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Minnesota West introducing shuttle bus service

WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West will offer a new service in the fall to eliminate limitations for students desiring to enter a specific program. The school has decided to provide a shuttle bus to travel between the Worthington and Jackson campuses....

WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West will offer a new service in the fall to eliminate limitations for students desiring to enter a specific program.

The school has decided to provide a shuttle bus to travel between the Worthington and Jackson campuses. A student living in Worthington can enter a program in the Jackson campus, or vice versa, without worrying about how to physically get there.

“We’re really excited because we do think this is an excellent opportunity for our students,” said Amber Luinenburg, director of marketing, enrollment and communication at Worthington’s campus. “It is just to allow students some additional opportunities in educational choices, and we didn’t want transportation to get in the way,”

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The free service will be provided for all registered students and will be available every day of the week with the exception of Friday.

“The reason we are doing Monday through Thursday is because it fits our class schedules the best,” explained Luinenburg.

The bus will pick up students at the Worthington campus at 7:15 a.m. and drop them off at the Jackson campus at 8 a.m. It will then return to Worthington with any students from the Jackson area. The same process will take place in the afternoon at 2:15 p.m. to return the students to their initial locations.

Luinenburg said this is a great way to better utilize the programs offered by Minnesota West so students can study in the area they desire and be more successful.

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“We don’t want to place a limit as simple as transportation on our students,” she said. “We know there are transportation issues, and we want students to be able to take classes at either campus.”

Though both towns have a Minnesota West campus, each location offers different programs. Jackson is more technical-based with classes such as cosmetology and welding, while Worthington provides education in liberal arts, law enforcement, agriculture and nursing.

“As administrators we saw a need for this and we also heard a need from the students that there are legitimate transportation issues,” said Luinenburg. “Even though it’s only 30 miles away, those 30 miles kept students from entering the programs that they wanted.”

In addition to the students benefiting from the bus, the region can benefit from the students when they become skilled workers seeking jobs after graduation.

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“Another layer to this is that there is a lot of job demand related to our technical program within the southwest part of the state,” Luinenburg explained. “There is a need to be filled for employment, and we hope this offers opportunity for that as well.”

While Minnesota West has only made busing arrangements for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 22, Luinenburg said it plans to continue in the spring if the service is being utilized by the students.

“We’re going to try it for the fall semester and see how it goes,” she said. “We would like to continue with it if there is enough interest.”

Students can contact Minnesota West for additional information or sign up for the bus at http://www.mnwest.edu/index.php/student-services/inter-campus-shuttle .

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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