Posted: December 27, 2007

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will receive nearly $4 million in federal funds, including $1.1 million for veterans re-entry education, under an appropriations bill signed into law Wednesday by President Bush.

The veterans re-entry project will provide specifically designed career and education services to military veterans, National Guard members and reservists, as well as enhancing veterans' employment success upon returning to their communities.

In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will coordinate services for online and "land-based" career exploration, training and education of Minnesotans returning from active duty.

The spending bill also provides another $2.8 million in federal funds for nursing education, renewable energy, engineering technology and child protection programs at eight Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"Minnesotans stand to benefit greatly from these grants," said Chancellor James H. McCormick. "And all of them support the Board of Trustees strategic plan to increase access to higher education, promote the state's economic vitality and develop innovative educational programs." Here is more information about the grants.

Winona State University's Minnesota National Child Protection Training Center will receive $1.2 million to create model undergraduate and graduate curricula and train front-line child protection professionals. The center also will teach investigators and prosecutors the science of interviewing children victimized by abuse. In its first year, the center has trained about 8,000 investigators and prosecutors in 18 states and provided technical assistance for more than 300 child protection cases around the country.

Bemidji State University will receive $584,000 in two grants. One grant of $243,000 will be used to increase the number of baccalaureate-trained nurses entering the workforce in northwestern Minnesota and surrounding areas. The grant will pay for curriculum materials and equipment for skills laboratories. The other $341,000 will help northern Minnesota companies remain competitive by preparing engineering technology graduates for technical manufacturing processes.

Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Granite Falls, will receive $500,000 for the Minnesota Center for Renewable Energy to work with regional, state and national business and industry on applied research projects to increase energy diversity and national security. Located in an area rich with wind energy and agriculture, the center will work to strengthen the agricultural, manufacturing and market sectors in renewable energy production.

Metropolitan State University, in collaboration with Century College, Inver Hills Community College and Saint Paul College, will receive $487,000 to increase the number of nurses holding bachelor's degrees in the Twin Cities area, particularly through recruitment of students among minority populations and whose parents did not attend college, and to increase the number of nursing faculty through an applied doctorate in nursing.