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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published October 24 2010

Higher Education Notebook: MSCTC set to dedicate new center

A renovated auditorium being dedicated Monday at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead will give students a place to host events.

The auditorium, which was renovated into a meeting and classroom center, will provide a space for conferences, musical performances and other activities.

The college has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at the Oscar Bergos Center, formerly called the Oscar Bergos Auditorium.

Bergos was the founding director of Moorhead Area Vocational Technical Institute, now MSCTC, and served from 1965 to 1987. He’s expected to be at the ceremony.

The $400,000 renovation was funded through a classroom initiative in the Minnesota Legislature’s 2010 bonding bill.

The 4,500-square-foot center also will provide space so the college can host community events, said Provost Jerry Migler.

The center will primarily initially serve as classroom space, which the growing campus of more than 3,500 students needs until an expansion is complete.

Student debt loads rise

Nationwide, college graduates from the Class of 2009 had an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, a 6 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new report by The Project on Student Debt.

Graduates of Minnesota public and private nonprofit four-year institutions had an average of $27,467 in debt, ranking No. 6 in the nation.

North Dakota graduates reported an average debt of $22,030, ranking 27th in the nation, according to the report.

Seventy-three percent of Minnesota college graduates had student loan debt, a proportion that earned the state a No. 3 ranking in the report.

In North Dakota, the percent with debt was 71 percent for a No. 7 ranking.

To read the entire report, visit http://projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-data.php.

Pathfinder award

Don Mugan, director of the Great Plans STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Education Center at Valley City (N.D.) State University, was recognized with the Pathfinder award at the recent Milestones and Horizons conference.

The award, presented at the conference co-hosted by Sen. Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor, recognized Mugan’s work to boost high-tech education initiatives in the state.

Outstanding teacher

The chairman of the diesel technology program at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton is the recipient of a regional award.

Terry Marohl was named the American Technical Education Association’s Region 5 Outstanding Technical Teacher.

The award is presented to a postsecondary technical education instructor with exceptional performance. The region consists of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming.

Marohl is now eligible to compete for the association’s national award.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 or adalrymple@forumcomm.com