Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:25 AM
COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND STATE UNIVERSITY COLLABORATE TO MEET DEMAND FOR BIOSCIENCE UNDERGRADUATES: A MODEL FOR GEOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE EDUCATION FROM THE BIOSCIENCES
A public two-year college, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC), and a four-year state university, Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), have collaborated to provide students with a pathway to a four-year MSUM Biotechnology/Biochemistry degree on the NHCC campus. NHCC is in the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which has the state's largest, most diverse, and most rapidly increasing population. Moorhead is located 225 miles to the northwest across the Red River from Fargo, ND. Although the Moorhead/Fargo region is vibrant, and MSUM has a national reputation for undergraduate research in the biosciences, location and demographics limit the growth potential in the biosciences at MSUM. The Twin Cites area has seen rapid job growth in all areas of the biosciences; however, the opportunities for students to earn a four-year degree in biosciences have not increased commensurately. The University of Minnesota is the only public institution in the Twin Cities with a biology department. The University of Minnesota and the many private institutions in the metro area have become increasingly selective in their admissions, increasingly expensive, and/or discourage part-time attendance. Student surveys at NHCC indicate a strong desire to earn a four-year degree and enter the bioscience industry. However, the student population at NHCC tends to be place-bound, must attend classes part-time, and has limited financial resources. Therefore, these individuals are effectively denied the opportunity to earn a four-year degree in biosciences. We will discuss how we combined the strengths of our institutions to get this collaborative degree started despite long distances and the opportunities and challenges that have arisen throughout this collaborative process.