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In This Issue
|New Business Start-Ups||13||25||192%|
|Estimated Jobs Created||385||523||136%|
|Raising Investment Capital||$7,500,000||$13,300,000||177%|
The SBDC’s ability to partner has proved worthwhile in the academic colleges as partnering with the College of Extended Learning provided 68 seminars/workshops and 23 Legal Clinics for Entrepreneurs. Nolan’s work has allowed MBA students access to consulting opportunities (two of his consultants are Minnesota State, Mankato MBA students). Additionally, undergraduates at Minnesota State, Mankato have access to one-on-one consulting on business plans and research projects. The addition of this center on campus has truly provided the range of opportunities students and the surrounding business community both seek and need. Recently, the SBDC launched a new website which can be found at www.myminnesotabusiness.com. Small Business - BIG Ideas…Real World Thinking.
As the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ann Goebel oversees the outreach arm of the division. The past few months have been spent, as Ann describes, “visiting communities in southern Minnesota, listening, and creating responses the Minnesota State University, Mankato can provide.” The sweep has stopped at the communities of Fairmont, Albert Lea, Owatonna, New Prague and will be visiting Faribault soon. Blue Earth, Frost, Edgerton, Waseca and New Ulm have also shown interest and Strategic Partnerships is looking to expand with more partners in those communities.
The focus of the Southern Sweep, the Wheelhouse, hits a variety of mediums: internship & co-op opportunities, applied projects, diversity opportunities, online options, degree completion, and developing more articulation with our two-year partners, to name a few. “Not everything happens under the roof at Mankato and Edina,” says Goebel. She says the goal of this project is “to be recognized as more of a community asset in our southern Minnesota region for the purpose of economic growth.” Students of Minnesota State, Mankato see these opportunities as a means to strengthen the transition from college to the working economy. The key outcome is to find the best way to build a consistent relationship with each community on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The goal of the division reorganization is to grow enrollment by reaching new audiences. As Dr. Hoffman says, we need to "skate to where the puck is going." Minnesota State University, Mankato truly is preparing to be the partner of choice for southern Minnesota. And the reorganization allows the division to move quicker to connect the tremendous value embedded in the University to the changing needs of tomorrow’s economy. The value comes in a myriad of forms, although technology, faculty research, information exchange with interdisciplinary depth, entrepreneurial opportunities, new jobs, and talent development top the list.
With the College of Extended Learning, the University can continue to increase the focus on the professional development of a skilled workforce, including both the continued development of the incumbent workforce and the increased development of our traditional learners. Additionally, both the certificate driven programs and the not-for-credit programs will be grouped independently to allow further flexibility and a greater intensity within the division. Quality Matters, an initiative to design a rubric for online courses, is also included with Strategic Partnerships, reinforcing the emphasis on creating an environment of excellence for distance and online learners.
Dr. Hoffman's team has established a set of guiding principles which position the division to be agile, competitive, adaptive, and responsive allowing the University to educate—both creating and disseminating knowledge. We are excited to see where the puck goes next—because Minnesota State University, Mankato will be there.
Business, Education and Regional Partnerships
Minnesota State University, Mankato
329 Wigley Administration Center
Mankato, MN 56001