I am pleased to introduce the new St. Cloud State Magazine!
As part of our sesquicentennial celebration, the University Communications and University Advancement teams have been hard at work re-envisioning the university’s twice annual magazine. This new iteration of St. Cloud State’s signature institutional magazine is a shining example of the work that is taking place to make St. Cloud State a university of first choice in Minnesota.
It is clear that St. Cloud State is an exceptional university. For 150 years, St. Cloud State University has been educating tomorrow’s workforce and the next generation of leaders. From humble beginnings training teachers as the state’s third normal school, we have progressed to serving students from over 90 different countries, with more than 200 undergraduate programs and more than 60 graduate programs. As the world evolves, we evolve with it.
In 1869, we educated students on slates and chalkboards. Today our students are working with professors to uncover Minnesota’s history.
Our alumni around the world are further proof that St. Cloud State has already been a university of choice for more than 122,000 alumni who were looking to unlock their potential and find a gainful future.
But being a university of choice is about more than just saying it. We must build on the good work already underway and take charge of our future – and be bold.
So how will we become a university of first choice in Minnesota?
First, we will reclaim our preeminence in the higher education landscape by providing our high-quality education to an expanded marketplace of students — first-time students in the region; students who need non-traditional opportunities to complete degrees or pivot into new careers, including online and accelerated degree options; students who want to transfer to and from St. Cloud State; and we will extend our reach to students from other countries.
Second, we will rebuild our capacity to respond to challenges and invest in the strategies and infrastructure we need to be successful. One of the newest investments is in the creation of a Strategic Enrollment Management division that is leading and coordinating a campus-wide approach to strategic enrollment strategies.
Our student success efforts to retain more students have been successful – this year we saw a 5.2 percent increase in third semester retention. We will also be requiring most new freshmen to live on campus – a strategy that has been proven to increase retention.
Third, we must respond by unleashing innovative thinking to build on our successes and re-imagine how we serve a changing student demographic with skills that will last them a lifetime.
We are in the business of preparing students for not only their first job after graduation, but also their last job years from now – which will likely be in a career that does not exist today. The key to preparing our students’ success is building on the community partnerships we have in place. These partnerships are necessary to ensuring that we know what programs and competencies our students need to be successful, to advance technology transfer and to facilitate economic development in the region.
This is an incredible university and community and we have a bright future ahead of us. I am looking forward to working with you in the future as we advance our university and community.
President, St. Cloud State University