MnSCU to phase in commom semester start dates beginning in 2007

Posted: June 21, 2006

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

All 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will start their semesters on the same day, under a new policy adopted Wednesday by the Board of Trustees. The uniform start date will be phased in over two years. In fall 2007, most of the system institutions will start their fall semesters Monday, Aug. 27. By fall 2008, all the system's colleges and universities will start their fall semesters Monday, Aug. 25. Spring semesters also will have a common start date.

"This change will provide a great deal of convenience and ease for students," said Chancellor James H. McCormick, who recommended the new policy. "As part of an ongoing effort to better meet students' needs, we want to remove any barriers we can that stand in the way of their academic success."

Currently, semester start dates vary among the colleges and universities, which means students often encounter obstacles if they transfer during the academic year or take courses from more than one system institution at the same time. In 2005-2006, more than 11,000 students took courses from two or more system institutions in the same academic year.

Spurring the need for this shift is the growing number of students taking courses through Minnesota Online (www.minnesotaonline.org), the system's gateway for more than 1,850 online courses and 157 online degree, diploma or certificate programs. Overall, more than 41,000 students took courses through Minnesota Online in the last academic year.

The common start date also aligns deadlines for registration, financial aid, dropping and adding courses and other business processes at all system institutions.

Here is a list of institutions and their scheduled semester start dates.

The following institutions will observe the common start date beginning in 2007.

2007-2008: Fall - Monday, Aug. 27, 2007; Spring - Monday, Jan. 14, 2008

  • Alexandria Technical College
  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Cambridge and Coon Rapids
  • Anoka Technical College
  • Central Lakes College, Staples and Brainerd
  • Century College, White Bear Lake
  • Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, Cloquet
  • Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie
  • Inver Hills Community College, Inver Hills
  • Lake Superior College, Duluth
  • Metropolitan State University, St. Paul and Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Community & Technical College
  • Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical, Red Wing and Winona
  • Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Wadena
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone and Worthington
  • Normandale Community College, Bloomington
  • North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park
  • Northeast Higher Education District
    • Hibbing Community College
    • Itasca Community College, Grand Rapids
    • Mesabi Range Community College, Eveleth and Virginia
    • Rainy River Community College, International Falls
    • Vermilion Community College, Ely
  • Northland Community & Technical College, Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks
  • Northwest Technical College, Bemidji
  • Pine Technical College, Pine City
  • Ridgewater College, Hutchinson and Willmar
  • Riverland Community College, Albert Lea and Austin
  • Rochester Community and Technical College
  • St. Cloud Technical College
  • Saint Paul College
  • South Central College, Faribault and North Mankato
  • Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall
  • Winona State University

The remaining institutions will observe the common start date beginning in 2008.

2008-2009: Fall - Monday, Aug. 25, 2008; Spring - Monday, Jan. 12, 2009

  • Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount
  • Bemidji State University
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • St. Cloud State University