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Enrollment increase, program demand spurs Edina expansion
7700 France site
Increased program demand means bigger, better Edina site.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [9/2/2011]
A dramatic enrollment increase and demand for more programs from Twin Cities adult learners has prompted the doubling of classroom space at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Twin Cities satellite in Edina.
Renovations to the third floor of the 7700 France building will increase Minnesota State Mankato’s presence in the building to 27,000 square feet, from the current 12,271. The renovation includes nine new classrooms that are expected to be ready for occupancy by October.
Minnesota State Mankato’s Edina expansion is driven by increased enrollment in a number of programs, including the MBA, master of public administration, family nurse practitioner, doctorate in educational leadership and teacher education.
Demand for master’s-degree completion courses at the university’s Edina location has nearly tripled in the last two years. Master’s-degree candidates are taking 4,033 credit-hours of classes, compared with 1,382 credit-hours in 2009. The number of students enrolled in master’s courses has nearly doubled, at 539, compared with 282 in 2009.
Undergraduate credit-hours also have more than doubled, from 711 in 2009 to 1,683 today. Demand for continuing education and certificate programs has increased, too.
The increase is the result of a national trend: “More non-traditional adult learners are returning to school,” said Becky Copper-Glenz, dean of Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Extended Learning, which oversees the Edina site. “More people are seeking education to meet changing workforce needs. And after they earn a degree, they continue to look for lifelong learning opportunities.”
The Minnesota Department of Higher Education says that by 2018, 69 percent of Minnesotans will need at least a bachelor’s degree to gain employment.
The Edina expansion is intended to accommodate that need for more education. When the expansion is finished, Minnesota State Mankato officials expect Edina enrollment to double.
Not only will the expansion increase classroom space, it will improve learning for students.
One new learning feature that’s getting rave reviews is a state-of-the-art virtual classroom with multiple big-screen, high-definition monitors and cameras. Similar classrooms with the same high-tech equipment were installed this summer on the Mankato campus.
The new facilities let students in Edina fully participate in classes taught in Mankato.
“It’s almost as though you’re in the room with the professor and the other students,” said one student. Images on the high-def screens are larger than life – almost three-dimensional. And the sound is crisp and clear.
Students at the Edina site also have virtual access to the campus financial aid and career development offices and other services.
Minnesota State Mankato’s Edina site offers degree-completion courses, master’s-degree programs, professional licensure and certification, and continuing education. Students take classes at their own pace, and can “test-drive” undergraduate and graduate courses if they’re uncertain.
More information about Minnesota State Mankato’s Edina continuing education site is at http://www.mnsu.edu/7700france/.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.