Friday, January 28, 2011

Task Force Discusses How Remedial and Developmental Education is Offered at State Colleges and Universities

A task force has been created to review remedial and developmental education in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and met for the first time on Wednesday, January 26. The task force was created based on interest in the issue by the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

The first meeting offered an opportunity for a number of colleges and universities to share their own practices regarding how remedial and developmental education is offered at their institutions. It was exciting to hear about the variety of ways colleges and universities are working to address the needs of students, and it was encouraging to hear that, more and more, our schools are recognizing that a "one size fits all" approach does not work for every student.

One way colleges and universities are changing developmental education is by creating courses where students can work at their own pace (with guidance and supplemental instruction from faculty). There are various modules of a course (ex. developmental math) that can be created to allow students to progress, and sometimes even advance to the next course during the same semester. In addition, some campuses are working to combine two developmental courses into one (ex. 2 three-credit courses that met three times per week would now be 1 five-credit course that meets every day), which allows students to focus on a topic area, and perhaps move through any developmental course work they need in a faster time period.

We look forward to continuing discussion about this at the system level. If you have thoughts about the way developmental education is offered at your institution, feel free to contact us!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Penny Program Announces Award Winners

Congratulations to the Fall 2010 Barbara J. Penny Community Service Scholarship winners. Each student was awarded with $1,500!

Click on the links below to see photos and read quotes from each of the students about the importance of serving the community.

Magdalena Chudzik - Hibbing Community College
"Life is about giving a little piece of self to others, to those that need our help and our support. This is also why I am serving my community and going to do so for as long as I am able to. Community service gives me joy and confidence."

Asgad Mohamed - Rochester Community & Technical College
"I have gained social and leadership skills, formed friendships and bonds, and created memories that will last me a lifetime. Therefore, I proudly say I have fully devoted myself to my community and I intend to do so for the rest of my life. After all, community service is not an obligation, but it is a way of enriching one's spirit and one's life."

Dori Picard - Normandale Community College
"I look forward to participating in volunteer work and community service for the rest of my life. Volunteering, in truth, is just a form of sharing and I receive much more than I give."

March 15th, 2011 is the next Penny Program application due date. Click here to learn more about the program.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Attention all students using D2L.

D2L will be unavailable to users from 10 PM on Friday, February 4, until 10 AM on  Saturday, February 5, when the D2L system will be  upgraded to version 9.1.0.

This is a reserved 12-hour downtime window for D2L upgrades.  If the upgrade  takes longer than anticipated, we may need to extend the downtime beyond 10 AM  on Saturday, February 5.  During the upgrade, D2L status information will be  available at

Please inform other D2L users at your school of the downtime for this upgrade.

Thank  you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MSUSA Update January 2011

February Conference

The Minnesota State University Student Association Board of Directors will be holding their February board meeting and delegates assembly February 4th-6th. Please contact your campus coordinator if you are interested in attending. Visit for more details.

Students don’t care?!! Prove ‘em wrong!
By Matt Smriga, Director of Campus Organizing

Get your bullhorns and picket signs ready because Rally Day 2011 is right around the corner! For those new to the process, Rally Day is a massive gathering of MSUSA and MSCSA students at the Minnesota state Capitol. The convergence is an attempt to increase awareness of issues pertinent to higher education and put pressure on lawmakers to consider our interests. This means that in the wee hours of February 16th, as the sun creeps over the horizon, I will sound the conch shell and shine the bat signal in the sky in an attempt to hail passionate, politically-minded college students from around the state.

Rally Day is one of the most important events MSUSA sponsors. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their collective power, show they are interested and engaged in the political process, and combat the damaging stereotype that college students are a generally apathetic lot. If you care about the future of higher education in the state of Minnesota, you must be there!

If you want to get involved, and by golly we hope you do, please contact either your MSUSA campus coordinator (contact information for all seven campus coordinators is available on the MSUSA website) or me, the Director of Campus Organizing at By the way, I was just joking about bringing bullhorns. That is all for now. Peace!

Fourteen Mentorship Positions Open

The Alumni Association Mentorship Program has 14 positions available for students who would like to be mentored by MSUSA alumni.  Please register online today to be matched with an alumni.  Each mentorship pair can be customized to communication styles, topics, and availability.  This is a great way to network with leaders across the state and connect with professionals in your field. 

Penny Program Applications Due March 15th

Applications are currently being accepted for the Penny Program's March 15th deadline.  Students can receive $5,000 for public service internships in Washington D.C., $2,500 for public service internships in Minnesota, and $1,500 for their commitment to community service.  Click here to download the applications.  Watch this video to learn more about the awards and the application process.

