MSUM targets Twins Cities community colleges

By Amy Dalyrmple, The Forum

Local university offers four bachelor’s degree programs at schools in the population center.

An explosion in community college enrollment in the Twin Cities promises to bolster numbers for Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Jessica Endres, one of three MSUM Admissions counselors in the Twin Cities, said MSUM’s growing presence in the population center is bringing attention to Moorhead.

MSUM offers four bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges in the Twin Cities that are gaining in popularity.

At the same time, MSUM is doing more to recruit graduates of the Twin Cities’ two-year colleges, which have been reporting enrollment jumps of 10 percent or higher.

“In two years, that is going to turn into higher transfer numbers for us and higher enrollment numbers,” said Endres, who coordinates MSUM’s Twin Cities programs and recruits transfer students.

MSUM has partnerships with North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park to offer four-year degrees in biochemistry and biotechnology, operations management and construction management.

This spring, five of those students will graduate with four-year degrees from MSUM, and more are set to graduate next fall, Endres said.

MSUM also offers a special education degree at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge and at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Students like the MSUM programs because they can take the classes at the community college campus and have smaller class sizes, Endres said. Tuition is also less expensive than at the University of Minnesota, she said.

“It’s a lot less intimidating for some people,” Endres said. “It’s not this huge campus that they’re worried bout getting lost in.”

For 38-year-old Jeff Collison of Crystal, Minn., MSUM’s operations management program offered at North Hennepin was a perfect fit.

Collison, a maintenance technician for Brookdale Plastics in Minneapolis, has a two-year degree in electromechanical technology. He wanted to pursue more education so he can advance his career in management.

Collison, who will graduate this spring as part of the program’s first graduating class, said he appreciated having the opportunity to earn the degree through night classes that fit his schedule.

Pam McGee, an MSUM assistant professor and program coordinator for operations management, said enrollment in the program has doubled now that it is offered in the Twin Cities, as well as online.

Because the program is becoming more established, McGee said the level of interest is “almost overwhelming.”

“The opportunity in my eyes is unlimited,” McGee said.

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