Northwest Technical College recently appointed Melissa Heglund as student success advisor in the college’s One Stop center. In her new position, Heglund’s primary responsibility will be working with students interested in the nursing programs at Northwest Tech to make sure they are on the right track.
“I work with students who are interested in the innovative and exciting nursing programs. Our excellent nursing programs are competitive and rigorous, so students have classes and requirements to fulfill before they enter the program of their choice,” Heglund said.
Knowing what classes to take and what requirements need to be met can be overwhelming for students entering any program, Heglund said, but she is working with the admissions office to help potential students who are exploring all options at NTC.
“There is a lot of information to get through, and I am here to make sense of the process,” Heglund said.
Heglund’s position is important to help students through the process of earning a degree, certificate or diploma. There is often a learning curve for students and their families when trying to navigate higher education.
“The journey to a degree of any kind in higher education can come with some organizational challenges,” Heglund said. “We want to build meaningful relationships with students so they have someone to reach out to with their important questions.”
Heglund’s position is helping build NTC’s support system for students transitioning to college life and hopes to help more students realize their career goals. She knows how important reliable staff are to students from her own college experience.
“I was a first-generation college student and I relied heavily on a few key people to help me clear obstacles from my path to a degree because I didn’t have many people in my circle that had experience in college,” she said. “As a staff member in higher education I answer a lot of big and little questions. All of them are important because all of our students are important. They’re the reason we’re here.”
About NTC’s nursing programs
At Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, students can obtain a variety of credentials in nursing, including a certified nursing assistant certificate, a diploma in practical nursing, and associate’s degrees in nursing — a step-in program for Licensed Practical Nurses that can be completed in one year, and a nursing generic track program that can be completed in two years. Graduates of both associate’s degree programs are eligible to apply for licensure as a registered nurse. Each credential at NTC builds on the one before it, and all offer job opportunities in the Bemidji region.