Mary Rothchild headshot

Mary Rothchild

Senior System Director of Workforce Development


Welcome to Workforce Development

With 30 colleges, 7 universities, 54 campuses, and more than 400,000 students, Minnesota State plays a critical role in workforce development by

  • Encouraging education-industry partnerships through our Centers of Excellence in agriculture, manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, information technology, energy, and transportation. More information can be found at this link:
  • Providing students and faculty with timely career and labor market information through our online data and information resource called CAREERwise and through support of RealTime Talent’s tools for online job information and research
  • Guiding secondary and post-secondary students to career and technical education (CTE)
  • Supporting adult learners through credit-for-prior learning
  • Managing system-wide programs, including Leveraged Equipment and Multi-campus Collaboration Funding

Find useful information and contact helpful staff through links to our units below.


Experiential Education: Internships & Work-Based Learning Guide

Work-­Based Learning for our students represents an increasingly valuable learning opportunity. Whether for the high school-­aged student or a middle-­of‐life career changer, first-­hand exposure to business and industry workplaces and the activities that drive these organizations cannot be replicated in campus settings. Increasing these dynamic experiences for students is a goal of all Minnesota State institutions. Questions regarding the different models for internships and other Work-­Based Learning that exist in Minnesota, including faculty and business partner involvement, credit transferability to upper level institutions, and other considerations are major concerns for both seasoned and new practitioners when starting and updating internship and Work­‐Based Learning programs. In an attempt to answer some of these questions and to ultimately provide some guidelines for internship, dual training and Work‐Based Learning in our system, representatives from across Minnesota State colleges and universities were invited to assist with this collection of information and suggested guidelines.

Download the guide

Find FAQs about the Leveraged Equipment Program below. In addition to the FY2020 Leveraged Equipment Program, there is currently an opportunity to apply for additional funds. Find information about the additional funds at the bottom of this section.

Leveraged Equipment Program FY2020

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Leveraged equipment program funds are intended to provide resources to acquire state-of-the-art equipment on which to train students in areas with high employer need. The program is intended to help colleges and universities build long term partnerships with communities and employers in high demand sectors.

According to 2013 legislation, "equipment" means equipment for instructional purposes for programs that the board determines would produce graduates with skills for which there is a high employer need within the state. An equipment acquisition may be made under this appropriation only if matched by cash or in-kind contributions from non-state sources.


  1. How much in state funding will each college and university receive?

    Attached is a listing of leveraged equipment allocation for each college and university in FY2020. These funds will be distributed to campuses in the August 2019 allocation. Funds may be used for the purposes of the leveraged equipment program as outlined in this FAQ.
  2. How was the distribution determined?

    The $7,044,652 million appropriation is distributed in FY2020 based on each institution's five year average of general fund/ARRA instructional equipment spending, including leveraged equipment spending. Institutions that did not fully utilize their FY19 allocation will have that same amount deducted from their FY2020 allocation. The remaining funds of $233,348 will be available through a Request for Proposal process in mid-August, 2019.


  1. What is the match requirement?

    State funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar by cash or in-kind contributions from non-state sources.
  2. How is match defined?

    Match is defined as any cash or in-kind contribution from non-state sources. Matching funds for equipment NO LONGER have to be raised from a source that is related to that program area. In other words, if matching funds are “received” from a private hospital organization that exceeds the cost of equipment for a nursing lab by $20,000, then the $20,000 excess may be considered as match for equipment purchases in an advanced manufacturing program.

