MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

February 7, 2015

 The good work continues at Mayville State University


It was exciting to learn in December that the Administration for Children and Families in Washington, D.C. had selected the Mayville State Child Development Programs as a preliminary winner of an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant for North Dakota. We received the funding notification this week, and will receive $1,117,837 for the first year of funding in a five-year cycled funding project. This grant will be used to increase access to high quality early care and education services for infants and toddlers in Traill, Steele, Griggs, Nelson, Walsh, and Grand Forks Counties. It is our privilege to provide services that are critically needed in this area of the state.

We have also been notified of our first installment in ongoing Head Start and Early Head Start services for the 2015-2016 program year. Annual funding is $1,920,366 and provides birth to age five services to 172 low-income children and families across Traill, Steele, Griggs, Nelson, and Grand Forks Counties.

This infusion of federal funding has a huge impact, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide these services. It’s a win-win. Mayville State is providing much-needed child care services for families, and our students are receiving invaluable learning experiences as interns and employees of the MSU Child Development Programs.

As we turn the calendar page to another month and we work to let our state legislators know about the good work that is going on at Mayville State, we look at some of the things that have happened in just the last few months.

Enrollment continues to grow. In line with a several-years trend of increasing enrollment, records have been broken across the board this year, both in the spring and fall semesters.

Faculty and teacher education students recently had a great opportunity for professional development. Kenneth Williams from the Marzano Research Institute recently presented to Mayville State faculty and teacher candidates on “Highly Engaged Classrooms.”  Area teacher leaders Heidi Eckart, Hillsboro Public Schools, and Lisa Gapp, May-Port CG Public Schools, also worked with teacher candidates on methods they use to engage learners in their classrooms.

The MSU Foundation is experiencing record-breaking year. With six months remaining, the MSU Foundation has raised $1.5 million this fiscal year, which began July 1, 2014. This is a $400,000 increase over the amount raised in entire 2013-14 fiscal year, the most successful fundraising year on record.

We have received interim program approval from the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) for a B.S. degree in special education. The program is the first undergraduate special education strategist degree available in North Dakota. All core classes within the special education area of study are available online.

A recent survey determined that 81% of 2013-2014 Mayville State graduates are employed in North Dakota. Based on a five-year average, more than 80% of teacher education graduates and 78% of non-teaching graduates found jobs in North Dakota. MSU has held a 99% satisfactory placement rate for the past 10 years.

MSU was named by Affordable Schools to a list of 30 most attractive yet affordable college campuses. The website listing shows that there are opportunities for freshmen to enroll in college at “elegant campuses in gorgeous surroundings” while keeping costs low. The listing includes colleges and universities nationwide.

MSU faculty member and P-16 STEM coordinator, Sarah Sletten, was North Dakota’s state leader representative at the Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Conference in Washington, D.C. last fall. She presented MSU’s MSP project in the poster session during the general conference.

Thanks to the North Dakota Challenge Grant and a grant from the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation, the RN to BSN nursing program at Mayville State will receive an infusion of $450,000 for development and start-up. Funding will be used for infrastructure needed in getting the new program started.

MSU’s integrated leadership program helps students build the leadership characteristics needed to prepare them to become future leaders for North Dakota. The program received continued funding from the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation. The Larson donation has been matched by the North Dakota Challenge Grant, and $115,000 will be available for the coming year.

Mayville State’s success is a great team effort. I am grateful to our faculty, staff, and students who tirelessly work together to continue to make the Mayville State experience legendary, and I am grateful to our alumni, friends, community, and state for their unending support. Go, Comets!