August 2018 newsletter
Explore a few demographics about the incoming class of 2022 and how the first-year experience has changed. Then discover how college athletics at Minnesota’s private college and universities differ from Division I athletics.
What are some of the shared experiences of the class of 2022?
First-year students entering college this fall are the first class from Generation Z and the first class born in the 2000s. Members of the class of 2022 do remember the world before the Great Recession but Barack Obama is likely the first president they’ve had an opinion on. “The experiences that the class of 2022 have had greatly impact them as college students,” said Tom McBride, author of the Mindset List, a list of experiences that reflect the worldview of entering first-year students. “Millennials have dominated the narrative around college students — this is now the beginning of Gen Z.”
What are the demographics of the class of 2022?
We won’t know the exact demographics until they show up on campus but we do know some trends. The percent of students of color at our 17 member colleges has gone up over 80 percent in 10 years — going from below the percentage of Minnesota high school graduates of color to above that level. Undergraduate enrollment tends to be around 60 percent female and 40 percent male and our colleges enroll nearly 20 percent of the college students in the state — similar in size to Minnesota State universities and the University of Minnesota.
How are first-year orientations changing?
The initial experience the class of 2022 will be having on campus will be at first-year orientation. And these days orientations aren’t just a one-time event; they are part of a curriculum supporting students, one that will be sustained throughout the year. “A good comprehensive orientation in the first year makes a huge difference not only in academics but in living with other people, being independent and thinking of themselves as an adult,” said Megan Perry-Spears, dean of students at The College of St. Scholastica. “Ultimately it’s about helping them form their identity.”
What are first-year seminars and how are they evolving?
First-year seminars focus on facilitating connections between professor and students. “At St. Scholastica, these courses are longer and worth more credits than the average course, generally consisting of about 20 students, a professor and an upper-class teaching assistant,” Perry-Spears said. “The professor becomes the academic advisor for students in the class and helps guide them into the right coursework going into sophomore year.”
These seminars aren’t just designed to connect students with an advisor and their classmates; they also cover essential academic themes. The first-year seminar at St. Scholastica has five common themes — dignity, diversity, Benedictine tradition and values, catholic social teaching (social justice) and Catholic intellectual tradition — and each course has its own lens through which students learn these themes, said Perry-Spears. Although each student isn’t getting the same experience, the curriculum is designed so that all students have a deep understanding of the five themes.
How are the expectations of first-year students changing?
“The class of 2022 will tend to be more critical of professors, more focused on economic payout and tend to see themselves more as consumers than previous generations,” McBride said. “They also understand the need for an undergraduate degree and have been repeatedly told the importance of graduating from college.”
The enrollment of first-generation students, students for whom neither parent holds a four-year degree, has been over 40 percent of St. Scholastica students for a number of years. “This presents a wonderful opportunity for students and their families,” Perry-Spears said. “Often students come to college with limited knowledge of how higher education systems work. They might not have yet developed all the skills that help build a successful education. It is important that we provide access and guidance in the navigation of college all the way to graduation. I believe there is moral obligation to serve these students well.”
By Tom Lancaster
When people think about college athletics, big-money Big Ten football games may come first to mind. At our 17 private colleges and universities, athletics are a bit different. At NCAA Division II and Division III institutions, the student in student-athletics comes first.
Concordia University, St. Paul is the only private Division II institution in the state of Minnesota and it prides itself on supporting their student-athletes on and off the field. Division II is similar to Division I in the sense that they can award athletic scholarships but they also have many differences.
“At the Division II level we aren’t offering full scholarships to student-athletes,” said Jacob Munkwitz, assistant football coach at Concordia. “We can pair an athletic scholarship with merit-based scholarships and state and federal aid. It’s a good way to think about the division. Athletics is one part that makes up a student-athlete.”
The opportunity to get a private, liberal arts education while playing a sport at a high level is unique. And the educational experience the student-athlete is getting isn’t any different than what other students receive. “We expect our student-athletes to take charge of their education. We certainly help our student-athletes access the resources they need but we don’t offer special tutors or classes or dorms,” Munkwitz said. “At Concordia we ask a lot of our student-athletes and with that they are receiving a great education with a great athletic experience.”
The rest of our member institutions are in Division III, where there are no athletic scholarships and the out-of-season practices are limited — and the education of the student remains first. Division III sports compete through two different conferences, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).
There’s a focus on keeping students’ lives in balance in Division III institutions like Gustavus Adolphus College, said Kari Eckheart, Gustavus’ assistant athletic director and senior woman administrator. “Our student-athletes are students and athletes but they are also involved all over campus — in clubs, music, organizations,” Echheart said. “Many of our student-athletes take time off of their sport and study abroad or have internships or are two sport athletes.”
Students with connections to staff and faculty are more likely to succeed and athletics is one more way to make these connections. “Often we hear that student-athletes do better when they’re in season; they are better at managing their time,” Eckheart said. “Also, that connection with a coach can make a big difference in the student-athletes’ academic lives.”
“Athletics provide another opportunity for students to learn important skills,” she said. “Leadership, time management and teamwork are just a few of the skills we feel students gain from a small private college athletic experience.”
Club and Intramurals
Although varsity athletics are an integral part of the private college experience, there is also a wide range of club sports offered. Club sports aren’t a division of the NCAA but rather another way for students to compete against different colleges and are overseen by the national governing bodies of each sport.
Take Carleton College’s women’s club ultimate team (or ultimate for short), Syzygy. They play in the top league in the country, competing against much larger public universities, and are considered one of the best teams in the nation.
Club sports can teach student-athletes life skills explained Maya Powell, Syzygy’s junior captain. “Ultimate has really taught me a lot about life,” Powell said. “In Ultimate, we have the ‘Spirit of the Game’ instead of referees. This means that each player must hold themselves and their team accountable to the rules — lying and cheating only hurts the team.”
Although Syzygy isn’t a varsity sport, the team is very organized and competitive. They travel all over the country playing other Ultimate teams and are offered similar experiences to their Division II and Division III counter parts.
A wide range of intramural sports are also offered, providing opportunities for students on the same campus to compete.
Check out all the athletic opportunities on our college’s campuses under the “Athletics” portion of our College Finder.
By Tom Lancaster
Of the 3,474 students transferring to our member institutions in 2016-17, 42 percent came from Minnesota State community and technical colleges, with 31 percent coming from one of the 10 seven-county metro-area colleges.
Softball standout honored with NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Kylie Maczieswski is the first St. Catherine University student-athlete to earn the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a $7,500 award toward graduate school.
MCAD President Jay Coogan announces his departure
Jay Coogan, president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has announced his plans to depart from the college on September 14 after more than nine years at the helm.
CSP president Dr. Tom Ries to retire
Concordia University, St. Paul President Dr. Tom Ries has announced he will retire at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.
University of St. Thomas hosts journalism summer camps
The University of St. Thomas’ ThreeSixty journalism program hosted summer camps for high school students with intensive college readiness programming to develop their journalism skills.
CSB, SJU hosts ‘stimulating’ conference that addresses the liberal arts
Liberal Arts Illuminated at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University gives participants the opportunity to affirm and celebrate the core values of a liberal arts education.
Macalester student creates "Athletes Against Sexual Violence" program
Ethan Levin, a Macalester College football player, created a program called "Athletes Against Sexual Violence" and was recently profiled in the Star Tribune.
Hamline names Dr. David Everett AVP of inclusive excellence
Hamline University has hired Dr. David L. Everett as its first associate vice president for inclusive excellence. He began his duties on Monday, August 27.
Augsburg partners to publish a Somali student report
Augsburg University's East African Student to Teacher program partnered with The Minnesota Education Equity Partnership to research and publish the report Somali Student Achievement in Minnesota.
Recent St. Scholastica grad hopes to combine astrophysics with Ojibwe culture
During her time at The College of St. Scholastica, Winonah Ojanen discovered a research interest at the intersection of astrophysics and Ojibwe culture.
Carleton student wins top honors for his musical performance in China
Gus Holley ’20, a rising junior at Carleton College from Moorhead, Minnesota, became the first foreigner ever to win the gold medal at the Liao Yuan Cup International Pipa Competition.
Saint Mary's announces new Master of Public Health program
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is launching its Master of Public Health program, enabling its students to address health disparities and advocate for systemic solutions.
Visit campus this fall
The schedule of fall campus visit events for prospective students has been added to the Council website.
Transfer Days scheduled
Beginning in September, transfer representatives from some of our colleges will stop by several community colleges in the Twin Cities area to answer questions about how to transfer to a Minnesota private college. Community college students do not need to register to attend.
New president welcomed at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
On Jul. 9, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota welcomed its 14th president, The Rev. James P. Burns who most recently served as the dean of the Woods College of Advancing Studies and Summer Session at Boston College.
Six Minnesota private colleges encouraging dialogue tied to Constitution Day
Carleton College, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Catherine University, College of Saint Benedict, Saint John’s University and St. Olaf College will each hold civic dialogue events on Sept. 17 to mark Constitution Day. Public institutions are taking part as well; the effort is being coordinated by Minnesota Campus Compact.
New leadership scholarship program launched for African-American men
The Ciresi Walburn Scholars program supports 12 young African-American men who graduated from Minnesota high schools and who are starting their junior year at Augsburg University and the University of St. Thomas. The program involves career experiences, financial support and mentoring that will help the men graduate ready to launch their post-baccalaureate careers.
Report on the origin of transfer students
The report examines where students who transfer into our member colleges previously enrolled, with findings broken down by institutional sector for both in-state and out-of-state transfer students, the type of program students transfer into (traditional and non-traditional) and the terms of transfer.
Number of Minnesota Pell Grant recipients
The Council has updated its report on the number of Minnesota Pell Grant recipients, which includes Pell recipients as a percent of undergraduate enrollment by sector.
New policy fact sheets available
The Council recently released fact sheets on the value of the bachelor’s degree — Bachelor's degrees matter: Educating Minnesota's future workforce — and the need for more investment in the Minnesota State Grant program —Make college more affordable: Invest directly in Minnesota's students. Both can be downloaded from our website.
How to prepare your kids for jobs that don’t exist yet
Fast Company, June 27, 2018
Value matters in choosing a college. But not just the price kind.
Washington Post, Jul. 13, 2018
Why so many poor kids who get into college don’t end up enrolling
Vox, Aug. 3, 2018
An underappreciated key to college success: Sleep
The New York Times, Aug. 13, 2018
Optimism for student voter turnout
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2018