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 Response Page - Rosenstone  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Steven Rosenstone Interview of
02-14-2014.
 

MnSCU working to prepare a highly skilled, competitive workforce

OVERVIEW

To successfully compete in the global economy, Minnesota must have the right number of people in the right places, prepared with the right knowledge, capabilities and skills, says Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. He contends that if the state does not have the world's best workforce, it will not be in a position to compete for the best work in the world, putting at risk Minnesota's ability both to retain businesses and industries in and attract new ones.

Rosenstone says MnSCU works hard, in partnership with the state's businesses and industries, to align its programs with the state's current workforce needs. But he says the system must work harder with its partners to get more forward-looking information and visioning, so it can prepare students for future workforce needs. He is concerned about the amount of developmental education postsecondary students who are not college-ready require. He believes K-12 schools must assess students earlier for college-readiness and intervene earlier to assure that high school graduates are college-ready.

Because of population shifts within Minnesota, Rosenstone proposes starting to reduce space at some of MnSCU's institutions, so the system can focus its resources where they are most needed. At the same time, he says, MnSCU is dedicated to continuing to provide access to students in sparsely populated parts of the state in the most efficient ways possible.

He notes that 74 percent of all jobs in Minnesota in 2020 will need postsecondary education, but only half of those jobs will require a bachelor's degree or more. He contends that everyone has a place in MnSCU's system to start on a postsecondary path and that Minnesota cannot afford to leave anyone behind.

For the complete interview summary see: Rosenstone interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (9.2 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (8.3 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Tailor community partnerships. (9.0 average response) In each community served by MnSCU's 50-plus state colleges and universities, connections between business and postsecondary education must be customized, not made to conform to one statewide approach.

4. Business participation necessary. (9.3 average response) Local businesses must participate as partners with postsecondary educators to tailor curriculum to local businesses’ needs and ensure an adequate supply of trained workers.

5. Identify future job skills needed. (9.3 average response) Moreover, businesses need to identify knowledge and skills required for new jobs to emerge in coming years, not just for today's jobs.

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary. (9.6 average response) It's essential that youth be better prepared for postsecondary education while still in the preK-12 system to reduce the need for postsecondary institutions’ providing remedial education later.

7. Broaden awareness of PSEO. (9.1 average response) Information should be shared more broadly about postsecondary options already provided in law so that more 10th-12th-grade students might take advantage of tuition-free postsecondary vocational and academic courses.

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. (8.2 average response) Due to population shifts in Minnesota, it's essential that MnSCU adjust its physical plant accordingly.

9. Provide more online courses. (7.4 average response) Since students are widely scattered across the state and often in sparsely populated areas, MnSCU should make available more high-quality online course opportunities.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

7%

27%

67%

15

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

13%

47%

40%

15

3. Tailor community partnerships.

0%

0%

0%

47%

53%

15

4. Business participation necessary.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

15

5. Identify future job skills needed.

0%

0%

0%

27%

73%

15

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary.

0%

0%

0%

27%

73%

15

7. Broaden awareness of PSEO.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

15

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant.

0%

0%

20%

33%

47%

15

9. Provide more online courses.

0%

13%

7%

47%

33%

15

Individual Responses:

Dave Broden (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (5) (7.5)

1. Topic is of value. Interview showed innovation and vision as well as leadership. Perhaps a bit more on implementation would be helpful.

2. Further study warranted. Focus on the steps toward results --what is the action plan and how [is it] measured.

3. Tailor community partnerships. A strength recognized by MnSCU is the regional nature of the various colleges and Votech. Matching the academic programs to the activities in the area today and in the future is a key strength and something that must continue to grow and evolve. True collaboration and sharing is critical to success.

4. Business participation necessary. See #3 above

5. Identify future job skills needed. A vision of the changing and evolving economy must be established and continuously updated. The vision must come from not only existing businesses but from visionaries in all areas that can capture the change and convert the vision to specific needs. I have a rough plan evolving which may help.

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary. The vision of opportunities and the economy and jobs of the future must reach down to all levels; this requires strong collaboration and communication of a path forward.

7. Broaden awareness of PSEO. Better collaboration and sharing of how various education options can provide must be more effectively shared.

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. While I strongly support cutting and reducing size where excess or [obsolescence] exists, care must be taken to not just adjust due to population changes but rather the metrics should be biased to what is needed to meet the changing economic mix of business and jobs in the area. Too often the cut decision is based on population only, not on function and need.

9. Provide more online courses. Online must grow. Many of the MnSCU programs, however, require hands on, and this must be done either in the MNSCU system or in partnership with the business and industry in the areas.

Scott Halstead (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. There seems to be a real problem in rural Minnesota with getting technical education that is geographically available. How can that be cost-effectively accomplished [to] strengthen these rural communities?

Carolyn Ring (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5)

2. Further study warranted. Minnesota continues to have a "brain drain" as southern states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona are experiencing tremendous growth in business and industry and currently do not have the local educated personnel to fulfill their needs. Therefore, there is a concerted effort to recruit Minnesota-educated personnel to those states, which do not have an income tax.

Ray Ayotte (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Anonymous (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (5) (7.5)

Don Anderson (5) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

4. Business participation necessary. The major problem is that the colleges aren't necessarily where local business doesn't have the job possibilities for the type of trained worker that the local college provides.

