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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Seventh Week of Summer Session 2017

Most of my week has been spent at various meetings and conferences, some were local and several were out-of-state. How to better prepare and serve all students, from early education to higher education, is a local, state and national concern. I am grateful that it is not just educational institutions that are truly interested in quality and affordable education at every level. I am very hopeful as I interact with people from government, business, industry, and community based organizations, that they truly value education. We are working together to make education affordable, accessible and available at every level, especially for our children. We know that it is imperative for us to work together to improve the education landscape for all.

My Week at a Glance:

Generation Next - I attended the Generation Next Board Executive Council meeting where we discussed literacy, reading, math, career and college readiness strategies. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner at the GenNext table.

Complete College America Summit – As a member of Minnesota Office of Higher Education Team, I along with legislators, and the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education attended the Complete College America Summit in Indianapolis, IN. This summit was aimed at reducing the achievement gap for students of color and sustaining actions to develop strategies that narrow the achievement gap. For more information go to: http://completecollege.org/

State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) – In preparation for the upcoming meeting of the national State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Higher Education Policy Conference, I participated in a conference call to examine policy issues that impact student success and highlight innovative approaches and best practices that each of Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania state systems are currently employing. For more information about SHEEO, please go to http://www.sheeo.org/about

Kettering Foundation College Presidents Meeting - I attended the College Presidents: Rediscovering the Civic Purpose of Higher Education meeting as part of Kettering Foundation’s 2017 Deliberative Democracy Exchange in Dayton Ohio. As civic leaders of our institutions, the college president’s panel began a series of conversations as to how we will continue to work together in the coming year to restore higher education’s sense of itself as a civic institution at an especially urgent time in our democracy.

Faculty Interviews - I interviewed several candidates for faculty positions at the College. Investing in full-time faculty positions is a strategic priority, and advances our commitment to Teaching and Learning.

Genesys Works - I met with the executive director of Genesys Works. Across America, millions of young people are shut out of today’s workforce due to lack of relevant skills and work experience. At the same time, millions of entry-level jobs go unfilled because companies struggle to find qualified candidates. Genesys Works bridges that gap. Saint Paul College is a proud of participant of Genesys Works and articulates the training that Genesys Works provides for their interns into college credit in the computer science IT related occupational cluster training programs.

Ad​vanced Manufacturing Camp – Machining - Middle and high school students, ages 13 to 17, were on campus this week for a 3-day Advanced Manufacturing Camp – Machini​ng. Students learned about manufacturing and were given hands-on experience in how to design and build a product from start-to-finish. Students learned about computer-aided design (CAD), computer-controlled (CNC) manufacturing operations, 3D printing and plastic technology, machining and fabrication of metals and other materials.

In the News

Summer Scholars Academy - Saint Paul College is one of eight participating Minnesota State colleges providing opportunities in the Summer Scholars Academy, and our courses started this week: https://www.saintpaul.edu/summerscholars. The “Summer Scholars Academy” is a bridge program that assists new entering students who are not yet ready for college-level coursework by providing full scholarships for developmental education coursework and other support during the summer prior to their freshman year in college. For more details about Summer Scholars Academy, read MINNPOST’s online article:

This Star Tribune article “Shortage of skilled workers squeezing Twin Cities builders Jobs drained by recession are back, with no one to fill them” discusses multiple angles of this issue and the issues the building industry is facing, including the educational component.

While it has been enlightening, fulfilling and productive to be involved in initiatives off-campus and out-of-state, I will be very glad to be back on campus next week. As much as I enjoy dialogues with colleagues from around the country, nothing gives me more satisfaction, and nothing inspires me more, than being on the Saint Paul College campus and being able to connect with our students.

I wish you a relaxing weekend.

Best,
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
President/CEO
Saint Paul College

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