by Shirley Fenlason

Tuesday there was exciting news on the higher education front! President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative which will invest 12 billion dollars in community colleges over the next decade. This initiative reflects the importance of community colleges in growing a globally competitive workforce through Associate’s degrees, short-term training, certificates, and other training options. The President noted “that in the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate’s degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience. We will not fill those jobs – keep those jobs on our shores – without the training offered by community colleges.”


So what does all this mean to Minnesotans?


There are 25 community colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. According to their spokesperson, Linda Kohl, “Under Obama’s 10-year initiative, schools could qualify for “challenge grants” so they’ll have money to try new programs, or expand training and counseling.” And Minnesota’s community colleges will be prepared to apply for these grants as soon as applications are available.


I encourage you to check out Minnesota State Colleges and Universities community colleges. You can access a map and see the locations with links to each campus and see what they have to offer. You can also use the Education Search Tools on to find Minnesota colleges, programs and courses. There are many options for finding education that meets your needs such as searching for colleges by location, fields of study offered and tuition level.


Have fun exploring!