Program to Close at Ridgewater 01 Dec 11

The computer art and publishing program at Ridgewater College in Willmar will close at the end of this school year.

Officials say the program is a victim of budget cuts and low enrollment.

College President Douglas Allen says the school’s state appropriation was cut about 10 percent in the fiscal year that began July 1st, which translates into a loss of about $1.5 million.

The state’s public higher education institutions have seen appropriations decrease in recent years because of state budget deficits. Allen says this is the fourth year running that Ridgewater has seen a decrease in funding.

On the other hand, the agriculture programs are growing and in need of more space.

Ridgewater is a public community and technical college with campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson. It has about 6,000 students studying in more than 100 programs.