End-of-Year Update – Upcoming CSP Global Launch Within Concordia University, St. Paul

As we cap off another successful calendar year at Concordia St. Paul, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes for exciting new opportunities in store for early 2023. We want to provide this internal update before everyone takes some time off for the Christmas-New Year’s holiday season.

Many of you have heard some early updates on the planned launch of CSP Global, which is slated for introduction in mid-January. CSP Global is essentially a new way for us to bring our existing and proven online and hybrid non-traditional programming to even more people. As a newly defined division of Concordia University, St. Paul, CSP Global will be the entity housing 40+ career-propelling online and hybrid degree programs for non-traditional students. The existing “CSP” brand will apply to our traditional on-campus undergraduate programs. 

The introduction of CSP Global is the smart, logical next step in the long-term growth and vitality of the university as a whole. While many other higher education institutions are struggling with declining enrollment, our university has doubled in size over the past decade. By aligning our online/hybrid/graduate programming under CSP Global, we can continue to grow by reaching more students regionally, nationally, and internationally, which directly supports our stated vision to be a Christ-centered, nationally prominent university known for excellence and innovation. 

At the same time, growth will allow continued investment for the future of our traditional on-campus programming and infrastructure as well as supporting ongoing expansion of our online undergraduate and graduate offerings. In addition, we will be better positioned to support faculty and staff across traditional and non-traditional settings, which will create an even better, empowering environment for teaching and supporting our students in all programs. 

Our objective over the long term is to double our enrollment again, with a target enrollment of 10,000+ students by 2030 Concordia St. Paul is actively developing new traditional and non-traditional degree programs aligned with the needs and trends in today’s global economy.  

CSP Global will mark an evolutionary step for our 130-year old university, and it aligns with our continued adherence to our stated strategic plans. Careful planning over the past year has helped ensure a positive transition that will occur over many months. Our objective is to set the stage for sustainable growth and foster an environment for the benefit of students, faculty, and staff alike.  

A few facts to help guide everyone through the process in 2023:

  • At its core, CSP Global is primarily a means of creating a unified brand to better market our online and hybrid non-traditional offerings. 
  • Continued use of the shorter “CSP” as the brand for our traditional on-campus offerings will help ensure clarity of our distinct delivery channels.
  • CSP and CSP Global will still be Concordia University, St. Paul, at their cores. The degrees will be conferred by the university, just as they have for decades.
  • Faculty and staff will generally experience a business-as-usual transition. We will be aligning technology, support, and other services to enhance how we serve students – a process that will happen over the course of several months.
  • Ongoing growth will lead to a vibrant, sustainable alumni community, which will serve to make a degree from our university even more valuable in the marketplace.    

We will provide additional updates internally through many channels (in-person and online) prior to the planned mid-January public announcement. Additional materials will also be available before the news is made public to help everyone understand and share information with your own stakeholders. 

In the meantime, we hope you have a blessed Christmas and holiday season. We have much to be thankful for as we close out a successful year in 2022 and move into an exciting next stage for our university and the Concordia St. Paul community as a whole. 

CSP Strengthens International Programs Partnership During Trip to India

Two Concordia University, St. Paul staff members recently visited India as part of the university-wide initiative to strengthen its global presence through international student enrollment. Director of International Student Services Tiffanie Loeb Schneider and International Recruiter and Partnership Manager Veronica Mashek spent the second week of September promoting CSP’s graduate and undergraduate offerings.

The first portion of the trip included the chance to visit local schools and participate in a college fair. CSP staff took advantage of opportunities to meet prospective students and showcase CSP’s increasingly popular MS in Information Technology Management and MS in Data Analytics, as well as its strong undergraduate catalog. These face-to-face interactions with future international students and their parents were invaluable to generating interest in programs and easing any fears about studying abroad.

The second leg of their visit centered on continuing CSP’s highly-regarded relationship with its international admissions partner. That flourishing partnership has resulted in a massive influx of international students enrolling at CSP, particularly in graduate programs.

“Since then, the partnership has changed and grown, with our largest student population now being graduate students from India,” said Loeb Schneider. “This growth is expected to continue in the future, so this is a valuable partnership for CSP.”

The international admissions partnership has been marked by success with the university welcoming a record number of international students in spring 2022, and being featured in Forbes India, published earlier this year. In total, CSP currently enrolls 577 international students as of fall 2022. The spring enrollment milestone was simply the first step in CSP’s long-term global outlook as both sides continue toward further growth.

“It was such a great experience being able to meet our partners. I am very optimistic about our relationship moving forward,” added Mashek.

Beyond building in-person relationships, Loeb Schneider and Mashek also made local TV news appearances as featured guests presenting CSP’s degree programs. Watch their full segments on YouTube below:

Tiffanie Loeb Schneider on TV5 News

Veronica Mashek on NTV Live


Learn more about international admissions at CSP:

Board of Regents Summary – July 28, 2022

The Board of Regents met for its quarterly meeting on July 28. At the meeting, the Board received a report from President Brian Friedrich detailing a number of items, including a review of the theme for the 2022-23 academic year (“God so Loved the World”), a recap and discussion about the Kanahoma project, and updates on the work of the LCMS 7-03 Task Force and Concordia University System institutions.

