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Charting the Future

By Dylan Rouse

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The power of higher education has more significance today than ever before. The future looks bright for those who are on track to graduate, but our state colleges and universities are facing a defining moment in the future of all Minnesota residents and students alike. Charting the Future is a roadmap for how Minnesota State Colleges and Universities can better work together for a prosperous Minnesota.

According to the MnSCU website, Charting the Future is a document drafted from recommendations and input from over 5,000 students, staff and faculty members. These recommendations will be translated into action plans by eight implementation teams. BSU has members of its faculty on the implementation teams representing the campus.

The main goal of this strategic effort is to improve the way that Minnesota campuses in MnSCU work together in order to provide and ensure all Minnesotans access to a high-quality education. Each of the implementation teams is responsible for outlining and prioritizing what work needs to be done in order to achieve this goal.

As claimed bythe MnSCU website almost three-fourths of all careers in Minnesota will require some postsecondary education by the year 2020, however, the system is not on track to meet the demand. According to MnSCU it’s not about how hard campuses are working, but about how they are not always working together.

According to MnSCU, transferring is one thing that the system struggles with. Students transfer for a variety of reasons, and often times their hard-earned credits do not transfer with them. If campuses worked together on improving the ability for seamless transfer across colleges and universities they could save a lot of time and money.ctf-facebook-image

MnSCU also states that campus recruiting and marketing campaigns are another example of how campuses can start working together. Often times their efforts are focused on stealing students from each other, rather than recruiting other potential students. Universities are encouraged to use their limited resources more wisely and partner together to increase the number of students on all campuses, not just their own.

Jenna Long, co-president of the Student Senate at BSU, says that she would like there to be more transparency in this process. Long also sits on the board of directors for the Minnesota State University Student Association and expressed her concern over the lack of student representation and input for the Charting the Future implementation teams. There are only two student representatives on each team, one from each of the college and university student associations.

It is the students who will ultimately be affected by the changes outlined in this document. Students should be able to have access to this information and have more input on the process, because not only is the future of the MnSCU system at stake, but student’s as well.

In order to encourage campus conversations among students, faculty, staff and community members there will be a Gallery Walk on November 7th in the Crying Wolf room from 10am-1pm. The purpose of this Gallery Walk is to share initial concepts and ideas of the implementation teams as well as providing the opportunity for students to let them know what they think.

For more information feel free to go and talk to the Student Senate or visit the Charting the Future website at www.chartingthefuturemnscu.com.