MnSCU honors outstanding achievement in educational programs and services

Posted: June 7, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Seven colleges and universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and one administrator have been honored for outstanding achievements in educational programs and services during the 2010-2011 academic year.

The institutions being honored are Alexandria Technical and Community College, Century College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Northland Community and Technical College, Northwest Technical College, Riverland Community College and St. Cloud State University. Phil Schroeder, vice president of student affairs at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, received the award for outstanding academic and student affairs administrator.

“The awards are one way that we recognize some exceptional work done every day at our colleges and universities,” said Scott Thiss, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Minnesotans can be proud that our staff and faculty developed these award-winning programs and that they are improving access to higher education and increasing student success rates.”

This is the 11th year that the awards have been presented. Selected by a panel of academic and student affairs administrators from various campuses, recipients received awards in two categories for work in the 2010-2011 academic year. The awards were presented recently at Inver Hills Community College. The categories and recipients are:

The Innovative Partnering and Collaboration Award has two recipients.

A coalition of Alexandria Technical and Community College, Northland Community and Technical College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and Northwest Technical College for the Online College in the High School program, which works with local school districts. Begun five years ago, the program helps high school students, particularly in rural areas, take college-level courses. Participating high schools provide one period each day for students to take online courses with a proctor who assists students.

Riverland Community College for its Cycles for Success Scholarship Program, a new private-public collaboration with Austin’s public and private K-12 system to increase high school and college graduation rates. The Hormel Foundation is contributing more than $1 million over five years for scholarships that are expected to assist about 200 students.

The Innovation in Student Affairs Programming Award has two recipients.

Century College for its Tutors Linked to Classes program. Begun as a pilot in summer 2007, the program integrates tutors in courses that college students typically take during their first few semesters to help ensure that they complete the courses successfully. Faculty work with peer tutors, often picked from among students who excelled earlier in those courses. Tutors now assist in more than 90 course sections. Results show that students in tutor-supported courses are retained at a higher rate than those in courses not supported by tutors.

St. Cloud State University for its House Party 101 program, a simulated house party in which students learn about making smart and safe decisions. This is part of the university's comprehensive plan to reduce high-risk behaviors involving alcohol. More than 500 students have attended the event in each of the past two years. The event is a partnership between the St. Cloud State University chapter of Delta Zeta sorority, the university's U-Choose program and the Husky Kickoff Committee. Students are led room by room through a house by a graduate student party guide. In each room, student volunteers act out a scene that students might typically encounter at a house party. As the end of the scene, the party guide reinforces best practices for students in these situations.

Phil Schroeder from St. Cloud Technical and Community College received the outstanding administrator of the year award for “exemplifying leadership qualities in their truest sense,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Scott Olson. The award is presented to a college or university administrator who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made significant contributions to developing academic or student affairs programming.