Real World Learning - Where the rubber meets the road!

North Mankato, MN - In the business sector collaboration between disciplines is a key component of successful projects. How can you teach this in school? South Central College (SCC), with the help of Mankato Motor Company, has an answer. Students studying Graphic Communications, Computer Integrated Machining, Computer Careers and Auto Body and Collision Technology are working to produce a customized Chevy Cruze that will be used to promote the college. The gift of 2012 Chevy Cruze was donated by Mankato Motor Company to South Central College’s North Mankato Foundation in January. Students in SCC Graphics Communications program competed for the design that would be painted on the car. Three designs were provided to Mankato Motor Company and their customers voted for the design to be used.  The Auto Body and Collision Repair students took the design and began the time-intensive process of executing the intricate paint scheme. A Computer Career student, with the able assistance of the college’s webmaster, created a dynamic website to track the progress of the vehicle throughout the process. Students in the Computer Integrated Machining program will now be asked to add some additional “bling” to the car with their machining skills. “This is a unique and generous gift to our college from Mankato Motor Company,” stated SCC President Keith Stover. “We love the fact that this project allows us to highlight our technical majors, which have been the cornerstone of our institution for 65 years.”

The Chevy Cruze was completed and unveiled during a ceremony at Mankato Motor Company on March 13, 2012. The car will be used by the college recruiters for high school visits throughout Southern Minnesota. “Our new vehicle will be the envy of every other college recruiter in the state,” stated David Miller, Director of Admissions for South Central College. “It’s a creative way to attract attention to both our college and our majors.” The college has created a t-shirt design (lime green like the paint scheme on the Chevy Cruze) to give to prospective students on their upcoming visits.

The South Central College North Mankato Campus Foundation provides nearly $200,000 in student scholarships each year based on academic achievement and financial need. “The Foundation is extremely grateful for the support it receives from regional businesses, like Mankato Motor Company, as well as the many individuals who contribute to the success of our students with their contributions, stated Tami Reuter, Executive Director of the SCC North Mankato Foundation.

 Why such a large donation? Dale Schmitt, owner of Mankato Motor Company, has hired SCC alumni and could certainly see some promotional benefit from the gift of the Chevy Cruze but that wasn’t the real stimulus. “For me, it’s all about giving back---Supporting the community in which I do business. What better place than an institution that provides for our future workforce.”

 Visit the Cruze website to see the evolution of the gift from Mankato Motor Company: