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CLC Connection: Welcome to fall semester

Dr. Hara Charlier

It seems like every year, summer flies by. I hope that all have spent time on the lake, laughing around a campfire with friends and family and relaxing in the sun with a good book.

Summer couldn't possibly be ending already. Yet, fall semester has already started. We kicked off the year with three big events!

New Student Orientation

We are welcoming nearly 3,000 students to our campuses this fall. Starting college is a big step, regardless of your reason—going back to school, continuing your education after high school, just taking a class or two. Many new students tell us that a million questions pop in their heads. Where do I start? How do I access my email and D2L Brightspace? Wait, what is D2L Brightspace? Where is my classroom? How do I make friends while there?

At Central Lakes College, we don't want those worries to prevent anyone from pursuing their education and dreams. We have the perfect solution. It's called New Student Orientation Day. The name encompasses the day—folks learn everything you need to know (and didn't think of) before the first day of school.

By the end of the day, students have everything they need to start college off on the right foot. They learn where to access helpful resources when they need them during the semester: free tutoring both online and in person, TRiO Student Support, the Student Link, the library, the counseling center, the bookstore and more. Most importantly, they met the best resources at CLC—our employees. We want each student to have that person they can go to at the college and ask questions. Student Orientation Day is a great place to make those connections and the first step in student success-something we strive for every day here at CLC. We wholeheartedly want every single student to be successful in achieving his or her educational goals.

Ag & Energy Field Day

Another activity that marks the start of fall semester is our annual Ag and Energy Research Center Field Day at our Staples campus. Did you know that agriculture research and demonstration is critical part of CLC's history? We farm nearly 1,700 acres for research, demonstration, and production, and have been doing so for half a century. For those of you who haven't visited our agriculture research campus in Staples, let me tell you, you're missing out!

At my first Field Day two years ago, I had the privilege of driving a combine. What a thrill! It gave me an appreciation for this powerful piece of equipment, loaded with technology, and the amazing work of our producers. Today's world of agriculture is not what many think. We are grateful for the work of our farmers and producers, and field of agriculture is vast, including business, technology, and so much more. Field Day is a unique opportunity to interact with agricultural equipment, technology, and research. It is a celebration of the importance of agriculture in our communities, and there is something for everyone. You, too, can drive a combine (which still ranks as one of my top experiences here at CLC)!

This year, CLC's Ag and Energy Center celebrates its 50th anniversary! The team pulled out all the stops for the Field Day celebration, which was a great introduction to agriculture for all ages and all agriculture knowledge levels. Folks were able to learn about the history of the Ag Center, tour the Living Legacy Gardens, go on a local foods tour, check out our viticulture and tour crop plots, Grand View Ranch and more. Finally, they heard from local leaders about the importance of agriculture to our communities and the state of Minnesota.

The Night Out

We're excited about the success of our annual event that honors and benefits the great students we have. The Night Out, which took place Aug. 30, pulled in so many community members and supporters of our students.

The highlight of the night was our awesome student participation. We had more than 30 students from the Honors Program, Raider athletics and Student Senate helping with loading and unloading items, setting up the room, playing music, greeting guests, clearing plates and selling raffle tickets. Two of our students, Tyler and Katelyn, spoke about the importance of scholarships to their experience at CLC.

We had incredible sponsors for this event with Deerwood Bank as our Presenting Sponsor along with Breen & Person, Bremer Bank, Clow Stamping, CTC, Essentia Health, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, Sourcewell and Widseth-Smith-Nolting. We also received discounted and donated services from NP Event Space, Prairie Bay, Cash Wise, Fulton Brewing, Jack Pine, Roundhouse and The Shante.

Including sponsorship, ticket sales, silent auction proceeds, the food pantry raffle, donations, and a matching grant from the Initiative Foundation, we raised $38,226!

All of these events are just a small snippet of what we have going on at each of our campuses. So please stop by and see for yourself. I'll see you in the halls!