This week, I was notified that Saint Paul College and Saint Paul Public Schools Gateway to College program will receive the Gateway to College Graduation Achievement Award at the Gateway to College National Network Peer Learning Conference in Portland, Oregon this July. Kudos to the Saint Paul Public Schools Team as well as Saint Paul College faculty and staff who support this program. Our staff and faculty and awesome.
The winners in all of this are our students who not only attain a chance to complete their high school diploma at the Saint Paul College but also, earn college credits. Our students inspire us ALL. For more information about Gateway to College program, please see: https://www.saintpaul.edu/gatewaytocollege
Intentional partnerships such as Gateway to College provide accessible, affordable and extraordinary educational opportunities to our students. An initiative such as Gateway to College also advances Saint Paul College’s Equity and Inclusion strategic priority. For an inside look at how students benefit and excel in education in learning in an alternative format please watch TPT’s Back On Track: Journeys to a High School Degree. Saint Paul College, SPPS and the Gateway to College program are highlighted beginning at 6:33 (6 min/33 sec) into the TPT program, featuring a very personal story of one of our students.
Here’s a short recap of my activities this week:
Saint Paul Public Library Director
I met with the new director of the Saint Paul Public Library. Public libraries across the city serve as a hub for our community and promote community engagement. We discussed the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in escalating workforce development and training, and economic development and prosperity of the city. We also discussed how we can develop partnerships between the libraries and Saint Paul College to better address the training needs of the residents of Saint Paul.
Meeting with Representative Hausman
I met with Representative Alice Hausman, a tireless leader, education advocate, and supporter of Saint Paul College, to discuss Saint Paul College legislative priorities. Representative Hausman received the College’s 2017 Community Partner of the Year award, which honors individuals and organizations for outstanding service and dedication to Saint Paul College.
We 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.
Dean of STEM Interviews
I took part in the College’s interview process of searching for a new dean of STEM.
Saint Paul Public Schools Superintendent
I hosted the new superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) at the College. We toured Saint Paul College lab facilities, spoke with students, and discussed the expansion of potential partnership opportunities that promote access and completion to extraordinary higher education opportunities for SPPS students.
Saint Paul Innovation Cabinet
I attended a Saint Paul Innovation Cabinet meeting with several St. Paul community leaders to brainstorm and develop strategies to bring innovation and technology jobs to the city. For more information, please read the Star Tribune article written the new Innovation Cabinet: St. Paul aims to attract more innovation and technology jobs, and watch the STP Innovates: Creative office space in Saint Paul video about the work being done.
Meeting with a Community Leader
I met with a community leader who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
State of Minnesota Senate Higher Education Hearing
I attended the State Senate Hearing on Higher Education where Minnesota State Colleges and Universities presented its legislative Budget request of
- $130 million for Asset Preservation; $94.5 million for Bonding Projects (#MinnStatePriority1)
- $10 million for FY2019 campus support
- $21 million for Student Record System Update (replacing ISRS with NextGen)
Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood
I attended a Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors meeting to discuss progress with current strategic planning, Promise Neighborhood outcomes, and current strategies in progress, as well as steps we must take as a council as we embark on the new strategic planning process. I also took part in Strategic Planning processes/long term planning and Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood-Saint Paul Public Schools Alignment Processes.
President’s Advisory Council
Members of the College’s Executive Leadership Team and I met with President’s Advisory Council members to provide tactical and strategic updates about the operation of Saint Paul College.
Partnership with International Institute of Minnesota
I met and discussed potential expansion of our intentional partnership with the International Institute of Minnesota, a non-profit community based organization. Many of our students have benefited from the services of the Institute, which delivers services and resources that include education, to assist New Americans in the transition to a new life leading to economic self-sufficiency.
In the news
With Minnesota’s low employment rate, there are fewer applicants per job openings and the flow of people into Minnesota’s workforce has slowed dramatically. This is a great article in Twin Cities Business magazine looking at a very complex issue: Casting A Wider Talent Net --Minnesota companies need to look beyond their comfort zones to attract workers in a competitive marketplace.
I will end this week’s blog by sharing stories of a current student, and of an alum. The first is current PSEO student who will transfer to the University of Minnesota upon completing her Associate of Arts degree here. At the U of M, she will study Pre-Law. The second is an alum who is now a master chef at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island. This student completed his Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts, then joined the Armed Services, and now prepares fancy cuisine for the heads of state, as well as elected officials and executives in the armed forces. Their stories are so illustrative of our saying “When our students start here, they can go anywhere.”
I sincerely thank our dedicated faculty and staff whose remarkable talent, expertise, dedication, commitment, and passion for their higher calling work makes magic happens for our students.
I wish you all a relaxing weekend.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College