Reconnecting with college

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A new Minnesota program looks to get adults back in the classroom.

Following in Tennessee’s steps, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) and Minnesota State are launching MN Reconnect, an initiative to help adult learners who didn’t finish their college education re-enroll and get that degree.

Four colleges will participate in the first phase of MN Reconnect: Inver Hills Community College, Lake Superior College, Riverland Community College and South Central College.

MN Reconnect is designed to support adult learners who return to college to earn a degree after an absence of two or more years.

“For many adult learners who have taken a break from their college education to pursue work or family commitments, going back to school can often seem overwhelming and impossible. MN Reconnect seeks to change that by removing perceived barriers to entry and supporting students throughout the course of their degree completion,” Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller said in a press release.

In Tennessee, TN Reconnect is in its first year. It also aims to get adult learners back on campus. The program has had significant interest. There are 14,692 adults enrolled as Reconnect students in the community colleges and adult enrollment in the community colleges is up by 17.4 percent over Fall 2017.

Adult learners at the four participating Minnesota State colleges will work one-on-one with a personal navigator from re-enrollment to degree completion. Navigators’ main purpose is to help these learners overcome the common barriers they may experience in a traditional college setting, such as managing academic and career planning, scheduling, and tutoring options, and accessing emergency financial aid and tuition assistance.

MN Reconnect is made possible by financial and technical support from Lumina Foundation and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.