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Jim Wiseman

Jim Wiseman's Blog

Vice President of Enrollment

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November 9, 2015

Is Getting a 4-Year Degree Worth It?

Last week I did a phone interview with a higher education think tank. The question posed to the panelist was, "Is getting a 4-year degree worth the cost of education?" Five years ago, this question would never even be asked because the answer was so obvious. With the rising cost of college, however, people are beginning to ask this question. The answer today is less obvious for some, but still is a strong yes for those students who have as a goal to receive a 4-year degree. The evidence is in the research on this topic. Here are a few of the key items that experts site as proof:

  • A 4-year degree is worth approximately $1,000,000 in earnings over a lifetime versus those individuals with just a high school degree.
  • Individuals with 4-year degrees have significantly less of a chance they will become unemployed during their careers.
  • Individuals with 4-year degrees have a significantly higher quality of life measured by opportunity to own a home, medical insurance coverage, travel opportunities, etc.

Certainly it is not like it was 20 years ago when a college education guaranteed a job upon graduation. Today, students need to combine a college education with other qualities - leadership, co-curricular activities, internships and work experience - to get their foot in the door. It also requires patience by students and parents as getting into the ideal job position takes a time. The bottom line is, yes, college is worth the cost dependent on the career goals and objectives of the student.

November 2, 2015

It Is Trendy to Be a Pioneer

When I was a student at Carroll (many, many years ago) the enrollment of the institution was 1,200 students. That was the average enrollment of Carroll throughout the 70s and 80s. However, by the mid 90s Carroll began to grow and it has not stopped. From 2005 to 2015 the number of applications and enrollees as full-time undergraduate freshmen has grown by over 25 percent. The 2016 numbers year to date for this same population is running 5 percent ahead of the record number in 2015. So why has Carroll become so popular? Here are some possible explanations:

  • Academic Program Quality and Reputation
  • Academic Program Array of Offerings
  • Individualized Attention (small classes, etc.)
  • Good Value (what you get in return for what you pay)
  • Co-Curricular Offerings (athletics, music, theater, clubs, and organizations)
  • Location
  • Size
  • Ability to Graduate in Four Years or Less
  • Campus Look and Feel
  • Study Abroad Opportunities

We at Carroll are always looking for ways to improve and make our institution better. The above list is just a sampling of why students are choosing to become Pioneers.

October 12, 2015

Fall Break

It is hard to believe that later this week we will begin fall break. The break coincides with the midpoint of first semester. Wow! The semester is flying by and it seems like just yesterday we were moving our new freshmen into their resident hall rooms. By now everyone is into their routine and know what is expected of them. The second half of the semester will go by even faster as the pace picks up.

The Student Success Office has been meeting with students to make sure they stay focused on their short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term goals/objectives. The professionals in the student success office help our students understand the importance of utilizing all the resources that are available to help them be successful. Things like supplemental instruction, tutoring, or specific offices on campus are all there to help students achieve their dreams and goals.

October 5, 2015

Being a Pioneer

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Pioneer (I know, strange). It probably comes from some of the books I have been reading and from doing research on my family's history. From my perspective, I believe Pioneers have three characteristics.

  1. Courage
    • Not afraid of tackling new challenges.
    • Ability to remain focused on goals/objectives regardless of the obstacles that they face.
    • Eager to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
  2. Wise
    • Critical thinkers who excel at problem solving.
    • Excel at decision-making.
    • Ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively.
  3. Unselfish
    • The realization that they are part of a bigger community.
    • The appreciation for trying to help others to be successful.
    • Willing to give of themselves to help others reach their goals/objectives.

It is these very characteristics that we try to instill in our Carroll students. We try to create Pioneers in each and every student that we have the pleasure of educating.

September 28, 2015

Homecoming Week

Carroll is a school that has been around for 169 years, so homecoming week takes on a special meaning. The week is jammed with activities and events for our students and alumni. The week also includes our Board of Trustee meetings that are this Thursday through Friday. These meetings are composed of strategic conversation and decisions, with the sole purpose of providing our students (present and future) with the best possible educational experience possible. Thursday night is the Old Main Society Donor Dinner and the Carroll gets the opportunity to say thank you to the individuals and families who have invested in our students. Then of course on Saturday are the reunion events, a parade, music concert, and a homecoming tailgate and football game. It is an awesome week, which Pioneer Spirit and Pride is on full display.

September 21, 2015

Tour Guide Training

Our admission office is wrapping up the certification process for our student ambassador tour guides. Each tour guide goes through an intensive certification process that includes a written and practical examination. Every admission, financial aid, and student success office member is assigned three to four students to certify. The certification requires that the student give us a tour. We go through this process because we believe our students are a critical component of our prospective student/families' visits to campus. Tour guides make a huge difference in regards to the perception a prospective student has of Carroll. Our training does not focus on what to say, but more so on how to communicate effectively. We discuss how to find out what a prospective student/family are interested in and how to address those things with real world examples. We are very fortunate because we have an outstanding group (over 90 students) that are eager to give our prospective students/families a tour of what a Carroll "experience" is all about.

September 14, 2015

Students' Success

When a student enrolls at Carroll, there are three people we assign to them to help them achieve their objectives and goals. They are assigned an academic advisor who helps them register for classes and assist them with career advice. A student success professional is also assigned to each student, serving as his or her success coach. The student success professional helps students stay focused on short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. They also assist them with any problems or issues that might arise while the student is navigating day-to-day at Carroll. The third person assigned to freshmen is a peer mentor who provides them with a student-to-student perspective. Our goal at Carroll is to make sure every student has the support and help they need to meet their objectives.

August 31, 2015

Move-In 2015

Move In Day for new freshmen (Friday) and continuing students (Sunday) occurred this weekend. At Carroll, these are special days. On Friday and Sunday the campus community gathered together to help students move into their residence halls. It is sort of the modern day version of a barn raising. On Friday, students and their families drove up and within 10 minutes their cars were unloaded and the items were in the student's room. No sweat or aching muscles for mom and dad! Staff, faculty and athletic teams were the movers. I actually really like this day even though climbing to the 5th floor of a residence hall with a hand full of stuff can be tiring. One colleague wore her fit bit and she had over 9,000 steps half way into our shift. Here is my list of bad ideas for all students and parents moving into a residence hall for the first time:

  • 10 or more stuffed animals
  • 10 or more cases of water
  • Huge futons or couches
  • Loading all belongings into one big box
  • 10 or more cases of macaroni and cheese
  • Enough shoes to wear a different pair every day of the semester
  • 15 or more winter coats
  • Three computer screens
  • Enough movies to watch a different one each day of the semester
  • 10 or more baseball bats and/or lacrosse sticks

Just make sure you bring a good sense of humor, enthusiasm for a new adventure, grit and determination, a good work ethic, and a keen focus on your goals/objectives.

