Supporting community well-being

Monday, December 31, 2012

St. Cloud State embraces a unique role that calls upon the university to help create more livable communities, stronger economies and a more inclusive society. Many of our peers refer to this role as being “a steward of place” — an agent responsible for the well-being of the communities entrusted to our care. On the pages of this Outlook you will read about faculty and staff who take this role seriously. They have become excellent role models of stewardship, i.e., public engagement that has wide-reaching benefits.

Among these benefits is the way in which we prepare our students for life, work and citizenship. We enable and encourage our students to participate in beyond-the-classroom experiences that allow them to apply what they have learned in the classroom in “real-world” settings. Often these experiences have been developed through university/community relationships.

As a vital component of the region’s economic and cultural well-being, St. Cloud State actively pursues external associations with businesses, organizations and other partners that benefit multiple parties, including students. Some examples include:

  • Collaborations with businesses such as Algaedyne Corporation, a leading Minnesota-based technology firm focused on commercializing fast crop cycling algae-based products that could help meet the growing demand for energy.
  • Programs that support and exchange expertise with businesses that are building Minnesota’s economy, such as the trio of Master of Science programs St. Cloud State offers in support of the state’s fast-growing medical device industry.
  • Internships that benefit Minnesota businesses with student expertise and in turn benefit thousands of students with hands-on experiences. More than 1,800 internship sites have offered our students opportunities to enhance their education with work experience in their fields. For example, St. Cloud State students fill 40 percent of Xcel Energy’s intern force at the company’s Monticello and Sherco power plants.
  • Partnerships with area public schools, incorporating St. Cloud State’s nationally-acclaimed co-teaching model. More than 1,200 education students are involved in field experiences at 185 area schools each year.

These and many more examples of St. Cloud State’s commitment to stewardship of place are helping us fulfill our core purpose to graduate people who have developed their potential to succeed in all aspects of work and life.

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