Brown College (Minnesota)

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Brown College
Established 1946
Type for-profit school
Location Mendota Heights and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, USA
Campus Urban

Brown College is a for-profit school and is a subsidiary of Career Education Corporation. It is located in Mendota Heights and Brooklyn Center, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. It offers programs in the areas of Broadcasting, Game Design, Visual Communications, Network, Business Management, Medical Assistantship and Criminal Justice. As of December 2011 it has suspended taking new students in Game Design & Development. The school runs on 5 week modules continuously throughout the year, with week breaks in July and December. In 2014 it became part of CEC's Sanford-Brown system, and the name changed accordingly.


My name is Del Lonnquist. I was a student at The American Institute of the Air in 1956, graduating in December 1956 and beginning my first job in broadcasting in January 1957 at WMIQ, Iron Mountain, Michigan. Late in the fall of 1956, Richard Brown, "Brownie" as we knew him came into the FGH classroom one evening and announced that he had changed the name of the school to Brown Institute. He explained that he was tired of getting calls from people who wanted to enroll in his classes on "Air Conditioning." The school was established in 1946 in two small rooms above a drug store on the corner of Nicollet and Lake street, later moving to 3123 East Lake. The 1954 date cited in this article for the change in name could not be accurate, because I was in school in 1956, when Brownie announced the name change. Brownie and Helen were two of the finest people I have ever met. The school was originally established in 1946 as the American Institute of the Air by Richard and Helen Brown. The college originally occupied a seven-building campus on East Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The initial campus was made up of old business buildings that were remodeled and refurbished. In 1954, the school changed its name to Brown Institute and then in 2001, it became Brown College. Richard and Helen retired in 1978 but were active participants in Brown events until their deaths in 1994. In July 1986, due to enrollment increases and the lack of space that resulted, the school moved to a brand new facility on Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. In 1997, it relocated again to a Mendota Heights, again due to space needs. Brown College further expanded in October 2001 when it opened its Brooklyn Center, a second campus in a suburb of the northwestern Twin Cities.

In April 2003, Career Education Corporation canceled the Electronics Technology program at Brown College. Electronics was one of the first programs established after the Broadcasting program, and was one of the programs that built Brown's reputation nation-wide.

Career Education Corporation formed a partnership with Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, in January 1999. Brown was the first college in North America to include a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Program. February 2005, Le Cordon Bleu began operating as a separate entity.


Brown College is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), which accredits for-profit schools. Brown College does not have regional accreditation thus many regionally accredited schools are reluctant to accept their credits in transfer or recognize their degrees for entry into graduate programs.[1][2][3][4][5]


Brown College has three schools offers Bachelor’s and Associate’s degrees in the following areas:


Brown College is located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, with a separate autonomous campus in Brooklyn Center. In August 2011, Brown moved its Mendota Heights campus across the street into a new site. This is a single one-level modern building with new equipment. Earlier in the year a very similar structure was constructed for the Brooklyn Center site.

Brown College has a radio station named the Voice of Brown College or simply known as the VBC. Students in their 5th quarter operate the studio during the mornings, and voicetrack shows which broadcast later in the day.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Chuck Brown - Minnesota politician and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (Radio Broadcasting)
  • Rod Grams - U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Radio Broadcasting)[7]
  • Steve Gunderson - U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin (Radio Broadcasting)[8]
  • Chuck Hagel - 24th U.S. Secretary of Defense and former U.S. Senator from Nebraska (Radio Broadcasting)[9]
  • Andy Jorgensen - Wisconsin politician and member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (Radio Broadcasting)
  • Robin Kreibich - radio/television personality and former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (Radio/TV Broadcasting)
  • John Kriesel - Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (Radio Broadcasting)
  • Bree Walker - radio/television personality (Radio Broadcasting)
  • Jeff Dubay- radio/television personality (Radio Broadcasting) Former KFAN PA and Dubay Show
  • Tom Barnard- radio personality/host of the KQRS Morning Show, highest-rated morning show in America (Radio Broadcasting)
  • Terri Traen- radio personality/conversation interrupter on KQRS morning show (Radio Broadcasting)


External links[edit]