August 24, 2015


This is the time of year where every higher education enrollment professional has to answer the WHY question. It comes in two forms:

  1. Why did we (institution) have such a successful enrollment year?
  2. Why did we (institution) fail to hit our enrollment goal?

Thankfully in my 23 years as the chief enrollment officer at Carroll I have only had to provide an answer to No. 2 once. The other 22 years I was able to answer No. 1. Just like quarterbacks of a football team, when things go bad from an enrollment perspective the enrollment officer receives too much blame, and when things go good the enrollment officer receives too much credit.

So why did Carroll have such a successful enrollment year, yet again, in 2015. One can never be 100 percent sure, but here are my reasons below:

  1. Academic program quality and program array.
  2. Carroll is a good value.
  3. The look and feel of our campus.
  4. The people of Carroll.
  5. The services Carroll offers to students.
  6. The location.
  7. The size.
  8. The co-curricular opportunities.
  9. The travel abroad opportunities.
  10. The mascot - Pio Pete (well maybe this one is a stretch).

The reality is every student has his or her own reason for choosing Carroll, but these are the most common.

August 17, 2015

Students On Campus

This past Saturday, the first group of Carroll students moved into their residence halls. The Resident Assistants (RA's) and the football players moved in. During the course of this upcoming week the rest of the fall athletes will be moving in, too. By the end of this week about one-fourth of our residence-hall students will have moved into their rooms. Of course the big day is August 28 when all the new students move in, and on August 30 continuing students move in. Summer is officially over and soon the campus will be filled with students.

We are expecting the fall full-time undergraduate enrollment to be just over 2,700 students. This is a far cry from when I was a student and full-time undergraduate enrollment was about 1,100 (albeit that was many, many, many, years ago). It is amazing how Carroll has grown and expanded, but yet it has not lost the values I most enjoyed when I was a student. It is still a community that cares first and foremost about its students and ensuring their goals and objectives are met. Carroll is an institution that prides itself on making sure NO student falls through the cracks. Every student at Carroll has a faculty academic advisor and a success coach (office of student success). These two individuals keep a close eye on the students assigned to them to ensure their dreams and goals are met or surpassed.

Let the 15-16 academic year begin!

August 10, 2015

Graduating In Four Years

In today's world of higher education, every prospective student/family wants to know how much time and money it will take to complete college. For some institutions it take close to six years, increasing the cost to graduate as well. At Carroll we have studied why some students take longer than four years to graduate. In every case it is because they have made some choices along the way that extended their stay at Carroll. Some of those choices are listed below:

  1. Repeated Courses
    • In college you can repeat courses to raise your GPA. Some students do this to increase their GPA; however, had they received a better grade the first time they took the course they would not have to repeat it.
  2. Drop Courses
    • Students sometimes drop a course because they are not doing well in it.
  3. Taking Less Than A Full Load (16 Credits Per Semester)
    • Sometimes this occurs because of a self-perceived difficult course load or some other factors that might impact their ability to maintain a full load of classes.
  4. Change Major in Junior or Senior Year
    • We can generally accommodate a change in major if it happens in their sophomore year or earlier (on occasion it can be accommodated in their junior year). But if a student changes his or her major in their junior or senior year it can be difficult to get them out in four years.

Carroll prides itself on ensuring students get the classes they need to graduate in a timely manner. With the changes to our curriculum last year, majors that do not have a license associated with it are now limited to 48 credits. That should make a huge difference in a student's ability to change majors even into their junior year.

Our university is excellent at making sure our students graduate in four years if they do not do something to prolong their stay.

August 4, 2015

Two Weeks To Go

It is hard to believe that in approximately two weeks our fall student-athletes will arrive back on campus. Summer is basically coming to a close. The college is putting the final touches on preparing facilities and on the plans to move students back on campus. I know some people might find it strange, but having our students back is something we look forward to. It is so much fun to see them start and/or renew their Carroll Experience. A college campus with no students lacks energy! Next to graduation, move-in day is my favorite day of the year.

This week we will be having our annual enrollment-planning meeting. In the meeting we will talk about goals and objectives, as well as how we will implement the plan. This year there are many new initiatives; therefore, we will have a lot to discuss.

July 20, 2015

Applications For Fall '16 Now Open

Students who wish to join Carroll University in Fall 2016 can now submit their completed admission application online or in person (no application fee involved). Most high school seniors apply to Carroll from July to November. More and more students are submitting their applications earlier than in the past. With Carroll's increased popularity, students are submitting their applications earlier to find out about their status. Once we receive an application, we also ask for a high school transcript (6th or 7th semester), a copy of a test score (ACT or SAT), and a high school report form students can access at Once we receive a completed application it generally takes five to 10 business days to make a decision. A Carroll admission counselor reviews applications for admission and merit scholarships. It is important to remember that merit scholarships are ONLY a PORTION of the gift aid students receive from Carroll.

This fall the Carroll Admission Office has a new way to communicate with prospective students, via texting. Prospective students can now opt to receive texts from Carroll. All texts that will be sent are personalized to students. To opt-in students can email with their name, cell phone number, and a sentence stating they would like to opt-in to receive texts. Carroll's text messaging services are becoming a hit with prospective students because the messages are short, personalized and instantaneously.

July 13, 2015

Private College Week

This week is Wisconsin Private College Week and we are expecting close to 350 prospective students to visit our campus. This is always an exciting time for us in Admissions because we get to meet and talk with students looking to enroll in college Fall 2016. I am always impressed with the prospective students and their families that I have the opportunity to meet with during this week. A typical visit in the summer consists of an hour meeting with an enrollment/financial aid professional and an hour tour with one of our Carroll student ambassadors. If the student and family wish they are also welcomed to stay for lunch on campus. We also have a group visit on Saturday, July 11 and then an Open House event on July 18.

On July 1 one of our colleagues in admission retired from Carroll after almost 30 years of service. Debbie Morgan and I worked together for 25 years. Debbie was a dedicated enrollment professional who was one of the best in the business (I personally think the best). She deeply cared for the students and families she worked with and wanted to help them make the right decisions about college. The student always came first to Debbie and that was just one of the many reasons she was so good at what she did. I estimate that Debbie enrolled over 5,000 students to Carroll University. She will be missed, but we are happy to have had the opportunity to work with her for all these years. I know Debbie will enjoy her retirement and I have a hunch that every now and then she will still be talking to high school students about their college choices. Sometimes I am asked what makes Carroll so special and my answer is easy because of people like Debbie Morgan who make helping students and families their top priority.

