Developments Since 1997: Instruction
Recent developments in academic programs are indicative of St. Cloud State University's responsiveness to its external constituencies. New undergraduate and graduate programs serve the educational needs of the region and state. Other priorities have included commitment to global education, enhancement of excellence in science and business programs, and greater use of instructional technology, including online courses and programs.
Since 1997 at least 17 new baccalaureate programs have started at St. Cloud State University. The most momentous of these is the B.S. in Nursing, which established the university as a regional provider of health care education. Another new program in this area is the B.S. in Radiological Technology offered in partnership with St. Cloud Hospital. Several programs started in science and technology, including the B.S. in Computer Engineering, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, B.S. in Network Modeling and Simulation, B.S. in Network Security Information Systems, B.S. in Hydrology, B.S. and B.E.S in Environmental Studies, B.S. in Environmental Science, B.S. in Technology Management, and the B.E.S. in Technology Studies. Other recent additions are the B.A. in Humanities, B.A. in Film Studies, B.A. and B.E.S. in Women’s Studies, and the B.S. in Communication, Arts, and Literature (teacher education).
St. Cloud State University experienced a substantial increase in the number of graduate programs, mostly in professional and technological areas of preparation. New master’s programs are the Master of Engineering Management (M.E.M.), M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development, M.S. in Cultural Resource Management/Applied Archaeology, M.S. in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Higher Education, M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Nursing, M.S. in Public Safety Executive Leadership, and the Master of Social Work. Several master’s programs are available at off-campus locations, most notably the Master of Business Administration in Maple Grove and the Master of Engineering Management at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis. Growth also occurred in the number of graduate certificate programs, such as emphases in special education, to serve individuals who do not wish to pursue a master’s degree.
Applied Doctoral Programs
St. Cloud State University is poised to enter the ranks of doctoral institutions. In 2005 the Minnesota legislature approved a change in statute authorizing the Minnesota State Universities to offer doctoral programs in certain applied fields of study. State law previously had prohibited the state universities from starting or even planning doctoral programs. With support and encouragement from the Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chancellor, St. Cloud State University has developed a proposal for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration scheduled to begin fall 2007. (Application available in the Resource Room)
Global education at St. Cloud State University has been a high priority under the leadership of President Saigo. A major initiative was the creation of the position of Associate Vice President for International Studies, reporting to the Provost, to administer the Center for International Studies. Emblematic of this commitment to global studies was the renovation of Lawrence Hall, a residence hall, completed in 2003. Lawrence Hall became the home for the Center for International Studies, the location of offices of faculty in foreign languages and literature, and a residence hall for international and domestic students. The university has also recruited more multicultural and international students. In fall 2006, the university enrolled 959 international students from 88 countries, compared to 679 students in fall 1999. We have also provided increased opportunities for local students to study abroad. The university now boasts more than 20 programs in 12 countries. These initiatives reflect the university’s recognition of the importance of a global education, as stated in our mission.
G. R. Herberger College of Business
Growth of enrollments in business programs has been a feature at St. Cloud State University as it has been at other universities. The popularity of business programs coincided with two other developments in the late 1990s: discussion about remodeling Centennial Hall and interest by the family of the late G.R. Herberger to provide a gift to the university to honor his memory as founder of a locally based chain of department stores. The confluence of these developments led to naming the College of Business the G.R. Herberger College of Business and to relocating it from the Business Building to Centennial Hall. Remodeling of Centennial Hall began in spring 2006 and will continue until spring 2008.
St. Cloud State University is committed to innovation in instructional technology. In fall 2006 the university offered over 200 online courses, the largest number in the MnSCU system. The university also offers two degree programs online and is seeking authorization to add online programs without prior approval from HLC.
The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center, named for a donor to the university's capital campaign, exemplifies the University’s commitment to instructional technology. Opened in August 2000, this state-of-the-art facility houses the library and the offices of Learning Resources and Technology Services. In addition to the library, the building includes hundreds of computers, a high-tech auditorium, seven electronic classrooms, and sixteen study rooms.
The creation of HuskyNet, short for Husky Network, has provided a portal to the university’s technology resources for students, faculty, and staff. Implementation of wireless capabilities earned the university a top 50 ranking in Intel’s survey of most unwired campuses in fall 2005. HuskyNet also has become the university’s official mode of communication with students.
