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St. Scholastica set to open new downtown campus

Another downtown Rochester college campus is opening this month.

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The College of St. Scholastica hopes its new campus will reflect the new emphasis on online learning.

"Today you are not locked into a chair with a little tablet to write on and you are not locked into using just a textbook," said Don Wortham, executive director of extended studies.

Now every course is at least partially online. Students and instructors interact via video conference and collaborate on group projects on the Internet.

That's a flexible, goal-focused reality that St. Scholastica took into account as it designed its new "Base Camp" hybrid campus prototype for downtown Rochester. The 2,222-square-foot space is slated to be ready this month.

"We were reacting to it before. Now we are taking advantage of it," Wortham said.


The new campus at 221 First Ave. S.W. in the Minnesota BioBusiness Centerwill have on-site classes and students as well as instructors who teach students at its four other Minnesota campuses. It also will provide online-only classes originating in Rochester and elsewhere.

The school has three administrative staff and about 15 instructors based in Rochester, although Wortham says all of its Minnesota staff and teachers are available here via internet.

St. Scholastica is offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, health care and technology here. Before moving downtown, St. Scholastica has held classes at Rochester Central Lutheran School..

The downtown campus will include Café BlueStone, a new student union concept with the atmosphere and coffee products of a coffee shop.

"We're not trying to compete with Starbucks or Caribou," Wortham said. "We just want to offer students a place to meet and gather with the things they want like coffee and wireless."


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