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Evening accelerated bachelor of science degree being planned for Red Wing

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An evening accelerated bachelor of science degree is being planned for Red Wing through a partnership between Southeast Technical College and Saint Mary's University.  Degree-planning sessions will be offered between January 8 and March 25, 2014.  smu4u Poster

-Scroll down for list of dates-

Plans are underway to offer a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Red Wing at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical. The program will be geared toward the needs of working adults who want to complete a bachelor's degree. 

"Students will enjoy the advantages of attending a college with dedicated, experienced faculty, personal attention and limited class sizes," said Dr. Paul Christensen, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Technology at Saint Mary's University. "Since we're assessing details of when to start the program and what the course schedule would look like, we're encouraging anyone interested in completing their bachelor's degree in Red Wing to visit one of our degree-planning sessions in the area."  Dr. Christensen added, "Our goal is to start a cohort of 15 students during the fall 2014 semester."

The public-private partnership will help students manage the cost of obtaining a high-quality college education. Many incoming college students attend two-year schools with the express intention of transferring their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

According to a recent study, completing two years at a community college first, reduces the overall amount a student pays for a four-year degree.

The Bachelor of Science program requires a total of 122 semester credits with 36 credits being upper-division credits offered through this Saint Mary's program. The previous 86 credits can be from Southeast Technical, other colleges, CLEP or DANTES exams, prior learning or any combination of these.

The first step in learning more about the program is to meet with an advisor from Saint Mary's in Red Wing for a degree-planning session. See list below for information sessions, open house dates and degree planning sessions in Red Wing. No appointment is necessary. If possible, bring a copy of any previous college transcripts.

Information Sessions at the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Open House Dates at Southeast Technical College
Tuesday, February 25, 2014,  4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Wednesday, February 26, 2014  4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Degree planning sessions at Southeast Technical College
Tuesday, March 4, 2014,  4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

For more information about Saint Mary's programs, visit www.smumn.edu.  Specific requirements for the bachelor's-completion program in Business Administration is online at: http://www.smumn.edu/degree-completion-home


The automotive connection between Quzhou and Minnesota

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Quzhou College faculty exchange continues with automotive instructor Fang Xiaofen

Fang portraitFang Xiaofen (Fong Show-fen), visiting faculty member from Quzhou College of Technology, has been discovering the American way of life during his stay in Winona. He likes the people, saying Minnesotans are "very nice" and "warm-hearted." He likes the food, especially American and Mexican restaurants. He enjoys taking a morning or evening stroll around Lake Winona.

But his face really lights up when he starts talking about cars, especially American cars. "We usually drive small cars in China. U.S. cars are so huge and there are lots of pickup trucks."

Of course he notices cars - Fang is an automotive instructor in Quzhou, where he teaches courses such as fundamentals of auto mechanics, electric vehicles, car service, vehicle inspection and maintenance.

Fang with red carAt home, Fang drives a red Volkswagen Polo - the equivalent of a VW Golf.  "VWs are very popular. In China cars are made especially for our market. Imported cars are very expensive. Foreign manufacturers must set up a joint venture with a domestic (Chinese) company in order to make cars in China."

Besides spending time in the Automotive Technology and Auto Body Collision Technology departments at Southeast Technical in Winona, Fang has gotten out for some eye-opening field trips. "I spent the afternoon last week at Dahl Automotive - it is very huge! There are lots of used cars as well as new. That's very different. In China you would never see second-hand cars along with new cars."

He also visited a salvage yard where auto parts can be removed, refurbished and reused. "That's simply not possible in China," he says. "Our cars are made for one-time usage only. Right from when they were designed and built, every part is only meant to be used once. There's no such thing as used auto parts for sale."

Fang hasn't gotten to do much driving during his visit, but he did take a turn at driving one of the 18-wheel trucks from the Southeast Technical Truck Driving program. He admits that it was a nerve-wracking experience. "You're up so high, you are looking down on top of regular cars. It's like driving a tank --it was the biggest truck I've ever driven!"

Within the last 20 years, China has become the second largest car market in the world, after the USA. The middle class is expanding and more people can afford modestly-priced autos now. Nonetheless, a car costs about the same as a full year's salary.

Fang looking in window"Most people save up money to buy the car outright. Saving is really the lifestyle there. But the younger generation wants to buy a house first, so they are willing to borrow money to buy a house, and then pay for the car outright," he says.

When asked about his favorite American made cars, Fang is quick to reel off a string of brand names. He mentions Chevrolet, Pontiac, Mercury, Lincoln, GMC, Buick and Cadillac. V8 engines are especially exciting.

On a recent excursion to the local Cadillac dealer in Red Wing, Fang enjoyed peering in the windows of some extremely high-end cars. "These are the kind of cars you would see in the movies!" he exclaims, and then has a good laugh at the sticker shock. "This one would cost about 20 years' salary. Add in the import tax and it would be double that!"

Fang will be on his way back to Quzhou very soon, but hopes to bring a bit of Minnesota back with him as he works with Southeast Technical faculty to set up online, video and ITV courses for his Chinese pupils. He would like to create an SAE certification program in cooperation with Southeast Technical. But no, he won't be bringing a Cadillac home!

Thanks to Tao T. Peng for assistance with translation during the interview and to Red Wing Chevrolet Buick Cadillac for allowing photography at their location.

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