Online Degree Programs in Minnesota

There are nearly 200 public and private institutions of higher education in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the largest institution in terms of enrollment in the state, and one of the largest public research universities in the country. It is one of the state’s premier campuses, ranking No. 68 on U.S. News & World Report‘s list of the top universities in the nation. It is one of five campuses in the University of Minnesota system, joining locations in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester. The Crookston campus is one of the best schools in the Midwest, according to U.S. News, listed in the top 50 among Midwestern colleges in the publication’s 2013 rankings.

In addition to the University of Minnesota, the state’s public offerings also include the 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. This breaks down into 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities found across 54 campuses. Among private institutions, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul is the largest. It is ranked No. 113 among national universities by U.S. News.

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is the major state agency overseeing the state’s higher education. It provides students with financial aid programs, including need-based grants, state scholarship programs, tuition reciprocity programs, a student loan program, and Minnesota’s 529 College Savings plan, and information to help them access postsecondary education through early college awareness programs and initiatives. It also serves as the state’s clearinghouse for data, research, and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance, and trends. Major agency initiatives include reducing textbook costs; conducting a study on teacher education in the state; aligning degrees with what’s needed in the workplace; developing a P-20 student data system for Minnesota to provide educators and policymakers with more comprehensive data about student experiences and performance; and facilitating in the electronic transfer of high school transcripts to colleges and universities throughout the state and nationwide.

Minnesota Distance Learning Initiatives

Distance Minnesota is a major resource for students considering online degree programs in Minnesota at the associate degree level. Through this online database, they can select from hundreds of online courses offered each term by Alexandria Technical and Community College, Northland Community and Technical College and Northwest Technical College, working towards a career or transfer degree through these online degree programs. Once they’ve completed their degree, they have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree through online degree completion programs with Bemidji State University. Distance Minnesota also provides students with advice from online advisors.

Minnesota Adult Basic Education provides another option for distance education in the state. As the name suggests, it provides adult learners with the opportunity for learning outside the classroom. This may include CD ROMS, take-home packages, and other online resources, though classes are usually a blended model and include both online and in-class instruction. Through distance learning, Minnesota ABE looks to increase access to its services, reach underserved populations, help adult learners prepare for lifelong learning, and help college-bound adults prepare for online learning environments, such as online bachelors degree programs.

Additionally, there are more than 90 schools with online degree programs in Minnesota, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This includes schools that offer fully online college degree programs, as well as single courses. All five schools in the University of Minnesota system offer the opportunity to earn courses online, as do many in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.