Founded in 1961, Alexandria Technical College originally opened with only 3 offered programs: machine shop, carpentry, and farm equipment mechanics. Since its inception, the school has transitioned from being classified as a local school to an official Minnesota State College in 1995. It was the first two-year college to receive accreditation in Minnesota by the Higher Learning Commission.
Today the school offers over 50 academic programs, allowing students to obtain an associate’s degree geared toward direct entry into the work force or to transfer to another school to complete the remainder of a four-year baccalaureate degree. The school also offers a wide range of one-year certificate and diploma programs. ATC claims to have the highest career placement out of all 2-year public colleges in Minnesota, with around 90% of graduates finding employment within their specific fields.
The student body ranges around 3,500. The largest offered fields of study are law enforcement, nursing, and diesel mechanics. No student housing is offered on campus; however, there are many apartments and houses for rent within walking distance.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Thanks to the open enrollment system, there are no set application deadlines. The admissions office recommends, however, that students submit a completed application as soon as possible since popular programs fill up very quickly.
Applications can be completed and submitted online or in hard copy. In addition to submitting a high school transcript or GED, applicants need to complete the Accuplacer placement tests for math, writing and reading as well as schedule a campus visit. The visit is essential for exploring the school and meeting with the instructors of the specific programs that are interesting to the applicants.
Additional items may be requested to complete the application depending on which major or field of study is chosen.
All financial aid applicants must submit a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before being considered for grants, loans and scholarships. Once the school receives the FAFSA results, the financial aid office will provide students with all the pertinent information about federal and state grants and loans. The school also offers work-study programs to help students pay for tuition. Around 80% of students receive some sort of financial aid.
With regards to scholarships, the school ranked second among Minnesota State Colleges for the amount of awarded scholarship funds. In fact, the Alexandria Technical College Foundation annually gives out more than $150,000 in student aid scholarships. Each foundation scholarship applicant needs to be a high school graduate with good grades and must submit a letter of recommendation and a personal essay. Deadlines for applications are in April for the fall semester and November for the spring semester.
Students run a wide variety of organizations and activities both on and off campus. Many intramural athletic programs are available for sports as volleyball, flag football, basketball, and even broomball, which is a version of hockey without ice skates or hockey sticks. Additionally, the school hosts a variety of cultural entertainment events including numerous speakers, and provides students with a slew of leadership programs and clubs, such as the Business Professionals of America and Skills USA.
Off campus, the town of Alexandria provides all of the outdoor recreation that students crave. Andes Tower Hills ski area is located very close to the town as well as a number of picturesque lakes. Hiking opportunities are also readily available for all lovers of the open-air. Many festivals are hosted in Alexandria, including the Festival of the Lakes and Vikingland Band Festival.
With a wide variety of restaurants and bars within the town’s center, including Godfather’s Pizza and Fat Daddy’s Bar & Grill, students can always find a great place to grab a good bite and have some fun.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The following sports clubs and organizations are available:
Men’s Intercollegiate, Men’s Intramural and Women’s Intramural Basketball
Men’s Club and Women’s Club Golf
Men’s Intramural and Women’s Intramural Softball
Men’s Club and Women’s Club Table Tennis
Men’s Intercollegiate, Women’s Intercollegiate, Men’s Intramural and Women’s Intramural Volleyball
The school has a seasonal alumni magazine called “In Touch” and also publishes career highlights for many graduates on the school’s web site, informing all visitors of alumni accomplishments. In addition, there is an alumni scholarship opportunity that annually provides 15 scholarships of $300 each to the children and grandchildren of alumni.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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