June 29, 2015

July 4th

It is hard to believe that it is almost the fourth of July. Plans are well underway for the arrival of our students coming back in late August. We are anticipating nearly 2,700 full-time undergraduates, which include over 740 first-time freshmen. The estimated 740 first-time freshmen came from an applicant pool in which 44 different states were represented. As the Carroll campus diversifies the educational environment becomes richer. The ultimate classroom environment for our students should have a diversity of different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and beliefs. It is through these different backgrounds that our students learn to appreciate different points of views.

Our campus is undergoing construction to make way for upgrades. This includes the new science building that remains on track to open Spring 2016. At Haertel Field, the new turf is nearing completion, and an outdoor pavilion is scheduled to open this fall. Our outdoor research area continues to see major overalls, and new windows have been installed in several buildings, as well as some houses are being renovated on Charles Street.

It won't be long before the campus is hopping with Carroll Pioneers.

June 22, 2015

A Niche Program

Carroll offers over 80 academic areas of study. Some of them are programs that practically every institution offers such as English, History, Business, etc. Then there are programs that select schools offer, and are often not found at every institution such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, etc. Finally, there are programs that are rarely found at other educational institutions such as Animal Behavior, Actuary Science, Marine Biology, Aviation, Professional Tennis Management, etc. What makes Carroll's offerings so special is that we provide our students with all three of these type of academic programs. Since approximately two-third of all freshmen who enter Carroll ultimately switch their major, it is nice to know Carroll has something for every student.

June 15, 2015

The Office of Student Success

In the spring of 2009, Carroll University President Douglas Hastad approved the creation of the Office of Student Success. At the time, Carroll was one of the first schools in the country to create this office. The office's objective is to help students be academically and socially successful, and career-ready. Traditionally, schools have always depended on students to report when they are having problems. At Carroll, we decided to take a proactive approach because waiting for a student to self-identify a problem often was too late. We launched a model that looks at all the factors associated with a student that can help us identify the second a student is starting to have an issue that might interfere with them obtaining their goals. The factors are a combination of static data that the student brings with them to Carroll, as well as dynamic data points consisting of ongoing data inputs regarding behavior, attitude, work ethic, motivation and goals. Last year we launched the PIO Meter, a scale of seven factors students can adjust on any day during the course of the year. It has proven to be a valuable tool to use in combination with a vast number of other factors.

Last year, the Student Success Office met individually with 1/3 of all full-time undergraduates and continued to meet with many of the student on an ongoing basis. Since the creation of the Student Success Office, Carroll University's retention and graduation rates have substantially increased and more students have achieved their goals and aspirations.

June 8, 2015

Next Class

During this time of year, I turn my attention to the next enrollment class (Fall 2016). I begin building a plan and setting goals. The summer months are always busy with visitors because it is a great time to visit campus. Summer visits are the best way for prospective students/families to narrow their choices on which school the student will attend. I generally recommend students to visit three to five schools they are considering. For summer visits we offer tours and a meeting with one of our enrollment staff. Our staff is trained to talk about academic programs as well as financial aid and the process. Our summer tour guides are a handpicked group of five to seven students who are awesome representatives of Carroll. They do a fantastic job of talking about Carroll from their perspective. This year we are opening the Carroll Enrollment Online Application period July 1. There is no application fee and we have made the application essay optional. The entire application process will take no more than 10-15 minutes, and it is a great way to check off an item on a prospective student's list prior to the start of their senior year.

So for us it is onward we go! The Fall 2016 class will be the 170th class of Carroll University.

June 1, 2015

Liberal Arts?

There seems to be a lot of confusion around what it means to be a liberal arts institution. At Carroll, we are a liberal arts institution offering professional majors. That means all of our students must complete liberal arts courses (core) before they graduate. The liberal arts core provides our students relevant skills such as communication and critical thinking. It is the foundation Carroll builds upon to give our students the professional skills necessary to pursue specific careers or graduate schools. It is the liberal arts core that enables our students to be flexible in their careers and in their lives. If our students master the ability to problem solve and to communicate, they can apply that to any career field. The liberal arts core at Carroll not only prepares our students for their careers, but also for a fulfilling life.

May 26, 2015


This week several members of the Carroll Community are off to Nashville to attend an annual I.T. conference. I will be joining them at the conference for a couple of days as I have been asked to present on the Future of Enrollment Management and Carroll University's Student Success program. Carroll has become an industry leader in Student Success and we are also alpha testing a new Strategic Enrollment Management System. For us, technology is a resource tool we use to better help our students meet their needs, wants and expectations. Using state-of-the-art technology enables us to better serve our students and to help them meet their goals and objectives.

There are three major building projects that have begun at Carroll this spring. The largest is the new science facility. We are also building a Pavilion that will overlook the athletic complex and can be used as a classroom on nice days. The last building project occurs at the outdoor research facility where Carroll is converting a dairy barn into a lab facility for our students and students at area schools.

Whether it is state-of-the-art computer systems or brand new classroom/lab facilities, Carroll is investing in its students. We are creating a learning environment that supports and encourages skill development in our students.

May 18, 2015

Summer Begins

On a college campus summer begins when graduation is complete. For us on the enrollment side, there is no long break but rather a change in atmosphere. Most students are gone and everything feels and looks different. The energy level students bring to campus is gone and it is tranquil and calm. In enrollment we begin focusing on the new upcoming senior class while the Student Success Office works with the new fall 2015 students. It is definitely a time of change and there is never a dull moment.

The new science building is progressing nicely and you can now see the outline of the building. This summer will be a key period as the building begins to take shape. It is amazing to see the footprint of this building compared to the building that was there previously. One of the most impressive things about the building will be the cadaver labs. We have never had dedicated cadaver labs on campus, and instead we used software that is often used in medical schools. Now our students will have the opportunity to use both for learning—making Carroll very unique amongst schools our size.

May 4, 2015

The Count Down

This past Saturday I sat in my office and saw zombie-like students walking on the Main Quad. I was wondering, 'what are students doing up this early on a Saturday morning (or maybe they just never went to bed).' But then I thought, 'well of course, they are taking final exams.' We are in our second day of final exams and by the looks of it a lot of students had an exam that morning. Our final exams run from Friday to Thursday; albeit, a lot of students will probably be done early this week. It is sort of a strange time on campus because each day there is fewer and fewer students. The parking lots gradually begin emptying and dining facilities are slowing shrinking in volume. For most seniors this is there final week of total and complete freedom before they enter the workforce or begin graduate school.

