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University Centers opening in Wadena, Fergus Falls

With the opening of two new University Centers in January, it now will be possible for students to complete four-year bachelor's degrees on the Minnesota State Community and Technical College campuses in Wadena and Fergus Falls.

The UCenters are the result of a collaboration between M State and two partner universities, Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Cloud State University. MSUM is partnering with M State's Fergus Falls campus, and SCSU is partnering with the Wadena campus.

Community members and prospective students are invited to attend UCenter informational meetings on Friday, Dec. 7, in Fergus Falls and Monday, Dec. 10, in Wadena. M State President Carrie Brimhall will be speaking at both meetings, accompanied by MSUM President Anne Blackhurst in Fergus Falls and SCSU President Robbyn Wacker in Wadena.

Meetings both days will be from 10 a.m. to noon, in Legacy Hall in Fergus Falls and adjacent to the newly renovated library in Wadena.

"I've heard time and again that students are so comfortable at M State or cannot commute to a university," said Dr. Matt Borcherding, M State's dean of liberal arts and sciences. "Now we can accommodate those students and offer them a bachelor's degree option closer to home."

Students at the UCenter in Fergus Falls will be able to earn online bachelor's degrees from MSUM in one of three majors: RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science Nursing), Project Management and Business. Students at the UCenter in Wadena will be able to earn SCSU bachelor's degrees in RN to BSN and Individualized Studies (Bachelor of Elective Studies).

While those degrees already can be completed online through MSUM or SCSU, students who enroll through M State can do their coursework on campus in Fergus Falls or Wadena using M State technology and internet connections. Each of the four-year campuses also will provide support services by staffing the UCenter at their M State partner campus with admission, advising and academic representatives on a scheduled basis.

The UCenters are being created under the umbrella of the Central Minnesota Baccalaureate Initiative. M State, MSUM and SCSU are all part of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities, which includes 30 two-year colleges and seven universities.

"We're starting small with four full online completion programs, but I'm confident that in the future we will be able to have MSUM or SCSU courses taught on campus or by using our telepresence technology," Borcherding said.