• Member-benefits.jpg
  • A New Era of Education Part 2: Minnesota - December Eggs & Issues Recap

  • A New Era of Education Part 2: Minnesota - December Eggs & Issues Recap

    A New Era of Education Part 2: Minnesota - December Eggs & Issues Recap

    December Eggs & Issues Event Recording

    December 12, The Chamber’s Eggs and Issues series gathered the presidents of three local universities: Dr. Colin Irvine of Concordia College, Dr. Carrie Brimhall of Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) and Dr. Tim Downs of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) for a crucial conversation about the future of higher education in Minnesota. With Dr. Irvine and Dr. Downs recently joining the FMWF community and their respective universities, this was the first time The Chamber convened these three leaders for a joint conversation with Chamber members, offering Chamber members a unique opportunity to engage with these distinguished leaders.

    Katherine Grindberg, Chamber Executive Vice President, moderated the discussion about challenges and opportunities that these institutions face. This included discussing the newly emerged North Star Promise, enrollment challenges and strategies, collaboration opportunities and more. Looking at each institution, each president shared their institutions goals for this next year, with a common goal of growth and opportunity for students and the region.

    The diverse experiences and perspectives of each president set the stage for a dynamic conversation, with Tri-college collaboration emerging as a key theme. It was prominent that the presidents all believe in the efficiency of a collaboration between the local institutions in order to better serve students and the business community. While it was announced in early December 2023 that Tri-College University will be ending, the collaboration across institutions and the opportunities for students to access academic courses at partnering local institutions will remain.

    Diving into enrollment challenges, Dr. Irvine addressed the value of a four-year degree and how institutions need to have programs that meet the needs of our workforce. He emphasized that workforce readiness and engagement with business leaders is vital, stressing the importance of aligning curricula with industry needs, while Dr. Downs emphasized the role of faculty in understanding and responding to industry requirements.

    Strategies to address the challenges took center stage as Dr. Downs highlighted the importance of community engagement in retaining students and Dr. Brimhall underscored the flexibility of their institution to accommodate students' work schedules.

    The event provided valuable insight into Minnesota’s newly emerged North Star Promise, which offers free tuition for families with an adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less, as a significant initiative that could also aid enrollment challenges. Dr. Brimhall and Dr. Downs discussed its potential to close educational gaps and reduce financial stress for students, along with emphasis from Dr. Irvine on the importance of spreading awareness about the program's fundamental impact and noted that it does not apply to private college tuition.

    The event concluded with a lighthearted moment as each president shared a word or two to define their vision for 2024: "momentum and growth" for Dr. Irvine, "fun" for Dr. Brimhall and "positive" for Dr. Downs. Our December Eggs and Issues event highlighted the shared commitment of our Minnesota higher education institutions for community engagement, innovation and education that these leaders bring to the table.

    Understanding the Tri-College University partnership: Historic Tri-College University partnership to dissolve at end of 2024 - InForum
    What is the North Star Promise? North Star Promise Scholarship Program - M State

    Leave a Comment
    * Required field