Continuing Education, Regional Programs and Summer Session

Unit Annual Report





Heather Aagesen–Huebner — Community Program Specialist

Jacki Anderson — Senior Office Specialist

Karen Ellis — Program Associate

David Fluegel — Community Program Specialist

Barbara Hesse — Senior Administrative Specialist

Karen Johnson — Program Associate

Karla Klinger — Senior Academic Advisor

Roger McCannon — Director

Thomas McRoberts — Associate Director

Rose Murphy — Associate Administrator

Ginger Nohl — Office Specialist

Jennifer Riley — Senior Administrative Specialist

Jean Sasek — Principal Administrative Specialist

Jean Valnes — Principal Accounts Specialist

Ben Winchester — Coordinator




The mission of Continuing Education, Regional Programs and Summer Session (CERP) is to provide access to the University of Minnesota through educational outreach to all lifelong learners in western Minnesota and beyond, and to enhance the programs and services of UMM for current and potential students.




CERP operates through three primary functional programs: Extension Classes and Summer Programs, Regional Programs, and the Regional Advising Service; and it oversees two somewhat autonomous units, the Center for International Programs and the Center for Small Towns. During 2002-03 this unit also had an official affiliation with the College of Continuing Education on the Twin Cities campus.


·       Extension Classes and Summer Programs ­ these are UMM undergraduate classes and graduate credit courses (brokered from U of M colleges) offered on- and off-campus during evenings and weekends, and through distance education formats (GenEdWeb) and ITV. Also offered are the undergraduate courses scheduled during the Summer Term (May Session and Summer Sessions I and II), both on-campus and through study abroad.


·       Regional Programs‹these are outreach programs that connect UMM with communi-ties in our region through a conference, workshop and institute format. They are primarily non-credit offerings for targeted audiences, e.g., youth involved in the Henjum Institute for Creative Study, area teachers participating in the Instructional Technology Institute and human service professionals who attend the series of Human Services Workshops. CERP also serves as a liaison with the West Central District (14 counties) of the University of Minnesota Extension Service through the co-sponsorship of workshops and information sessions, and by collaborative work on community development initiatives.


·       Regional Advising Service‹this is an educational planning service for area non-traditional students and it coordinates, with the Office of Financial Aid, select scholarships for adult learners. During 2002-03 it operated on a limited basis.


There are also two units under the jurisdiction of CERP that operate functionally as rather autonomous entities.


·       The Center for International Programs (CIP). This unit has a direct reporting line to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean and the Campus Assembly's International Programs Committee plays an oversight role for CIP. There is a separate section on CIP in this publication that also includes information about the Global Student Teaching program and the English Language Teaching Assistant Program, which are administered under CERP.


·       Center for Small Towns (CST).  This unit also has a direct reporting line to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, and there is an Advisory Council made up of UMM faculty/staff and regional community officials. There is a special section under the narrative in this report on CST.


Together all of these functions and programs are budgeted and integrated into the total programming of CERP.  This may seem somewhat confusing, but on the whole it has worked remarkably well over the past three decades.




Detailed records have been kept on enrollments and registrations in all CERP programs over the past 30 years. The overall pattern varies each year depending on the number and kinds of courses offered, e.g., undergraduate, graduate, non-credit and study abroad. In the early 1970's, program-ming included approximately two dozen undergraduate courses annually offered primarily for the area's adult learners. These were courses developed by UMM faculty or brokered from General College because of their more practical and applied nature, which appealed to a business and professional clientele. In the later 70's, non-credit continuing professional education and personal development programs were initiated, with a special emphasis on women. One program, the Women's Mobile Campus, drew 1,300 participants from 64 different communities during a two-year period.

Enrollment in CERP programs has ranged annually from nearly 3,000 credit and non-credit registrations in the 1980's to between 1,200-1,500 in most recent years. One important factor affecting this trend is tuition. Between 1975 and today, credit tuition has risen over 1,000%. Another factor is demography. West Central Minnesota continues to slowly lose population and its people are becoming older. A third factor is the growth and development of other educational providers, including community and technical colleges and on-line distance learning vendors, that now offer many programs for non-traditional students.


Between 1983 and 1993, over 300 area teachers took courses to complete the Master of Education programs we brokered. Also from 1994 until 2002, we offered the Master of Liberal Studies program from the Twin Cities that enrolled 25 non-traditional students during that time, including a number of UMM staff who were able to attain masters degrees. Enrollments in the Summer Term, which is geared to regular UMM day students, have shown modest increases since the change over to semesters. Provided below is a summary for 2002-03. Dates included for 2002-03 encompass May Session 2002 through Spring Semester 2003.



CERP Credit Registrations: 2002-03

May Session 2002                                                    96

             Summer Session 2002                                              210

              Directed Studies, Internships and

   Courses Out of Sequence Summer 2002               62

Summer Scholars 2002                                              25

Fall Semester 2002                                                  233

Spring Semester 2003                                            294

Total Credit                                                            920



CERP Non-Credit Registrations: 2002-03

            Creative Study Institute 2002                                   69

            Instructional Technology Institute 2002                   40

            Human Services Workshop 2003                              43

            Teaching by Design Workshop 2003                      195

            Great Conversations                                                  77

            Total Non-Credit                                                     424




During 2002-03 there were many accomplishments and programmatic highlights, but none more deserving and fulfilling than having Tom McRoberts be recognized as one of the recipients of the all-University President's Award for Outstanding Service. The award was conferred on him on June 4 at Eastcliff by President Robert Bruininks and most all of our staff were there. Congratulations again to Tom!


The undergraduate courses currently offered, which can be viewed on the website, have evolved over the past decade from offerings geared toward regional adult learners to those appealing to a blend of both regular "day students" and adults. Courses are intended to complement and enrich the UMM curriculum, e.g., Dance, Ceramics, Sign Language and Karate, as examples, that satisfy UMM's general education requirements. Summer Term courses are drawn from the UMM curriculum.


The graduate level courses that CERP brokers are from other U of M colleges and are intended to meet regional needs of teachers and other professionals. From time to time a "cohort" is assembled so that entire masters degrees can be obtained in Morris; the most recent examples are the Master of Liberal Studies and the Master of Educational Technology.


The role that CERP plays in the organization and administration of these undergraduate and graduate courses complements and enriches the curriculum of UMM. Also, in addition to serving students, these programs afford the opportunity for faculty, and faculty spouses, to earn extra remuneration.


Program staff working with these programs are: Tom McRoberts, Karen Ellis and Karen Johnson; support staff include Jacki Anderson, Jean Sasek and Ginger Nohl (25% time).


A number of programmatic "milestones" were reached this year. The Henjum Institute for Creative Study celebrated its 30th year, Summer Scholars reached its 18th year and the GenEdWeb program completed its 6th year of operation.  Following are programmatic summaries of each of these.


The Henjum Creative Study Institute


The Institute was created in 1974 by Professor Arnold Henjum, UMM Division of Education, to provide a unique arts enrichment program for junior and senior high school gifted and talented students. This two-week non-residential program for students in grades 6-12 is offered on campus each summer.  Students take classes ranging from vocal music, jazz ensemble, theater and dance to technology courses such as computer art and web page design and art courses such as printmaking, photography and raku. 


Annual enrollments have ranged from 235 in the early years of the program to 70 students in recent years.  Students have attended the Institute from 93 different K-12 schools in west central Minnesota.  In over 30 years, approximately 4,100 students have attended the Creative Study Institute.


In the early years, the program was funded by student tuition and fees, school districts, local scholarships, state support for low-income families (Minnesota Higher Education Services Office ­ MHESO), and internal waivers from Continuing Education.  In recent years, tuition support from K-12 school districts has dramatically decreased and MHESO cut their funding entirely effective in 2003 for low-income families. In 2002, with 69 students enrolled, the budget for the Creative Study Institute (excluding administrative staff time) totaled roughly $16,000.


A systematic study of college enrollment of Creative Study students at UMM has not been completed.  Anecdotally, there have been many students who do attend UMM, achieving undergraduate degrees.  Several Creative Study Institute alumni have returned to teach in the Institute.


