Minnesota State Community and Technical College


Paralegal Studies at Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Online Paralegal Degree Programs.

Two paralegal degree programs are available from the Minnesota State Community and Technical College for students who want to work closely with lawyers. In the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program, students take 60 credits of classes. They learn how to use different types of technology, communicate via the written word and through oral methods and behave in a responsible and ethical way. Introduction to Public Speaking and Introduction to Computer Technology are two of the general education courses that students take. They’ll also take paralegal classes that include Introduction to Paralegal, Legal Research and Writing and Legal Ethics for the Paralegal.

The paralegal program is also available in an online format. Students take 48 credits of required courses and 12 credits of electives, most of which most come from the paralegal area. Civil Law for Paralegals and Criminal Law for Paralegals are two required classes that look at what paralegals do in regards to civil and criminal cases. Wills, Trusts, and Probate is another required class that looks at how lawyers help their clients create wills and trusts and what they do during probate. Both the online and the on-campus programs require that students do a paralegal internship also.

A similar program that future paralegals can enroll in is the college’s AAS in Criminal Justice program. The criminal justice program focuses more on the criminal justice system as a whole and helps students understand what lawyers, judges, and other professionals do. It includes classes such as Criminal Procedures, Criminal Law, Police Report Writing and Professional and Technical Writing. Students must take 60 credits of classes, including criminal justice and general education courses. The college also offers a correctional officer certificate program that includes 25 credits of classes. That program prepares students for working in correctional institutions.

About Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is a college system affiliated with a public university and college system in the state. It serves as both a community college and a technical school. The college only opened after several campuses merged in 2003. Northwest Technical College was the oldest of those campuses. Founded in 1965 as Bemidji Area Vocational Technical Institute, it offered vocational programs in fields such as nursing and computer science. This college would grow quickly and build three campuses in northwest Minnesota. Those campuses merged with the Fergus Falls Community College in 2003 to form Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Also called M State, it now offers programs for traditional and nontraditional students. Adult students can get the financial aid and other resources necessary to finish a college degree. There is also a program designed for high school students to help them get a feel for college and earn some credits before they graduate with their diplomas. M State offers Associate of Arts, Science and Applied Science degree programs, many of which include a transfer option for those who want to study at a four-year university. It offers some of the only programs in Minnesota in power sports technology and equine science. Those programs and its multiple campuses helped enrollment at M State climb to more than 6,000 students.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Accreditation Details

M State has the regional accreditation that lets students use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when they need financial aid. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) granted that accreditation to the college. With HLC accreditation, M State can also evaluate the work that students did and give them credit. Students can use this accreditation when they want to transfer to another university or college too.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Application Requirements

The admissions checklist offered by M State makes it easy for students to check off each step in the application process. All students must complete the M State online application, including those who previously attended the college and those applying for the first time. Students must have a Star ID to apply, but they can create that ID on the college’s admissions website. The application asks students to declare their majors and pick how they will take classes. They will also need to share some personal information, including their names and social security numbers as well as whether they have a high school diploma.

M State then asks that students supply either a high school transcript or a GED score/transcript. Those who want credit for the college classes they already took must provide college transcripts too. There is an application fee of $20 too. M State has admissions counselors who can help students apply and provide them with answers to any of their application questions. Those accepted will need to visit a website and log in with their Star ID information to complete the M State orientation. Students cannot register for classes or get financial aid until they complete the online orientation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

A pilot project launched by M State reduced tuition for nonresidents and allowed them to pay the same rate that Minnesota residents do. Those students now pay $161 per credit hour for all the classes they take on campus. Students who take one or more online classes will pay $199 per credit hour. The college can also work with school districts in the state and let high school students take classes. Those districts pay $191 per credit hour. Students also pay fees of around $16 per credit hour and an activity fee of at least $3 per credit hour.

M State encourages students to file the FAFSA by the first of July to get financial aid for the fall semester. It will drop them from their classes if they have not yet filed or made payment arrangements within three days of the start of that semester. Those who receive more aid than they need to pay their direct costs will receive a refund check by the middle of September. With work-study, students work no more than 10 hours each week on the M State campus. They may qualify for scholarships that come from one of two foundations based on where they take classes. Paralegal studies majors attending Minnesota State Community and Technical College can take out loans and get other types of financial aid too.