    1. Examples of eligibility for cash match funds include:
      • Grant funds from non-profit, private or federal sources awarded to the college or university (Note: Carl D. Perkins funds may not be counted as matching funds for this program)
      • Cash donations made directly to the college or university or through its foundation
    2. In-kind contributions are non-cash gifts that have a calculable cash value. Examples of eligible in-kind match include:
      • The value of donated instructional equipment
      • The value of donated materials, software, curriculum products and supplies for the equipment
      • The value of donated training provided by industry experts on the new equipment to Minnesota State faculty, staff or students
      • The value of donated labor and materials required to install the equipment
      • The value of vendor discounts on equipment purchases. Vendor discounts are defined as any reduction in price below the lowest bid price received after the procurement process.
    3. The following sources may not be counted as match:
      • Cash from state sources, including state appropriated funds
      • Student paid tuition or fees
      • Carl D. Perkins federal funds
      • Physical enhancements or updates to a facility, such as the construction or modification of a science lab
  3. Can the match be a pledge of funds to be received over several years?

    The match must be received in the fiscal year of the equipment acquisition and also not just pledged, before state funds can be spent.
  4. Can I exceed the match requirement?

    Yes, colleges and universities are encouraged to exceed the required match if possible. In the past, colleges and universities have reported match two to three times greater than the required dollar for dollar match, and this has helped to generate legislative support for this program.
  5. What are the deadlines for requesting leveraged equipment appropriations?

    All leveraged equipment funds should be spent or encumbered by June 30, 2020.
  6. What if we can't find enough in-kind or cash match?

    Matching funds are a requirement of the program. Each college and university must secure matching funds and encumber state leveraged equipment funds by the end of the fiscal year.


  1. What are eligible equipment purchases?

    Equipment purchases shall be for instructional purposes for programs that produce graduates with skills for which there is high employer need.
  2. How is high employer need defined?

    An example and current list of high employer job categories as defined by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) occupational demand data, which can be found on a Minnesota State (CAREERwise) link:
  3. Can appropriated funds be used to cover the shipping costs of eligible program equipment purchased with state dollars?

  4. Can state dollars be used to purchase used equipment?

    The intent of the program is to provide state-of-the-art equipment for student learning. While purchase of used equipment is not prohibited, colleges and universities should be certain that the used equipment is considered state-of-the-art, and is widely used or is expected to be widely used in the work place of a high need area.
  5. Can leveraged equipment funds be used to purchase computers? If so, are there any limits on this?

    Computers that are used by students in high employer demand programs may be purchased. Examples include computers for diagnostic technologies or computer aided design. Equipment for smart classrooms or computers for general college-wide use are not eligible.
  6. Can leveraged funds be used to purchase a bus to transport students in a program?

    No, leveraged equipment funds may not be used to purchase transportation for a program. The intent of the program is to purchase instructional equipment for direct student learning.
  7. Can instructional videos be purchased with leveraged funds?

    Instructional videos may be purchased only if the videos can be directly related to current state-of-the-art practices and procedures that otherwise would be difficult to present in a classroom format.
  8. Can funds be used for equipment that supports lower division coursework in two-year colleges that offer specific baccalaureate transfer programs (including transfer pathways) to four year institutions?

    Leveraged equipment may be used to purchase instructional equipment in these program areas only if those baccalaureate programs are defined as high employment need by MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. For information on high demand programs (3 stars or more DEMAND rating), use this link:


  1. Is there a standard way colleges and universities should account for these funds?

    Yes, each college and university must establish a separate cost center in ISRS for each academic program participating in the Leveraged Equipment program. The cost center should be assigned a program code that matches the academic program’s operations cost center.
  2. How should match be accounted for in ISRS?

    Leverage equipment match entries should be booked using normal entry methods for donations and in-kind contributions. Due to reporting needs, some match will not be booked to LEV appropriation. Federal grants for example. For this reason it is recommended to maintain a spreadsheet log of applicable matching entries. See the question about REPORTING below for additional information.
  3. Is a separate cost center needed for FY2020 funding?

    Yes. In order to maintain the separation between the FY 2019 LEV program funds and those for FY 2020, we recommended creating a new general ledger for the 2020 biennium activity. This will require using new cost center numbers.
  4. How should donations collected by a foundation be accounted for in ISRS?

