Empowering First-Generation College Students: Dr. Merrill Irving Jr.’s Initiative at HTC

Feb 8, 2024

The article spotlights Dr. Merrill Irving Jr., President of Hennepin Technical College (HTC), and the college’s efforts to support first-generation college students. On November 13, 2019, HTC organized its Third Annual First Generation Day for students from Robbinsdale Area Schools, aiming to empower them with resources and encouragement for college success.

Over 40 students from Robbinsdale Middle School and Robbinsdale Cooper High School visited the HTC campus, where they toured facilities, learned about career options such as nursing and the medium and heavy truck program, and engaged in discussions about overcoming barriers to accessing higher education. Role models, including HTC staff and students who are first-generation college graduates, provided advice and support. Staff from Robbinsdale Area Schools also participated in the event.

These students are part of the Educational Talent Search (ETS) program, which provides academic advising and tutoring to 500 students throughout the school year. The strategic partnership between HTC and Robbinsdale Area Schools, established in March 2019, focuses on strengthening pathways to technical education and postsecondary opportunities, aiming to enhance workforce readiness among students and families.

Founded in 1972, HTC is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota, serving over 18,000 students across its campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie. Offering over 45 programs, HTC boasts a 99% job placement rate, preparing students for high-paying employment opportunities. The college is a member of Minnesota State, which encompasses 30 colleges and seven state universities.

Read more at: https://hennepintech.edu/communications/news/2019/11/first-generation-robbinsdale-event.html

Originally published in November 2019, this article highlights the impactful work of Dr. Merrill Irving Jr. and Hennepin Technical College in supporting first-generation college students, as demonstrated during the Third Annual First Generation Day. For a detailed account of the event and its outcomes, please refer to the original publication on the HTC website.