Summer Scholars


This program began in 1985 and is a college-level, two-week summer residential program for academically talented high school juniors.  It offers an introduction to college education and campus life while showcasing UMM strengths including academic rigor, undergraduate liberal arts, small classes taught by recognized faculty, individual attention, supportive staff and active campus life. Applicants to the program write a one-page essay, are recommended by their counselor or teacher, and should be in the upper 20% of their class.  Students take one of two courses, each carrying two credits:  "Human Reproduction and Biotechnology:  Tinkering With Nature" (Van Gooch/Tom Turner) or "Writing Workshop:  Growing Up American" (Roland Guyotte/Dwight Purdy).  The majority of participants are from MN, ND, SD and WI.


The average annual budget is $30,000.  The program is supported by student tuition and the Chancellor's subsidy for housing.  Students who meet income guidelines receive scholarships, either partial or full. Until this year, MHESO also provided scholarships for qualifying students; with the state's financial crisis, that program has been discontinued‹at least temporarily and perhaps permanently.


Because of their very rewarding and successful experience during the program, a significant number of Scholars enroll here as freshmen (or even PSEO). Seven hundred eighty-seven (787) students from over 375 high schools have participated in the program since its inception in 1985; an average of 20% (or 157) have gone on to enroll at UMM. 



In the spring of 2002, GenEdWeb completed its sixth year as a program of online UMM lower division, general education courses offered via the World Wide Web to distance education students.  Originally the program's mission was to serve nontraditional college students who were not able to attend college classes at a local college campus by providing courses that met Minnesota Transfer Curriculum guidelines.


Enrollments have grown from 52 students in 1997-98 to over 132 students in 2002-2003 (average course enrollment is now 17.7). Over the past 6 years, 485 students have taken GenEdWeb courses.  Pre-registrations for fall of 2003, show 77 registrations in GenEdWeb courses with another 40 pre-registered for spring 2004 and 40-50 more students projected for Summer Term 2004.


During the academic year, 85- 90% of GenEdWeb registrations have been PSEO students. From 1998 to 2001, PSEO GenEdWeb students who become UMM freshman ranged from 3% to 10%.  Of the 69 PSEO students in GenEdWeb in 2001-2002, 11 or 15.9% matriculated as freshman at UMM in 2002.  In 2002-2003, six GenEdWeb students applied to UMM, with three entering as freshmen in 2003 (5% - 3 of 59). 

In the early years, the program began and was supported through cooperative initiatives and included support funds from:  Continuing Education and Extension's Program Innovation Fund; University of Minnesota Distance Education Council; University of Minnesota, Morris Dean's Office; Technology Enhanced Learning Grant; and, Vice Provost for Instructional Technology and University Partnerships Office.  


During the first two years of the program, grants and subsidies provided a portion of the $80,000 or $90,000 budget.  In 2002-2003, program expenses totaled approximately $65,000.  Reduced expenses in recent years can be attributed to more electronic marketing, lower infrastructure support costs and no new course development stipends.


New Program Initiatives


Also, in 2002-03 a new program series was brought into being‹workshops for area Human Service professionals‹with the successful launching of a workshop entitled,  "Understanding and Bridging Differences." Dr. Tammy Faux, new to UMM, has served as an expert in this field. She first assisted in doing a market research study to determine the needs and then assisted in organizing the workshop. This effort is also being guided by an advisory panel of area human services professionals.


Further, two programs involving technology in teaching were held during 2002-03. The Instructional Technology Institute was held in August 2002 and was co-sponsored by the NTNT grant of the Division of Education and staffed by several campus units, namely Computing Services, Briggs Library and Media Services. The Teaching by Design Workshop (which drew 195 area teachers) was held in March 2003.




Following is a narrative of the Center for Small Towns


The Center, which was established in 1995, created a new strategic plan entitled the "Renewed Focus" for 2002-04. This coincided with a grant proposal and subsequent award totaling $187,000 from the Blandin Foundation for the 2-year period. The "Renewed Focus" theme of the grant places priority on the improvement and expansion of the programs and services the Center for Small Towns provides to small towns. Three overarching goals have been established:


During 2002-03, arrangements were made for Dr. Randy Cantrell, Professor and Community Research Development Specialist at the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, to serve as a visiting scholar to advise on the work of the Center. Cantrell visited on three separate occasions and provided two written reports.


