Chad Dull: The community's college
Winona Daily News - January 17, 2020
Also: Red Wing Republican-Eagle - January 24, 2020
In this new era of higher education, innovation and entrepreneurialism are requirements for colleges like Minnesota State College Southeast. We are not just a community college, we are "the community's college."
Everyone at college works hard to stay connected to and learn from stakeholders across our communities. These connections to local industry, K-12, social services and the larger community drive improvement at the college and help provide the data we need to support our region.
We have worked hard, even in the pandemic, to stay in touch with our communities and their needs. It's critical to offer programs that benefit local industry and provide economic opportunities for our students. Did you know that every one of our career and technical programs has an industry advisory committee?
Their active engagement is essential to ensuring that our programs stay relevant and vital. The success of our local industries is the success of the college, and in turn our entire region is made stronger through these partnerships.
We are connected to the K-12 education systems throughout southeast Minnesota and nearby Wisconsin through PSEO (post-secondary enrollment options) programs. Despite the pandemic, this year we have a very strong cohort of high school students taking college classes at no cost to their families, both on campus and online. These students are getting a head start on earning credentials that can lead directly to employment or a 4-year degree. We even have students who will complete an associate (2-year) degree before they graduate from high school!
The story of MSC Southeast is one of caring for students and seeking partnerships at every opportunity to support their success. In these challenging times more students are facing food insecurity and mental health issues than ever before. We are working hard to support students' basic needs outside the classroom.
In both Red Wing and Winona, we are leveraging community partnerships and grants to provide food pantries on campuses. We have partnered with Hiawatha Valley Mental Health in Red Wing and Winona State University to provide counseling services to students who need them. We are here to support our students when they struggle. As we like to say, #MSCSoutheastCares.
Another part of the MSC Southeast story of innovation is being a member of Minnesota State. Being a part of large and diverse system of colleges and universities helps create opportunities for our students. MSC Southeast offers nine different Transfer Pathway associate degrees that can lead directly to related 4-year degrees at Minnesota State universities, such as St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
More specific "articulation" agreements connect our programs to university degrees -- for example, a new 2+2 agreement allows MSC Southeast Radiography students to complete a degree in Healthcare Leadership and Administration at Winona State University. When you combine the college's local identity with the strength of being part of a statewide system, you create opportunity.
That is why Minnesota State College Southeast continually strives to innovate, reinvent, and improve. Creating economic opportunity for students, particularly those who have been traditionally left out, is transformational for students and for our communities. I am fond of saying a two-year college is a promise of opportunity. To keep that promise we must grow and nurture the deep roots in our communities that help us be what our stakeholders need -- the community's college.