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 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.

Center for Inclusive Child Care Awarded State Grant

The Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC) at Concordia University, St. Paul has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from The Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Development Services unit for a new Health and Safety Pilot Initiative. This new initiative will provide voluntary supports focused on health and safety best practices to licensed child care programs throughout Minnesota.

“This new program will enable us to provide coaching so child care will have better tools to provide safe and healthy environments,” Director of the Center for Inclusive Child CareCindy Croft said. “We (CICC) already provide statewide inclusion coaching to help children with special needs be successfully included in child care programs, so this grant will help us expand those efforts.”

Health and Safety Specialist’s will work one-on-one with new or existing child care programs interested in enhancing their quality of care provided to children and families. Relationship-based coaching services will be available in the areas of child and adult safety; health promotion; disease prevention and culturally responsive care. The award is $1.4 million for 30 months beginning February 2017.

The CICC is housed in the College of Education and is a state-funded organization.

Spring Enrollment Trends Up for 11th Straight Year

Spring enrollment at Concordia University, St. Paul has grown for the 11th consecutive year, with significant increases recorded in traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate student numbers.

The 4,466 students enrolled (full and part time) represent an increase of 237 students (5.6 percent) from the 2016 spring semester. Broken down by student type, Concordia enrolls 1,354 traditional undergraduates, 1,212 adult undergraduates and 1,900 graduate students (includes doctoral programs).

“We are humbled at the increasing number of students pursuing their education at our university and enormously proud of their accomplishments,” said CSP President Dr. Tom Ries. “I am happy to say that students are also graduating in record numbers.”

The largest growth area came from Concordia’s graduate programs, as enrollment grew by a robust 126 students (7.1 percent). Many of these programs are offered fully online.

Solid enrollment growth was also record for both the traditional undergraduate and adult undergraduate student types, with traditional programs gaining 55 students (4.2 percent) and adult programs gaining 56 (4.8 percent).

In just five years CSP’s spring enrollment has grown by an astonishing 1,621 students, a nearly 57 percent increase from January 2012. Overall, Concordia students reside from 49 states and 23 foreign countries.