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College and prom combined into one expo at DL Community College March 6

DETROIT LAKES -- It's time to start thinking about prom and time to start thinking about college. Why not combine the two into one expo?

That's just what students and faculty at Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Detroit Lakes, are doing. For the first time, the administrative management technology program's event management class is hosting a prom expo and campus visit on Thursday, March 6.

Instructor Marcus Lacher said organizing the event gives students an "authentic learning opportunity," and the program is "killing two birds with one stone" by giving the students the hands-on experience of planning and getting high schoolers to the campus.

MSCTC students have been learning to use various talents to plan the event. There have been opportunities -- from designing the business cards and posters to advertising for the event, getting vendors to showcase their business to asking for businesses to participate in a coupon book with specials at their businesses.

"Many don't want to have a booth (at the event)," Lacher said of the businesses, "but they would want a coupon."

Vendors and those invited to the event come from all over the area, too.

"This is a regional type of event, not just Detroit Lakes," he said. Participants are coming from or have been contacted from as far as Ulen-Hitterdal to Wadena.

"I have no idea what the turnout is going to be," he said. "You can learn a lot at the end."

In another learning experience, students are setting up a consignment service to sell used prom dresses at the event.

Behind all the planning is core curriculum for the management program.

"They've learned theories and now are trying to apply it," Lacher said.

Combining the prom aspect with bringing students to campus is simply a way to provide entertainment or come up with an interesting way to showcase the campus, he added.

"It's something different that hasn't been offered in this area," he said of the combination event.

But just because it's about prom doesn't mean the guys are discouraged from showing up.

"I have a feeling that there will be a lot of males drug along with significant others, if you will," he said.

The event is free to attend and there will be door prizes as well.

At 2 p.m., there will be a question and answer period where visitors can ask campus students, staff and faculty about the college. From 3 to 7 p.m., the prom expo will feature the vendors and gowns available, and beginning at 1, there will be hourly tours of the campus.

For more information or to be a vendor, contact Lacher at or 846-3761.