This year, many Minnesota Career College Association (MCCA) representatives filled a banquet hall at a hotel across from the Minnesota State Capitol building. It was an opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and anyone with a vested interest in career colleges to join together to build awareness about what career colleges have to offer the thousands of students who attend each year. Minnesota School of Business-Richfield partnered with Globe University’s online division to attend Hill Day in St. Paul.
Kelly Running, MSB-Richfield’s director of financial aid who is also an MSB graduate, and myself teamed up with Serena Franken, Globe-Online’s community manager, and Mary Carman, an online paralegal degree student.
A few things we learned about MCCA students:
- 59% are 25 years and older
- 65% are women
- 20% are students of color
We were fortunate enough to get an appointment with Senator Melissa Wiklund, a newly-elected Senator and proponent of education. From her website:
As the Chair of the Bloomington School Board, I work hard to make the best decisions for our district given current budget constraints. Seeing the challenges our Bloomington and Richfield communities face gives me a strong desire to work on education at the state level. I will work hard to make sure that our funding of schools reflects an understanding of the critical role they play in Minnesota’s short and long term success. In order to meet the needs of society, we must ensure that schools today address the needs of learners from early childhood through post-secondary years.
As someone invested in the future of education, we were happy to have Senator Wiklund’s ear. Mary shared her story as to why she chose Globe University, and Kelly offered her own input on why she, too, chose MSB, long before she was an MSB employee.
“I went to Edina High School,” Kelly told Senator Wiklund. “Most of my friends were going off to four-year schools, and I knew that was not the path for me. MSB offered me a program that held me more accountable. They would notice if you weren’t in class, and there was much more individual attention. That was what I needed at the time.”
Senator Wiklund listened to our stories and heard our voice. She was a gracious hostess, as was her staff. We were grateful for her time and for our chance to share our story.
“I think Hill Day is so important for staff and students alike,” Kelly said. “It’s our chance to get in front of the people who make decisions for our students’ funding, which directly impacts us all.”