Rochester expansion valuable to Minnesota

Students are seeing changes all over campus that are intended to provide a more effective education. A little farther from home, the University has plans to strengthen continuing education programs. The University Rochester Center has positioned itself to become the newest University campus. This alliance will strengthen the University and the Rochester community by maintaining and expanding the existing programs.
The University Rochester Center has been an important educational tool to the Rochester community since 1993. In 1998, the center had an enrollment of 8,000 students registered through three different institutions: the University, Winona State University and Rochester Community and Technical College. The degrees offered range from one-year programs to doctorates, primarily in technical and medical fields.
The University’s proposed Rochester campus would look to the University as a decision-maker, planner, coordinator and manager for new upper-division and graduate programs.
Rochester, the 5th largest city in Minnesota, is seeing a large influx of businesses. Institutions such as IBM and the Mayo Clinic will create an estimated 40,000 jobs in the next 20 years. The proposed Rochester campus will meet the needs of the growing Rochester community for highly educated workers.
The environment in Rochester allows for a high level of interaction between industry and education. Students will be able to take advantage of local internships and on-the-job training, while industry employees will be able to further their own educations. Moreover, with ties to Rochester Community and Technical College, Winona State and the University, students at the proposed Rochester campus will find abundant educational resources.
Another advantage for students at the proposed Rochester campus will be a resident faculty. As it stands, the University Rochester Center relies heavily on distance teaching methods such as television and the Internet. While the proposed campus will continue to use these teaching methods, the resident faculty will provide more of an academic network in the community. The majority of the staff will be new hires, not transplants from the University, Rochester Community and Technical College or Winona State, ensuring that the quality of teachers at the University will not be affected by the expansion.
The proposed Rochester campus will fill a hole in the state’s higher education structure. But not only Rochester will benefit from the changes. By producing high-caliber graduates, the new campus will enhance the image of the University as a whole and help maintain Minnesota’s reputation as a state with exceptional workers ready to serve any company located within its borders.
The careful planning and consideration by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University’s Rochester Center and the University demonstrate potential for a very successful expansion project. Minnesota residents should look forward to the benefits our state will soon enjoy as a result.