Summer 2018 Parent News
Come to any of our 17 colleges during Minnesota Private College Week, June 25-29. This annual visit event is an easy, no-pressure way to begin exploring college options and a great way for your student to discover what he or she is looking for in a college.
These introductory campus visits — beginning at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day — run two-and-a-half hours and include tours and information sessions. Registration is free and easy. So spend a morning or afternoon at one college — or make time to visit several during the week. When we survey parents and students after the event, nearly half wish they had gone on more visits!
As you make your plans, be sure to check out the following resources:
- our tips on how to make the most your visit
- directions and parking info for each campus
- transportation options if you can’t or don’t want to drive
- suggestions on how to make a road trip out of it
There's sure to be a private college that's the right fit for your student.
You’re likely heard the worry about whether students who graduate from liberal arts colleges get jobs. So you’ll be glad to learn then that 75 percent of our graduates are employed within a year of earning their bachelor’s degree. Another 16 percent are pursuing additional education while four percent are doing volunteer service (such as Peace Corps or mission work).
What’s more, our colleges have highest four-year graduation rate in the state (and the Midwest). Why does that matter? Not only are our students are less likely to pay for extra years of tuition, but they’re also more likely to begin their careers — and earn money — sooner.
Employers know that liberal arts graduates make great additions to their organization because our graduates:
- have ‘transferable’ skills that help them adapt quickly to new situations. These include critical thinking, analytical problem solving, excellent communication, adaptability and ability to contribute to team environments.
- have a well-rounded foundation of knowledge in a variety of areas as well as in-depth knowledge in their majors. They are life-long learners who want to continue learning and growing professionally throughout their careers.
- are confident and able to relate well to others. They leave school with leadership experience in student organizations, sports teams, theater productions and musical groups, making them flexible and prepared for a wide array of opportunities.
- have learned beyond the classroom through:
- internships that provide real-world experience and prepare interns for future careers.
- experiential or service-learning courses that require service in the community and build on the information learned in the classroom.
- study abroad experiences that develop cultural competencies and prepare candidates to be effective in diverse and global work places.
Our colleges also provide strong alumni networks, support of career services and meetings with recruiters as well as an annual Job and Internship Fair where seniors from all our colleges can meet with potential employers.
Simply put: Employers seek the knowledge and skills that our grads have. Along with specific skills, they want to hire people who are flexible and creative. “They have to be well-rounded, curious, good problem solvers and able to handle a variety of situations,” noted the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's Bill Blazar. “This goes to the heart of a liberal arts education."
Don’t underestimate the power of soft skills. That’s the message that students and parents need to take to heart. With all the talk in the media about which majors are the most desirable, it’s easy to lose sight of what employers think matters when they’re looking to add new grads to their team (hint, it’s not the student’s major).
“When you look at the most listed skills, both hard and soft ones, almost all are soft skills,” said Sara Johnson, employer and alumni relations manager at Concordia College. “These are really people skills. Employers are looking for a good quality candidate with problem solving abilities who can be creative, who can be analytical and who can take that information and articulate it.”
Using a big-data tool that pulls together and analyzes job postings, Johnson identified more than 390,000 postings from the last two years for new bachelor’s degree holders in our five-state area. She looked specifically at the skills required. The top sought skill? Oral and written communication.
Hamline biology majors Anna Ries and Michael Gilray spent last summer testing water quality at Washington County lake with professor of biology Leif Hembre to study the effects rainbow trout have on water quality.
“Since the 1980s, the DNR has been stocking rainbow trout in the lake,” Hembre said. “Our hypothesis is that the trout eat small crustaceans which feed on algae and so by introducing rainbow trout the algae levels build up.”
Gilray and Ries presented their research at Private College Scholars at the Capitol — an event celebrating undergraduate research in Minnesota — and were also selected to present their research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research.
Class size. Student-faculty ratio. Faculty advisors. You’ve probably heard the terms or see them on college websites. They matter because teacher-student interaction is just as important in higher education as it is in elementary, middle and high school — perhaps more so since those connections in and outside the classroom means professors are able to help students consider career options and speak up for the students.
Professors at our colleges are available to students when they have questions or need advice or guidance. But that doesn’t happen everywhere — especially if classes are very large or taught by graduate assistants instead of Ph.D. faculty, as is often the case at large research institutions.
Blaine-native Jacob Hanson took PSEO courses at the University of Minnesota, and that’s when he realized he wanted to find a college that offered smaller class sizes. “I really wanted a community where I could get to know my professors,” said Hanson. “After visiting Concordia College and hearing about its pre-med program, I knew it was the right fit for me.” But he was also concerned about how to keep it affordable. Read more of Jacob’s story.
Higher education — especially at liberal arts colleges — encourages students to pursue the path of discovery — of self, of interests, of direction. Sometimes that path leads students in unexpected directions and opportunities they never imagined. Read the story of how six recent alums embraced this opportunity to chart their own paths.
Learn what’s happening at our colleges with a quick rundown of recent news.
Augsburg convenes conversation in applied ethics on "just sustainabilities"
Augsburg University welcomed Tufts University Professor Julian Agyeman who presented on "Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning, and Practice."
New Bethany education programs receive state approval
Bethany Lutheran College has received formal approval from the state for a new special education major and an endorsement program for pre-primary grades.
Bethel announces partnership with Thrivent Financial
Bethel University students will invest over $1 million on behalf of Thrivent and individual donors through the new Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF).
Carleton's Chris Anisowicz creates solar-powered summer program
Carleton College football player turns passion for learning into program that teaches others about solar energy in a fun, unique educational model.
S.A.M. Case Study team makes it five straight national titles
Team from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University wins Undergraduate Division at 34th annual Society for the Advancement of Management (S.A.M.) Case Study Research Competition.
St. Scholastica program to improve rural healthcare
The College of St. Scholastica has been awarded a $1.4 million, two-year federal grant to fund the Rural Academic Practice Partnership for Northeastern Minnesota for enhanced placement of nurse practitioner and expanded educational opportunities for rural primary care providers.
Concordia Language Villages receives $5 million gift for Korean site
Concordia Language Villages, a program of Concordia College, received a $5 million gift to build an authentic location for the Korean Language Village.
CSP marketing students compete in National Grocers Association Competition
Concordia University, St. Paul marketing seniors recently competed in the National Grocers Association student marketing competition in Las Vegas.
Hope springs geothermal for Gustavus student Kenzie Perry
Gustavus Adolphus College senior Kenzie Perry is researching water quality across the Midwest
Hamline professors collaborate with Minneapolis neighborhood
Hamline University criminal justice professors partner with the City of Minneapolis and the Little Earth community to implement crime reduction strategies.
Danai Gurira, Macalester graduate and Black Panther star, embraces her Zimbabwean name
Gurira, a 2001 Macalester College graduate, didn't know her name was Danai until she was five years old and has penned an article for GLAMOUR on learning to embrace it.
MCAD student receives prestigious Wingate Fellowship
Kiley Friese, a Minneapolis College of Art and Design senior, received a 2018 Craft Windgate Fellowship, a prestigious award worth $15,000 and one of the largest offered nationally to art students.
Saint Mary's University forms center for culturally responsive engagement
To help bridge the equity gaps that exist nationally throughout our schools, organizations and communities, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has created the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement.
St. Kate's students earn distinguished honors
St. Catherine University students Erin Nelsen ’20 and Andrea Duarte ’19 have earned a competitive summer internship with the U.S. Department of State and a Truman Scholarship, respectively.
St. Olaf brings its classes into the community
St. Olaf College's Academic Civic Engagement program gives students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world settings through courses like this January's Engineering Design Practicum.
Sophomores from the University of St. Thomas win Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge
University of St. Thomas students Meghan Sharkus and Jackie Page won the largest undergraduate national business pitch competition and $75,000 in funding for their business ExpressionMed.
Interested in more campus news? View past news items from all our campuses.
Here are some of the best recent articles that we’ve come across:
Liberal arts degree delivers liberal earnings and job satisfaction
Seattle Times, Mar. 13, 2018
When you cut the humanities, what you lose is the human
The Hill, Apr. 5, 2018
Treat a college visit like you’re vacationing, not like you’re cramming for finals
Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2018
Six ways to work with your college counselor
Forbes, Apr. 23, 2018
Honest career advice for college students who think they need a master plan for life
USA Today, Apr. 27, 2018