President Friedrich, along with Drs. Eric LaMott and Michael Dorner, presented the findings from the Higher Learning Commission assurance process, which demonstrated CSP’s strengths as an institution. Dr. LaMott was joined by Ann Voda of Bentz Thompson Rietow, Inc. for a presentation on CSP’s master facility plan for the St. Paul campus.

Chief Diversity Officer Mychal Thom shared about the work he has done during his first year at CSP and how CSP seeks to fulfill its mission and live out its promise through the diversity strategic plan.

The Board received updates from the Executive, Academic, Advancement, and Finance Committees. Finally, the Board took the following actions:

  • Approved Jacob Trippel as a tenure track faculty and chair of MBA program
  • Reappointed Dr. David Bell as a Regent (2022-2025)
  • Disbanded the Advancement Committee
  • Established a Governance Committee
  • Endorsed the revised President’s Advisory Council Charter (which will carry the functions of the Advancement Committee moving forward)

The Board meets again on September 30, 2022.

CSP Strategic Plan: Progress Update, June 2022

Even though we’re just beginning to feel the first heat waves of summer, CSP continues its daily focus on our near- and long-term strategic plans. We want to provide an early summer high level update about the ongoing work.

Early indicators for Fall enrollment at CSP continue to show overall positive signs. Our growth in recent years has happened largely in our online and graduate programming, which comes out of regional and national demographic trends in higher education. CSP sees growth potential, despite the fact we face the same types of headwinds confronting virtually all higher education institutions today. Many of our counterparts at other private universities and state colleges and universities are not as fortunate, as they face continued staggering declines.

CSP is never immune to these challenges. However, by holding to our strategic plans, providing valuable career-relevant academic offerings, and maintaining our standing as the most affordable private university in the state, we continue to attract a strong pool of prospective and committed students across our academic tracks, including traditional, non-traditional undergraduate, and our graduate programming.

Toward the end of the 2021-22 traditional academic year, we shared updates regarding long-term plans to solidify and maintain enrollment levels in our traditional programming while setting aggressive growth goals for our non-traditional and graduate programming. These plans include augmented branding of the CSP online programs, combined with adjustments to organizational structures to best support our colleges and program offerings.

Teams continue working through the summer months specifically focusing on areas such as:
Brand identity for CSP’s non-traditional offerings;
Better understanding of the structural realignments and operational efficiencies that will be required for long-term success, which led to the formation of operational readiness work teams;
Alignment of academic programs, affirming clear pedagogical best practices to support those programs, and early budget planning

Internally, we’ve shared the branding/naming construct of “CSP Global” to encompass the higher growth non-traditional online and graduate programming. Our internal CSP marketing and enrollment teams are working closely with trusted and highly credible third parties to develop the final recommendations on naming conventions, branding, public rollout, and many other aspects of this essential growth strategy.

Exact timing and the details are still being worked out, and those leading the process will be tapping expertise and insight from members of the CSP community across our six colleges. We anticipate launching these initiatives more formally at some point in the coming academic year, but much work remains to be done before we finalize timelines.

CSP is blessed to be in a position to be talking about growth – at a time when so many institutions are trying to ease rapid declines in enrollment. The opportunities that lie ahead are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire CSP family. The pathway to serving more and more students over the past decade has required a lot of hard work across our faculty and staff, which ultimately led to greater value for CSP students of all types. The real career value we provide is essential to our growth.

Meanwhile, the internal planning and process improvements underway will serve to put CSP in an even stronger position as we gain greater momentum and relevance in the higher education landscape.

We’ll continue to share updates as these projects progress in the weeks ahead prior to the Fall term. Please also remember that discussions about the CSP Global concept are still in early stages and not yet public. So we ask that everyone keeps this information private within CSP.

In the meantime, we all wish you a blessed summer.

CSP Promotes Nick Schroepfer as the University’s Director of Marketing

CSP staff member Nick Schroepfer

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Nick Schroepfer to the role of Director of Marketing for CSP. Nick has been with the marketing department for four years, most recently heading up digital strategy and social media. He has also been deeply involved in all digital touchpoints that our students, prospects, and the public have with CSP.

Nick describes himself as a “Double CSP Alum” with his undergraduate degree and MBA both emblazoned with the CSP logo. In this new role he will lead the internal team of four marketing specialists and outside vendors and OPM partners that work the spectrum of marketing initiatives for CSP.

Nick has many successes under his marketing belt during his time at CSP. He has led initiatives to transform digital media campaigns and advancing the paid social media, search engine marketing, and programmatic advertising. His work has been essential to expand CSP’s reach and generate interest in our traditional and non-traditional academic offerings.

“Nick’s skills and his leadership style align well with the needs of the departments we support. He also has an innate, keen sense for the students we hope to attract to CSP,” said Dr. Kimberly Craig, vice president of enrollment management for CSP. “He is also a proven collaborator and will work well with all of our stakeholders and partners to do even more to help us reach our audiences across media channels.”

“It’s particularly gratifying to apply the skills I’ve gained as a CSP student and member of the marketing team to advance our brand and let the market know the value of a CSP degree,” Nick noted. “I’m particularly eager to deploy more analytics and data-driven marketing principles within our marketing tools to help us make the most out of every dollar allocated for marketing.”

Nick’s MBA thesis focused specifically on marketing and how it applies to the higher education landscape. His in-depth study of the intersection of marketing with the needs of higher ed will no doubt come into play as a foundational element in CSP’s marketing programs for 2022 and beyond.