Tech school closes doors

FAIRMONT – Citing a lack of students, Minnesota West Community and Technical College of Worthington has closed its Fairmont satellite office and classrooms.

“Minnesota West will still have a presence in Fairmont. It will just be in a different facet,” spokeswoman Amber Luinenberg stated in an email.

The school will continue the REACH (concurrent enrollment) program, which offers college courses to high school students, its certified nursing assistant program and its customized training program.

Minnesota West has served the Fairmont area since 2001, when it offered nursing programs at Fairmont High School.

Three years later, city officials invited the school to open a learning center in the renovated Southern Minnesota Educational Center, formerly Central School.

The satellite center in SMEC emphasized liberal arts delivery using interactive television and the Internet.

However, enrollment was outweighed by needed operating costs.

“There were nine students registered to take classes at the Fairmont center this fall,” Luinenberg stated.

Four were “regular” students while five were PSEO students, who are high school students taking college classes.

The Jackson campus of Minnesota West will offer support and a location to these students this fall.

Minnesota West administration will meet with Fairmont High School staff to explore other activities with the high school, the email stated.