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Tuning in Minnesota . Leslie Mercer Associate Vice Chancellor Minnesota State Colleges & Universities SHEEO Conference, August 2009. MN State Colleges & Universities. 30 community and technical colleges 7 state universities 240,000 students (headcount) 2 faculty unions

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Tuning in minnesota

Tuning in Minnesota

Leslie Mercer

Associate Vice Chancellor

Minnesota State Colleges & Universities

SHEEO Conference, August 2009


Mn state colleges universities
MN State Colleges & Universities

  • 30 community and technical colleges

  • 7 state universities

  • 240,000 students (headcount)

  • 2 faculty unions

  • MN Transfer Curriculum [MnTC]

  • Articulation agreements for all else

  • Pilot includes non-MnSCU institutions as well


Why interested in tuning
Why interested in Tuning?

  • MnTC is outcomes based but limited to lower division general education- wanted to expand into the disciplines

  • Wanted to get 2 and 4 year faculty talking

  • Tuning is faculty driven

  • Looking for greater ease of transfer for students

  • Board of Trustees interest in greater seamlessness and commonality in curriculum


Disciplines selected
Disciplines selected

  • Biology

    • Wanted one to be in STEM –

    • Had developed relationships - MN State Moorhead, North Hennepin Community College and U of MN [and also included one private college – Carleton]

    • High transfer in field

  • Graphic design

    • More “applied”

    • Use portfolios for student assessment

    • Range of schools- Alexandria Tech, South Central Comm College , Bemidji SU and U of Minnesota [private colleges dropped out]

    • Few transfers from colleges to universities


Early learnings
Early Learnings

  • Faculty LOVE time to work with peers on two “passions” – their discipline and student learning

  • 8 month pilot is likely to only scratch surface of all the facets developed and refined over ten years in Europe (and elsewhere)

  • Unions are very suspicious of hidden motives of admin.

  • Parts of European model may need some adaptation

    • Associate degrees

    • Surveys

    • Student involvement


What one faculty said
What one faculty said

  • Thank you for your part in bringing [our faculty] into the tuning process. We are looking forward to…other schools about the things that really matter – our students…

  • It took me a while to “get the picture” at the conference [and] I expressed my dissatisfaction with communication and the initial process [but most of it] was exceptional…

  • [Our team] gave an enthusiastic report to our VP and Dean of Academic Instruction today. They are excited for us, our students, our program & our college.


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