    Cash donations collected by a foundation should be receipted as private grant revenue.
  5. What are the reporting requirements for the program?

    While in past years, we have requested an accounting of match contributions (donor name, value of donation, equipment specifications and program type), this information is NO LONGER required for legislative reporting.

    However, colleges and universities ARE REQUIRED to track leveraged funds, e.g., donations, in-kind, discounts, etc. in their accounting system that match to your state leveraged equipment funds, as we may be asked for this information in the future by senior leadership or the legislature.

If you have additional questions, contact Mary Rothchild, Senior System Director, Workforce, at or 651.201.1672.

Updated August 2019

Leveraged Equipment - Additional Funds

Two additional opportunities to apply for leveraged equipment funds are currently available.

  • FY2019 Unallocated Funds
    With the final reconciliation of the FY19 leveraged equipment program, we have unallocated funds of $233,348. Colleges and universities that fully utilized their FY19 leveraged equipment allocations AND have excess non-state leveraged dollars in FY19 are eligible to apply. If you would like to be considered for these funds, complete the application form below.

    FY19 LEV EQUIP supplement.
    Due: 9/20/2019
  • Leveraged Equipment Program FY2020 - additional appropriation
    The legislature made an additional appropriation of $250,000 for leveraged equipment in FY20 and FY21. The legislation has different program requirements than the current annual leveraged equipment allocations. To be eligible for these funds, matching funds (1:1) must be raised after July 1, 2019 from non-state resources and the program requires that non-state funds be raised specifically for program equipment being acquired. If you would like to apply for these funds, complete form below. 

    FY20 $250,000 Lev Equip.
    Due: 11/1/2019

We partner with RealTime Talent and TalentNeuron Recruit to offer real-time labor market information to campuses for student career advising and job searching, and to assist with academic program planning.

To schedule training opportunities or to seek assistance with labor market data research, contact Phil Arellano, our Project Manager for Workforce Development.


The Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Charting the Future initiative, identified in the FY17 work plan under initiative 2.2.2, "Advance strategies and capacity for competency certification and credit for prior learning at all colleges and universities." This initiative is led by college and university pilots and supported by Academic and Student Affairs.

Five Initiatives

  1. Identify workgroups of colleges and universities to advance strategies and capacity for offering students credit for prior learning.
  2. Apply and refine a "toolkit" to scale up different types of credit for prior learning options for students
  3. Support faculty and staff professional development
  4. Commit resources to build capacity for credit for prior learning, including internal and external subject matter experts, to support colleges and universities as they progress
  5. Develop and update system-wide policy and procedures regarding credit for prior learning.

Credit for prior learning assists students with receiving credit based course equivalences for demonstration of equivalent competence through national exams, credit by exam, military experience through ACE or through prior learning coursework leading to portfolio review by an expert faculty member. Credit for prior learning recognizes students often enter our colleges and universities with college-level skills. This experience could come through achieving industry-recognized credentials, military experience or through rigorous coursework at high school. Students can accelerate their pathway to degree completion and possibly save money through credit for prior learning.

Team SharePoint Site

CPL Team SharePoint Site

Members should use your STAR ID followed by (not your institution) and then use your STAR ID password. If you have trouble accessing this site, send an email request to


Mary Rothchild
Senior System Director for Workforce Development
Minnesota State

Yingfah Thao
Communications and Web Manager, Career and Technical Education
Minnesota State

Academic Affairs provides a variety of planning services at the system, regional, and institutional level for the system and its key partners. These services include:

  • Strategic plan development;
  • Vision and mission development;
  • Vision and mission approval by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees;
  • Workplan development;
  • Group facilitation; and
  • Demographic and labor market data.

Due to the limited size of the planning staff, planning services for system colleges and universities are only offered when staff is available. Priorities are determined by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

See Academic Affairs Planning for more information.

Jon Dalager, JD, Ph.D.
System Director, Accreditation, Academic Programs, and Assessment