On a higher level: what’s in a name?

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St. Cloud Technical and Community College

What’s in a name? Sometimes more than you imagine. Take, for example, St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC). At first glance, it represents the name of our local college. Dig deeper and you’ll find there’s so much more to this name in just five words.

In 2010, St. Cloud Technical College became a comprehensive college, and the college’s mission expanded from vocational and technical education to include liberal arts and science degrees. Lively discussions took place among campus stakeholders to develop a college name and logo that reflected the change in mission while continuing to honor the tradition of quality vocational and technical education that our community had come to expect. to depend. After careful consideration, St. Cloud Technical & Community College became the agreed name.

So what does all this mean? Well, let’s start with “St. Cloud.” St. Cloud serving as an economic hub in Minnesota and one of the fastest growing communities in the state, SCTCC’s name needed to reflect both the college’s physical location and the important role that the college in regional economics of St. Cloud. The majority of SCTCC students come from Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Wright, and Meeker counties, and when SCTCC students graduate, they typically establish careers in the St. Cloud area to live, work, and raise families. In the region. In fact, walk into any healthcare provider, manufacturing company, construction-related industry, technology company, or other business in that area, and you’re likely to find an SCTCC alumnus. Additionally, an economic impact study completed in 2019 indicated that the SCTCC not only contributes to this region by providing skilled graduates ready to enter the job market, but employees and students annually contribute $188.6 millions of dollars to the local economy due to their affiliation with St Cloud Technical & Community College.

“Technical” has important historical context for the SCTCC and reflects the fundamental components that led to the SCTCC as we know it today. Originally founded in 1948 as a technical and vocational institute within the local school district, the college became the St. Cloud Area Technical Vocational Institute in 1973. In 2010, upon selection of a new name to embody the expanded mission of SCTCC, stakeholders felt it was essential to recognize the important role of vocational and technical training in SCTCC’s educational program offerings and the importance of these career paths – qualified labor for our commercial and industrial partners in the community. With over 90 career majors in business, computer science, education, manufacturing, construction, transportation, health and nursing, liberal arts, and science curriculum , students can graduate in two years or less with the skills to enter highly qualified programs. , high-demand, high-paying careers in our region.

Although it may seem minor, the importance of the ‘&’ cannot be overstated in the context of the SCTCC name. Technical and liberal arts and science programs are essential to the mission of the SCTCC and to the economic vitality of our region. While there are many opportunities for students to earn a vocational and technical degree, students pursuing an associate of arts degree, associate of science degree, or certificate have equal opportunity to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree and beyond. . And it’s a perfect transition to the “Community” part of SCTCC.

“Community” means that the SCTCC is a comprehensive college. Students have a variety of educational opportunities available to them, including liberal arts and science degree transfer programs. Half of the current SCTCC student body reported majoring in a liberal arts and science degree program. It was this demand from the community that led to the change in mission of the SCTCC in 2010, and this demand continues to drive the expansion of SCTCC programs, including transfer pathways in biology, commerce, elementary education, in Mathematics, Psychology, Spanish, Special Education, Drama and Engineering. . These pathways provide students with a quality education where exceptional teachers know each student by name and provide personalized attention in small class sizes. Students find a clear path to completion, transfer, and a fulfilling career.

“Community” also refers to the community support the college receives from business, industry, alumni and other community partners. It really does take an entire village, and our students’ success is enhanced through the generosity and support of our community allies. For example, Granite Partners, a private investment and holding company, recently donated granite units worth $1 million, naming the SCTCC Foundation as the beneficiary. The annual distribution of proceeds from this donation will provide scholarships and other direct support to develop well-educated graduates who are ready to enter the workforce or transfer as they continue their education. . Community support like this and other donations, partnerships, endowments, and collaborations are essential to supporting student success and the economic and social mobility of graduates in our region.

Finally, we end with “College”. We are STCCC. We provide the education, training and support necessary for equitable participation in our society, our economy and our democracy. We aspire to be a community of learners rooted in meaningful relationships where everyone belongs and thrives. We believe in the transformative power of education. We are proud to be a college that serves the members of our community. We are St. Cloud Technical & Community College, and there is power in our name.

– That’s the opinion of the interim president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Lori Kloos. To A Higher Degree is published on the fourth Sunday of the month and features the presidents of the four largest colleges in central Minnesota.


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