Southwest Minnesota State University to offer Exercise Science Degree on Normandale’s Campus

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Normandale Community College is adding a third university from Minnesota State Colleges and University (MnSCU) to its baccalaureate partner programs. Southwest Minnesota State University will offer the upper division work needed to complete a baccalaureate degree in Exercise Science starting in the fall of 2015.

Exercise Science is a growing major at Southwest Minnesota State following its creation five years ago.

"It's a growing area of study on our campus and at other institutions across the country," said Dr. Jan Loft, interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at SMSU. "Currently, in the Twin Cities, there are no Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions offering a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. We have a quality, affordable Exercise Science program and collaborating with Normandale will make it accessible to students in the Twin Cities area."

"The Twin Cities area has a large health industry, and a high population density," said Brent Jeffers, Associate Professor of Exercise Science. "This is an opportunity to help meet the educational needs in the metro area while growing enrollment in our program and for the university."

Students who pursue the Exercise Science degree will need 15 credits of business courses, said Loft, and those will be delivered by Metropolitan State University, on the Normandale campus.

"Normandale has been wonderful to work with" said Jeffers. "We have done a lot of work and research regarding this new initiative and know it is going to benefit the students in the Twin Cities metro area. This will provide a viable option when it comes to pursuing an Exercise Science degree."

Southwest Minnesota State University joins Metropolitan State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato as MnSCU partners who offer bachelor's degrees on Normandale's campus.

"Partnerships like this are yet another opportunity for us to focus on access, affordability and excellence as we assist students in achieving their academic goals," said Normandale Community President Joyce Ester.

Normandale and Southwest Minnesota State will celebrate this new partnership with a ceremony on Friday, April 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the Partnership Center.

With this partnership, Normandale now has 12 different bachelor's degree programs on campus offered through its three MnSCU partners. During the 2014-15 academic year, over 500 individual students have taken bachelor's degrees on Normandale's campus.

Normandale is also able to host faculty and staff from these bachelor's degree programs in the Partnership Center, which was constructed in February, 2013.