Growing numbers of students of color and high school students taking college courses helped boost enrollment at the 32 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities by nearly 3 percent over the last year, officials said [Oct. 10] as they released enrollment figures.

This fall, the state college and university system has 186,150 students, an increase of 5,302 students from last fall's enrollment of 180,848. Last year, enrollment increased by 4.5 percent.

Agreement will allow up to 10 Chinese educators help to build capacity in Chinese language education

The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and the Minnesota State Department of Education (MDE) have agreed to recruit up to ten Chinese educators to teach in Minnesota schools each year over the next five years. This collaboration will provide opportunities to improve the quality and depth of Chinese language and cultural education for Minnesota students while developing the educational foundation necessary for students to succeed in the twenty-first century global marketplace.

As is the trend around the country, Minnesota's demographics are becoming increasingly diverse -- nearly 350,000 current state residents are foreign-born, a figure that increased 117 percent between the years 2000 and 2006. In response to this trend, the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education (CCE) is debuting several new ESL (English as a Second Language) programs, with the goal of assisting new Minnesotans in perfecting their English-speaking skills so they can advance in their work and personal lives.

About 400 incoming University of Minnesota first-year students of color experienced an orientation with ethnic touches when they attended Multicultural Kickoff Days Aug. 26 and 27.

The University of Minnesota will open the state’s first Confucius Institute with a private ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 19 followed on Sept. 21 by a public concert of Chinese music, dance, puppetry, and magic by the Jiangsu Silk and Bamboo Performing Group of China.

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