Eighth Week of Fall Semester
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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Eighth Week of Fall Semester

The middle of the term is right around the corner, and you can just sense that students are actively engaged in preparation of their midterm exams. I am so proud of our students as not only do they have the grit and demonstrate resilience to get through the hassles of everyday life, but they also have the commitment to stay focused on their education. I am grateful to our faculty and staff who unselfishly serve the educational needs of our students. After all, if we do not take care of our students and our community, who will?

Here’s a short recap of my activities and meetings this week:

  • Comprehensive Workplace Solution Model meeting – Myself and four other Minnesota State presidents met and continued to work on a draft of the Comprehensive Workforce Solution Model and the selection of implementation team members. This model ensures that we leverage the customized training and continuing education units of our colleges and universities. We can use their expertise and resources to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable and market competitive.
  • Minnesota State Leadership Council meeting - I attended a Minnesota State Leadership Council meeting along with the other Minnesota State and members of Chancellor Rosenstone’s staff. We discussed progress with Charting the Future, on-line education strategies, ERP/CRM, information assurance, 2017-2018 Legislative request, long term financial sustainability plan, newly proposed financial allocation formula, and operating budget outlook.
  • Meeting with a Community Leader - I met with a community leaders who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
  • Ujamaa Place's - 3rd Annual - Transforming Men's Lives Breakfast - I along with the Exeuctive Director of Friends of Saint Paul College attended the Transforming Men’s Lives Breakfast meeting at the St. Thomas University. Ujamaa Place is an African American culturally specific organization focused on young men who may suffer multiple barriers to becoming stable. Ujamaa Place engages these young men to foster their development within the Ujamaa Place community and assist them in becoming stronger, more responsible, employed, prosperous men and fathers who provide and contribute positively to their families and community. http://www.ujamaaplace.org/. Saint Paul College is an intentional partner of Ujamaa Place.
  • Friends of Saint Paul College Foundation Board Development Training - I along with the executive director of Friends of Saint Paul College and Foundation Board members attended a board development training, to discuss skill development for donor cultivation and engagement as well as securing strategic major gifts and capital campaign.
  • Management Group Team Meeting - I along with the College’s Management Team attended a project development training in order to advance the College’s Strategic Priorities during 206-2017 academic year.
  • Quarterly Meeting with the New College Employees - I along with the Executive Leadership Team at the College met with all new staff and faculty who were hired at the College during the past three months. This meeting was organized to promote transparency and open community with our new employees.
  • Gateway to College Mini-Summit– I gave the welcome keynote at the Gateway to College Mini-Summit. Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and Saint Paul College have teamed with Gateway to College National Network to implement a nationally recognized dropout reengagement program. Gateway to College serves young adults ages 16 to 20 who have dropped out of high school or are significantly behind in credits and unlikely to graduate. The program enables students to earn their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credit toward a college degree or certificate. Last year, 17 students graduated from the Gateway to College program, eight of whom will attend Saint Paul College in fall 2016. This year, the College is enrolling 80 students who collectively are taking 600 college credits. I am proud of our students and the decisions they have made for their futures.
  • Culinary Arts Chefs’ Dinner - I attended the 1st Annual Culinary Arts Chefs’ Dinner, featuring 5 family style courses from local celebrity chefs Thomas Boemer and Jorge Guzman, prepared with the assistance of students from our Culinary Arts program. Proceeds from this event go to scholarships for Culinary Arts students. Besides many local chefs and other culinary experts, former Culinary Arts faculty were in attendance. This is a wonderful fundraising event I am grateful to our dedicated faculty members and students for their efforts and contributions.
  • Congratulations to Saint Paul College Academic and Student Affairs unit and the International Institute of Minnesota for receiving the partnership and collaboration award from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) for the College Readiness Academy initiative, “the Academy.” The Academy includes 16-week, Tier 1 classes at the SPCLC sites, and 10-week Tier 2 classes at the College. Two fulltime navigators currently work with students to increase their odds of success. The program is also available to students who already have - or are close to receiving - a GED or high school diploma. The three Saint Paul Literacy Consortium partners worked to establish common benchmarks and related curriculum for their College Prep classes. http://spclc.org/news/2014/11/559. The Academy initiative is funded by the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWWIN). Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) is a philanthropic collaborative formed in 2013 to strengthen the workforce in the seven-county Minneapolis Saint Paul region through 2020. They seek to dramatically increase the number of adults earning family-sustaining wages, especially people of color.  Kudos to Saint Paul College and International Institute of Minnesota Teams for going the extra mile to serve members of our community.

In the News
Here’s an article in the Star Tribune that I was interviewed for, which was published on October 11, 2016 by the Editorial Board:
Be wary of candidate promises to freeze college tuition, Voters should demand that legislative candidates provide real solutions.

Finally, We’d like to hear from our alumni! I am delighted to hear about the successes of our alumni, and this week I met with a Saint Paul College alumna, who had been studying in the Business program at the College, transferred to a private University in the twin cities and is now pursuing executive MBA degree at one of the big ten universities! Our students are remarkable. We’d like to hear from our alumni – please share with us at www.saintpaul.edu/105stories.

To our students, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you; to our community partners, thank you for your continued support to the students we serve!

I wish you a beautiful and a much deserved, relaxing weekend.​

Rassoul Dastmozd

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