Central Lakes College is excited to return this fall to the rich array of experiences for which we’re known, including in-person learning, athletics and many other on-campus student activities. We understand that our students need not only a vibrant, in-person college experience, but also the flexibility of virtual access to manage their busy lives. This fall, students will have both.

Related: CLC Connection: Celebrating career and technical education

In the spirit of coming back better than ever, we’re excited to announce new opportunities for our students. New programs starting this fall are: Human Services A.A.S. Degree, Music A.F.A. Degree, Marine and Powersports Diploma, Business Diploma, Business Transfer Pathway and History Transfer Pathway. Of course, our Culinary Arts Certificate recently began as well. For details, please visit www.clcmn.edu.

Every new program is the result of extensive work by our faculty and critical collaboration with our community partners. Together, we pinpointed needs and created programs to address those needs, with an emphasis on preparing students for great careers. This is what our mission to “build futures” is all about.

For those who are looking to jump into the workforce as soon as possible, our technical programs provide over 60 options, ranging from short-term certificates to Associates Degrees. New this fall are the Emergency Medical Response Technician Certificate and the Marine and Powersports Diploma. These programs give students the opportunity to get into a great career in less than a year!

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Related: CLC Connection: Choose hope

Other students come to CLC because they have their sights on a career that requires a four-year degree. They know that starting at CLC is a smart way to get a great experience. Our new transfer programs serve our students in so many ways. For example, let’s say you want to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in history. You can start your educational journey at CLC with the History Transfer Pathway, knowing exactly which courses you need to stay on track, saving time and money. After two years, you have guaranteed admission into any Minnesota State university, and every course you take under this agreement will be accepted. You’ll begin at the university as a junior and stay on track to graduate.

Thanks to great work by CLC faculty, we now have 12 Transfer Pathways — in economics, history, psychology, sociology, Spanish, biology, business, chemistry, early childhood education, exercise science, pre-social work and art. Stay tuned, as more are in the works!

Related: CLC Connection: What makes Central Lakes College different

Regardless of your path, we recognize that cost is a significant factor in your decision. We’re proud to offer many options to help, from our extensive financial aid and scholarship programs to our Z-Degree, through which students can earn an AA without purchasing textbooks. Workforce Development Scholarships provide another opportunity to enter high-demand careers. It’s not too late to apply for one of these $2,500 scholarships in Agriculture, Natural Resources, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Health, Early Childhood and Transportation. The deadline to apply is April 5, so don’t wait. You can find the application at: www.clcmn.edu/workforcescholarships/.

After the challenging year we’ve all had, students tell us that they’re choosing CLC to get a full college experience. In addition to great in-person, hybrid and hyflex courses, students can count on a wide range of in-person activities and services. Food service will be available on both campuses; our student life activities will be varied and rich; Raider athletes will be on the field and court, and our cultural, performing, and visual arts events will keep you engaged. And, of course, those who wish to participate virtually will continue to have access to these and the many other activities that are part of the CLC experience.

At CLC, we take the student experience seriously. This is what being better than ever is all about.

Related: CLC Connection: Partnerships in agriculture make our communities grow