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Governor Pawlenty visits campus to announce on-line education initiative

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Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty visited the Bemidji State University campus on Thursday, Nov. 20, to announce a goal to have 25 percent of all credits generated by the member institutions of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to come from on-line course offerings by 2015.

Last year, 9.2 percent of all registered credits at MnSCU colleges and universities were through on-line sources. Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are both above the state average, with BSU generating approximately 13 percent of its registered credits through on-line courses and Northwest Tech leading the system by generating approximately 27 percent of its credits on-line.

“We live in an iPod world but much of our education system is dominated by whiteboards and lecture halls,” Governor Pawlenty said. “We have students with different learning styles, different backgrounds and different capabilities, and exploding interest in on-line opportunities and services. We need to modernize the way college courses are delivered and put Minnesota on the cutting edge of on-line education.”

“There is a growing demand for on-line learning opportunities,” MnSCU Board Chair David Olson said. “Our board is committed to making this goal a reality in the MnSCU system.”

MnSCU comprises 32 state-supported technical colleges, community colleges and state universities across the state of Minnesota.

The complete news release from the Office of the Governor, which includes more information on the initiative and detailed several other programs intended to make Minnesota a leader and innovator in on-line learning, is available at the following:

• MnSCU:
• Office of the Governor:

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.