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Ridgewater top community college in state for career preparedness

WILLMAR — Ridgewater College of Willmar and Hutchinson has received the Minnesota Career Preparedness Award from American College Testing.

This week, ACT chose Ridgewater as the top nominee in the state for College and Career Readiness Campaign recognition. The award is based on:

- Accessibility of career readiness assessments and career preparation programs.

- Efforts to develop relationships with local employers.

- Retention, graduation, and four-year college transfer rates, including for students of underrepresented racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

- Dedication of administrators and faculty to career planning and providing a support structure to students.

- Commitment to providing leadership opportunities for students outside of the classroom.

“I am proud of all of the work that Ridgewater College does to ensure our student’s success,” said Dean of Students Heidi Olson in a news release. “We offer many different venues to help students plan and prepare for their future.”

Students have access to counselors, career testing and a career planning course.

Many services are free of charge for students and also for Ridgewater alumni. Services include Ridgewater’s College Central job posting website, personal assistance with job searching, resume development, cover letter writing and interview preparation. Ridgewater also offers mock interview assistance and free technology use for job research purposes.

Working with employers is also a priority. Ridgewater offers employers free assistance in searching for employees. Employers are able to post employment opportunities and to participate in job fairs; on-campus career and employment events; and economic or workforce development forums.

The college assists in setting up internships and job-shadowing opportunities.

“It is our mission to help our students make smart career choices, to help our students and alumni find gainful employment, and to help employers find qualified and well-trained employees,” said Douglas Allen, Ridgewater president. “It is due to the hard work and commitment of our faculty, staff and administration that we achieved this honor.”

Ridgewater College will represent Minnesota at the national level at the ACT National Gala on College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C., on June 3.