Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota West Community & Technical College announce a unique collaboration called the “Blue to Brown” connection program for students.

The two institutions have partnered to create a program designed to allow students the opportunity to start their college careers with Minnesota West courses, and complete their bachelor’s degree with SMSU while living on the SMSU campus. Students can directly enroll at Minnesota West to earn an eventual bachelor’s degree awarded by SMSU. Students will transfer from Minnesota West to SMSU after successful completion of 24 credits in two-to-three semesters.

The students will take Minnesota West coursework at SMSU, and live on the SMSU campus. The program begins in the fall semester 2017 and is an opportunity for students who do not initially qualify for admission to SMSU to enroll at Minnesota West to gain sufficient academic standing to qualify for acceptance at SMSU. “SMSU is delighted to partner with Minnesota West on this exciting program that will give students a jump-start on their educational goals and provide a residential living experience in a student-focused environment,” said SMSU President Dr. Connie J. Gores. “It’s a benefit to students and our entire region.” “As our region’s college and local university, this collaboration of Minnesota West and SMSU focuses each of our institution’s resources and talents to advocate our collective mission — student success.

As the state’s number one community college, students enrolled in the Blue to Brown program will be advantaged in studying with gifted Minnesota West faculty and our proven instructional practices evidenced in our ‘best in class’ retention and graduation rates,” said Minnesota West President Dr. Terry Gaalswyk. SMSU will be the site of an informational day for students interested in the Blue to Brown program from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 26 in the Whipple Gallery on the campus of SMSU.