Efforts were also undertaken to improve the financial structure and establish secure on-going funding. The Center was approved as an External Sales Unit of the University and established fee-for-service schedules.


Accomplishments for 2002-03 in each of five strategies are provided here.


1.   Data Analysis and Research (DAR)


      This was a new component of the Center introduced in 2002-03. A full-time coordinator, Ben Winchester (P&A staff), was hired to oversee program development activities. Dr. Engin Sungur, UMM Statistics, assisted in DAR's development. Dr. Randy Cantrell also provided much input and review.


Progress in this strategy were several fold. A Civic Engagement Workbook for Statistics that brings community data into the statistics courses at UMM was created. A fee-for-service contract for data analysis was secured with the Midwest Assistance Program allowing for compensation of two twenty-hour/week student positions during the summer and oversight/ coordination time. Two research reports were completed for rural advocacy agencies. A Rural Community Field Project interdisciplinary course was created and is now offered through regular registration at UMM; this course provides an educational experience in a rural learning environment that focuses on rural issues of community life, demography, culture, environment, and policy.


2.  Program Assessment and Evaluation


David Fluegel, Community Program Specialist, was the lead staff for this strategy. This past year the Center assisted the U of M Center for Rural Design in presenting a feasibility study in Ortonville and in facilitating a community visioning and planning process in Traverse County. Staff assisted the West Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership in a regional planning process, and recruited UMM faculty and students to assist in these activities. Also, we presented our Service Deliverables to Rural and Community Development organizations and other community and regional planning groups.


Other projects this year included: the evaluation of a federally funded 21st Century Department of Education grant by a consortium of three K-12 schools; evaluation of the UMM portion of the Bush Foundation grant activities that support the use of technologies in student learning; and, initial exploration was conducted to consider expanding the evaluation service by providing formal training to clients in evaluation processes.


3.  Student Involvement


This component is an essential function of the Center. Heather Aagesen-Huebner, Community Program Specialist, was the lead staff. In order to continue to systematize the process of hiring and working with students to accommodate the steady turnover, a "Program and Procedures" manual has been completed.  This manual is a comprehensive guide for working with students and community groups, and it includes information on topics such as recruiting, hiring, training, creating work plans and evaluation and assessment.


A pilot project, the High School Technology Team, was initiated during the summer of 2002.  High school students completed web sites for three local community groups, created training manuals, and provided training on the maintenance of web sites.  Since the pilot was very successful, it will likely be repeated in future summers as a way to help eliminate gaps in service over summer months.


The Center's Morris Administrative Intern (MAI) was trained in all aspects of student employment and assisted the lead staff in this area. Center staff and the MAI coordinated the application and joint presentation, along with the coordinator of the Teaching Reading and Enabling Children program, entitled "Small University + Small Town = Big Success" at the National Service-Learning Conference in Minneapolis. This was the Center's third successive presentation at the National Service-Learning Conference.


4.  Collaboration and Networking


All of the Center's staff participated in these activities. The goal for the year was to maximize and leverage resources among agencies and organizations. These activities were with rural and community development organizations as well as with other higher education institutions.


Discussions between Center staff, Dr. Sungur, Dr. Cantrell and the Center's Advisory Council, regarding a Conversation Series to be held during Dr. Cantrell's visit in the spring of 2003, led to the decision to develop an Annual Symposium on Small Towns.  The date was scheduled for June 10-11, 2003 and the working theme was "Rural Minnesota: A Century of Change."  Topics included an examination of the past and future trends in rural culture, economies, education, health, and environment.  Celebrating rural life with music and festivities was an important aspect of the Symposium.


A concerted effort was made to work more closely with our organizational partners in these changing times.  Center staff met with and discussed potential areas of collaboration with the Minnesota Design Team, Minnesota Planning, the Western Area City and County Cooperative, Minnesota Rural Partners, the West Central Initiative, the Rural Help Network, the West Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and USDA Rural Development.


In addition, David Fluegel actively participated on the 2003 Minnesota Rural Summit planning committee, which includes representatives from dozens of community and rural development agencies and organizations statewide and is annually attended by 300-400 people.




