Metropolitan State University will provide undergraduate programs and student services that:
- reflect a commitment to career and life success based on a strong liberal arts foundation;
- educate individuals to be informed and effective citizens;
- integrate theoretical and practical learning as well as technical competence;
- foster collaborations with programs offered by other colleges and universities in the metropolitan area; and
- represent the university's commitment to diversity.
The university will also provide master's level professional and applied doctoral programs designed to meet local, national and global needs into the twenty-first century. The university is committed to supporting creative and innovative curricula that enhance the learning process.
Metropolitan State University is dedicated to excellence in teaching and advising. The pedagogical base for Metropolitan State faculty includes commitment to:
- providing a variety of learning modes;
- offering an individualized, student-centered approach to teaching and learning;
- teaching and advising that foster student learning and development in preparation for careers and service to their communities;
- encouraging active lifelong inquiry and learning; and
- incorporating multicultural perspectives in teaching and advising; and
- bridging theory and practice.
Metropolitan State University is committed to a variety of forms of scholarship that:
- enrich teaching and learning;
- increase understanding of student life and development;
- meet the highest standards of the academic community; and
- contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
Metropolitan State University is committed to the enrichment of life in the communities it serves through:
- developing creative partnerships with public and private organizations;
- providing a variety of resources and services by engaging faculty, students and staff in community-based activities; and
- improving the effectiveness of the educational system by working closely with elementary and secondary schools in the metropolitan area.
Metropolitan State University was a leader in organizing Minnesota public and private colleges to adopt the following manifesto.
Minnesota's colleges and universities have accepted special roles and responsibilities in fostering diversity in our society. We are dedicated to the search for knowledge and the rights of every individual in our learning communities to pursue that search with freedom, dignity and security, regardless of religious affiliation, race, ethnic heritage, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical ability.
Representing all sectors of higher education in Minnesota, we publicly declare our intentions:
- to continue the development of multicultural learning communities that will not tolerate acts of harassment and intolerance;
- to establish, communicate and enforce standards of behavior for students, staff and faculty that uphold our academic values and our legal obligations; and
- to promote the acceptance and respect for individuals in an atmosphere of caring for others.
Metropolitan State University faculty identify specific learning outcomes for their instruction. These outcomes provide the basis for continuing improvement of teaching and learning and for assessing student academic achievement required by The Higher Learning Commission. The common learning outcomes for general education are:
- Communication: the ability to use the English language effectively; the ability to read, write, speak and listen critically; and the ability to communicate effectively through visual means.
- Critical Thinking: the ability to unify factual, creative, rational, and value-sensitive modes of thought.
- Natural Sciences: an understanding of natural science principles and of the methods of scientific inquiry, i.e., the ways in which scientists investigate natural science phenomena.
- Mathematics/Logical Reasoning: knowledge of and ability to apply mathematical and logical modes of thinking.
- History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences: knowledge of how historians and social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas.
- The Humanities and Fine Arts: knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, especially in relation to behavior, ideas, and values expressed in works of human imagination and thought.
- Human Diversity: an understanding of individual and group differences (e.g. race, gender, class) and knowledge of the traditions and values of various groups in the United States.
- Global Perspective: an understanding of the growing interdependence of nations and peoples and the ability to apply a comparative perspective to cross-cultural social, economic and political experiences.
- Ethical and Civic Responsibility: the capacity to identify, discuss, and reflect upon the ethical dimensions of political, social, and personal life and to understand the ways to exercise responsible and productive citizenship.
- People and the Environment: an understanding of complex environmental challenges and the interrelatedness of human society and the natural environment.
- Further in-depth knowledge of a specific discipline or subject area, or interdisciplinary knowledge is an expected learning outcome from study in the major.
Education at Metropolitan State University embodies a unique educational philosophy based on the following five tenets:
Tenet I: The university grants individual students responsibility for and authority over their education within the context of the five tenets. The university charges its faculty and officers for responsibility and authority over teaching, for maintaining a pluralistic environment in which students are central, and for determining whether students have given evidence they have achieved their educational objectives.
Tenet II: The university expects its graduates will demonstrate the attributes of an educated person in the context of multiculturalism and these five areas of competence: communication; community and cultures; arts and sciences; vocation; and avocation. The university will review the development of students' degree plans in light of these competence areas and other requirements. The university urges students to develop degree programs that reflect a thorough analysis and expanded understanding of the question: What is an educated person? Students may address these five areas by meeting general education/liberal studies requirements.
Tenet III: The university recognizes a student's educational progress toward a degree in terms of competence achieved and encourages the use of a variety of learning strategies.
Tenet IV: The university and its students will use community resources to achieve educational goals and, in turn, will serve as resources to diverse communities.
Tenet V: The university ensures that its students will be engaged in self-directed learning and thereby expects that its graduates will be lifelong learners.