More than 100 career college students braved the cold at the Capitol on February 5, not because they love winter, but because they love their education. Minnesota Career College Association (MCCA) Hill Day was an opportunity for MCCA representatives to advocate for the right of choice in higher education, and to ask for support from legislators.
Among the attendees were eight representatives from Minnesota School of Business-Blaine: Rick Eubanks, campus librarian; Nicole Etter, career services coordinator; Meghan Hathaway, community manager; Justin Kaufman, legal instructor; Jake Swanson, dean of students; and students Adam Ellingson, Heather Pekarek, and Rory Kluever.
The Blaine group met with Senator Alice Johnson, who serves on the Education Committee, the Finance Subcommittee, and the State and Local Government Committee.
Hathaway shared with Senator Johnson that the group was there to ask for her support of retaining choice in education. “There hasn’t always been a lot of support for career colleges,” Hathaway explained. “And we think it’s so important to have a choice, because one type of higher education institution does not fit the needs of all students.”
Swanson said he enjoyed his time at Hill Day. “I felt it was interesting to see how things run at the Capitol,” he said. “It was completely out of my realm so I learned a lot. Tom Kosel, [Minnesota School of Business’ director of government relations], always says, ‘the world is run by those who show up,’ and I can see how that is true. We went to the Capitol and a Minnesota Senator took the time to listen to us. In the end, it may not have impacted how she would vote on certain issues, but our voice was heard.”
Etter added, “It was exciting to see so many other career colleges present and the students’ enthusiasm. I definitely recommend that students attend. I think it’s very important for them to become involved in their education.”