5.   Brokering University Resources


Again, all of the Center's staff participated in these activities. The Center brokered the services of the Center for Rural Design to projects in the Big Stone Lake area and Traverse County, then assisted the projects by recruiting the services of UMM faculty and students. Three students worked jobs/internships with these projects.


The Center continues to work with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) on their Community Assistantship Program (CAP). The Center distributes program information and updates, assists communities in completing requests for student research assistants, and then recruits students for projects in West Central Minnesota. Staff from the Center participated in the review of community applications and assisted in placing five UMM students in CAP positions during this period.


The West Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP) began an initiative to find a solution to the problems of making insurance more affordable and accessible to farmers and businesses by forming a Health Care Purchasing Alliance. The Center provided staff to participate on a committee to develop strategies in creating the Alliance and recruited UMM faculty and students to conduct related research.


Detailed records are kept for all program areas. The following is a summary:



Involvement in Center for Small Towns Programs 2002 ­ 03

Small Towns Served


UMM Students Involved


     Jobs and Internships


     IS Community Development Class


     Statistics and Geography Classes


Morris Area High School students


Census Training (UMM faculty & staff)


UMM Faculty




Plans for 2003-2004


Prescriptive cuts in the Center's budget, as a result of UMM's budget reduction, will inhibit the hiring of UMM faculty and students. Funds for the MAI position and most of the workstudy funds were also lost for next year. The grant dollars from the Blandin Foundation will end in June of 2004. The Center will be challenged to replace these financial losses with alternatives in order to maintain and grow its program operations.


The Center for Small Towns is one of many advocacy groups dedicated to rural issues and rural development. It has become increasingly clear that the Center is one of a very few higher education units in the country that are identified specifically or exclusively with small towns.  Dr. Cantrell helped us to realize that this small number of organizations provides an opportunity to claim a national niche.


The First Annual Symposium on Smalls Towns, held June 2003 at UMM, was successful in attracting notable speakers. The speakers are among the best-known observers of rural and small town conditions in Minnesota and include: Joseph Amato, Professor Emeritus of History, Southwest State University; Robert Bergland, former Regent, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Randy Cantrell, Professor and Community Resource Development Specialist, Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska; Jack M. Geller, President of Minnesota Center for Rural Policy and Development; John Fraser Hart, Professor of Geography, University of Minnesota; Martha McMurry, senior research analyst, State Demographic Center, Minnesota Department of Administration; Paul Olson, President, Blandin Foundation; and Ben Winchester, Coordinator of Data Analysis and Research, Center for Small Towns, University of Minnesota, Morris. The event attracted 112 people from across the state with interests and a wide-range of responsibilities in small communities.


A CST Fellows Program is being explored by the Center for increasing involvement of UMM faculty in small town and rural issues. This program has potential for generating additional knowledge to help small towns adapt to 21st century change, strengthen the Center's relation-ships to the statewide academic community, and add breadth and depth to the Center's and UMM's visibility.




Major Changes and Plans for CERP in 2003-04


Over the past 32 years, including 2002-03, CERP was officially connected through a joint powers arrangement with both UMM and the College of Continuing Education on the Twin Cities campus.  This joint affiliation ended on June 30, 2003, as CERP was "transferred" to UMM.  According to the Letter of Agreement signed by Chancellor Sam Schuman, Dean Mary Nichols and Executive Vice President and Provost Christine Maziar, "this transfer is intended to support the efficient and cost-effective administration of continuing education efforts in western Minnesota."  As a unit of UMM, CERP now becomes part of a network of autonomous University of Minnesota continuing education providers similar to programs on the Crookston, Duluth and Rochester campuses, with each reflecting their regional uniqueness.  All programs, personnel, physical assets and budgeting will be reassigned to UMM.  Early in the 2003-04 year, attention to the details of this transfer will need to be worked through, such as the establishment of all new budget account codes (CUFS) and tuition attribution formulas (IMG).  Assistance and support from the UMM Administration will be needed and has been assured.  Financial challenges will need to be met over the next 2-3 year period of time.  Programmatic reviews, new program development, market studies and strategic planning are currently underway in order to continue the excellent programming and services of CERP.

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