MSC Southeast

Republican Eagle: Then there were four

By John Russett on Feb 27, 2016 at 4:45 p.m.

As Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical moves ahead with plans to change the face of its school to the public, the timeline has relaxed a bit, giving administration and those working behind the scenes a little more time.

College President Dorothy Duran, along with faculty and staff participated in two community forums -- at the Winona campus Monday and in Red Wing Tuesday -- to continue the discussion about what these proposed changes actually mean. A final decision as the whether the college will be allowed to offer an associate of arts degree won't come until May or June, Duran said.

As far as names go for the college, Duran said they are still accepting suggestions, however a naming committee has narrowed a field of around 80 down to five -- then four. They are: Southeast Minnesota College, Great River State College, Southeast Minnesota State College, and Eagle Bluffs College.

River Bluffs College, one of the top-five options until Tuesday night, was removed after it was mentioned that the Goodhue County Education District opened a building across Highway 58 from the Red Wing campus with the name River Bluff Education Center.

Business Relations Director Katie Hardyman stressed that while the college is looking to expand with an associate of arts degree, the focus on technical education isn't going away.

"We were founded on technical education and we're not changing that," she said.

A large area of growth for the college has been high school students enrolling in postsecondary courses. Duran said the college partners with 22 high schools currently and has seen a 147 percent increase in the number of PSEO students over the last five years.

Offering an associate of arts degree can help those students -- all students, really -- transfer more easily into a four-year degree program.

"That really was the impetus for this movement," Duran said.

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