MnSCU: Metropolitan State can’t handle demand for degrees all by itself

Can't handle it all by itself. (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)
We're unanimous (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)

The state-run colleges and universities system says it needs to dramatically expand the number of four-year degrees it produces in the Twin Cities metro area, according to a report released at this week's meeting of MnSCU trustees.

St. Paul-based Metropolitan State University is the only MnSCU university in the Twin Cities. It has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students -- many of them older, and many of whom study part time.

MnSCU Vice Chancellor John O'Brien says the demand for bachelor's degrees is greater than the school can handle.

He told me:

"Metropolitan State University is thriving, it's serving more students than ever, it's growing, but it's not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a large number of students in the metro area."

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O'Brien says the campus hasn't been able to expand -- especially with the lack of bonding money -- and public transportation is inadequate.

A draft report proposes a system of metro-area academic centers where MnSCU students could earn bachelor's degrees. It says success is crucial to meeting future workforce needs.

I hope to have more on the report in coming days, but the draft is below: