October 2017 newsletter
Learn how one Hamline University student is paying for college. Then explore the many ways our colleges and their students work with children in their local communities and beyond.
Every student’s college experience is unique, and the way students pay for college is no different. Many students have several support systems that help them make paying for college work, and Madi Nelson, a senior business major at Hamline University, is no different.
Nelson grew up in Oakdale, Minnesota and always knew she wanted to go to college. Nelson wasn’t the first person in her family to go to Hamline; she became interested in the St. Paul university after her sister started classes there. “Having a sister who went through the college application and financial aid processes was really nice,” Nelson said. “She and my parents helped me and knowing that she had done it made me feel so much less nervous.”
When Nelson was looking at colleges, affordability was certainly a major consideration, but it wasn’t the only factor. “I looked at a few other schools, and one was a little bit less expensive but I felt like I was going to be the most successful at Hamline,” Nelson said. She plans on graduating a semester early, which will have financial benefits too.
Nelson has received a diverse financial aid package all four years she’s been at Hamline. She was awarded a Pell Grant and a Minnesota State Grant — both of which are need-based. She also received an institutional scholarship and work study from Hamline, was awarded an outside scholarship and has taken out a student loan. She saved money in high school and in the summer during college — and her parents have helped out as well.
“Every little part helps,” Nelson said. “Things like the outside scholarship really make things less stressful. Knowing it was there all four years made things easier.”
Nelson has a unique perspective on financial aid — her work-study job is in the financial aid office at Hamline. “I can really relate to students who are applying for financial aid, and I think because I’ve gone through it recently I can better help students who are nervous,” Nelson said. “There’s a lot that goes into financial aid and things can change every year — the financial aid office is here to help students make it work and they helped me make it work.”
“My advice to students is save as much money you can during high school and summer — every little bit counts,” Nelson said. “And enjoy college while it lasts; it’ll go by so fast.”
By Tom Lancaster
Other paying for college profiles:
- Ali Carlson, Concordia College
- Sam Figueroa, University of St. Thomas
- Chazz Robinson, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
- Tiana Danforth, St. Catherine University
- Haley Coller, Gustavus Adolphus College
- Delissa Hernandez, Augsburg College
Awarding about 10,000 bachelor’s degrees a year, private colleges and universities play a big role in educating Minnesota’s workforce, including many of our state’s teachers. But the education impact starts earlier: These institutions work with local school districts and community organizations to collaborate on meeting the needs of pre-K through 12th grade students.
Technology in the classroom
Out of a previous partnership with Kennedy Elementary school in St. Joseph, Minnesota, the College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU) began leading professional development for teachers around using new technologies in the classroom. Teachers are engaging with new technologies every year, but sometimes lack the opportunity to be fully trained on how to best utilize it.
“This school year teachers have different topics they are sign up for, and Professor Diana Fenton is working with her students to go deeper into the pedagogical implication of these technologies,” said Theresa Johnson, Education Department chair. “Learning how to use the technologies was the first step; Professor Fenton is helping teachers learn new ways to teach with those tools in meaningful ways.”
This relationship with schools offers access to expertise that is in the community. Sometimes this expertise comes from third-party consultants who might be more interested in selling a product than its implementation, but by having two education intuitions collaborate they can focus on student outcomes.
“One of the most important outcomes is that we have teachers who see past the tool into meaningful learning,” Johnson said. “It’s important to step back from the bells and whistles of the technologies and see the bigger implications on teaching.”
Bethel University is also collaborating with local schools, but in a different way — Bethel is connecting undergraduate students with pre-K classrooms.
Part of Bethel’s early childhood education major is a licensure that includes applied learning. This applied learning has involved the on-campus Bethel child care center; more recently new relationships have been fostered with the St. Anthony-New Brighton and Roseville school districts.
“School districts can benefit from having more adults in their pre-K classrooms because of the nature of working with very young students,” said Jolene Pearson, Associate Professor and Director of Early Childhood Services at Bethel University. “Through our partnerships we can provide college students who are eager to gain experience working with young children, and the classroom teachers can share their passion for early childhood education.”
Learning outcomes are felt by the young students in the districts that partner with Bethel. “Our children are excited to see the practicum students and spend time with them in the classroom each week,” said Wendy Webster, director of early childhood services in the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District. “And our parents comment on the benefits of having practicum students in the classroom and often report how their children share stories at home about their time together.”
It also addresses a statewide need. “There is shortage of licensed early childhood professionals across the state,” Pearson said. “Through our partnerships we provide additional assistance in classrooms while our students gain real-world experiences — it’s a really unique opportunity for both groups.”
Out-of-school time learning
Hamline University’s McVay Youth Partnership is a unique relationship between Hamline and local church and community organizations, with students' out-of-school time learning as the focus.
The partnership engages 45 Hamline undergraduate students as McVay Fellows and Interns who provide homework help and opportunities for cooking, arts and crafts, recreation, and cultural programming at four sites in St. Paul. The students who participate are in grades 5-12. McVay provides a place, outside of school, for them to learn and develop with the leadership of the Fellows and Interns.
