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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
  • Welcome back, Minnesota West

  • Each year in late August we take note of how it’s a special time when fall semester classes begin at the Minnesota West campus here in Granite Falls. This year that all seems a bit more special. Yes, seeing new students and returning students on the campus is always a welcome sight for the whole community and for our ar...
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  • Each year in late August we take note of how it’s a special time when fall semester classes begin at the Minnesota West campus here in Granite Falls. This year that all seems a bit more special. Yes, seeing new students and returning students on the campus is always a welcome sight for the whole community and for our area. But adding to that is the widespread feeling that this campus has a special place in our community and in our region.
    The possibility of the MnSCU system “right sizing” the campus presence here in Granite Falls has led to public outcry and aroused public interest in finding new directions for the facilities that have served so many southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota residents so well for so many years.
    That newfound interest in the future of the local campus  has underscored a long-held feeling about how fortunate we are to have this great facility here.
    With that, we are fortunate to be able to host those students and a campus that offers classes and programs that help students pursue and build their future. The classes and the careers that the local campus offers are good examples of the impact that a statewide higher education system can have in a small town in rural Minnesota. The campus is a big player in the future economic growth of this and many other communities in southwestern Minnesota.
    For many years, economic development efforts in Granite Falls and in our area have been based on several of the programs that are a part of Minnesota West and its predecessors. That remains true today as the campus is front and center to many of those efforts and also to the needs of many area businesses. The education offered here is the foundation of a career path that has led to much success.
    We know that priorities change, causing some programs to be added and some to be dropped. Seeing that the local campus stays in synch with those changing needs of employers and communities has become a very real and compelling concern. The facility upgrades at the local campus in the past several years  have added to what was already a very high quality education experience. The recent concern about removing facilities and eliminating programs has, for the time being, helped to assure that those facilities will be here to serve the present and future needs of students in the coming years.  
    Being the home of a small but important part of the MnSCU system is a special type of responsibility. Over the many years, Granite Falls is where thousands of students gained the knowledge and experience to build a better life for themselves and for their community. What better way is there for a community to take stock in what it has to offer than by helping to build the future? That’s what Minnesota West does and does it well.
    Page 2 of 2 - Each student’s time here will always be something that they will remember and, as a community, we reach out and welcome them during this first week of class.
    Having the campus populated  with students, faculty and staff is always good to see and something we look forward to each August.
    As we work with Minnesota West and the MnSCU system to assure a bright and productive future for the Granite Falls campus, we extend our welcome to all the students and the staff at Minnesota West.  Its great to have classes at Minnesota West back in session.

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