Posted: August 19, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Calling all students. If you are thinking about going to college this fall, do not delay.

The 36 schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system are starting school this year earlier than they ever have before. Next Monday, August 24, before the corn dogs even go on sale at the Minnesota State Fair, some 145,000 students will hit the campuses ready to start their school year.

This early start date comes as a result of dividing the school year into two semesters rather than three quarters.

It's a big change, but a positive one," said Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. "It puts our 36 colleges and universities in synch with higher education institutions in the rest of the country, more than 80 percent of which are on a semester system." The University of Minnesota will switch to semesters next year.

In preparation for the change, every course on every campus has been modified to accommodate the longer semester length. Students will have more time to spend on each course since they will last for a semester rather than a quarter. Students will take final exams and register for classes only twice a year instead of three times.

With the early start, the first semester will end before the December holiday and the second semester will begin Jan. 11. The second semester will end in May, earlier than usual, so that students can get a jump-start on their summer job search.

In addition to the early back-to-school date, there are a host of other new happenings at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities this fall, Anderson said. Six colleges and universities have new presidents, St. Cloud State will be breaking ground for a new library, almost every campus is offering new programs and many schools are welcoming students to new or remodeled classrooms. Century College in White Bear Lake is offering Weekend College for the first time, Mankato State is planning a groundbreaking for the new Taylor Center athletic arena and Lake Superior College is offering 10 courses on the Internet.

Also new this year is a student recruitment campaign with the theme, "Go Places." High school counselors in Minnesota and surrounding states have been mailed copies of a colorful free guide to all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The guides are for distribution to high school students and others who want information about state colleges and universities, and can be obtained by calling the toll-free number 1-888-MNSCU-4-U.
Chancellor Anderson today greeted faculty at Minneapolis Community & Technical College as they returned to campus to begin preparing for the start of school. He also offered congratulations to Phillip Davis, the interim president of Minneapolis Community & Technical College, who was appointed permanent president of the college by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees in July. Minneapolis Community and Technical College serves about 6,000 students, with a full-time enrollment of 4,291.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is the largest provider of higher education in the state of Minnesota. The system includes 36 state universities, community colleges, technical colleges and comprehensive community and technical colleges in 46 communities around Minnesota and a campus in Japan. The system serves approximately 145,000 students.