Star Tribune reports Augsburg’s transition to test-optional admissions

The Star Tribune‘s Maura Lerner covered Augsburg’s new test-optional admissions policy.

“The change is designed to level the playing field for those without the money or time to get private tutors, take prep classes or take the exam multiple times,” said Nate Gorr, interim vice president of Augsburg admissions, in the article. “It’s also a recognition that standardized tests don’t always capture a student’s potential, and can discourage good candidates from applying to college.”

Lerner noted that according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, many of the 274 test-optional colleges saw an increase in diversity without any loss in academic quality.

Read the full article at the Star Tribune website.

Moody’s revises Augsburg University’s outlook to stable and affirms Baa3 credit rating

Moody’s Investor Service today revised Augsburg University’s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the University’s Baa3 credit rating.

Moody’s cited Augsburg’s improved liquidity, effective fiscal oversight, successful fundraising, diverse program offerings, and urban Twin Cities location as strengths supporting its credit opinion. The report also noted that Augsburg continues to operate in a highly competitive student market and has moderately high debt relative to cash and investments.

“This favorable outcome is a great accomplishment, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “It’s a reflection of Augsburg’s competitive strengths — including our distinct market identity and diverse enrollment — as well as our intentional, sustained efforts driving dramatic improvements in liquidity.”

See the April 5, 2018 Moody’s news release.

Augsburg Works to Help McNally Smith Students Complete Degrees

McNally Smith College signFollowing the mid-December announcement that McNally Smith College of Music would be closing this December, Augsburg University teams have swung into action to support McNally Smith students seeking to transfer in order to complete their degrees.

Recognizing the urgency many McNally Smith students, including international students, are facing, Augsburg will enroll transfer students as quickly as this spring semester, which begins January 8.

“We will do our very best to assist students through this process as quickly as possible,” said Augsburg University Registrar Crystal Comer.

Augsburg and McNally Smith have an existing articulation agreement — a formal agreement that establishes transfer policies for specific courses or programs. Augsburg also is committed to carefully reviewing students’ courses that are not included in the articulation agreement for possible credit transfers.

Augsburg staff will be on site at McNally Smith this week to help student understand their options. McNally Smith students also are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a transfer counselor at Augsburg via the web site: www.augsburg.edu/transfer.

According to Augsburg Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management Nate Gorr, many McNally Smith students have already scheduled appointments. Students also can call or email questions to the Augsburg transfer team at transfer@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1001.

“People from across Augsburg — including faculty, academic advisors, admissions and housing staff, the registrar’s team, and student affairs — immediately began working to see how we could help McNally Smith transfer students when the announcement was made last week,” said Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow. “Our hope is that our efforts and those of our sister schools will support all of McNally Smith’s remaining students in accomplishing their educational goals.”

 

Auggie joins advisory board for First Lady Michelle Obama’s college opportunity campaign

Kitana HollandAugsburg College student Kitana Holland ’19 has been named to the inaugural Student Advisory Board for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room campaign, which celebrates education and elevates the voices of Gen-Z students. As one of only five college students selected to the 17-person board, Holland will advise a new public awareness campaign designed to improve college access, college persistence, and college graduation on campuses nationwide.

Holland and her fellow board members traveled to the White House on Friday, January 6, to attend the First Lady’s School Counselor of the Year Ceremony.

Holland is a first generation college sophomore from Coon Rapids, Minnesota, majoring in sociology and a minoring in religion and leadership studies. While at Augsburg she has served as a senator in the Day Student Government, an URGO research assistant, a LEAD Fellow, an Auggie tour guide, and as a member of College Possible and TRIO. Through these experiences, she has used her creativity, relationship-building skills, and process-thinking strengths to positively influence her community.

According to a news release about Better Make Room, Holland is driven by her motto, “If the opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” and aspires to help first generation, low-income, and underrepresented high school and college students push through barriers to attain a college degree.”

$1 million grant prepares students for graduate school, meaningful work

AugSTEM students at Zyzzogeton
The AugSTEM Scholars Program, funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, supports students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The scholars participated in Zyzzogeton, a celebration of student research.

The National Science Foundation awarded Augsburg College a highly competitive $1 million grant for continued support of the AugSTEM Scholars Program. Under the direction of Professor Rebekah Dupont, the program will provide scholarships to as many as 80 academically talented students with financial need who are pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The four-year grant is part of NSF’s work to address the need for a high-quality, diverse workforce. With a traditional undergraduate student body that is more than 35 percent persons of color, Augsburg is well positioned to support this goal. The program provides direct financial support, delivers hands-on learning, offers research opportunities, and pairs each student with a faculty mentor. Research shows this combination of hands-on learning and close mentorship is highly effective in helping students leave college ready for graduate school and the workplace.

Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1565060 and 1154096. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Bill Green lends historical perspective to Black Lives Matter media coverage

Summer 2016 Pinterest6

What does it mean to matter?  What does it look like to matter?

With the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of racial equity have ignited important—and difficult—conversations in communities and courtrooms, on political campaign trails, and at college campuses.

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He teaches U.S. Civil Rights subject matter, and he recently has been called upon to share his expertise on these topics to assist media outlets covering Black Lives Matter news in the Twin Cities.

Green was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists,” Green used the history of the Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

On August 5, Green also appeared on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” program where he provided a comparison between contemporary protests or demonstrations and those occurring decades — perhaps even centuries — earlier. Green explained that the tactic of making a public display can be useful when a group is seeking to meet a particular goal.

“The trick with the demonstrations, of course, is somehow helping society turn the corner so that … a community doesn’t feel the need to resort to desperate measures,” he said.

The interview with cohosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola is available on the TPT website and begins at the 31:55 minute mark.

Green’s comprehensive knowledge of Minnesota history has been cultivated over decades, and his latest book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912” chronicles conditions for African-Americans in Minnesota in the half-century following the Civil War. The publication picks up where his previous book, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869,” left off. Green spoke with MinnPost about the publication, describing his interest in state history.

“The history [of Minnesota] is amazing, particularly when you look at who was here before statehood and how they interacted with each other,” he said. “I found that we were lacking a good accounting of the black people who were part of that history. Most of them didn’t leave a written record, which looks like they had nothing to say, but of course they did. They were part of this experience.”

The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.

Congratulations to Auggies named to Fall Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg College SealNearly 1,000 Augsburg College undergraduate students were named to the 2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

The Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List PDF

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion. Visit the hometown news announcement web page for more information.

Dave Conrad writes on leadership and respect

PostBulletinIn his latest column for the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Dave Conrad, associate professor of business, counsels a reader who feels overwhelmed with conflicting advice by summarizing great leadership into one directive: treat employees with respect.

Conrad argues that, “Showing respect enhances a leader’s influence and performance,” but warns against insincerity. “I think employees are sensitive to phony displays of praise and recognition from their managers and perceive these acts as a form of manipulation,” he writes.

Read: Dave Conrad: Good leaders show employees respect on the Post-Bulletin site.