Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan Visit Inver Hills

Visit spotlighted new OHE program Direct Admissions Minnesota

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan visited the Inver Hills Community College campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, Thursday afternoon, October 6, 2022. The purpose of the visit centered on spotlighting Direct Admissions Minnesota, a new Office of Higher Education program.

Michael Berndt, MA, president of Inver Hills and Dakota County Technical College, Elaina Bleifield, PhD, Inver Hills vice president of academic affairs, Kari Rusch-Curl, MA, Inver vice president of student affairs, Christopher Metsgar, Inver dean of business, healthcare, and public service, Lisé Freking, director of strategic marketing & communications for both colleges, Yohannes Agegnehu, Inver dean of STEM & social sciences, and Aaron Salasek, Inver director of outreach and recruitment, greeted the governor and lieutenant governor in the College Center.

Wendy Robinson, OHE assistant commissioner for program, policy, and grants and former Inver Hills vice president of student affairs, was also on hand.

The governor and lieutenant governor toured the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Paramedic program area in Heritage Hall. They met with EMS Program Director Gordy Kokx, who demonstrated the program’s new Anatomage Table. They also visited the classroom of EMS Instructor Benjamin Feldcamp. During both stops, the governor and lieutenant governor conversed with EMS Paramedic students and learned more about their collegiate experience.

Governor Walz—along with Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Michael Berndt, Aaron Salasek, and Wendy Robinson—then addressed the tour group, which included Inver Hills faculty, staff, and students, on the college’s central mall. A Q & A session concluded the tour.

More about the Direct Admissions program…

Minnesota Expands Higher Education Opportunities for Students¹

Direct Admissions program aims to promote college access, boost degree attainment, and reduce equity gaps

September 29, 2022

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced that the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is launching Direct Admissions, a new program designed to promote college access. Driven by the belief that every student is “college material,” the program ensures that graduating high school students know they qualify for admission to a variety of Minnesota colleges and universities. The program also eliminates the application fee for participating colleges and universities.

“As a former teacher, I know the college admissions process can be overwhelming for students,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We are committed to removing barriers and making higher education more accessible for students in Minnesota, and this includes making sure students know all the opportunities and options available to them.”

“Ensuring students in Minnesota receive a world-class education means equipping our students with the resources and support they need to pursue higher education,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “I’m grateful to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for spearheading this program which expands opportunities and reduces equity gaps in college enrollment.”


Direct Admissions Minnesota²

Every student is “college material.” This core belief is the driving idea behind the Office of Higher Education’s new program called Direct Admissions. This pilot program will notify graduating high school seniors from selected Minnesota high schools that there are multiple partner colleges and universities that are eager to admit them based on their academic records and their projected Spring 2023 graduation date.

This program will allow students to apply with confidence, knowing that the “will I get in?” question has already been answered with a “YES!”

How does Direct Admissions work?

In early October 2022, seniors at participating high schools who are on track to graduate will receive personalized communication, co-signed by their high school and the Office of Higher Education, that lists all participating Minnesota colleges and universities they are proactively admitted to.

Students must then complete a FREE admissions application for each of the colleges and universities they are interested in attending. All participating colleges and universities are waiving application fees as part of the Direct Admissions pilot.


Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan Visit Inver Hills gallery

View more event photos by visiting the Inver Hills Flickr album:

Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan Visit Inver Hills

Learn more about Inver Hills Community College and the EMS Paramedic program by contacting:

Inver Hills Community College
Virtual Visit

¹ SOURCE: Office of Governor Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan: Minnesota Expands Higher Education Opportunities for Students
² SOURCE: Minnesota Office of Higher Education: Direct Admissions Minnesota

October 6, 2022: Direct Admissions Program Announcement (Flickr album)

Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

Holland Griffin
Digital Communications Specialist and Official Photographer
Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

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