New certificate programs target region’s business needs

In January, Minnesota State Community and Technical College begins offering two unique certificate programs created to meet business and industry demands in the region served by the college.

M State’s Supervisory Leadership Essentials program will help prepare individuals for leadership roles within their companies. The second program, Industrial Workplace Certificate – Telecommunications Emphasis, will help fill the need for trained entry-level technicians in the telecommunications industry.

Both are one-year, 18-credit programs available simultaneously on the college’s campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. Classes will be taught in M State’s telepresence classrooms, which use immersive video conferencing technology to help create an “in person” teaching experience through high-definition video and audio.

“The creation of these two programs is an example of how M State is becoming more flexible in how we respond to meet the needs in our region,” said M State Vice President of Academics Carrie Brimhall.

Supervisory Leadership Essentials

The Supervisory Leadership program is designed for currently employed team leaders, managers and supervisors, and also for men and women seeking employment or promotions. The focus is on providing a knowledge base of the practices and principles of leadership, supervision and management.

On-campus courses will be offered on Monday evenings. Portions of the courses also will be taught online.

With the workforce shortage in the area, Brimhall said, employers are increasingly aware of the need to invest in their employees and prepare them for leadership roles, since the effectiveness of its supervisors affects a company’s ability to retain its workforce.

“Employees are often promoted to a supervisory position because they are really good in their current role, yet they struggle with the transition from peer to leader in the organization,” she said. “This program will provide the knowledge and practical skills for effective leadership.”

Required three-credit courses within the Supervisory Leadership Certificate include Human Resource Management, Principles of Management and Interpersonal Communication. Students will also choose three electives from the options of project management, financial management, leading teams, business communications, customer service, computer technology and e-marketing.

For more information, visit or contact the Solution Center at 877.450.3322.

Telecommunications Emphasis

In addition to the basics of working within the telecommunications industry, students will train in the installation of fiber optic networks and gain experience through an internship program. The program is intended to prepare students to be residential and commercial cable and fiber optic installers and technicians.

Courses will be offered on Tuesday evenings. Some online coursework also will be required, and there will be mandatory lab sessions on the Moorhead campus.

“Several local companies have expressed the need for entry-level technicians within the industry,” said M State Technical Program Dean Steve Erickson. “This is designed to meet the needs of companies through a short, relevant certificate for workers.”

Erickson anticipates that demand for telecommunications technicians will be growing as the result of the 2016 Legislature’s approval of a $35 million investment in Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband grant program, which is intended to build infrastructure to rural areas.

Required three-credit courses in the Telecommunications certificate program include Technical Math, Introduction to the Industrial Workplace, Communication and Effective Human Relations, Beginning Networking, Introduction to Fiber Optics and an internship.

For more information, visit or contact the Solution Center at 877.450.3322.

Posted in News on December 1, 2016 at 10:21 am – Tags: