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NTC adds to staff: Enrollment bump, consolidated classes gave financial room for hires

BEMIDJI--Consolidated courses and an uptick in enrollment means three new employees at Northwest Technical College. Tyler Peterson, a Bemidji State University graduate, will head the college's Student Success Center; Tia Miles, another BSU alum w...

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BEMIDJI-Consolidated courses and an uptick in enrollment means three new employees at Northwest Technical College.

Tyler Peterson, a Bemidji State University graduate, will head the college's Student Success Center; Tia Miles, another BSU alum with a master's degree from Mankato State University, is a new admissions representative; and Sarah Behrens, a doctorate student at St. Cloud State University with bachelor's and a master's degrees from schools in Colorado, will coordinate school and industry partnerships.

The new hires will cost the college a combined $142,000, which it freed up after a pair of staffers left, about 20 less-populated courses were consolidated to about 10, and the school's enrollment rose last fall and again this spring, according to Darrin Strosahl, the college's vice president of academic affairs. NTC has the equivalent of about 25 more full-time students now than it did at this time last year. College staff in October reported the school had the equivalent of 579 full-time students enrolled there, spread across a 1,021-student headcount.

College leaders planned to hire the success center head and partnership coordinator next year, Strosahl said, but found themselves with the financial leeway to do it this year. Peterson's position is new to the college, Behrens' is repurposed, and Miles' didn't change since it was last occupied, Strosahl said.

The college's strategic plan, a document outlining its goals through 2023, calls for the school to work more closely with area high schools and businesses. It also aims to establish the Success Center by the fall of 2019.

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Here's what each new hire will do, according to BSU/NTC communications staff:

Peterson will build up NTC's Student Success Center by increasing the resources offered to students, including tutoring, proctoring exams, library assistance, academic coaching, career services and academic advising.

As a new NTC admissions representative, Miles will work to recruit students to NTC, help them choose and register for classes and decide on a career choice for their future. Along with recruitment and advising, Miles will help with international student admission, scholarships and NTC's social media. Her goal is to connect with students and help them along their academic pathway.

As coordinator of school and industry partnerships, Behrens will grow relationships between NTC, high schools and industries in the region to prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
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