9. Provide more online courses. This would go a long way in answering my comments in Question 4.

Bruce A. Lundeen (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (2.5)

3. Tailor community partnerships. As long as core requirements in social sciences, humanities, and physical sciences remain for the purpose of creating a well-rounded education, "regionalizing" postsecondary education should not be a problem.

4. Business participation necessary. The problem is often that there is a disconnect between what the local business say they need and what they really need.

9. Provide more online courses. The advantage of MnSCU programs are that they are more hands-on in nature, and that training often does not lend itself well to online training.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5)

1. Topic is of value. It provides some insight, but it seemed like a rah-rah speech.

2. Further study warranted. It may be helpful to interview some graduates and some employers to see if the cooperation is really happening. Also there may be a difference between a student taking a four-year college course and a student in a tech school.

3. Tailor community partnerships. Interviewing some of the communities could confirm or deny this statement.

4. Business participation necessary. This may be more true with the tech schools than with the 4-year colleges. It would be interesting to find out.

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary. I am not sure this is happening. With nearly 50% or more students in some areas dropping out before high school graduation, is it really happening?

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. Yes.

9. Provide more online courses. It depends on the school that the student is attending. If the student needs lab work or hands on training in machining, on-line courses will not help the student. It the student is a Political Science major, on line course should be in order.

Wayne Jennings (10) (8) (9) (8) (7) (9) (10) (9) (7)

1. Topic is of value. Rosenstone's sense of urgency and using the recommendations of the Charting the Future report must not be stalled and jawboned to death by the built-in forces of status quo and privilege.

2. Further study warranted. Competency based education, transferable credits, just in time learning, customized training and partnership councils could be topics for further understanding.

3. Tailor community partnerships. The diversity of our state in all aspects must be recognized by localized programs and initiatives rather than centralized or "Captain, may I?" bureaucracies. Nonetheless, priorities and procedures must be established and enforced.

4. Business participation necessary. Businesses and other societal agencies can better suggest more appropriate and timely job attributes than education staff. This could mean shorter training periods.

5. Identify future job skills needed. Leaders in various fields need to be tapped for their acumen and guidance on emerging trends.

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary. Some of high school coursework is of little value and therefore seen by youth as irrelevant and a waste of time. Requiring algebra II of everyone is stupid when many high school students can't even handle percentages and fractions. We need P-20 programming.

7. Broaden awareness of PSEO. A provision in the current PSEO law prevents high school counselors from mentioning the fact that postsecondary options will save money for families and students. It was put there by higher education. How's that for modern thinking?

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. Too much time is spent on traditional liberal arts courses with few benefits. (See, for example, Changing Values in College) Two and four year programs are too long in most cases and are larded with unnecessary content. Hence, some physical plant space could be opened for other use.

9. Provide more online courses. Of course! Liberal arts courses must be more intentional toward citizenship and career qualities and lifelong learning. Reading and discussing obscure novels in classrooms could be replaced by online discussions on contemporary issues.

Chuck Lutz (9) (9) (9) (10) (10) (8) (8) (7) (6)

Roger I. Johnson (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (5) (2)

4. Business participation necessary. Every program at every college ought to have a business/citizen advisory committee that meets twice a year to offer feedback on the relevance, depth and appropriateness of the college curriculum in that program.

5. Identify future job skills needed. The question is whether or not college presidents will be admonished appropriately to get out to area businesses and establish those connections. Business CEOs and other leaders need to step forward and realize that they must become thoroughly attached to their local college in ways that seal partnerships, including financially supporting students with scholarships through college foundations.

6. Prepare in PreK-12 for postsecondary. While this is necessary, and this lack of adequate preparation for college is now decades old, it's going to take a monumental selling job at the middle school level to convince students to take seriously their high school education.

7. Broaden awareness of PSEO. This is absolutely essential, because the cost of college is now so great that a large majority of high school graduates simply can't afford a four-year degree without getting as many college credits as possible ahead of their high school graduation.

8. Right-size MnSCU physical plant. This only makes sense. But there are limitations regarding laboratories that may make that goal difficult. Of course, schedule classes to make most efficient use of heating and lighting in buildings. Putting teachers and students together for best learning often can occur without having to have them meet in the fanciest facilities. Good learning can be facility-independent.

9. Provide more online courses. I think the jury is still "out" on the propitiousness of on-line courses. Challenging professors and the efficacy of immediate discussion and feedback via person-to-person interaction is still the best way for students to see relationships and have their views drawn into discussion.

10. Comments? Having served the MNSCU system for 35 years and now serving on the presidents' college advisory committee for two community colleges, I can tell you that the colleges are not going to achieve the breakthrough promises of Rosenstone's vision (which I share) unless the Legislature gets serious about funding the MNSCU system at a level which recognizes that if Minnesota is really going to realize the chancellor's vision, there has to be a "sea-change" in how we go about funding the system. To be #1 in having a 21st Century workforce, we are going to have to make a more substantial investment.

Tom Spitznagle (7) (5) (8) (8) (7) (10) (6) (10) (10)

Tom Swain (9) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (5)

Bright Dornblaser (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (8) (10)

Larry Schluter (10) (8) (8) (8) (8) (9) (8) (7) (9)

Very interesting. It appears MnSCU is performing well and has a lot of challenges ahead. It is very important to this state.

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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