Graduation is always on Mother's Day at Carroll. I remember a time when we looked at moving it to the Saturday before Mother's Day, but the conclusion was there is no better gift for mothers than to watch their son or daughter graduate from college. After experiencing that feeling as a parent myself, and watching my wife beam with pride, I understand and appreciate why we hold the ceremony on that day. For moms of graduates it is a Mother's Day they will NEVER forget.

April 20, 2015


A college education is basically about providing students with opportunities. Opportunities to learn, be critical thinkers, excellent communicators, individuals who give back to their communities, and to develop self-discipline, a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, and an appreciation for different viewpoints and different cultures. At Carroll, we provide our students with those opportunities. We believe those opportunities should be available to our students 24-7 in a variety of ways. Growth and development does not start and stop at the classroom door, but it happens in all environments across campus such as the resident halls, campus jobs, dining facilities, athletic fields, music halls, theater stages, and at internships and undergraduate research and study abroad. Creating the environment for these opportunities to exist for our students is what we do, but it is up to the student to take advantage of the opportunities. When a student takes full advantage of these opportunities they are setting themselves up for success at Carroll and after they graduate.

April 6, 2015

Credit Hours

In higher education we use credit hours as the measure of completion and success. Each school sets a specific number of credit hours students have to complete to receive a degree. Undergraduate students need 128 credits to be eligible for graduation, and those credits have to count toward specific areas of our curriculum. Students need approximately 32 credits of general education (a menu of courses students choose from regardless of major). Then there are specific credits they have to complete for their major. For a major that does not have a license/certification (i.e. nursing, education, physical therapy, athletic training) they are limited to approximately 48 credits. Programs with license/certification at the end of their degree often have 90+ credits that have to be completed to meet the standards set by the licensing organization. Most majors that require 48 credits, plus 32 general credits equal a total of 80 credits. The last 48 credits a student has to complete can go toward a double major or minor, which will make the student more marketable.

The key to our curriculum is to provide our students a breadth of knowledge, depth of knowledge, and an appreciation for different cultures. These three areas are at the core of our curriculum. Providing our students with the right knowledge and skills enables them to become employed and to thrive throughout their careers and lives.

March 30, 2015

A Helping Hand

I am almost certain that every student who attends college needs a helping hand at some point during their college career. One of the great things about Carroll is the number of ways we provide a helping hand to students. Some students take advantage of the services we offer to lend a helping hand almost every day, while others take advantage of them every once in a while. Here is a list of ways we help students:

  • Office of Student Success
    • A representative from the Office of Student Success is assigned to every student at Carroll to help them reach their goals, dreams and objectives.
  • Academic Advisor
    • Every student will be assigned a faculty advisor to assist them with scheduling their courses, internships and career advice.
  • Learning Commons
    • This is the place where students go for tutoring and help with specific courses.
  • Faculty Members
    • Faculty at Carroll is required to have office hours for students to meet with them. Faculty is fantastic at giving out contact info and being available for students.
  • Advising Center
    • This is a place where students can go to get help with course advising. This is in addition to the faculty advisor.
  • Peer Mentor
    • When students take Cultural Seminar Course there is a peer mentor that works with the faculty member in this class and with the students in the course.
  • Resident Assistant
    • On every floor of a Carroll Resident Hall/Apartment there is a student who has been trained to form a community amongst the residence and is there to assist the students.
  • Co-Curricular Advisor/Coach
    • Whether the activity is a sport (where coaches assist the team members), music or a student organization there is always someone there to help students.
  • Career Services
    • Carroll's career center is available to help student throughout their time at Carroll (and after they are an alum) with career planning.
  • Walter Young Center
    • Carroll offers students personal counseling and assistance for those who need the assistance.
  • Carroll Health Center
    • Carroll operates a health center on campus to help students who need medical attention.

As you can see from this list there are many ways Carroll can give students a helping hand.

March 23, 2015


I write this blog as a father of two daughters who recently graduated from college. My oldest graduated from Carroll University three years ago as finance major, and my youngest graduated from Alverno this past December as a business major. When your sons and daughters graduate from college your expectations and hopes are that they immediately walk in to the perfect job and become financially independent. This can happen, especially if they enter in to certain fields such as nursing, physical therapy, etc. But for fields such as business it tends to take a little more time and patience from mom, dad and the recent graduate. Entry-level college graduate jobs are just not as plentiful as they once were. Sometimes students need to take a job that some might consider below them to start. That was the story of our older daughter. She got in with a wonderful I.T. company in Austin, Texas as an administrative assistant to the C.F.O. She loved the job and made okay money, but within three months they promoted her to a professional position within the accounting/finance department.

My younger daughter's story is very different. She worked as a bank teller part-time throughout college. Upon graduation she went full-time with the bank and was given additional responsibilities beyond the bank teller duties. Just recently she decided to take a full-time job outside of banking with a well-known Milwaukee based company in their accounting/finance department. She is still in training, but likes the job a lot.

I tell the story of my daughters to help parents understand that it takes patience, and eventually they find their way into a good job. Companies want college graduates that can be instantly productive and sometimes that means starting out in a job that would be considered under-employed until they can earn the trust and respect of their employer to be moved up. A college education is a life-time investment that will pay returns for the rest of a person's life. Patience and trust are vital for mom, dad and the recent graduate.

March 16, 2015

It's Spring!

When you work in higher education, spring kicks off when students go on Spring Break. Last week was Carroll's spring break so that means it is upon us. When students began classes today, it marked approximately 6 weeks left until the end of the semester. These 6 weeks are filled with projects, papers, and tests.

Spring is also a time when prospective students decide which college they will attend. Making that choice can be a stressful and exciting for high school seniors. The college choice decision is one-third science and two-thirds gut feeling. Often for the student, the moment they walk on a college campus to visit, they know immediately if that school is right for them. For parents, it is a process that takes more time and information before they feel confident in their son or daughter's college choice decision. Thankfully, Carroll remains a popular choice with high school seniors and their parents. We often hear these reasons for why Carroll is so popular between both parties involved:

  • The wide variety of academic majors
  • The quality of academic programs
  • The ability to participate in co-curricular activities
  • The ability to graduate in four years
  • The personal attention (i.e. small classes, etc.)
  • The cost of Carroll
  • The location of Carroll University

These are just a few of the most popular reasons. There are many more reasons why Carroll has become such a popular choice.

Happy Spring!

February 24, 2015

Run Fast and Study Hard

This week Carroll University's cross country program earned All-Academic Team honors by The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. It is a tremendous honor for our student-athletes who work hard in the classroom and in sports. The honor only goes to teams that have a cumulative GPA of 3.10 or higher and have competed in at least five different meets with at least five runners representing their school at each event. The men's cross country team has a cumulative GPA of 3.33 and the women's team's GPA is 3.42.

