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Winona's Southeast Tech has new name, new program and new mission

Glen Olson, Winona Daily News  
June 22, 2016

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Southeast Technical has a new name and a new degree option for students.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved change the name to Minnesota State College Southeast for both the Red Wing and Winona campuses.

The name change accompanies a new associate of arts degree that college officials say will broaden their students' educational opportunities.

Announcing the change, Dorothy Duran, president of Minnesota State College Southeast, said the campuses will continue building on their current programming, and that the old name didn't represent the scope of their offerings.

"We are now a comprehensive technical and community college," Duran said.

Duran said the changes are rooted in a changing mission that includes transferable credits, updated for Southeast's 2016 to 2019 strategic plan.

The main advantage of the new associative of arts degrees is that, unlike some technical college courses and degrees, it will be transferable to any Minnesota State university and gives the student the credit level of a college junior.

The second benefit of the new program, Duran said, is the price -- about half the cost of a public university per credit hour, and less still than a private college.

"Offering the associate of arts degree will better serve the needs of students by increasing access to liberal arts and sciences coursework at the college level and by creating a more seamless transfer process to four-year institutions," Duran said in the school's announcement.

Duran said that while technical education will remain at the heart of the college's mission, the new associate of arts degree broadens its services while strengthening the rest of the school.

The courses include arts, humanities, mathematics and sciences and will be available starting in the 2016-17 academic year.

This is the latest in several identity changes since the school opened almost 70 years ago.

The college changed its name from Winona Technical College to Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical in 1999.

The school's predecessor was founded in 1949 as Winona Area Vocational-Technical School and was the second public vocational-technical school in the state.


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