Metropolitan State University was founded in 1971 as “Minnesota Metropolitan State College”. In 1972, with a class of 50 students, it initially operated out of a rented building in Minneapolis. Two decades later, in 1992, the main campus was moved to the Dayton’s Bluff area of east Saint Paul. Today, the school has four total campuses, including additional facilities in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, and the Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul.
Metro State was initially intended as a place for students to complete their junior and senior years in order to earn a degree, but in 1994, it also began admitting freshmen and sophomores. The school’s mission has always been to educate non-traditional students and working adults who are not adequately served by other educational institutions in the Twin Cities metro area, such as the U of M. Metro State also has a near 100% acceptance rate, as well as an open admissions policy, with rolling applications accepted throughout the year.
Classes are taught by “community” faculty members, who not only hold advanced degrees, but also have extensive work experience in their respective fields. As a popular alternative to traditional “structured” degrees, the university’s College of Individualized Studies (CIS) allows students to custom-design their degree to fit their needs, with individualized and/or interdisciplinary majors (“focuses”) and curriculums. Grades were initially given via “narrative evaluations”, instead of by traditional letter grades, but in 1994, the university also began issuing letter grades and calculating grade point averages. In 1998, the quarter system was changed to a trimester format.
The St. Paul campus also houses a branch of the Saint Paul Public Library — the only university/public library partnership in the state of Minnesota and one of only a few nationwide.
- Visited: 2000s (various public lectures, performances, and art gallery openings)
- Attended: Veterans Center Opening (with Senators Al Franken & Amy Klobuchar)