Posted: November 20, 1996

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) will develop a plan by February 15, 1997, to address the educational needs of the Twin Cities area, Chancellor Judith Eaton said today.

The plan also will focus on Metropolitan State University's need for a permanent campus in the Minneapolis area.

Eaton said she has met with President Susan Cole of Metro State and President Diann Schindler of Minneapolis Community and Technical College over the past several months to explore options for MnSCU institutions in the Twin Cities area.

She noted that the 1996 Minnesota Legislature required MnSCU to develop a plan for the Twin Cities area and present a report by February 1997.

One of the most promising options is to establish an open admission university, Eaton said. This would be a new MnSCU institution created by bringing together Metro State and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The new university would utilize the MCTC site in downtown Minneapolis and Metro State's campus in St. Paul.

The university would be open admission at the lower division (freshman and sophomore) level. That means students would need a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or be able demonstrate potential for being a successful college student. The university would retain current state university admission requirements at the upper division (junior and senior) level.

"The number of high school graduates in the Twin Cities is projected to increase dramatically over the next several years," Eaton said. "At the same time, more working adults will be returning to college. We must be ready to provide high quality educational opportunities for both groups of students."

The open admission university would provide access to high quality two-year technical and career-focused programs, four-year baccalaureate degrees and professional master's degree programs.

Eaton said she has discussed the option of an open admission university with the presidents of metro-area MnSCU colleges and universities.

"They have encouraged us to further explore this concept," Eaton said.

She said detailed planning now will get under way involving Metro State and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Chancellor Eaton will present recommendations to the MnSCU Board of Trustees before a plan is submitted to the Legislature.

Metro State, which serves about 5,245 students this fall, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College, with an enrollment of 5,777 students, are both member institutions of MnSCU. The system serves approximately 145,000 students at 53 campuses around the state, plus the Akita campus in Japan.