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Aug 21 2013

Don’t you wish you’d chosen UMM?

Now that the academic year is starting, the Star-Tribune puts out a short summary of success at Minnesota colleges. We’ll use it next year to recruit more students.

The University of Minnesota, Morris stands out among the state’s public four-year institutions for generating more grads than expected at a good price. UM-Morris Chancellor Jacquie Johnson attributes that result to a tight-knit, supportive campus culture that allows the nearly 1,800 students to build strong relationships with faculty. One of every three students at Morris is either minority or international in origin. The school’s success with that diverse student population warrants examination and imitation.

Yay, us!

21 comments

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  1. 1
    moarscienceplz

    One of every three students at Morris is either minority or international in origin.

    Uh huh. How many of those “international” students are Canadian? ;-)

  2. 2
    moarscienceplz

    I should have said “white and Canadian”.

  3. 3
    chigau (違う)

    I was concerned about being a wet blanket but that’s been covered…
    “generating more grads than expected at a good price” is a bit creepy.
    but Yay Morris! anyway

  4. 4
    Ing

    @Chigau

    Why we hatch over a million cadets in celebration of homecomming!

  5. 5
    Trebuchet

    How many of those international grads are zebrafish, which according to Wikipedia are native to the Himalayan region?

  6. 6
    congenital cynic

    Wow! PZ. I didn’t know that your campus was so small. As an undergraduate I attended a university that only had about 1,250 students (and has always ranked as one of the best schools in Canada). Small is excellent. Wonderful. I had an superb undergraduate experience. Size is likely a big contributor to your school’s success.

    Now I teach at a school that is bigger, though not huge. We have about 6,000 students. It’s not as close and family-like. Better than the big schools with 20k students, but just not the same as my Alma Mater (which has swelled to about twice the student body it had when I was there).

    I think small schools offer something that a larger school can never duplicate, no matter how “good” it is. I’d rather have gone where I did than to have attended Harvard. You can study anywhere, but the “life” is different in a more intimate setting.

  7. 7
    chigau (違う)

    Ingdigo Jump
    I’m thinking that The Military-Industrial Complex (remember Them?) orders-up three dozen head of Engineers from the Universities™ and the Unis generate them.

  8. 8
    Donovan

    Nice to see a story about a college that has a positive theme for once.

  9. 9
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    No. Too much of a drive.

  10. 10
    thunk: turmite city

    well, I could…

  11. 11
    PZ Myers

    I haven’t had any students who confessed to being Canadian. Most of our international students are Chinese, I think; most of our minority students are American Indian (Indian students get free tuition here).

  12. 12
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    UMM, I do not like winter in Pensacola. Not about to venture up there when I will have to hibernate for months.

  13. 13
    PDX_Greg

    Uh-oh. Just sent my went-behind-the-ears son to an absolutely giant school in California — he moved into his dorm today. What hath I wrought? I think it’s great that UM offers free tuition to Native American students. A major thing that I liked about big Cali school is that they strive to have a very diverse student body, including emphasis on underrepresented groups in higher education: Native Americans. Latinos, and African Americans. Another thing I think they do that is really cool is that they offer free tuition to academically qualified students of ALL employees, from cafeteria chefs to maintenance staff to security personnel. I am guessing that helps the staff feel a more personal and involved connection with the school, which I think is a good thing.

    But I do worry about sending my son into a huge school. It was ultimately his choice, but I lament that his experience may be much less personal and intimate than a smaller school like I attended. However, I grew up in east L.A., and loved the smaller personal feel of my school. He grew up in Portland, and seemed to yearn for a large school in a big city. Seems like we are all trying to fill gaps in our experiences. That’s probably a good thing.

  14. 14
    MadHatter

    I went to a huge state college, about 30k students. I still wish I’d gone to a smaller school, I probably would’ve done a lot better.

  15. 15
    dalbryn

    Graduated from Morris in 2005.

  16. 16
    justsomeguy

    @dalbryn: Yay! That makes two of us!

  17. 17
    johnniefurious

    Me too!
    Wait… I graduated from the highschool, then went to UMD. It’s all underground but built on a hill. So, you look outside, you’re at ground level. Go up three flights of stairs, you’re still at ground level, walk west 500 feet, you’re three stories up, then go down a flight of stairs and you’re underground again.

    But it sure beats the smell of “freshly baked bread” in the morning (Ethanol plant — how it was described to residents).

  18. 18
    David Marjanović

    the big schools with 20k students

    I giggle in your general direction. The University of Vienna dropped below a hundred thousand students when the faculty of medicine became its own university.

  19. 19
    moarscienceplz

    Most of our international students are Chinese, I think

    According to this, only 3.4% are Asians, but I suppose that could mean Asian-Americans only.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that a campus in the middle of rural Minnesota is as diverse as yours is. My southern Arizona college, which was only 10 miles from the Mexican border, was so white you practically needed sunglasses indoors.

  20. 20
    Steve LaBonne

    High- quality public liberal arts colleges are very thin on the ground, and in a country where access for non-wealthy students to genuinely good higher education is getting more tenuous all the time, every one that exists is a treasure. Well done, UMM!

  21. 21
    dhelg

    2 of my 3 children have graduated from UMM. It is a great school. Besides $0 tuition for native Americans, they offer in-state tuition rates across the board. A great value compared to similar private liberal arts colleges.

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