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Bloomington-based Rasmussen College is becoming Rasmussen University in a move the for-profit school's leaders say signals a renewed push to expand options for students.

Rasmussen announced Wednesday that it will change its name effective in October, a decision its governing board approved last summer. The college specializes in preparing adult learners for professional careers. Its patented Flex Choice model combines traditional coursework and programs such as online courses students take at their own pace without a professor, and others that offer credit for demonstrating prior knowledge and skills.

The college offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees and certificates in fields such as health care, business and technology. Officials are making plans to begin offering doctoral degrees as well.

"This transition is more than a name change," Rasmussen President Trenda Boyum-Breen said in a statement. "It is an opportunity to provide students with more options to positively influence their education journey, including the cost and time to completion."

Officials said the move will not significantly affect students. Those graduating after this fall will receive diplomas and transcripts from Rasmussen University.

The school, which opened in 1900 as Rasmussen Practical School of Business in Stillwater, now serves more than 17,000 students in six states and nationally through its online programs. Student enrollment, which dipped in the postrecession years, has increased more recently, following moves to significantly cut the cost of some business programs through the Flex Choice model.

Mila Koumpilova • 612-673-4781