Every student enrolled in Minnesota's public post-secondary institutions relies upon the Learning Network - from the opportunity to take courses online to the accurate transmission of the student's academic record.
Integrated Statewide Network
The Integrated Statewide Network is a collaborative wide area network for education, local government, and state agencies. This initiative, which started in 2001, combines network traffic onto a shared infrastructure.
The Learning Network
The Learning Network of Minnesota is the education component of the Integrated Statewide Network. The initiative began in 1993 to connect post-secondary institutions and later public school districts and libraries as well. State funds also provided for interactive video facilities to expand educational opportunities. The Learning Network has evolved to include Internet, data, voice and video services to support academic programs and administrative services.
The higher education portion of the Learning Network has two primary components:
Campus Networks developed and managed by the individual institutions with support from their respective systems.
The Statewide Network developed and managed through a partnership of The University of Minnesota, the Minnesta State Colleges and Universities, the six Higher Education Telecommunications Regions and the Minnesota Department of Administration's InterTechnologies Group.
The six higher education telecommunications regions are funded by State of Minnesota legislative grants and by matching funds paid by each region's member institutions. All of the state's public education institutions are members of a region.
The integration of the telecommunications regions into the Learning Network provides for more institutional and campus-based decision making in the development of the statewide network. Each region is governed by a board of directors which is representative of its member institutions.
Minnesota Education Telecommunications Council (METC)
The 1993 Minnesota Legislature funded the development of a statewide telecommunications network to connect post-secondary education institutions around the state. They also established the Higher Education Telecommunications Council (HETC) to provide statewide leadership and vision for the new Learning Network.
In 1995, the HETC became the METC and the Learning Network was expanded to include K-12 education and public libraries. The METC Board of Directors consists of 25 members and includes representatives of K-12 education, higher education, public libraries, the Minnesota Legislature, and state agencies.