“One of the most important aspects of the program is to have our Hamline Fellows be role models,” said Jane Krentz, the McVay youth partnership’s director. “We intentionally recruit a diverse cohort of Interns and Fellows — it’s really important that the students can see themselves in their mentors.”
"Many of the youth who attend the McVay Youth Partnership are refugees and immigrants, navigating multiple cultures,” Krentz said. "Many of our Fellows and Interns have this as a shared experience and can help guide the student through what can be a challenging situation.”
Several of the McVay Youth Partnership participants even end up enrolling in Hamline and becoming McVay Fellows, a cycle that shows the importance of the program to the students.
By Tom Lancaster
One of the things that our colleges do best is engaging students with whatever they’re studying, but it goes beyond just learning in the classroom. It’s not uncommon for students at our colleges to engage with pre-K through 12th grade students as well, helping them learn and grow. We asked our colleges for photos of their students working with children — on and off campus, in their local communities and globally. (Click here if you can’t see the gallery.)
The four-year graduate rate for students of color at the Council’s 17 member institutions is significantly higher than either the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State universities. It’s also the best in the Midwest, compared to public systems and other states’ private colleges.
Source: IPEDS graduation rate data for first-time full-time fall 2010 cohort. Note that fall 2009 data was used for Minnesota State universities because fall 2010 data was not available.
*The Minnesota Private College Council’s 17 member institutions
Augsburg hosts 29th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum
Nobel Peace Prize laureates and world leaders convened at Augsburg University with students and local peacemakers for this international event focused on building dialogue in divided societies.
Saint Ben’s President Emerita S. Colman O’Connell ’49, OSB, dies at 90
S. Colman was an educator, an administrator, a visionary leader and a tireless advocate for the College of Saint Benedict.
Permanent gallery for The Saint John’s Bible opens at Saint John’s
Gallery in the lower level of Alcuin Library at Saint John’s University will exhibit original folios from the seven volumes.
Career-ready science at Hamline
Through Hamline University’s Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons (HIPAL), students prepare for professional careers throughout their time as undergraduates with specialized career development resources.
Bethel student named Bush Fellow and seeks to advance refugee education
Ed.D. student at Bethel University and Burmese refugee Hsajune Dyan works as St. Paul Public Schools’ Karen Cultural Specialist.
CSP fall enrollment at a record breaking 4,792 students
Overall student headcount at Concordia University, St. Paul stands at 4,792 at the fall 2017 census, marking the sixth consecutive year of record enrollment.
Macalester gets a shout-out for creating entrepreneurs
Kate Ryan Reiling ’00 heads Macalester College’s entrepreneurship program with real-world experience building a business and empathy for the needs of an entrepreneur.
St. Scholastica graduate social work program awarded $1.3 million grant
The College of St. Scholastica has been awarded $1.33 million by the federal government to offer stipends to graduate clinical social work students committed to working in behavioral health in rural settings.
Individuals, communities transformed through Gustavus public discourse class
Gustavus Adolphus College's communication studies program celebrates 10 years of Public Discourse, a course that connects students with hands-on projects in the community.
Saint Mary's Kabara Institute announces season of events
With new leadership, visionary ideas and innovative community collaborations, the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is announcing its fall schedule of events.
St. Kate's project to reduce stigma for children with disabilities
St. Catherine University professors Mary Hearst and Paula Rabaey are working to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities in Kanyama, Zambia.
Schedule your own campus visits
Although the larger fall campus visit events are beginning to wrap up, families always have the option to schedule individual visits.
Counselors' Breakfast scheduled for Nov. 15 in Rochester
This free informational session for high school counselors and others who work with students on college planning. Admissions representatives from our member institutions share updates on what is going on at their institutions and answer questions.
Earning college credit information updated, handout created
Many of our colleges grant credit to first-year students who have participated in dual credit (or concurrent enrollment) programs, but each institution has a slightly different policy. Find out which colleges accept what.
Find colleges offering specific programs of study
Our online College Finder has been updated with majors, minors and concentrations offered during the 2017-18 academic year. Or search for athletic programs or clubs and activities in the arts.
Latest parent e-newsletter available
The fall issue of The Bridge: Parent News, the Council’s e-newsletter for parents of middle and high school students, is now available. Past issues along with a sign up to receive the newsletter by email can be found at the above link.
New student migration report released
The Council has released the 2017 report that shows the migratory patterns of first‐year students in 2016. Minnesota continues to be a "net exporter" of first-time students who attend college within 12 months of graduating from high school.
Students should take the reins during the college process
Forbes, Sept. 13, 2017
Liberal arts education prepares you for life in a rapidly changing world
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 25, 2017
The rural higher-education crisis
The Atlantic, Sept. 27, 2017
Presidents and provosts gather to consider free speech issues
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 16, 2017
Why we still need to study the humanities in a STEM world
Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2017
ACE encourages congress to take action on DACA policy
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Oct. 22, 2017
Expectations, race and college success
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 24, 2017