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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

MinnPoly Institute Takes New Approach to Higher Education
Photo of Edward Inch, Minnesota State University, Mankato President and Dee Dee Peaslee, Saint Paul College President cutting ribbon
Dr. Deidra Peaslee, Saint Paul College President, and Dr. Edward Inch, Minnesota State University, Mankato President, cut the ribbon at the official opening of MinnPoly at Saint Paul College

To better meet the changing needs of industry, students, and communities, Minnesota State University, Mankato, is adding to its project- and work-based integrated engineering programs by establishing the Minnesota Polytechnic and Applied Learning Institute (MinnPoly), the first and only polytechnic institute in Minnesota.

Photo of Brian Martensen speaking at MinnPoly launchMinnPoly’s newest partnership with Saint Paul College was celebrated at a launch event on Wednesday, January 11. The new partnership includes a newly renovated learning laboratory for Minnesota State Mankato’s Twin Cities Engineering program, in which students are able to complete a four-year degree exclusively on the Saint Paul College campus.

Partnerships and collaboration with other colleges, industry, and Minnesota State Mankato are the foundation of MinnPoly, said Brian Martensen, executive director of MinnPoly.

MinnPoly is founded on nimble and responsive solutions to better partner with industries in the ever-changing and fast-paced world in which we live
Brian Martensen, Executive Director of MinnPoly

Many of the MinnPoly programs are offered at Minnesota State system partnership schools, allowing more flexibility for both students and industry through technology, distance learning and field-based experiences.

This partnership between Saint Paul College and MinnPoly is a great example of how the Minnesota State system offers outstanding, unique experiences for learners who want to stay in one location, earn an associate’s degree, and then seamlessly transfer to further their education at a four-year institution in a high-demand, high-yield field.
Deidra Peaslee, President of Saint Paul College

Photo of Dr. Deidra Peaslee, Saint Paul College President, and Dr. Edward Inch signing documentsAfter completing their lower-division courses, usually at a Minnesota State system community college like Saint Paul College, MinnPoly students can complete their bachelor’s degrees by completing their upper-division courses at one of Minnesota State Mankato’s partner locations in the Twin Cities and on the Mesabi Iron Range.

New courses designed to meet the needs of industry will be added based on demand. For example, new upper-division curriculum in development for the fall of 2023 includes integrated science and technology, and software engineering. Both courses have project-based or work-based learning where the student immerses themselves in industry with projects that enhance their learning, said Martensen.

We know that our STEM programs are an essential building block to supporting Minnesota’s workforce and innovative industries. This partnership will help us expand access to students who wish to continue their studies in a hands-on, integrated STEM field.
Enyinda Onunwor, Dean of STEM - Saint Paul College

In addition to its new location at Saint Paul College, Minnesota State Mankato has MinnPoly programs located in Bloomington, Minnesota (Twin Cities Engineering) and Virginia, Minnesota (Iron Range Engineering and Bell Engineering, a unique work-based program in which students complete their degree in the field working directly with employers).

For more information about MinnPoly, please contact Molly Schaefer, MinnPoly’s director of operations, at or 612-669-3365.

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