Overview of St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud State University falls in the category of Master's Colleges and Universities [larger programs] under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education developed in 2005. The institution's specifid profile within this system of classification is:
Undergraduate Instructional ProgramBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional ProgramPost baccalaureate comprehensive
Enrollment ProfileVery high undergraduate
Undergraduate ProfileFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
Size and SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential
St. Cloud State University has evolved into one of the leading comprehensive state universities in the Upper Midwest, serving 16,000 students from Minnesota, the nation, and more than 80 countries. The campus overlooks the Mississippi River in the city of St. Cloud, which is a regional hub of Central Minnesota with a population of 63,000 in a three-county metropolitan area whose total population is over 263,000. St. Cloud is 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul whose seven-county metropolitan area has a population of 2,800,000. This location, which offers easy access to urban, suburban, and rural areas, provides students with a range of opportunities for internships and service learning. St. Cloud State University also serves regional businesses and industries through its centers for applied research in fields such as computer technology, biotechnology, manufacturing engineering and microelectronics. The university is a major contributor to economic and workforce development, applied research, professional growth, international awareness, community development, and quality of life in Minnesota.
The university’s evolutionary path is a familiar one in American higher education. The institution began in 1869 as the Third State Normal School with one building, five faculty members, and 53 students. In 1898 the school began offering a junior college curriculum, and in 1914 it dropped its secondary education program entirely. In 1921, when the state legislature changed the State’s normal schools to state teachers colleges, the Third State Normal School became St. Cloud State Teachers College. Four years later, in 1925, the newly designated college awarded its first bachelor’s degrees. In 1953 it became St. Cloud State College as the legislature broadened the mission of the teachers colleges to accommodate increasing demand for higher education following World War II. After the legislature authorized state colleges to offer master’s degrees in 1955, St. Cloud State College offered its first master’s degree programs in 1957. It became St. Cloud State University in 1975 when the legislature changed the designation of state colleges to state universities. In 2005 the legislature authorized state universities to offer doctoral programs in applied fields of study. St. Cloud State University is in the process of establishing its first doctoral program.
The university offers 205 academic degree programs of which 139 are undergraduate and 66 are graduate. Undergraduate programs include 135 leading to bachelor’s degrees, two to associate degrees, and two to certificates. Graduate programs include 52 leading to master’s degrees, 13 to graduate certificates, and one to a specialist degree. Undergraduate degrees conferred are: Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Elective Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Music, Associate in Arts, Associate in Elective Studies, and Certificate. Graduate degrees conferred are: Specialist, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering Management, Master of Music, and Graduate Certificate.
Many colleges and programs have received accreditation or recognition from national organizations. Most faculty members (81%) have earned the highest academic degree for their field, more than any other of the 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU). The strong tradition of teacher education has continued throughout this history with St. Cloud State University currently ranked as the fifteenth largest producer of new educators in the nation (AACTE, 2006). Especially well known for its colleges of business and education, St. Cloud State University also offers popular programs in art, biology, mass communication, and psychology. In addition St. Cloud State University promotes global awareness with 1,000 international students on campus and 350 students participating in study-abroad programs in 11 countries outside the U.S. Over 40 percent of the faculty have international experience.
Academic and campus life are supported by state-of-the-art technology in the Miller Center for Learning Resources and Technology Services, the best equipped library in the MnSCU system, and by electronic classrooms and wireless access throughout the campus. The university’s active student life features over 240 student organizations providing opportunities for student leadership and organizational development as well as for volunteer and service experience. A thriving athletic program includes Western Collegiate Hockey Association Division I men’s and women’s teams and 19 Division II sports for men and women in the North Central Conference.
St. Cloud State University, Minnesota’s second largest university, operates under the authority of the Board of Trustees, which governs the MnSCU system. The system is the successor of three public systems of higher education – the community college system, the state university system, and the technical college system – that merged by statute as of July 1, 1995. Of the system’s 32 institutions, seven are state universities and 25 are two-year colleges. The governor appoints the trustees, subject to approval of the Minnesota Senate. The board has 15 members, including one from each of the state’s eight congressional districts; four at-large members; and three students, including one from a community or community and technical college, one from a technical college, and one from a state university. Except for students, who serve two-year terms, members serve six-year terms. The board has policy responsibility for system planning, academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and rules and regulations.
The board appoints the system's chancellor and the presidents of the state colleges and universities. The Office of the Chancellor, located in St. Paul, with major divisions that include academic and student affairs, finance, human resources, information technology, public relations, legislative relations, and development. The current Chancellor is Dr. James McCormick whose term began in July 2001.