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Ridgewater moves some Willmar programs to Hutchinson

WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College's electronics technician and wireless communication electronics programs will move from Willmar to the campus in Hutchinson.

The move will be effective beginning this fall semester.

Current and prospective students have been informed of the change, as have program advisory board members.

Dr. Kathy Brock, dean of Instruction, said nine students who are completing their first year in Willmar, will be affected by the move.

She estimates there will be about 10 incoming students who'll also be affected.

"We've told the students so they are aware," Brock said. The location change could effect where students find housing next year.

While the change is new, the move has been discussed for at least three years, she said.

The budget concerns faced by Minnesota's public colleges and universities helped to finalize the decision to move the program, according to a press release issued Thursday.

The move will consolidate programs and increase efficiencies.

"One of the considerations in this decision was the potential to increase efficiency because of a redundancy of courses in the core electronics area which are being offered on both campuses," Brock said.

The move will also facilitate increased access to both related equipment and faculty expertise in those related programs.

At the Hutchison Campus there are currently four programs, all of which have some level of curricular overlap with electronics technician and wireless communications electronics, she said. They are audio technology, calibration engineering technology, automated systems technology and computer support technology.

Ridgewater officials said they are confident the program will continue to provide quality education and build on its outstanding reputation in its new location.

There is still strong demand for skilled technicians in the fields of electronics and wireless electronics technology, Brock said.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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