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A reception was held Mo-nday at Ridgewater College in Willmar for the first criminal justice studies st-udents to earn bachelor's degrees without having to attend classes at St. Cloud State College. Pictured is graduate Sarah Pederson, a native of Starbuck. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

Ridgewater and SCSU honor first graduates of program

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WILLMAR -- Sarah Pederson was a kid from Starbuck who had a hard enough time adjusting to life in the bigger town of Willmar.

When she graduated with her associate degree from Ridgewater College, "I wasn't ready to move," she said. It meant a lot to her to find that moving wasn't necessary.

Pederson and seven others graduated last week with bachelor's degrees in criminal justice studies from St. Cloud State University.

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