This week I had the opportunity to interview a prospective student who is looking to transfer from a Big Ten school to Carroll. We spoke about the differences between the two institutions, and I was amazed at how different the experiences are. Every class has over 100 students and one class was close to 300. There are also teaching assistants in each class and grades were mainly dependent on a couple of tests each semester. Hands-on experiences in science labs are almost never allowed and it is difficult to get involved in student organizations. I always say the best way to get a feel for where your student will be most successful is to visit the institution. You generally will know very soon after arriving on campus if that school is right for your student.

February 16, 2015

Direct Admission?

Often prospective students and parents get confused about the term "direct admission." Direct admission means the student is accepted into their academic program of choice directly upon entry into the institution. At Carroll, 90 percent of our academic programs' direct admission is guaranteed upon entry. That means he or she is in their academic program unless they do not meet the progression requirements. In other words staying in the academic program is entirely up to the student.

Approximately 10 percent of Carroll's programs are not direct admission, and students must compete for a spot or meet the qualification standards of the program due to a license at the end of the degree (i.e. physical therapy, nursing, athletic training, etc.). These programs all have separate accreditation requirements from outside agencies.

At some schools direct admission is not an option. Students come into the institution without knowing for sure whether or not they will be accepted into their academic program. Acceptance is dependent not only on their performance, but also on the number of spots the school has in the program.

For some students direct admission is not that big of a deal, but for others having control over their future is a REALLY big deal.

February 9, 2015

Financial Aid Season

Financial aid season is that magical time of year for parents of college students (well maybe not magical). It is the time of year where parents and students get to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. How much fun can that be? In all seriousness, the FAFSA was created by the federal government to try to remove the "ability to pay" for the college choice process. The basic concept is for students to pick a school that best suits their needs/wants and not based on cost. Conceptually the form still works that way (sort of). Nowadays the FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution is not an absolute at every school, but rather a starting point. For some students, schools can offer enough gift aid assistance that the school actually costs less than what the government said you could pay, but in other cases just the opposite happens. At Carroll, our promise is to try to make college affordable for each student, and to distribute our gift aid (estimated to over $38 million) in a fair and equitable manner.

We are now beginning to send out financial aid awards for the 2015-16 academic year. We have sent out over 600 awards thus far and more to come in the next few weeks. When reading an aid reward, keep these key points in mind:

  1. Make sure to focus on the bottom line, what you pay, versus how much aid you received.
  2. Make sure to look at the component of the aid package (gift aid, loan, work).
  3. Understand payment options at the school.
  4. Take into consideration the time to completion, as that extra year can be very costly.
  5. How does the school treat private/external scholarships?
  6. Did the school offer a campus job in the award?
  7. What extra expenses are there (i.e. books, etc.)?
  8. What services does the school offer and are there extra costs for these services?
  9. What do I do if the FAFSA does not accurately represent the families' economic situation?
  10. Can I appeal an aid award?

Reading and understanding financial aid awards are tricky because each school has its own format. The above points might help you make better sense of the process.

February 1, 2015

Super Sunday

Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday and it was a good day to stay inside and watch the game during a blizzard outside. On campus, Carroll is excited to be a finalist for the Stanley Security's "Together for Safer Schools" grant worth up to $100,000. In this day and age, safety is something no one should take for granted. Unfortunately, no place can guarantee your safety. Campuses across America can only try their best to make the community as safe as possible. Carroll's Public Safety program is very impressive. It is led by an individual who has extensive law enforcement experience in a variety of different settings. His staff is made up of very committed and hardworking employees. They also employ students to help keep our campus community safe. We have bike patrols, car patrols, motorcycle patrols and foot patrols on campus. The team takes great pride in keeping our campus safe.

This time of year gets busy for our department because we start sending out financial aid awards to students accepted at Carroll. We are also launching a new student portal for students who have confirmed their intention to enroll at Carroll. This portal will give them access to sign up for course registration, housing, dining and much more. Lastly, we are having our very first accepted students open house day. This will be an exciting day and a chance to answer all of our accepted students, questions about Carroll.

January 26, 2015

Amazing Students

This past week we had an open house for prospective students and their families. It was a large event in terms of the number of students who attended. I sat in on the student/alumni Panel interest session. Every time I watch/listen to this panel I am blown away by how our student and alumni panelists talk about their experiences at Carroll. During the most recent session one of the student panelists said "Carroll will provide you the opportunities, but it is up to you to take advantage of those opportunities." That is such an insightful and truthful statement. If a student at Carroll says there is nothing going on at Carroll on a weekend then they are simply not searching. This campus has a buzz of activities every Friday and Saturday, but a student must take the initiative to participate in those events.

I think our student/alumni panelists exemplify what we as an institution try to build into our students. Here are the traits that we value and they exemplify:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Honesty and sincerity
  • Respect for others
  • Work ethic
  • A passion for Carroll

These are just a few of the characteristics they exemplify, and if these student/alumni panelists are an example of what we are producing as an institution then we are doing the right things.

January 19, 2015

A Glimpse Into The Past

Last week President Hastad and Dr. David Block, retired Carroll professor, opened up a time capsule found behind the Maxon Hall cornerstone. Maxon Hall is being demolished and replaced by a new science building scheduled to open spring 2016. Inside the time capsule were the following items:

  • Holy Bible
  • Several Carroll College brochures
  • Two academic publications
  • New York Times newspaper clipping
  • Milwaukee Journal Newspaper clipping
  • Several maps
  • 4 photographs
  • Several materials from the Carroll Geography Department
  • Early computer materials

The content of the time capsule was just a small glimpse into Carroll's rich history. Maxon Hall was built in 1961 and soon it will be gone in order to make room for the new state-of-art science building.

Second semester begins this week Tuesday so soon the campus will be filled with students. It will be great to have them back on campus.

January 5, 2015

Winter Term

Christmas break is over and the campus is alive again (sort of). We are in winter term, which is an optional session for students to pick up an extra class. The term is three weeks long with pretty intense classes. We have approximately 200 students who take classes this term. Some students do so to add another major, minor or because they changed their major. Then of course there are students who take a course to hangout with their friends on campus or for an internship. Second semester begins January 20 so most of our students are still home with their families.

Next week I am off to a conference to give a speech about the future of information technology in enrollment management of colleges/universities. The good news is that I'm going somewhere warm, but the bad news is that predicting the future of IT is pretty much impossible. When I started in enrollment management the only portals were those being used on Star Trek. Now every prospective student and current student has his or her own portal account to monitor a wide variety of things. Not only do we use portals, but we also use PURL's (personalized URL's), Nervana Boards (an extremely large IPAD that is interactive and personal) and API (advanced program interface). I am confident that the future will bring even more personalization and high-tech developments that I could not predict in my wildest dreams. I guess you can say my speech will be pretty vague since technology is ever-changing and much too fast to predict. At least the weather should be warm!

December 22, 2014

Wonderful Christmas Gifts

I write this blog from the perspective of a father of two daughters more than someone who works in higher education. Christmas is fast approaching and our students are home with their parents, while my wife and I have received our two very special gifts. When I think of gifts I often think of the material things gives or receives, but these special gifts are more than that. On Saturday we watched our youngest daughter walk across the stage to receive her bachelor's degree. I have attended college graduation ceremonies for 30 straight years but this one was very different from the rest (except for my oldest daughter's graduation). I watched with great pride as my daughter walked across the stage. It is an awesome feeling to experience this as a apparent because the journey to this point has come with highs and lows for both of us. What make the journey so special are these highs and lows though. From a parent's point of view you need to provide support, patience, and love. From the student's point of view they need to possess faith, hard work and determination. In the end it is not about the piece of paper that says you have a bachelor's degree, but rather the knowledge and skills you attained along the way. I think this might be the best Christmas gift I have ever received because I know she is prepared for the next journey.

The next gift we received this holiday season came from our oldest daughter. She arrived home from Texas (where she is working) late last week. She graduated from Carroll in 2002 with a degree in finance and bounced around several jobs trying to find the one she "loves." The journey seemed long, but in August she found a job and this past December was promoted. I think the lesson in her post-degree journey is patience. As parents we want our children to find the perfect job right out of college, but in this economy it takes time and a little bit of luck. The key is to realize that the first job is just the beginning of their career journey. Ultimately you need to keep the faith that with hard work, determination and the right skills and knowledge they will make the most of their opportunities.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

December 15, 2014

Learning How to Learn

This past week I was asked: "What is one piece of knowledge or skill you believe every Carroll graduate should have?" I thought to myself, "wow, that is a very difficult question." How do you wrap up four years of courses and experiences into one skill/knowledge? After searching the depths of my mind (some might say that shouldn't be too hard) I came up with what I felt was the ideal answer. It is the ability to learn. Learning how to learn is not glamorous and it is often overlooked and assumed. Too often students and parents (myself included) are so focused on getting our sons and daughters jobs that we often overlook the fact that long-term success is dependent upon their ability to learn, apply knowledge to problems, and to communicate effectively. Knowledge in this day and age is very fleeting and we are constantly bombarded by new knowledge. How effective we are at using this new knowledge is critical to our long-term success.

When my daughter attended Carroll she questioned why calculus was a requirement for a finance degree. She stated she would never use calculus in her future jobs. I explained to her that it is not the knowledge of how to do calculus, but rather the process she would need to employ to learn a difficult subject like calculus. While I don't think my answer convinced her at that time, I do believe she is beginning to appreciate the ability to learn as she is learning lots of new things in her current job.

December 8, 2014

Wheels Up

This past week, a faculty committee who reviews academic programs and changes approved an aviation minor at Carroll. The program is a unique partnership between Spring City Aviation and Carroll University. It is an exciting opportunity for students to receive a bachelor's degree in any major and a minor in aviation. More details about this program are coming soon.

I was once told that no one should have to do two computer conversions in their working career. Unfortunately, that rule does not apply to me as we begin the planning phase of converting admission operations into a new database system. It is an exciting process and somewhat fun, but still very stressful. The new computer system will be in a test phase until we are sure it has no negative impact on prospective students and families. Fun, fun, fun!

Carroll's first semester wraps up this coming week. Finals begin December 12 and run until December 17. The campus is particularly quiet December 18 through January 2 because there are no classes, but the admission office is open during this time for visitors.

November 24, 2014

The Recipe for Success

Over the last 10 years I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about why some students succeed in college and others don't. Flashing through my memory I think of the students who seemingly had everything working against them to succeed and yet they thrive in college and graduate. Then there are other students who seemingly have everything working in their favor and yet they don't succeed in college. How can that be? During these 10 years we have come up with a recipe that seems to predict success in college. Here is the recipe:

  1. College Readiness
      a. Academically Prepared
      b. Socially Prepared
      c. Maturity
      d. Financially Prepared
  2. Attitudes, Behavior and Motivation
      a. Self-Discipline Focus
      b. Work Ethic
      c. Study Habits
      d. Academic Confidence
      e. Motivation
      f. Grit and Tenacity
  3. Institutional Fit
      a. Size b. Location
      c. Major
      e. Cost
      f. Co-Curricular Activities

The recipe is a great start, but in fact a student can start with all these ingredients in place and over time one of them disappear. The portion size of each ingredient varies greatly from one student to the next. One thing we have learned is we can help students acquire these ingredients if students are willing to help themselves. We also have to reach students in a timely manner. That is why we created the Office of Student Success and we use a predictive model to monitor students' progress to success.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

November 17, 2014

Kind Hearts

On Saturday morning when I arrived on campus there were approximately a half dozen tents occupying Main Lawn. The overnight temperature was in the low teens and a group of students spent the night outside, sleeping in tents, to bring attention to the plight of homelessness. This is just one example of how caring our students are and how they give back to the community. Whether they are working with Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, the women's shelter, food swipes for food pantries, or causes for the homeless, Carroll students exhibit very kind hearts daily.

Fall sports have come to a close and winter sports are beginning. It was a very successful season for all the fall sports. Each sport finished in the top 4 in the conference. Hopefully the winter sports will be just as successful.

November 11, 2014

The Pio Meter

Last week freshmen at Carroll University were introduced to the PIO METER. The PIO METER is an interactive tool on the portal that allows students to rate themselves in seven areas. The areas cover important factors that determine one's success in college. Carroll is one of three schools in the country that gives a survey to students covering the seven areas before they enter their freshman year. Once they complete the survey, experts rate each student in the seven areas and benchmark them on the PIO METER. Students can then adjust their rating on their individual PIO METER, which is available to them their first year of college. The data is used for various purposes at Carroll, and tabulated for a national study. The seven areas covered are:

1. Academic Engagement
Do they have self-discipline and motivation to study the appropriate amount?

2. Academic Self Efficacy
Do they take ownership over their academic performance?

3. Campus Engagement
Are they involved on campus?

4. Educational Commitment
Are they committed to getting their college degree?

5. Institutional Fit
Do they view Carroll as a good fit for them?

6. Life Roles
Are there things outside of college that interferes with their ability to be successful at Carroll?

7. Resilience
Does the student have grit and tenacity to overcome challenges?

November 4, 2014

The Carroll Experience

An education from Carroll is much more than what a student learns in the classroom. The knowledge and skills they acquire are vital to their future success, but so are many things they learn outside the classroom. A Carroll education does not start nor stop in class. The learning laboratory also consists of the resident halls, dining facilities, the library, athletic venues, music halls, the theater stages, both the Waukesha and Milwaukee community, and campus employment settings. The learning environment is 24-7 and our goal is to prepare students for success once they leave Carroll. The knowledge, skills and experiences our students take away from participating in the vast opportunities Carroll offers sets them up for future success.

My wife and I learned the value of patience when our oldest daughter was searching for a job. She graduated from Carroll two years ago with a degree in business finance. Since then she has had three different jobs at three different places. Two of the jobs were in finance and the other was as a USPTA Tennis teacher. She has worked in Milwaukee and Texas. My daughter has been able to keep a job, but finding something she likes (or loves) has been the struggle. But finally this past August, she landed a job she loves (knock on wood). She is living in Austin, Texas and working for a high-tech company in the accounting and finance department. I think her story is becoming the norm for a lot of recent college graduates. Bouncing around from one place to another until the "right job" is found is commonplace. As a parent, it seems like a lengthy process but in the end if they a job that makes them happy and financially independent that is all one can ask for.

October 29, 2014

Fall Break

This past Monday and Tuesday was Carroll's fall break. The campus was quiet and the parking lots were empty. Fall break is the mid-point of the first semester. It is hard to believe that the semester is half way over. Students by now can recite their course schedules by memory and tell you which classes are harder or easier than others. They can also tell you which meals are their favorites and how they like to spend their weekends. They are in the "College Zone." The "College Zone" is when students put their bodies on autopilot and let their brains continue to soak in new knowledge and skills. Some students thrive in this zone and love every minute of it, while others count down the days to the next break. Now that students are back on campus, the amount of work, knowledge and skills they acquire will intensify as faculty demands more of them in their courses. When Thanksgiving rolls around, both students and faculty will be ready for a well-deserved break before the final push to the end of the semester.

October 20, 2014


This past Saturday, Carroll's campus was filled with alumni, young and old. They traveled from across the country to attend the annual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. They reminisced with friends, many of whom they have not seen in years. While many things have changed at the university, the core Carroll experience has not changed at all. Students can still expect individualized attention, a core liberal arts foundation, co-curricular offerings, and faculty/staff that are always there to help them achieve their goals. When I attended Carroll the enrollment size were 1,200 students. Today, enrollment has nearly tripled with 3,500 students. Even the enormous growth and increased popularity has not changed Carroll much. It is still a place that cares deeply about making sure student reach their goals and dreams.

October 13, 2014

Defining Success

I suppose there are many different ways an institution can define success. Not too long ago, higher education defined success on whether or not a student could critically think and communicate effectively. Several weeks ago, Carroll University's President Douglas Hastad and I had a chance to talk about student success at a conference in Great Britain. Here is how we defined success in our presentation:

  1. Students who progress from one year to the next.
  2. Students who graduate with the ability to critically think and to effectively communicate.
  3. Students/alums who are employed (or in graduate school) and who contribute to society in a positive manner.

It is rare that institutions define success by what we outlined in number three. I find that colleges and universities only like to be held accountable for preparing students for the future, and not for employability or graduate school placement. But the reality is parents and students alike are depending on us for employability as well. They expect that. At Carroll, we recognize the importance of student success after graduation, and we are doing our best to make sure every student at the university meets all three definitions of success.

October 6, 2014

Warning: Kleenex May Be Required

Last week Carroll hosted its annual Scholarship Donor Luncheon. It is an opportunity for some of our scholarship donors to meet the students they are helping to attend college. It is always a very touching event, and this year they played a video about one of our students that made more than a few people shed some tears. Here is the video.

Sage is someone I met early in her freshman year. She is one of the most determined and hardworking individuals I have ever met. I am extremely proud of her and her family. I look forward to that day in May when she walks across the stage to receive her diploma.

September 29, 2014

Your Portal Is Open

I am sure I am dating myself when I say the only portal I knew about while growing up was the one Captain Kirk stepped in to be beamed to a different planet. Today, portals in higher education are websites that are customized to each individual student. At Carroll, our current students use portals to check course assignments, notes, grades and attendance, as well as have access to financial aid awards, transcripts and bills. We also are one of the few schools that offer a portal to any prospective student. Many institutions wait until a student is accepted before they give them access to a portal; however, at Carroll any student interested in our institution is given access to a "candidate portal." The candidate portal allows a student to track their application, view web pages about their major and co-curricular interests, and read any written materials sent to them via mail. As the student progresses through the admissions process, they can review other things via the portal such as their financial aid award, and housing and course registration information.

Saturday's open house was a huge success. Over 450 guests were on campus and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Last week, Carroll University and Tyler Junior College (Tyler, Texas) signed an agreement to offer a joint degree in professional tennis management and sports and recreation management. The agreement allows students to attend Carroll University for three years, and then Tyler for one year. At the conclusion of that year the student receives a bachelor's degree in sports and recreation management, and a certification in professional tennis management. It is a wonderful opportunity for students.

September 22, 2014

Campus Open House

This coming Saturday we are hosting our first Campus Open House of the school year for prospective students. We are expecting several hundred prospective students and their families to be at the event. They will tour the campus, talk to athletic coaches, faculty about academic programs, and participate in several interest sessions. We are anticipating a wonderful event and look forward to meeting everyone.

Carroll's office of student success and several outside partners are working together to develop and launch the PIO METER. The PIO METER is a tool that allows our new freshmen to alter their perception of their experience at any point in time. This meter is the first of its kind in higher education and Carroll students will be the first students in the country to use this instrument. It will provide feedback not only for the office of student success, but also for other schools in the future. The meter was developed for students to provide constant feedback about their feelings and experiences. We anticipate going live with the PIO METER next week.

September 15, 2014

Week 2

Today marks our second full week of classes. By now the new students are getting into the full swing of things and making new friends and new connections. During college you meet people who will be your friends for life, and connections (faculty, staff, etc.) who will be mentors that help you achieve your goals and objectives. Each week gets easier for our new students and time flies as they juggle between school, campus jobs, and involvement in student organizations and co-curricular activities.

Last week a fellow Carroll employee and I were in Great Britain giving a speech about Carroll's Student Success program. The Student Success program is regarded as one of the finest programs in the United States and in the world. Many British institutions are looking to implement a Student Success program similar to the one we operate at Carroll. It was a wonderful trip and Carroll has become a leader in helping students be successful via graduation and employment.

This week we will also be launching a new tool for our fall ‘14 freshmen. The tool allows them to log in to the student portal and see PIO METER. PIO METER is comprised of seven categories (student motivation, student academic behavior, student perseverance, etc.) that help predict college success. Prior to the start of this semester, we surveyed our students and the results created a score in each of the seven categories. We are the first school in the world to use this tool and excited to see the results and how we can assist students in being successful.

