MSC software program recognized as top value


The software and web development program at Minnesota State College Southeast is the best value, according to

The program, taught by Mark Swanson, beat out colleges such Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minn., and is recognized for the cost of tuition, the relevance of the curriculum to the demands of the field, and the student-to-faculty ratio.

Swanson said the job is a difficult one, making him work constantly.

"It's about as demanding as a job can get," Swanson said. "Every two or three years, I pretty much have to throw out everything I was doing before and start over."

Students have complete 60 credits of work to earn their Associate of Applied Science degree. Students aren't expected to be programming wizards entering the class though, Swanson said the classes will help students, who may know nothing, be at a competent production level.

Through classwork, students will become proficient with applications like JavaScript, Animate, Cloud services, and more.

The skills that will be learned throughout the classes can be transferred to a variety of fields, but because the rapid changing of the industry, it's hard to know what to expect by graduation time.

It's up to Swanson to keep up with the changes and continue to help students become successful.

"On the other hand, since stuff is changing all the time, I have to keep learning new things all the time," Swanson said.

The courses are only offered online, with Swanson saying the program was the first in the world to offer such courses and studies. Now, online classes are more prevalent, but Minnesota State College Southeast continues to stand out.

Swanson said it was great to be recognized on June 13 by, but said the other classes on campus are just as much of a great value as the ones he teaches.

"I can tell you that we're a great value here in terms of the teaching and the technology that students work with," Swanson said. "I would say we're best in the country in that area as well."