Celebrating 50 Years

Anoka Technical College celebrates its 50th Anniversary.


The 50th Anniversary of Anoka Technical College is 2017!

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Instructors offer student-centered training at Anoka Technical College

With all the history Anoka Technical College has to offer, it’s largely the instructors who make the programs rewarding for their students.

Anoka Tech offers classes on campus, online and in hybrid formats, making college possible for full-time workers and busy parents. The faculty are committed to offering quality classes, customizing the material to students’ learning styles, and delivering education that is student-centered. They bring theoretical education to students, as well as hands-on learning.

“From a collegiate view, technical college is a lot different than a university setting,” said Architectural Construction Instructor Jay Boyle. “Where  you might have many different professors at a four-year college, here, we get to teach students for large chunks of time. Over two years, you learn about each other. You’re essentially living life with your students for two years.”

Instructors lead students through classes and labs, facilitate group work, and offer support through tutoring and mentoring. They help students identify grant funding and financial aid, so they can complete their academic program.

“The faculty who readily respond to students’ learning needs become the pillars of Anoka Technical College,” said English Instructor Diana Ostrander. “Faculty have one-on-one, supportive learning relationships with the students, and use our student-success coaches and many free tutoring options to promote success for all students.”

Instructors train students to develop communication skills, critical thinking and soft skills, as well as the mastery of a technical trade. They also help students to identify their strengths and search for job placement, with the college achieving placement rates of 90 percent or higher in many program areas.

“We’re not just part of their education. We’re part of something bigger,” said Boyle. “When you know someone well, if there is a problem, it’s easy to advocate for them. We go to bat for our students as much as possible.”

Across the 35 plus programs at Anoka Tech, faculty draw upon experience working in their fields to educate students. They foster connections with local businesses and industries, and work to incorporate new developments in their teaching.

“I love working with the students here,” said Legal Assistant Instructor Deborah Allen. “We connect them to employers, and give them a foot in the door.”

Many faculty members also go on to participate in academic or leadership training, and numerous instructors have earned terminal degrees or built upon their experience in the field.

“There is a focus on continuous growth and improvement that continues to enhance the work of educators in the Minnesota State system,” said Ostrander.

For Ostrander, it all comes back to the students.

“Most of all, I find inspiration in the eager, nervous, focused and usually smiling faces of my students,” said Ostrander. “When I walked into Anoka Tech for the first time, what surprised me the most was how friendly and helpful everyone was, especially the staff. The culture is uniquely down-to-earth, energetic and student-centered. The staff treat each student as the most important person needing their help.

Boyle said the best part of teaching at Anoka Tech comes during graduation, when instructors have a chance to see the pride on their students’ faces.

“When you work at a technical college, two things happen,” said Boyle. “First, you realize how much time and effort you’ve put in with each student. Then, they graduate and get a career, in part because of your guidance, and you think ‘Holy Hannah! This is cool!’”

You’re invited to the 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Anoka Technical College is celebrating 50 years of technical education excellence on Thursday, Oct. 5, and you’re invited!

At the 50th Anniversary Celebration, you’ll have the opportunity to view historical exhibits, watch demonstrations in technical trades, and take self-guided tours. You will also be invited to explore the various program areas, such as Mechanical Drafting, Machine Trades, Biomedical Technology, Horticulture, Health Information Technology, and many more.

Watch demonstrations in robotics, captioning and laser technology, see a 3D Printer at work, or get a free blood pressure test. There will be many opportunities to engage with students, faculty, staff and volunteers at Anoka Tech, across a broad range of academic areas.

50th Anniversary Celebration

3 to 6 pm (Program at 3:30 pm)
Thursday, Oct. 5
Anoka Technical College

The event will include a formal program, which will take place at 3:30 pm, Thursday, in the Student Center. Community leaders and faculty will speak on the history of Anoka Tech and what the college means to the community. Presenters include:

  • Dr. Kent Hanson, president of Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Jay Boyle, faculty
  • Jay Cowles, a trustee of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees
  • Sen. Jim Abeler, Minnesota Senator
  • Caroline Rosdahl, the first faculty member of Anoka Tech
  • Mark Rosenwinkel, son of Anoka Tech’s Founder Howard Rosenwinkel
  • Thomas Lien, Student Senate president

“At Anoka Technical College, we have a long-standing history of offering the best technical education to students and anyone looking to advance their skills,” said President Kent Hanson.

“We’re proud to be part of the community, and we appreciate the community support that has allowed us to flourish. We’re excited for the future at Anoka Tech, especially at a time when graduates in the skilled trades are in high demand.”

The 50th Anniversary Celebration is free and open to the public. It will include many interactive opportunities, as well as light refreshments. We hope to see you there!

For more information, visit AnokaTech.edu.