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Minnesota West moving forward for students, communities

It remains true — Minnesotans are resilient and compassionate. Today, we’re witnessing the toil of the pandemic, systemic racial disparities, and the insurrection at our Capitol threatening the social and economic fabric of this great Nation. However, kindness, resolve, and education provides solution.

Minnesota West’s resolve

Minnesota West remains posed and focused during this historical time. We have positioned our talents and limited resources around three priorities: 1) ensuring our collective well-being; 2) assuring our students advance their education; and 3) committing to the social and economic prosperity of our communities. Coupled with grace and the dedication of our faculty and staff, our focus on these priorities brings forth an unprecedented resolve in our commitment to our students and the region we are missioned to serve.

Minnesota West’s educational

priorities

Education and career training are the pathways to the social and economic recovery of this great Nation. Institutions of education carry the responsibility to prepare citizens for a democratic society.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of a true education”.

It involves education not only for tolerance but for inclusion and action; to prepare citizens with skills and the abilities to analyze and synthesize information and to peacefully engage in the democratic processes constitutionally afforded.

Today is the time for truth, dissemination of the same and reconciliation – civil engagement and education are the safeguards of the democratic process and this is a duty of the American academy. Minnesota West’s academy provides fertile ground for exploration of thought, debate, and the challenging of assumptions.

Coupled with grace, our students experience gifted faculty and staff promoting and practicing the democratic process.

Supporting our students and families

Minnesota West understands our students and their families are experiencing hardships and uncertainty. Our student support functions are fully accessible including social & mental health services, emergency grants, and educational planning. In the past 9 months, over $600,000 in emergency grants have been provided directly to students and we will do likewise in the spring and fall terms of this year. Minnesota West is dedicated to supporting those just beginning college, those in midst of their programs, and our neighbors considering a new career.

Together, Moving Forward

Education is the pathway to social and economic prosperity: for our students, our communities and this great Nation. Minnesota West remains laser-focused on providing safe, relevant, and highly-supportive educational programs. This is the resolve of your college, and we are investing entrusted resources and reserves for the social and economic well-being of Southwest Minnesota — it is our purpose and our privilege.

— Terry Gaalswyk, Ph.D., is president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College

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