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Central Lakes College

Central Lakes College engineering students work together on a complex project in the lab on the Brainerd campus.
Imagine the places you'll go...At many colleges and universities you have to give up a lot. At Central Lakes College an excellent education won't cost you a fortune. Central Lakes College has two exceptional state-of-the-art campuses, in Staples and Brainerd, right in the center of the beautiful lakes and forests of the Minnesota tourism area. With a knowledgeable, caring faculty and more than 70 transfer and career programs, Central Lakes College is the college of choice for seekers of success.

School Highlights

At many colleges and universities, you're just another face in the crowd. At Central Lakes College your education is a personalized experience with small classes, supportive faculty and staff. CLC is located in the premier recreational area of Minnesota, and the central location provides for easy access to the campuses.

• Leading the way for continuity of credits, from high school through postsecondary career paths.
• Day, evening and online classes offer flexibility for nontraditional students. On-campus daycare available.
• Small class sizes to connect with faculty and classmates.
• A variety of student support services, including: Career services, multicultural student services, TRIO Student Support Services, disability services, Veterans Resource Center, English for Speakers of Other Languages Program, and The Learning Center, with several tutors on-hand.
• On-campus fitness center, greenhouse and disc golf course.
• Travel study opportunities.
• Cultural Thursday series, which features speakers on several cultural topics.
• Verse Like Water series, which brings in renowned poets from across the country.
• Music opportunities including: Vocal choirs, concert band, and jazz, brass and woodwind ensembles.
• Follow CLC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on current happenings on campus, and to interact with students, instructors and alumni.


Student Enrollment and Demographics

  • Total number of students served: 6,000
  • Full-time students: 50%
  • Part-time students: 50%
  • Percent female: 56%
  • Percent male: 44%
  • Percent students of color: 9%

Largest Programs

Liberal Arts for transfer to a four-year school; College in the (High) Schools, PSEO, Nursing; Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance; Law Enforcement; Computer Technology; Natural Resources; Business; Media Technologies, Environmental, Health and Human Services; Manufacturing; Transportation.

Unique Programs

Computer Network Administration CyberSecurity, Law Enforcement Skills, Sustainable Greenhouse Production, Healthcare Administrative Specialist, Videography Production; Robotic Welding, Child Development Care and Guidance; American Sign Language; Robotics and Automated Systems and Special Education.


• Off Campus
Student housing is available within walking distance of the campus.


• Bus
Brainerd & Crow Wing County Public Transit shuttle serves Brainerd campus.


• Off Street
Central Lakes College offers spacious parking in lots surrounding the Brainerd and Staples locations. Convenient access from any CLC parking lot to the buildings.


Admission requirements

Central Lakes College has an open admissions policy. This means:

  • You can enroll if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Even without those, you may be admitted if you demonstrate potential for success in college.
  • You don’t have to take a standardized test to be admitted, and your high school grades and class rank are not considered.
  • After you are admitted, you will take a placement test. That will tell you if you need to take remedial or developmental courses, which will not count toward a degree, before you can take college-level courses. Many students need just one developmental course, often in math or English. If you have taken these subjects every year in high school, you are more likely to do well on the placement test.

You can complete your studies in less time and for less total cost if you come well prepared for college-level work, especially by taking math, English, science and social studies classes every year in high school. Also, some programs of study require more math and science, so your high school preparation makes a difference.

Apply early in 12th grade. That increases your chances of being admitted to the specific program you want when you enter college. Some programs are more popular than others and fill early.

Apply online

Using the e-application, you may apply to Central Lakes College and other schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.


Quality, innovation, support

Central Lakes College provides a top-quality, affordable education. Students at Central Lakes College choose from over 70 academic programs offered in a friendly, supportive environment by creative instructors who are well-qualified to challenge and nurture all who wish to learn. Personal attention from faculty and staff, real-world experiences and outstanding student support services focus on building your future.

Degrees offered: Associate in Arts,  Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Fine Arts, diplomas, certificates.

