Column: College success starts in K-12 classesIt’s happening again … . As we approach the end of summer, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical staff and faculty welcomed back students on Aug. 25.
By: Jim Johnson, Winona, Minn., The Republican Eagle
It’s happening again … .
As we approach the end of summer, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical staff and faculty welcomed back students on Aug. 25.
This fall our number will be up again; 10 out the last 11 years we have been able to offer the “right programs” for the student looking for value, rigor and the opportunity to invest in an educational experience to prepare them for the dynamic workforce.
We are experiencing a 5 percentgrowth in students this fall across both campuses, and we continue to draw our core student base from a region that includes Wisconsin, northeaste Iowa and southeast Minnesota of which 82 percent will remain in these regions after graduation.
One of the critical components of Southeast Tech’s success has been the stream if quality high school graduates from around this region.
The current workforce demands a worker who has been through a rigorous and broad educational experience.
Quality K-12 programs
We as a college understand that students who have had a well-rounded and comprehensive K-12 education to include mastery of math, science and critical thinking skills have a greater chance of succeeding in the rigorous requirements of today’s technical college course work.
This dynamic being fact, the state of public funding of K-12 education has me worried.
With approximately 90 percent of all Minnesota school districts depending on operating referendums, it clearly speaks to a broken and inadequate state support system.
All citizens of this region benefit from a well-educated population — whether we have students in the educational system or not.
A quality and accessible public education is the “equalizer” that is a tradition reaching back many generations.
The Red Wing School District is one of the 90 percent seeking referendum help. That being said, all students of the district have been impacted by the myriad of cuts this quality public school system has been forced to undertake over the last 10 years — yet I am amazed at the ability of staff and faculty to continue producing such high quality graduates.
I fear this may not continue.
Today I celebrate the success of my institution but I also worry that future students entering our doors will be inadequately prepared for the rigor of our curriculum unless local school districts can adequately fund their operations.
I urge you to consider the options you have on Sept. 9 and vote yes and yes in the Red Wing School District referendum for the benefit of our children and general public.