How Central Lakes is expanding in a tough economy

Adding classes

So amid all the financial doom and gloom and rumors of campus closures, I see this on pineandlakes.com:

CLC plans to offer college classes in Pine River

It appears Central Lakes College is setting up a satellite “campus” of sorts in Pine River to offer general-education courses to the community beginning this fall.

“It’s kind of an opportunity on a shoestring,” Central Lakes Dean Kelly McCalla said.

The two-year college will hold just two classes or so a week plus a developmental studies class, he said. The academic calendar will be modified to fit the lifestyles of the community, which focuses on forestry and tourism — and often can’t conform to the traditional school calendar.

McCalla said the high school is providing the class space, tuition will fund the faculty — it needs 15-20 to break even — and a grant is providing some computers and IT help.

“We couldn’t afford this on our own,” he said.

The idea may be catching. The dean said two other communities have approached him about setting up such an arrangement as well.