Joel Vaillancourt

    OPINION: Choose your own adventure, design your own degree

    by , October, 2017
    Want to earn credit for work- and community-based learning? Find out how at a College of Individualized Studies ‘Get-Started’ Lab on Nov. 9 or Nov. 29, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., St. John’s Hall 250.

    Want the power to pick your aca­d­e­mic des­tiny? Then join me in start­ing on an Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies degree at Metro State. Here are a few things to know before you start design­ing your degree plan.


    An Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies degree is the epit­ome of choice. Which classes are rel­e­vant to your degree? Whichever classes you choose! It’s your deci­sion. You can even com­pletely revamp your degree if you wish.

    As an Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies major myself, I have received quite a bit of help from my advi­sor and pro­fes­sors. The Col­lege of Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies (CIS) is a sup­port­ive, friendly com­mu­nity where stu­dents encour­age each other’s ambitions.

    After being accepted into CIS, the first class you will take is called PRSP 301 Per­spec­tives: Edu­ca­tional Ser­vices and Plan­ning. This class forms the foun­da­tion that your degree will be built on. The guid­ance from your pro­fes­sor and sup­port from your class­mates will help you build con­fi­dence and form the empha­sis of your degree plan.


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    Green light for campus greenhouse renovation

    by , September, 2017
    Formerly the site of a biological pest research facility, the greenhouse will be renovated and expanded to include classrooms and space for plant cultivation. Governor Mark Dayton signed off on the legislative appropriation for the GROW-IT Center on May 30, 2017.

    A vacant green­house next to the Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter on the St. Paul cam­pus will gain new life thanks to a $400,000 appro­pri­a­tion from the Min­nesota State Leg­is­la­ture. By 2019, the build­ing will become the GROW-​IT Cen­ter, an inclu­sive research cen­ter for stu­dents, fac­ulty and the community.

    GROW-​IT is an acronym for Gate­way for Research, Out­reach, Work­force Devel­op­ment, Inno­va­tion and Teaching.

    The green­house will be ren­o­vated exten­sively. Three research bays will be con­verted into one large grow­ing space. An addi­tional restroom will be built and an office will be moved. A front room will host work­shops and classes.

    Pro­fes­sor Mark Asplen of the Nat­ural Sci­ences Depart­ment has over­seen the sci­en­tific side of the project. The plan­ning team believes that the GROW-​IT Cen­ter will be a boon to stu­dents study­ing a vari­ety of sub­jects, from chem­istry to nurs­ing to psy­chol­ogy. “You’re going to have sci­en­tists work­ing right next to psy­chol­o­gists and peo­ple in other pro­grams,” said Asplen. “Being close together can build collaboration.”

    The build­ing has a long his­tory as a space for sci­en­tific research. Com­mis­sioned and built by the Min­nesota Bio­log­i­cal Pest Con­trol Research Pro­gram in 1998, it was used to study the impact of inva­sive insects.

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