Hi To All. Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN, is a dual campus College. It used
to be two separate ones, a Vocational – Technical School and a Community
College. A few years ago, the two campuses were combined into one school.
Central Lakes College has decided to cut four programs, effective the
spring of 2001. The reason given for these cuts is a shortage of funds, and
the high cost per student to teach these subjects. The programs being cut
are graphic arts, electronic publishing, auto body, and auto mechanics.
Here in Minnesota we have a wonderful program. It allows high school
students in grades 11 & 12 to attend a local college, receive college
credit, and credit towards their high school graduation at the same time.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the young people in our community to get
a two-year head start on their college education, and be two years closer to
entering the job market. There is no cost for tuition for the parents of
these students who are attending college and high school at the same time.
It gives many young people the opportunity to receive a higher education, an
opportunity that they might not have gotten otherwise.
I am the parent of one of those children. My son is in the ninth grade.
His dream his whole life is to have a career in Professional Motorsports. He
was looking forward to taking the Auto Mechanics course at Central Lakes
College while in 11 and 12 grade so he would be able to attend High
Performance Mechanics School when he graduates from High School. This sudden
change in courses offered at our local college changes the opportunities
available to our son, and many other young people in our community. It
changes how we have budgeted our family income for many years, as we are now
looking at funding 4 years of college instead of 2. It now changes our son's
commitment to going to college. Now he is considering not going at all.
I need the help of people involved in the industries above. I'm
attending a meeting on Tues. Jan. 9 with industry people and community
people who want to see these courses and opportunities kept in this
community. The ideas from this meeting will be brought to a member of our
state Legislature on Wed. Jan. 10. I need people to send me letters of why
it is important to keep these courses in our community. You do not need to
be a resident of Minnesota to provide your feedback. Please include your
name and ties to these industries in your letter.
If you have comment on what is happening at our local college, please
send them to me. My e-mail address is: