» About us: In the Lasallian spirit of faith and zeal, Saint Mary’s University—a global and diverse learning community—serves students through relevant and innovative educational programs, experiences, and enterprises. The university is nourished by its Catholic intellectual, moral, and cultural traditions and is inspired by excellence in teaching as modeled by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The hallmark of the university is its commitment to serve the needs of individual learners and promote life-long learning. We have students from all over the world that join our community, in a wide range of ages.
» What’s new: Saint Mary’s has doubled its footprint on Park Avenue in Minneapolis with the recent purchase of the Harrington Mansion and Saint Mary’s Event Center (formerly the Zuhrah Shrine Event Center). This allows for more opportunities to serve the community and Saint Mary’s students at full capacity.
The Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs just launched the Pathways Program, which focuses on students coming back to complete their bachelor’s degrees. The goal is to make completing a degree as hassle-free as possible by keeping in line with a generous transfer credit policy and offering courses at locations around the metro at times that are convenient for working adults.
Saint Mary’s announced its partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project in January of 2011, which shares stories from some of the world’s most remote locations through PBS NewsHour and other media organizations. The partnership brings Under-Told Stories Director Fred de Sam Lazaro to the University’s Minneapolis campus, provides new learning opportunities to Saint Mary’s students, and is intended to raise awareness for the local ramifications of global issues.
» At a glance:
• We understand the demands and lifestyle of the working adult learner and offer 60 different academic programs in a variety of fields.
• 4300 students spread across the state at all of our locations.
• Locations in Minneapolis, Winona, Rochester, Apple Valley, Minnetonka, Oakdale, Greater Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Nairobi, Kenya, and Jamaica.
» Our mission: Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.
» How is your school distinctive? Because of our tradition of student-centered experiences, we offer an intimate, small-college feeling while providing an education that benefits from a larger university structure. Undergraduate students can participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities such as athletics, campus ministry, or student government, which only broadens their experience while at our university. Graduate students also benefit from a university that seeks to foster the “whole student” experience.
» Recent changes: Visitors to the St. Paul campus will notice a major construction zone and a recently completed building: the Anderson Student Center is scheduled to open in January 2012 and the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex opened in August 2010. In addition, working off that “freshman 15” couldn’t be easier in the 180,000-square foot complex: choose from the new aquatic center, basketball and volleyball arena, field house, or cardio and weight rooms. Team coaches and the Health and Human Performance Department also are housed in the complex. And once the new student center opens, the St. Thomas community will finally have their own “living room” on campus. Student and retail dining will be housed in the center along with a recreation and gaming room, a coffee cart, bowling center, dance floor, student government, and an art gallery.
» At a glance:
• The Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors Report 2010” recently released its annual report about U.S. students who study abroad during college. For the 2008-2009 academic year, St. Thomas’ participation rate, 58.9 percent, was ranked seventh nationally among doctoral institutions.
• More than 90 percent of all undergraduates and 95 percent of freshmen receive financial aid.
» Our mission: Breck is an Episcopal, coeducational, college-preparatory day school enrolling students of diverse backgrounds in grades preschool through twelve. Breck’s mission is to prepare each student for a college whose culture is compatible with the individual’s needs, interests and abilities; to help develop each student’s unique talents and potential tot excel by nurturing independence and self-worth; and to instill in each student a deep sense of social responsibility.
» What’s new: New in 2011-12: modern language (Mandarin Chinese or Spanish) beginning in preschool; advanced research opportunity in applied mathematics (in addition to science and history), pilot iPad, iPod Touch program in Lower School (in addition to our established grades 4-12 laptop program). Recent awards: winner of the MSHSL Challenge Cup for a second consecutive year, national championship competitions in Mock Trial, Robotics, Quiz Bowl, five of seven Minnesota semifinalists for Siemens Science and Engineering competition, Minnesota Academic Excellence, Foundation Spotlight Award, 23 gold and silver key winners in Minnesota Scholastic Art, student awarded one of only 18 Davidson Fellowships nationwide for accomplishing something significant (in this case, his work on a diagnosis tool for cancer).
» Our graduates are… lifelong learners who leave Breck knowing that they can—and should—go out and make a difference in the world.
» Our reputation is… the result of a thoughtful blend of academic excellence, wide offerings in arts and athletics, and an emphasis on civic leadership.
» At a glance:
• Established in 1886, we are one of the oldest independent schools in the Upper Midwest.
• Continuous P-12 curriculum with Chinese, technology, science, music and art all starting in preschool.
• Our rigorous liberal arts education is enriched by purposeful attention to the development of spiritual and moral values.
» About us: This fall, we received membership into the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). This is a specialized accrediting agency for colleges of art and design. Accreditation by NASAD is a mark of excellence in art and design fields and creates the opportunity for membership in other prestigious national art and design organizations. This accreditation is an affirmation of the extraordinary commitment of the CVA community in meeting our goals and aspirations.
» Facilities improvement: The fall 2011 term began with new space within the Blair Arcade at the corner of Western and Selby Avenues centralizing the first year Foundation Program and relocating the Office for Student Life, the student lounge, and the Learning Resource Center. Facility upgrades included centralizing the photography major which had been located in two separate facilities. The new state-of-the-art photography studios include separate black and white and color labs, a digital studio, and both film and alternative processing darkrooms.
» Worth noting: At the College of Visual Arts, there is an unmatched sense of community, developed through unique student experiences and a rigorous curriculum. There are special programs like our fashion students spending their junior year in Paris studying fashion, assisting in fashion shows, and experiencing French culture in the fashion capital of the world, and through integrating experiential liberal arts courses such as Botany Through Art, a course where students use drawing as a way of understanding plant structure. At CVA, the focus is on professional practice, including exciting internship opportunities throughout the Twin Cities (and beyond). Our graduates work in a diverse array of fields within the art community. We are located in the most historic part of St. Paul, blocks from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home, the James J. Hill house, the Cathedral, and Grand Avenue.
» At a glance:
• 220 students (small by design)
• Five majors offered: Fine arts, photography, graphic design, illustration, and fashion
• Full-time tuition $24,310
» What can students consistently expect from Luther College? Students at Luther College can routinely expect a rigorous education taught by accessible, interactive faculty members in some of the finest facilities in the country. The college prides itself on providing students with a transformative education—one that will not only prepare our graduates for a career, but for life in general. Students come here not just to gain an education, but also to be a member of a community of faith and learning that will impact the rest of their lives.
» You might not realize: We consistently rank as one of the top schools in the nation for the number of students studying abroad each year. And 40 percent of students in the most recent first-year class are from Minnesota.
» Finish this sentence: Luther students are… involved. At Luther, students are involved in more than just academics. They are involved in a variety of activities including athletics, music, theatre, dance, student government, campus organizations, and community service projects. Thirty percent of our students participate in intercollegiate athletics; nearly 40 percent take part in music ensembles; over 90 percent are involved in a cocurricular activity; and 70 percent volunteer their time through a number of community organizations.
» Finish this sentence: Luther professors are… accessible. Both in and out of the classroom, Luther professors are highly involved in students’ lives..
» At a glance:
• Nearly 90 percent of first-year students will return for their sophomore year.
• Each year, approximately 97–99 percent of Luther graduates will be employed, in graduate school, or selectively volunteering within eight months of graduation.
• Luther was recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright award recipients in the 2010–11 academic year. The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
» About us: Faith is a vibrant and visible part of life at Minnehaha Academy and the biggest component in shaping student character. We allow students to ask questions and explore ideas as they grow in their faith.
» Our mission: To provide high-quality education integrating Christian faith and learning. Our students are bright—64% of students in grades 10–12 take Advanced Placement courses at the college level. Our courses are challenging—our award-winning AP program covers 21 subject exams in the sciences and the humanities. Our students are encouraged to expand their world-view through a unique week-long cultural immersion experience program for grades 9-11. Our school is a community—we provide an extraordinary advisory program to support upper and middle school students academically, socially and emotionally.
» One more thing: 100 percent of Upper School students are involved in the arts, athletics or an extracurricular activity. Minnehaha Academy has an award-winning fine arts program, 25 varsity sports and extracurricular activities ranging from robotics to chess. At all ages, students find opportunities to try something new, get involved and build self-confidence.
» At a glance:
• Average class size: 18
• Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
• 2011-12 tuition: $12,000 - $15,100
• Admission Program dates: January 31 for grades 9–12; February 2 for grades PreK–8; Program begins at
» About us: We are nationally recognized for using classroom technology as an accelerator of learning. All classrooms are fully equipped with SMART Boards, projectors, and sound fields that gently amplify a teacher’s voice so every student hears instruction as if they were in the front row. After a successful 2011 pilot that demonstrated improved student achievement, all freshmen are now issued an iPad for school use. Taking notes, accessing textbooks, reading novels, conducting research and submitting assignments are all going paperless at Minnetonka High School.
» You might not realize: Our district offers a language immersion option at every neighborhood elementary school. Families may select Chinese, Spanish, or our well-respected English program. Approximately half of all District kindergarteners enroll in a language immersion program, with the goal of fluency in a second language by fifth grade.
» Our greatest strengths: We are constantly innovating, market-driven, and don’t rest on our laurels.
» One more thing: Our district ranks No. 1 in the metro area on the state reading test and second on the state math and science tests—the only district ranking in the top three on all three state tests.
» Our mission: For 30 years, we have been teaching students to think independently, communicate effectively, and act with respect and integrity in a diverse community that models intellectual ambition, global responsibility and the joy of learning.
» What’s new: Lower School—Although character education has always been a critical piece of our curriculum, this year the Lower School launched a more defined program called CHAMP (Character Happens at Mounds Park). Students in grades K-4 learn about values such as respect, responsibility, friendship, integrity, compassion, self control, and cooperation. Monthly assemblies and pairing activities give the students an opportunity to put the lessons into practice.
Middle School—New for the 2011-2012 school year is a 1:1 iPad program, which allows Middle School classes to enhance the classroom experience through iPad technology and applications.
Upper School—MPA joins 62 other schools this year in the FIRST Robotics competition Minnesota North Star Regional league. The school’s newly formed team, the MPArors, will work with their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard kit of parts and a common set of rules.
» Our graduates are… prepared to tackle the academic rigors of college and make a positive change in their world.
» At a glance:
• In 2011, senior Amber Washington became the first tennis player in Minnesota to win the State Championship six times.
• Our watershed project was a 2011 Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District Landscape Ecology Awards Program honoree.
• Although Mounds Park Academy is located in St. Paul, our families come from all over the metro area. We’re adding a bus route from the Kenwood neighborhood in Minneapolis for the 2012-2013 school year.
» About us: Northland College is a high quality, integrated liberal arts and sciences college with a unique environmental mission. Graduates receive practical, career-oriented skills to prepare for graduate study and the world of work. Back in 1971 we adopted an environmental mission. Today, we regularly receive national attention as one of America’s greenest schools.
» Our mission statement: Northland College integrates liberal arts studies with an environmental emphasis, enabling those it serves to address the challenges of the future.
» Our greatest strengths: Our faculty has a deep commitment to teaching excellence and their students’ academic success; hands-on, real world learning experiences, and preparing students for both graduate school and the working world. Our new Access Guarantee Program is proving to be very popular in these economic times; qualified new freshmen can attend Northland for the same or lower out-of-pocket expenses as the largest public institution in their home state.
» Our graduates are… problem solvers who are well prepared to succeed in their lives and careers.
» One more thing: Northland College isn’t a place where you study in isolation from “the real world.” Instead, you spend time working in the field gaining hands-on experience in whatever program you choose. We live out our commitments to the environment and sustainability on a daily basis. This is the real world.
» At a glance:
• Northland gets regular accolades as a green school where students learn as much in the field as they do in classrooms and labs.
• Of Northland’s full-time faculty, 95 percent hold doctorate or other terminal degrees and 99 percent of Northland’s students receive some form of financial assistance.
• Northland’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic program competes in the tough Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. Sports include: soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, cross-country, volleyball, and softball.