Program Title Award
Accountant AAS
Accountant DIP
Administrative Assistant AAS
Administrative Support DIP
Advanced CNC Machine Tool Technology CERT
Advanced Farm Business Management ATC
Advanced Tool & Die Mold Making CERT
Agricultural Commodities Marketing CERT
American Indian Studies CERT
Applications in Farm Business Management CERT
Applied Engineering Technology AAS
Automation Technologies CERT
Automotive Technology DIP
Bookkeeping CERT
Business Management AAS
Child Development CERT
Child Development Assistant DIP
Child Development, Care and Guidance AAS
Child Development/American Sign Language AAS
Computer Information Technology AAS
Computer Network Administration AAS
Computer Network Administration - Cisco AAS
Computer Network Administration - CyberSecurity AAS
Computer Support Specialist DIP
Criminal Justice AAS
Criminal Justice CERT
Criminalistics AS
Current Issues in Farm Business Management CERT
Deaf Studies CERT
Dental Assisting AAS
Dental Assisting DIP
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician DIP
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology AAS
Emerging Digital Technology CERT
Engineering AS
Enology AAS
Enology DIP
Entrepreneurship CERT
Environmental Studies CERT
Essentials of Farm Business Management CERT
Floral Design DIP
Global Studies CERT
Graphic Design AAS
Graphic Design DIP
Graphic Design - Media Technologies DIP
Health Sciences Broad Field AS
Healthcare Accounting AAS
Healthcare Administrative Specialist AAS
Healthcare Administrative Specialist DIP
Healthcare Technology AAS
Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance DIP
Help Desk Specialist CERT
Horticulture AAS
Hospitality Careers CERT
Individualized Studies AAS
Individualized Studies DIP
Landscape Technology DIP
Latin American Studies CERT
Law Enforcement Skills CERT
Liberal Arts/General Education AA
Machine Technology CERT
Machine Tool Technology AAS
Machine Tool Technology DIP
Manufacturing Maintenance Technician DIP
Manufacturing Technician CERT
Manufacturing Welding Technician DIP
Marine and Small Engine Technology AAS
Marine and Small Engine Technology DIP
Matting and Framing CERT
Mechatronics DIP
Medical Assistant AAS
Medical Assistant DIP
Microsoft Office Professional CERT
Natural Resource Law Enforcement AAS
Natural Resources Technology AAS
Nursing AS
Nursing Assistant CERT
Occupational Skills DIP
Office Assistant CERT
Ojibwe Studies CERT
Phlebotomy Technician CERT
Photographic Imaging Technology AAS
Photographic Imaging Technology DIP
Photography Production CERT
Portrait Photography CERT
Practical Nursing DIP
Production Technologies CERT
Robotic Human Machine Interface Advanced CERT
Robotic Manufacturing CERT
Robotic Offline Programming Advanced CERT
Robotic Vision Advanced CERT
Robotic Welding CERT
Robotic Welding Advanced CERT
Robotics/Automated Systems Technology AAS
Robotics/Automated Systems Technology DIP
Special Education AAS
Special Education CERT
Specialty Crops Management DIP
Sustainability CERT
Sustainable Greenhouse Production DIP
Videography Production AAS
Videography Production DIP
Viticulture AAS
Viticulture DIP
Welding Technology CERT
Welding and Fabrication AAS
Welding and Fabrication DIP
Wildlife Tourism CERT
Women's Studies CERT
Young Child Education AS

The following degrees are available from Central Lakes College

  • Advanced Technical Certificate
  • Associate in Applied Science
  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate of Fine Arts
  • Certificate
  • Diploma

Tuition & finance

Tuition and Fees $5,384.00
FAFSA Code:002339

How to apply for financial aid
Your key to receiving financial aid to help pay your college costs is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form. Many students don’t realize they could qualify for grant money and federally guaranteed loans, so be sure to find out by filling out the form.

Complete the FAFSA after Jan. 1 of your senior year. Find the form online at or pick up the form at your school counselor’s office. For help with completing the form, go to your high school counselor or the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for one or more of the following types of financial aid:

Scholarships are a great source of aid, and you do not need to pay them back. Many scholarships are available for students with special interests and backgrounds. Talk to your guidance counselor about what kind of scholarships you can get.

You may be eligible to receive federal and state grants of $300 to more than $7,000 per year. You do not need to pay these back.

Work study
Work study programs give you the opportunity to work on campus or with approved off-campus employers to earn money to pay for college. Work study jobs are often very flexible, allowing you to work around your classes and personal schedules.

Student loans
You also may be eligible for student loans, which must be paid back. Student loans usually have a lower interest rate than other kinds of loans.

Other ways to save

Reduced out-of-state tuition
Students from other states don’t always have to pay higher tuition if they want to attend the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. If you live in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota or Manitoba, Canada, you’re eligible for tuition rates similar to those paid by Minnesota residents. And 26 of the state colleges and universities allow students from other states to pay the lower in-state rates, so ask a college or university about its tuition charges.

Tax credits
Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning tax credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances.

Veterans are welcomed at the state colleges and universities. If you’ve served in the armed forces, you might be eligible for help with paying for college. Stop by one of the on-campus veterans centers for information, support and assistance. Also, check with the campus financial aid office about benefits from the new Minnesota GI Bill. Or go to

Campus Life

College is more than textbooks, classes, labs and studying. Plenty of clubs and program-related organizations, sports and recreational activities help you meet new friends, develop leadership and team skills, stay fit and share the fun of working together on projects.

INTERCOLLEGIATE SPORTS -- NJCAA Division III -- Womens basketball, softball, volleyball; Mens baseball, basketball, football.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES -- Choir, band, drama, visual and literary art observances, student government, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, intramural sports,  and more than 20 academic clubs and organizations: Accounting Club, AD Nursing Club, ASL 'PAH' Club, Creative Imaging Association, Dental Assistants Club, Diesel Club, Equality Coalition, Graphic Design Club, Green Club, Heavy Equipment Club, Horticulture Club, International Club, IT Club, Law Enforcement Club, Medical Assistants Club, Natural Resources Club, PN Nursing Club, Psychology Club, Robotics Club, Science Club, Spanish Club, Veterans Club and Welding Club.



  • Bookstore
  • Career Services
  • Child Care Resources
  • Computer Commons
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Services
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism Center
  • Financial Aid
  • Fitness Center
  • Food Service/Dining Services
  • Health Services
  • International Student Services
  • Learning Commons
  • Library
  • Scholarship Foundation
  • Security
  • Star Alert
  • Student Advising
  • Student Employment Services
  • TRIO Student Support Services
  • Transfer Assistance
  • Veterans Services
  • Campus Visit was made
Student government
  • Student Senate
Theater, dance, music
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College
501 W. College Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401
Toll-Free: (800) 933-0346
Local: (218) 855-8037
TTY: (218) 855-8224