Northland Joins Minnesota State Colleges & Universities for Day at the Capitol Event

Students lead the charge in highlighting Minnesota State colleges & university's impact on local communities.

Pictured left to right: Amal Abdi, Northland student; Johanna Jacobson, Northland student; Dr. Clyde Wilson Pickett, Minnesota State Chief Diversity Officer.

January 31, 2019 – Northland Community & Technical College students and administrators participated in the Day at the Capitol event on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 that brings together legislators, trustees, presidents, students, faculty, and staff to highlight the impact Minnesota State colleges and universities have on the students, communities, and regions in which they serve. This event coincided with the 2019 legislative session to emphasize the gravity of Minnesota State’s budget request.

Along with Northland President Dennis Bona, two students braved the cold and made the trip to St. Paul to advocate for Northland and Minnesota State. Greenbush, MN native Johanna Jacobson, a student in Northland’s nursing program, was recently awarded the state-wide LeadMN Henry P. Dembiczak Scholarship. Jacobson's chosen career path was inspired by her grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer's disease. “Experiencing what happened with my grandpa--the hospital stays, the nursing home--really inspired me to choose nursing,” explains Jacobson. As she prepares for graduation this May, Jacobson intends to dedicate her focus in nursing to the geriatric field. Her family’s devastating diagnosis will find purpose in a career that will benefit others facing similar circumstances.

Seeking better opportunities, Amal Abdi’s family moved from Minneapolis, MN to the Red River Valley in 2013 where her mother enrolled in Northland’s radiologic technology program. Abdi’s family, originally from Kenya, came to the U.S. in 2009. After graduating from Grand Forks Central High School, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and continue her education at Northland. Abdi is currently enrolled in the early childhood education program with the dream of eventually becoming a Kindergarten teacher. “I love working with children. To see them blossom and know you’ve been a part of that is the greatest reward,” Abdi emphatically states.

We are true partners with the economic development corporations in both East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls. Our collective efforts help to sustain and grow this region of the state.

The demand for graduates entering Jacobson and Abdi’s chosen fields, as well as numerous others, is exponentially on the rise throughout the region and nation. Minnesota State colleges and universities, including Northland, are raising awareness of the diverse opportunities that emerge to students upon graduation. These graduates help drive Minnesota’s economy by providing the talent employers need. Northland’s President Bona affirms, “We are true partners with the economic development corporations in both East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls. Our collective efforts help to sustain and grow this region of the state.”

Minnesota State’s biennial budget request focuses on serving current and future students, protecting our commitment to affordability, and building capacity for innovation. It represents a critical investment in the success of students, like Jacobson and Abdi.

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.