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Crookston Campus Delegation Strengthens Educational Relationships with Asian Institutions; Travels to Korea, China to Recruit, Sustain Efforts
October 23, 2006

Contact: Donald Sargeant, chancellor emeritus, 218-281-8442 (; Krista Lemos, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (

CROOKSTON, MN (October 23, 2006) – A faculty and staff delegation from the University of Minnesota, Crookston travels to Korea and China this week to strengthen ties with international education partners, continue attracting students to the campus and provide more opportunities to the region. International student enrollment has almost doubled at the Crookston campus in the last year alone, expanding to 56 students.
“As part of the campus vision, we are looking to continue building our relationships with institutions oversees, recruit international students and internationalize our curriculum at the University of Minnesota, Crookston,” says UMC Chancellor Charles H. Casey, D.V.M., who travels to Korea on Oct. 26 and then on to China on Oct. 31, 2006. “By broadening our educational reach around the world, we build cultural awareness and understanding of the importance of working within a global society, give more students the option to earn a University of Minnesota degree and also stimulate an interest in international experiences for students throughout our region.”
In Hangzhou, China, UMC is advancing partnerships with Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP) reviewing details and progress on the degree programs UMC currently supports and looking ahead to next steps. In spring 2007, ZJETP faculty will teach two UMC business courses and in fall 2007, faculty there will lead four UMC business courses and two in computer software technology. All coursework is designed to be transferred to the University of Minnesota for degree completion.
Also on tap is a new collaborative with Hangzhou Normal University that would lead to cooperative bachelor’s degrees in business, computer software technology and communication, which will begin in January 2007. The group is also visiting with prospective students and renewing relationships with student recruiters.
In Korea, the University of Minnesota, Crookston is renewing relationships with Kyungwon University in Seoul. Faculty and staff will be conducting English proficiency tests for more than 40 students who want to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses on campus in spring 2007. UMC is also exploring a new relationship with the education division of JoongAng Newspaper which would work with Kyungwon University to promote UMC’s ESL program as well as online degree opportunities.
Casey is joined on the trip by UMC First Lady Barbara Muesing, Chancellor Emeritus
Donald Sargeant, Ph.D., Math, Science and Technology Department Head David DeMuth, Ph.D., Assistant Math, Science and Technology Professor Jingpeng Tang, Ph.D., Center for Adult Learning Director Michelle Christopherson and Visiting Professor Sean Shin, who serves as UMC’s ESL director of student recruitment.
“Faculty and students will become even more involved with international markets and culture as part of the Crookston campus strategic positioning,” said Sargeant, who also spearheads the international programs on campus. “It is important to continually connect with our partner universities and seek out new opportunities for outreach and recruitment.”
Twenty-one students from Korea currently attend UMC, 11 are enrolled in ESL and ten have moved into degree tracks. Crookston established partnerships with the Korean Preparation Center, an English proficiency school, and Kyungwon University, both in Seoul, in October 2005.
“Students who participate in the ESL program are better prepared to successfully compete with their American peers in college classrooms,” Christopherson said. “What a wonderful way for international students to be exposed to an American classroom with trained faculty….right here in Crookston.”
Background on ZJETP relationship
UMC faculty and staff have worked with ZJETP to develop curriculum taught in China that will transfer to the University of Minnesota. ZJETP students will study for three years in China taking one UMC course per semester along with English proficiency classes and then transfer to UMC for three semesters to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
In August 2006, UMC staff traveled to ZJETP to support coursework development for UMC courses being taught at ZJETP. UMC established an international partnership with ZJETP in late 2005 to enhance opportunities for students to study and faculty to work collaboratively. Students begin their studies in China, completing coursework in the areas of agriculture business management and computer software engineering and information technology management, and travel to UMC to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 24 different undergraduate degree programs, including online options, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further, and dream big dreams. To learn more, visit
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