parents had attended, and they suggested it to me.

What do you find most engaging about your information technology coursework?

Working with the code within these programs.

What advice would you give high school students thinking about participating in PSEO?

Take the classes that can count towards your college and high school degrees. You get less classes and you finish faster.

What traits and abilities do you have that can help make you a successful IT professional?

Attention to detail, quick learner, problem solver, work well in many situations.

Four words that describe you as a PSEO student:
HARDWORKING. FAST LEARNER. DEDICATED.

What area of information technology interests you the most?

Working with the code.

What do you like best about attending DCTC?

The classes don’t have strict deadlines like Normandale.

What person has influenced your life the most and why?

The person who influenced my life the most is my mom. She is currently in the IT field and is the best programmer in her company. Many of her coworkers have gone to her for help, and I’ve learned many terms and how to do things from overhearing her help them.

She is a very kind person who always put others before herself. My mom is always ready to help whenever someone needs it. Her success in the IT field and her good mindset have influenced me in many ways.

If you could make one thing happen on Earth right now, what would it be?

Bring back 8-tracks.

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:

ENJOYABLE

Dru Vogland 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Horseback riding
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Air Montserrat Studio 
  3. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Went to a meet and greet with John Waite
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Buy one of the largest horse farms in the USA 2) Buy AIR Montserrat Studio 3) Repair and reopen AIR Montserrat Studio
  5. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: Frogs (1972)
  6. Time period (past or future) you would explore if you could time travel: The 1980s
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: Complete my Apple record collection
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Parakeet
  9. Dream occupation: Software architect
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Johnny Horton
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Playing sitar
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Pollution
Learn more about PSEO at DCTC by contacting:

Kerry Lurken
Admissions Representative
kerry.lurken@dctc.edu
651-423-8409

Rebecca Jacobson
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor
rebecca.jacobson@dctc.edu
651-423-8641

Learn more about Information Systems Management at DCTC by contacting:

Admissions
admissions@dctc.edu
651-423-8266
Room 2-110

More about Information Systems Management

This interdisciplinary program combines courses from Networking Administration, Software Development, and Information Systems Management to teach a unique blend of networking, programming, and management skills.

As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to function in small business firms as the sole computer resource person. You can also match your training in the program with entrepreneurial knowledge to start your own computer consulting firm.

Information systems managers experience a high level of social interaction where they use well-developed analytical skills. Job duties generally keep them indoors, and they typically work a regular business week.

Potential job titles
  • Computer Network Support Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • System Administrator
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Systems Administrator
  • Programmer Analyst

Awards

Information Systems Management A.A.S. degree: 69 credits
Information Systems Management diploma: 60 credits


Computer and Information Systems Managers

Oversee information technology (IT) duties for an organization.
WAGE

This career pays well above the statewide median wage of $24.25/hour.

Minnesota

Median: $77.61/hour
High: $85.15/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $80.33/hour
High: $87.16/hour

OUTLOOK

In Minnesota, there are 8,920 workers employed in this medium-sized career. This career is currently in high demand and seeing high growth (growth rate 10.9 percent in U.S.) compared to other careers.

There will be a need for about 9,283 new Computer and Information Systems Managers to meet market demand between 2020–2030. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (March 13, 2024)

More about Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liberal Arts & Sciences courses at DCTC help prepare you to be successful in your technical and academic programs. Courses are delivered via the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) format.

Liberal Arts & Sciences subjects covered at the college include:

BIOLOGY
Biology is the natural science of life and living organisms. The field is immensely diverse with numerous branches from paleontology, the study of prehistoric life, to biochemistry, the study of life at the chemical level, to astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth.

CHEMISTRY
Often praised as the central science, chemistry serves as a bridge between the other physical sciences, including biology, geology, and physics. Chemistry is the study of matter, or the substance of physical objects, with a focus on composition, structure, properties, and change.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES
All human interaction is mediated through communication. The Communication Studies courses at DCTC focus on developing a stronger understanding of the nature of human interaction by exploring how messages are created, transmitted, and received through the use of verbal and nonverbal symbols.

ECONOMICS
Economics courses at DCTC give you a strong foundation in economics, covering areas such as the world economy and microeconomics. If you are considering economics or a related field as your baccalaureate major, you can transfer your DCTC coursework to a four-year college or university.

ENGLISH
English courses at DCTC prepare you to think critically and write academically about a wide range of topics. Our courses not only fulfill five goals in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), but also help you develop the writing and literary skills you need to succeed in your future collegiate and career endeavors.

HISTORY
History is the spirit of the past, the sovereign of the present, and the soothsayer of the future. Studying history helps you understand people, society, and events. Historians contemplate history as the laboratory of human experience.

MATH
Enhance your analytical and problem-solving skills while broadening your career options by taking math courses at DCTC.

PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy coursework at DCTC gives students the chance to learn about traditional and contemporary subject matter while learning skills for engaging in academic philosophy at an introductory level. The topics of the discipline will be a focus as will be critical thinking and writing about philosophy. Students pursuing all majors at the college will find our curriculum relevant, interesting, and important. Multiple sections of some of our courses are offered every term and in varying modes of delivery, and some of our courses are offered only once per year.

PHYSICS
One of the oldest academic disciplines, physics is the study of matter and its relationships with space, time, energy, and force. Simply put, physicists analyze nature to understand how the universe works.

PSYCHOLOGY
Taking psychology courses is a great way to build a versatile foundation for other learning goals. Our psychology instructors believe that deepening your knowledge through the discipline of psychology will enhance your personal life while helping you grow professionally with a passion for civic engagement and social responsibility.

SOCIOLOGY
Sociology at DCTC offers courses that cover a multitude of sociological topics, including deviance, social inequality, family, gender identities, the environment, religion, and genocide.

LEARN MORE…