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Ridgewater College President Craig Johnson featured in Enterprise Minnesota magazine

Craig Johnson 2018.Resized.jpg
Craig Johnson, Ridgewater College president

WILLMAR — Ridgewater College President Craig Johnson was featured in the Fall 2020 issue of Enterprise Minnesota magazine .

Johnson was part of a four-person panel of technical college administrators discussing enrollment trends, shrinking budgets and COVID-19 on campus.

The article provides a look at how college administrators across the state are managing trends in technical education.

The colleges represented were Ridgewater College in Willmar, South Central College in Mankato, Alexandria Technical & Community College in Alexandria, and Lake Superior College in Duluth.

Questions ranged from enrollment status in the age of COVID-19, specific program impacts from enrollment trends, the role technology plays in technical education and the state’s looming budget deficit.

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“One of the most frustrating things here at Ridgewater was that we had experienced a decline in enrollment from 2011-2019. We had lost about 30% of our students during that time period. That’s a huge blow. But this past year, we had turned that around and we had about a 2% growth, and then COVID hit,” Johnson said in the article.

“And so what’s really sad to see is that pre-COVID, the morale boost, people feeling good about the reorganization we had done, and the redesign of our recruiting and retention efforts, was having a positive impact. And now with COVID, we’ve bounced back and forth in our comparison date to date, this year to last year. We bounce back and forth between being up 5% and down 5%.”

Ridgewater College is a public community college with campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson. It is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Related Topics: WILLMARMINNESOTA
Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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