Posted: December 16, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

An unprecedented plan to enhance cooperation among Minnesota State Colleges and Universities located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area was approved today by a committee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The full board is expected to approve the plan on Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Regional Plan establishes an alliance of institutions that aims to coordinate services to students, employers and community groups. Together, the 11 alliance members serve more than 50,000 students. The members are Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Inver Hills Community College, Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College and St. Paul Technical College.

"The Metro Plan demonstrates an unprecedented willingness on the part of our institutions to cooperate with each other to serve students," said Chancellor Morris J. Anderson. "It is the first time that these institutions have entered into such a formal agreement and planning process."

Developed by the presidents of the 11 institutions, the historic plan has students as its main focus. It aims to reach out to students who traditionally are not well served by higher education; to better coordinate services for students already attending MnSCU institutions in the Twin Cities; to eliminate unnecessary duplication of services; to strengthen the state colleges and universities in the metropolitan area, and to meet the growing demand for educating and upgrading the skills of the workforce.

The 11 institutions will work together to determine what programs should exist at all institutions, and what programs should be concentrated at specific institutions. They will work together to strengthen joint marketing and customized training partnerships, to improve the ability of students to transfer easily between institutions and to coordinate their academic planning. The alliance will mean stronger student services, more relevant and up-to-date curriculum, more flexible schedules and course offerings, and an even greater commitment to student success.

"Our institutions have a great opportunity to serve two emerging markets * the under-served/under-prepared students and the existing workforce," said Chancellor Anderson. "This plan will let us reach out to them and do a better job."

Because Minnesota employers have identified the lack of information technology workers as a major concern, the 11 metro MnSCU institutions also will be addressing how to work together to turn out more graduates with technology skills. The alliance members will convene a task force to investigate the needs of students who traditionally have not attended higher education.

MnSCU has held five public hearings on the metro plan, and the 11 presidents have met regularly for the past nine months.