System Director for Career and Technical Education: Karl Ohrn

Karl Ohrn has accepted the position of System Director for Career and Technical Education (CTE) with Minnesota State, effective December 7, 2022. In this capacity, he will also serve as the Director of Career and Technical Education for the state of Minnesota.

Karl Ohrn
Karl Ohrn

For the past year, Karl has served as Interim System Director of CTE and previously as the Interim Associate Director for CTE providing leadership throughout Minnesota State community and technical colleges, Minnesota Department of Education, and workforce partners. He has engaged with state and local administrative leaders to set a strategic direction for career and technical education in Minnesota from K-12 to college and beyond.

Karl began his career with the Minnesota State in 2013 as academic coordinator with Northland Community and Technical College. In this role, he worked closely with the senior academic officer and academic deans to develop quality CTE programs for the college. Karl coordinated the assessment, program review, and sustainability processes for the college and served as postsecondary coordinator for Pine to Prairie/Northland Perkins consortium.

Karl comes to Minnesota State after a 30-year career in the US Air Force. During his military career, Karl was selected to serve in multiple special-duty assignments as a classroom instructor, curriculum developer, and later as an administrator for the Community College of the Air Force. He has developed curriculum for use throughout the Air Force to prepare personnel to be effective supervisors and leaders. His efforts culminated in his selection as Air Force instructor of the year and on two occasions as education manager of the year. As an administrator, he assessed Air Force training sites throughout the US and overseas to determine if they met requirements for affiliation with Community College of the Air Force.

Karl was first introduced to CTE as a student at the Community College of the Air Force where he earned AAS degrees in Logistics Management and as an Instructor of Technology and Military Science. Karl completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Slippery Rock University (Pennsylvania) and a Master of Science degree at University of Mary (North Dakota). He has also completed numerous military school trainings including the US Air Force Academic Instructor School and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

Karl says that he is passionate about helping people achieve success and looks forward to supporting CTE in Minnesota. 

Karl can be reached at


Contact Mary Rothchild
Senior System Director for Workforce and Economic Development

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