January Board Meeting

The Minnesota State University Student Association Board of Directors and Campus Committees met at the Sheraton in Woodbury Friday, January 7 to prepare for a semester of student advocacy. Topics covered included: lobby training, the biennial budget request, and more. Visit for more information on what was discussed. You can also check us out on Facebook to view pictures from the meeting.

Shannah Moore Mulvihill Appointed Interim Executive Director

MSUSA Director of University and System Relations was appointed Interim Executive Director by the board of directors this past weekend. Congratulations Shannah! We look forward to working with you.

Director of Government Relations Graeme Allen Resigns

Director of Government Relations, Graeme Allen, has left MSUSA to pursue other endeavors. The Staff and Officers of MSUSA would like to thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck in the future. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Alumni Association Update: December 2010

MSUSA Hiring Executive Director
Executive Director, Jason Fossum, recently accepted the Minnesota Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Committee Administrator position. Applications will be accepted for the Executive Director position until January 13th. Click here to see the job description and application process.

Alumni Association Annual Meeting to be held Saturday, April 9, 2011
The 3rd Annual Alumni Association meeting will be at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9th at the Country Inn & Suites in Woodbury in conjunction with the student delegates conference in the Twin Cities. All alumni are invited and encouraged to attend. At the meeting we will hold elections, discuss future association goals, and discuss how alumni can become more involved. Please watch for more information about applications for election to the Board.

Networking Social, February 4th
Join us on Friday, February 4th in St. Louis Park for a networking social in conjunction with the students delegates conference. This will be a great chance to network and socialize with other alumni and to meet current student leaders. Please watch for more information in the next update.

Alumni Spotlight: Dusty Finke
Alumni Association Secretary/Treasurer, Dusty Finke, is a WSU graduate, former Board member, and currently works as a City Planner in Medina, MN. Click here to read Dusty's Alumni Spotlight.

Fill out the Living with Student Debt Survey Today!

The Alumni Association is collecting information from MSUSA Alumni about how their student debt has affected them since they've graduated (for example: they can't buy houses or cars, have to take second jobs, can't pay bills, etc.). This information will be used during the next legislative session to show our legislators how important it is to fund our state universities so graduates can contribute to the economy after school. Thirty-eight surveys have been completed, but you can participate right now by clicking here and filling out the survey. Check out this video to learn more!

Vacant Alumni Board Position: Metropolitan State University Graduate
The Alumni Association is seeking applicants for an MSUSA Alumni Association Board Member to represent Metropolitan State University. Contact Josh Martin, Board Chair, if you are interested. The position term will be until the annual meeting in Spring 2011.

Fourteen Mentor Positions Open
The Alumni Association Mentorship Program has 14 mentor positions available for alumni to register for. Please register online today to mentor a student. Each mentorship pair can be customized to communication styles and topics. This is a great way to get to know future leaders and give back to MSUSA.

Alumni Board Meeting
The next Alumni Association Board meeting will be on Wednesday, January 19th, 6:00pm, at the MSUSA Office. The Board will finalize their FY12 budget.

MSCSA Leadership Scholarship Dinner
Four MSUSA alumni will be attending the annual MSCSA Leadership Scholarship Dinner on Friday, January 7, 2011 at the Hilton Minneapolis Airport/MOA Hotel. Reception, silent auction and cash bar begin at 5:30 pm and the dinner and program start at 7:00 pm. The featured speaker will be Dr. Linda Baer. Contributions are $60/individual, $110/couple. More information can be found by clicking here.

JPS Scholarship Fundraising Successes
Several fundraisers were recently held to support the JPS Scholarship. Thank you to everyone who attended the Drink Like You Care Fundraiser, organized by BSU Alumni, Cody Nelson. With your help we were able to raise $400! The Bemidji State University Student Senate had the winning bid of $190 to purchase the retired MSUSA traveling trophy - thanks and congrats BSU!
$766 was raised on Give to the Max Day in November - thank you to our donors!

Rally Day

Save the date and join us on the Capitol steps in the afternoon on Wednesday, February 16th for the student rally day!

Student Conferences

The MSUSA Board and Campus Committees will be gathering for a one day conference on Friday, January 7th in Woodbury. At this conference they will be learning how to lobby, planning for rally day, and holding a Board meeting. Students will also meet for a Delegates conference in St. Louis Park on Friday, February 4th - Sunday, February 6th.