Minnesota North College Announces Claire Peterlin as New AspireNorth Program Director

by Annika Freiburger

Grand Rapids, MN- We are pleased to announce that Claire Peterlin has accepted the AspireNorth Program Director position for Minnesota North College.

This position is responsible for advancing the key tenants of the AspireNorth program, which include; locating underserved prospective students, advocating on their behalf to remove barriers to attend Minnesota North College, providing enhanced intrusive support services while in attendance, and intentionally connecting students to employers.   Claire will be responsible for managing the program including monitoring progress made on the Blandin Foundation AspireNorth three-year capacity-building and systems-change grant.

“I am thrilled and honored to return to Minnesota North College as the AspireNorth Program Director. This transformative work, focused on workforce development and student-centered systems, fills me with hope. We are not only shaping individual lives but also contributing to the growth of our region. I’m looking forward to collaborating with stakeholders, faculty, staff, students, and communities in advancing the work of the college as we aim to provide unparalleled support to all students.” 

Claire has served in a variety of roles throughout our region in support of economic and workforce development and systems change.  These roles have included Director of NEXT Career Pathways for the Itasca Area School Collaborative, Regional Development Representative for Minnesota Power, and Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Ecosystem Development for The Plum Catalyst, a strategy and innovation consulting firm focusing on future mobility and equitable transportation systems.   She has also worked for Minnesota North College before and during merger including roles in coordinating merger projects and supporting the redesign of the Applied Learning Institute’s structure to better support career and technical students.

President Mike Raich said of Claire, “Claire’s skillsets and passions align perfectly with this role.  She is a proven project director and systems builder and cares deeply for the region served by Minnesota North College.  I am very excited she will be leading the design and coordination of the AspireNorth project.”  Claire is a graduate of Minnesota North College’s Itasca campus, a graduate of the Iron Range Engineering program through Minnesota State University-Mankato, and she holds two Master’s degrees, one from University of Minnesota-Duluth in Engineering, and the other, an MBA in Change Leadership from The College of St. Scholastica.  She will start her role as AspireNorth Director on September 5th

About Minnesota North College

Minnesota North College prepares lifelong learners and engaged citizens through inclusive, transformative experiences reflecting the character and natural environment of the region. Through our six campuses, we strive to be the premier provider of life-changing education and the catalyst for regional prosperity.