CSP’s Mikayla Smith (’18) Named 2017 Newman Civic Fellows

CSP junior Mikayla Smith (community leadership major) is one of 273 students nationwide to be named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions.
The fellowship honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.

In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors are annually invited to nominate one community-committed student from their institution for the fellowship. These nominees are individuals who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country and abroad.

“Mikayla is known for her outreach in recruiting and motivating others to be involved in initiatives that address social issues and human needs,” said Concordia President Dr. Tom Ries in the nomination statement. “Her peers, professors and staff observe and identify the genuine care, concern and consistency she exhibits in all that she envisions or undertakes. Mikayla will continue to make significant contributions to Concordia University, the city of St. Paul, the State of Minnesota and beyond.”

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows will be the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

CSP Selected to Participate in Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men

CSP is one of five MPCC schools selected to participate in the Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men program. Three Concordia students will be awarded this scholarship this spring. Over their junior and senior years these young men gain experiences and support with completing their degrees and preparing to launch post-baccalaureate careers. Scholarship funds, leadership development opportunities and mentoring are the key ingredients in the Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men.

Created and coordinated by the Minnesota Private College Fund, the Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men is funded by The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. Students are named in the spring of their sophomore year and participate over their junior and senior years.

Program participants
The 2017 cohort of 15 students will be named in the spring. They will come from five participating institutions:

Carleton College
Concordia University, St. Paul
Hamline University
University of St. Thomas
St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Building Cultural Bridges Summer Day Camp, June 12-22

Concordia University, St. Paul’s Hmong Culture and Language Program is hosting its 14th annual Building Cultural Bridges Summer Day Camp for Pre-K through 12th-grade students June 12-22, 2017 on the Concordia campus. This year’s camp is scheduled about a month early than it has been in previous years.

Students from more than 20 language groups attend the camp, which involves the study of literacy, languages, craft making, guitar playing, dance, writing, Hmong and other cultural activities, gardening, tennis and other sports, nutrition, science, with opportunities to explore life on a university campus. Campers are organized in age specific groups facilitated by the student leaders.

Instructors are college students studying to be teachers, as well as local community teachers/leaders, and artists. Both teachers and youth leaders are primarily bilingual. Breakfast and lunch are provided through the USDA Summer Food Program for campers up to age 18.

A community celebration will be held at the conclusion of the two-week camp featuring student performances and projects on Thursday, June 22 at 12 p.m., in the Buetow Music Center Auditorium. The celebration is free and open to the public.

More information, including registration details, can be found at csp.edu.



CSP Moves to 120 Credit Hours

In a move that is responsive to the competitive higher education marketplace, Concordia University, St. Paul will lower its minimum graduation requirements for all bachelor’s degree programs from 128 to 120 credit hours, effective fall semester 2017.

The undergraduate policy committee unanimously voted for the reduction in requirements to align CSP with most public colleges and universities in Minnesota and nationwide which have already adopted the 120 credit minimum. Concordia St. Paul is one of the first private universities in the state to make this change in credit requirements, reinforcing the University’s commitment to making higher education more affordable to students. Overall cost for completing an undergraduate degree will be lowered for some students as a direct result of this change.

“I am proud to be part of a faculty that responds quickly to the rapidly changing marketplace of higher education while maintaining high academic standards and a comprehensive support system for our students,” said Dr. Robert Krueger, Chair of Undergraduate Policies Committee.

The reduced requirements only impact general elective courses and not general education or major requirements. Some degrees will continue to require more than 120 credit hours because of state licensing or program accreditation requirements. All returning undergraduates and incoming freshmen and transfer students will be affected by this policy change.

Already one of the most transfer-friendly schools in the Twin Cities, the reduction further eases the admission process for students looking to transfer to Concordia, while also reducing the time it takes to earn a degree.

“Throughout my whole college career I’ve been taking heavier loads to make sure I graduate on time,” said transfer student Shelby Seurer (’18). “I definitely feel like I’ll be able to focus solely on my degree and even my potential career now. The new change allows me to only take 12 credits in the spring of my senior year, so I will be able to put 100% of my effort into those classes. It will also allow me to get a job in the new free time I will have, which is a huge benefit to me personally.”

It is expected that retention and graduation rates will improve due to this change. The projected average cost savings of eight fewer credits for undergraduate students is approximately $3,000.

Move to 120 Credits Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Barb Schoenback Featured Speaker at Annual Poehler Lecture

Professor Emerita of Education Dr. Barb Schoenbeck is the featured speaker at the 2017 Poehler Lecture, March 7, 2017, at 7 p.m., in the Buetow Auditorium. The Poehler Lecture Series is an annual event designed to explore how students and faculty in the College of Arts & Letters, College of Education & Science, and College of Business & Technology have connected their Christian faith with their academic discipline. Speakers are selected based on excellence in their academic discipline and the maturity of their Christian faith. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Since her arrival at Concordia in 1978, Dr. Barbara Schoenbeck established a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding educator, a compassionate and influential mentor, a cherished colleague, and a humble, inspirational servant-leader passionately driven to promote positive, inclusive social change.

Dr. Schoenbeck served Concordia St. Paul with distinction for twenty-seven years before her retirement in 2005, but has continued playing an essential role in Concordia’s graduate program and as supervisor of practicum students and student teachers.

Her unparalleled dedication to the church, community, and to social justice, has been an inspiration to generations of students, staff, and faculty.