The Center for Continuing Studies became a separate unit in 1998. Until then it had been a unit within the School of Graduate Studies. The organizational change enabled the center to focus on expanding the university’s off-campus, online, and non-credit instruction and other outreach activities to meet the needs of constituencies. The report of the NCA evaluation team in 1997 implied the need for greater focus and activity in these areas; therefore St. Cloud State University expanded the role of the Center.
The university has expanded offerings of evening and weekend courses to more than 100 sections per year, significantly increased enrollment in online courses, and provided courses and programs at off-campus sites, especially in Twin Cities locations that are underserved with baccalaureate and graduate education. The online classes accounted for seven percent of the credits generated at St. Cloud State University in the 2006 fiscal year, up from 1.3 percent in 2003.
In fall 1998, St. Cloud State University converted from the quarter to the semester system to comply with a legislative mandate for all public institutions of higher education in Minnesota. This endeavor involved intense review of curriculum in every department. Conversion resulted in the restructuring of courses, degree programs, and the general education curriculum. One change has been adoption of an upper division writing requirement for students in every bachelor’s degree program.
Developments Since 1997: Initiatives For Student Success
Division of Undergraduate Studies
In 2004, the university created the Division of Undergraduate Studies to consolidate support services for undergraduate students. Within that division, several programs support student learning including the Academic Learning Center, Advising Center, Community College Connection Program, First Year Experience Program, General Studies Program, Honors Program, and the New Student Orientation and Registration Program. The Division of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for providing programs and services to meet students’ needs by helping them succeed in their educational experience.
First Year Experience
In 2005-06, the university’s Division of Undergraduate Studies inaugurated the First Year Experience following a pilot effort the previous year. The purpose of the program is to help students make the transition from high school to college through a system of mutual support.
Student Research Colloquium
In 1998 the university initiated the Student Research Colloquium as a forum for students to feature their research papers, experiments, or other projects for their courses and to promote faculty-student research collaborations. From a modest event with sessions in the afternoon, the colloquium has become a highlight of spring semester with sessions and activities extending from mid-morning well into the evening. In 2006, over 255 students with 99 faculty sponsors from St. Cloud State University and other institutions participated. The Office of Sponsored Programs administers the colloquium.
Developments Since 1997: Cultivating Community
The St. Cloud State University Mediation Program originated in 1997 as an initiative by the administration and the Faculty Association. Since then, availability of mediation services has expanded to most employees and to students. The purpose of mediation is to provide a means for individuals to resolve differences either informally through facilitated meetings or through formal mediation. Many believe the Mediation Program has helped improve the climate on campus and reduce the number of grievances.
Response to Allegations of Anti-Semitism
In October 2001 several Jewish members of the faculty filed a class-action law suit in federal court against St. Cloud State University and the MnSCU system alleging that they had been victims of anti-Semitism by administrators and other faculty members. This was a painful episode that still echoes on campus. In November 2002 the parties agreed to a settlement that compensated the plaintiffs and committed the campus to address anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in the long term. Under terms of the settlement the university created a new Jewish Communal Activities and Resources Center with funding of about $125,000 annually for at least five years and hired a director who also teaches classes. The center’s purpose is to coordinate activities relating to Jewish heritage and history for faculty, staff, students, and community. Other terms provided for mandatory diversity training for faculty and staff, clearer notification procedures in faculty searches, evaluation of the structure and staffing of the university's Affirmative Action Office, changes in procedures for handling discrimination complaints, and availability of a peer review process for some disputes regarding faculty retention, tenure, or promotion.
At its best, intercollegiate athletics provides a place for students to excel in physical competition as well as in academic performance while generating school spirit and community support. St. Cloud State University has had the good fortune to have several nationally successful teams. These successes have been enhanced by the completion of two major projects for athletic facilities. One was the construction of the Husky Stadium with 4,198 seats overlooking the Mississippi River to serve as home for the university’s football and soccer teams. The other project is the Student Recreation Center in Halenbeck Hall, whose fitness center and facilities for intramural sports serve the recreational needs of the campus and larger communities.
Creating a Vibrant Learning Community
The university’s commitment to creating a vibrant learning community is evident across campus through various programs, services, and facilities created and enhanced at the request of students and others. As reflected in the revised mission statement, St. Cloud State University is committed to a focus on fostering and supporting a global community. Examples include the creation of the Multicultural Resource Center, the establishment of Chicano Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies, and the renovation and remodeling of Atwood Memorial Center, which has become a vibrant focus of campus life following completion of major remodeling and an addition in summer 2005. The design of the facility as a gathering place for students, a cultural center, and a home for student organizations was a direct response from student requests.