Minnesota State System schools suspend in-person graduation amid coronavirus

Minnesota State Systems logo
Minnesota State Systems logo

In-person spring commencement has been suspend at all Minnesota State colleges and universities, according to an update published on Northland Community and Technical College's website.

"Spring in-person commencements at all Minnesota State colleges and universities have been suspended, though many colleges and universities are preparing for alternative forms of celebration such as virtual commencement events," said Doug Anderson, director of communications and media at the Minnesota State System. "Each college and university should be contacted for the latest information about their plans."

Earlier this week, the Minnesota State System announced it would be continuing all of its courses in alternative delivery methods when classes resume for the system on March 30. Alternate formats means any number of possible changes to how a class is held. For example, it could mean using technology in a different way or even a change in the number of times a class is held. Because many students do not have adequate access to technology, and some subjects cannot be taught in an online format, the college is actively exploring a range of alternatives.

The Minnesota State System is comprised of more than 30 colleges and universities across the state of Minnesota. Area colleges include:

  • Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Bemidji State University
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Wadena and Fergus Falls
  • Alexandria Technical and Community College
  • Central Lakes College in Staples and Brainerd
  • Northwest Technical College in Bemidji

The University of Minnesota System recently announced that its campuses would be conducting courses online for the rest of the semester to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. Commencement ceremonies are currently postponed for the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
Meloney Linder, vice president for marketing and communications at UND, said that UND has not made a decision whether it will cancel or postpone its commencement ceremonies scheduled in May. Linder said discussions are being had about the topic on a regular basis. North Dakota State University anticipates it will make a decision regarding commencement ceremonies in the next week.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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