FAQ

As we continue to move the VisionNE initiative forward, please feel free to submit a question (through the link below) that you would like to see answered in the FAQ section of this page: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VisionNEFAQ

What’s going on with the merger? Where can I get answers to my questions?
Please click the question below to see the answer below! You can also find more information at www.nhed.edu. The front page will have a link to our ongoing VisionNE Project Reports and other historical information as well.


General and Student FAQ

Minnesota State College and University system is the governance structure that oversees all 30 community and technical college campuses and 7 universities throughout Minnesota.

The Northeast Higher Education District (NHED) is the governance structure that oversees the work of the five-member community and technical colleges: Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River Community College, and Vermilion Community College. Up until this point, these colleges have shared a President, Human Resources department, Customized Training, Continuing Education Department, Business Services, and other district-wide initiatives. NHED began in 1999.

The five colleges of NHED will merge into one college, Minnesota North College* beginning Fall of 2022. All six campuses will remain open.

* Pending Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and Minnesota State Board of Trustees approval

The rationale for pursuing this structure change can be summarized in two broad categories: 1) improved services to students and other stakeholders, and 2) operational efficiency, which will position us for long-term financial sustainability. Most important is the improvement of services to students and stakeholders which will be improved in a one-college operating model. With the one-college model, students will take courses across our campuses (instead of across colleges) with a single transcript and a single bill, as well as a simplified registration and financial aid process while still benefiting from local, on-campus services. Students will have increased access to a more robust selection of courses and career programs. A single college will lead to more clear and consistent collaborative efforts with regional K-12 and industry partners. Finally, the single-college model will lead to improved operational efficiency allowing resources to be further focused on mission-centric functions.

Mission: Minnesota North College* prepares lifelong learners and engaged citizens through inclusive, transformative experience reflecting the character and natural environment of the region.

Vision: Minnesota North College* will be the premier provider of life-changing education and the catalyst for regional prosperity.

Our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the Minnesota State Board of Trustees need to approve our merger officially. The HLC Board of Trustees will take up our official change of the structure at a meeting in February of 2022, and our Minnesota State Board of Trustees will review our request following any decision of the HLC. Since 2015, our faculty, staff, and students have been engaged in the planning process, called VisionNE, that led up to this point.

Students have been involved in the planning process at multiple levels, including the VisionNE (the planning and implementation name of the merger) Advisory Council, as well as regularly scheduled meetings with our NHED President.

Throughout the VisionNE (the name of the planning and implementation process) planning, a VisionNE Advisory Council consisting of community leaders and student stakeholders all across our service area have taken part in our merger discussions.

VisionNE, the name of the merger planning process, is a shared vision where we have had multiple levels of stakeholder engagement (innovation teams) which began in 2015 as Regional Academic Planning sessions. For more details on the historical timeline, please visit: https://www.nhed.edu/vision-ne/about-vision-ne

Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College (Virginia and Eveleth), Rainy River Community College, and Vermilion Community College will all remain open and become campuses of Minnesota North College*.

No, classes and programs will still be taught/supported by our exceptional faculty and staff through face-to-face, online, and/or hybrid delivery methods

Yes. Our goal is, that aside from branding and the new name, students will experience improved services due to our faculty and staff being able to share expertise and resources at each of the campuses.

Yes, athletic programs will remain at their current campuses and maintain their individual identity.

As has always been the case, tuition and fees are influenced by the legislature and set and approved by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. This will continue to be the practice for Minnesota North College*.

Our Minnesota North College* will continue to be an open-access institution that will have program by program prerequisites in the same way it does within the current NHED college system.

Minnesota North College* will have one website that showcases each of the campuses and their features.

Each college foundation will continue to operate in their communities as independent 501c3’s in support of students at their local campus.

Early on in the process, NHED received a grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) that helped mitigate the costs associated with the merger. The project has also received operating support from our Minnesota State system office.

Faculty and Staff FAQ

There will be a new, more regionally focused administrative structure than the college-specific model we have previously had on campuses.

The changes to courses and curriculum will follow the MSCF contract through a regional Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC) that aligns with current AASC processes at each college.

If you have questions about how the merger will affect your work, please continue to engage with your direct supervisor.

Yes, eventually, our domain will change. This has yet to be determined and will be part of the brand identity RFP process.

* Pending Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and Minnesota State Board of Trustees approval