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M State’s PowerSports program moving to Moorhead campus after 55 years in Detroit Lakes

When Minnesota State’s small engine repair and maintenance program was first introduced in 1967, it was an immediate hit among students and faculty alike. But as the program grew, the name and focus also changed from small engine repair to PowerSports Technology.

The M State small engines class in 1969. The program has evolved over the years and is now called PowerSports Technology (Photo: M State).

The college recently posted the story of the program’s 55-year history on its website as it looks ahead to its relocation from M State’s Detroit Lakes campus to the Moorhead campus.

Launched in response to the need for skilled small engine mechanics in the area and led by Barney C. Cummings, an instructor with a friendly face and over 30 years of experience, the small engines program quickly became the most sought-after offering at Detroit Lakes Area Vocational Technical School, as M State’s Detroit Lakes campus was then known. The 1970 college yearbook touted it as “exceedingly popular” especially among students looking to open their own shops.

Cummings and over a dozen other instructors have come and gone through the program, as have over 1,400 graduates. Today’s small engines are stronger, smaller and more fuel efficient, and in response to the changing technology, the program’s curriculum has adjusted and evolved.

M State still partners with regional industry to ensure that what’s learned in the classroom directly applies to what’s needed in the workforce, and students still work collaboratively as they gain hands-on experience in the service and repair of small engines.

M State’s Moorhead campus houses its Transportation Center, a state-of-the-art learning facility that includes a well-equipped lab and classroom space for the college’s automotive and diesel equipment programs. Having PowerSports Technology join those programs at the Transportation Center will allow for further collaboration and resource-sharing, and will improve the program’s accessibility for students in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Read the full story on M State’s website.

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