August 18, 2014

Summer Over?

This past weekend some of our student-athletes moved back on campus. By the end of next week, another 25 percent of our students will be back on campus. Since the end of last semester a few, noticeable changes have been made on campus. Van Male Fieldhouse is under construction - a $4 million renovation that includes new locker rooms. Schneider Stadium got new field turf and last week heavy equipment arrived on campus to soon demolish Maxon Hall and make room for a new, state-of-the-art science building.

As we welcome back our student-athletes, we are also gearing up to welcome Carroll's second largest freshmen class in its history. Not only is the freshmen class large, it is also smart and diverse. We are excited to welcome this multi-talented group of students to our Carroll Community. Let the school year begin!

August 4, 2014

A Pioneer Wedding

This past weekend, my wife and I attended the wedding of my daughter's former roommate at Carroll University. The event was very much a Pioneer affair. The bride and groom, majority of the wedding party (including my daughter), and the parents of the bride and groom were all Carroll alums. The reception was also attended by a large number of Carroll alums and current students. I do not believe I have ever been to an event off-campus attended by so many Pioneers. It was a wonderful experience. Now the bride and groom are headed to Houston, Texas where the groom will participate in a yearlong training program at his company.

The start of school is fast approaching. Within a couple of weeks student-athletes will be moving on campus to begin their preseason workouts. Soon after, the freshmen class will move into their resident hall and begin orientation. Finally, the continuing students will move back into the dorms and shortly after classes will begin. We are all eagerly waiting for school to start and look forward to welcoming our students back to their home at Carroll.

July 14, 2014

Visit Carroll University

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It is Wisconsin Private College Week and approximately 1,200 guests will visit our campus. During this week I will be meeting with prospective students and their families. I love to meet with people who are interested in Carroll because they always leave a great impression, and I walk away thinking how wonderful it would be for them to attend our university. It is also fun talking to prospective students and their families about their expectations, and needs and wants regarding higher education. Very often in the news you hear about bad stuff young people do, but usually the students I meet with this week will paint a different picture. Meeting them changes any negative attitudes and perceptions about this generation. I find that the prospective students I meet are hard workers, receive good grades, hold jobs outside of school, and participate in co-curricular activities such as music, theater and sports. They are often involved in community/church service as well. In my opinion, the future looks bright for society because the students we meet with this week are the leaders of our future.

June 30, 2014

Bumping Into A Special Person

As I travel my life's journey, I have had the great fortune to bump into some amazing individuals. Sometimes you don't realize how great they are until you reflect back on what they have accomplished in their lifetime and how many individuals they have impacted. One of the individuals who have touched my life and so many others at Carroll (and beyond) is Pershing (P.E.) MacAllister. P.E. is a Carroll graduate and a member of the Carroll Board of Trustees since 1963. Without P.E.'s wisdom, Carroll would not be the place it is today. He has provided guidance and support to this institution through good times and bad. P.E. has made, and continues to make (at the age of 95), an enormous impact on this institution. On July 14, in New York City, P.E. MacAllister will receive the prestigious Ernest T. Stewart Award for Alumni Involvement by The Counsel for Advancement and Support of Education. There is no person more deserving of this honor. P.E. is definitely one of the wisest and most devoted individuals I have ever met and it is my honor to call him a role model and a friend.

June 23, 2014

The Fulfilling College Experience

This week I received an email from a recent Carroll graduate who worked in our office for four years. The email stated how every experience as a student at Carroll adds up and makes a big impact on their lives. The email prompted me to think about what ingredients go into making a fulfilling college experience. I came up with the three ingredients below.

  1. The Opportunity
    1. The institution has to create the right environment and opportunities for students, and to create these the institution must allocate resources to the cause (money, facilities, people and time). Sometimes the resource allocation is minor, and other times it is a major investment.
  2. Engaging an In-Demand Opportunity/Experience
    1. The ultimate success of an opportunity/experience lies in how good the institution is at making it exciting and fulfilling for students. Students should not have to be bribed to join or participate; otherwise the long-term outlook is bleak. Generally, this comes down to finding good leaders within the campus to head up the activity/experience.
  3. Student Motivation
    1. Ultimately, the experience will be fulfilling only if the students is motivated and make the most out of it. It saddens me to watch students struggle in a class, and not take advantage of free tutoring offered for that class. Students make their own experiences. Motivated, and eager-to-get involved students tend to have more fulfilling, life-changing experiences, while students who watch from the sidelines tend to have limited ones.

The message of the story is that students have total control over how expansive and fulfilling their college experience will be. I find that the happiest students are those that find something outside the classroom to get involved in.

June 16, 2014

The Big Question

Over the years I have fielded lots of questions from prospective students and their parents. I have been asked to estimate the number of rabbits that live on our campus to how many of our buildings are haunted. Through practice I can usually come up with a truthful answer to almost any question. From time-to-time though, I get the question, usually from parents, "why should my son or daughter attend your institution?" On the surface this seems like a perfectly logical question to ask. My response is "tell me what your son or daughter's wants, needs and expectations are in a college and I can tell you whether or not Carroll is a good match." That response often takes them by surprise. Choosing a college should not be focused on the institution, but rather on the student. The process is about finding a college/university that is the best fit possible for the student and the parents. In order to find that the first step is for the student and parents to come up with a list of their needs, wants, and expectations. Then the different institutions can inform/demonstrate to them how they can best meet those needs, wants and expectations. There are lots of good schools out there for students to choose from, but picking the one that best meets the needs of the student and the parents is vital to a happy college experience.

June 9, 2014

Campus Visit Season

Summer is a great time to visit Carroll's campus if you are an upcoming high school junior or senior. The summer allows prospective students to get a glimpse into what Carroll has to offer and what the campus looks and feels like. We offer a wide variety of campus visit opportunities that includes individual appointments Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and a group visit day on Saturday, July 19. When you visit Carroll you will be given a personalized URL to access information designed specifically for you, as well as have the opportunity to take Pio Pete's Quiz and win a free Carroll T-Shirt. Come and find out why Carroll is such a popular institution.

June 2, 2014

Desirable Knowledge and Skills

This time of year there are many articles about what employers are looking for in recent college graduates. The desired knowledge and skills employers value have not changed much over the years. Here are the three things that are often listed:

  1. Critical Thinking
    • Complex problem-solving skills
  2. Ability to clearly communicate
    • Written and oral communication skills
  3. Innovation
    • The ability to think outside the box

Employers also state they want a combination of theoretical knowledge learned in a classroom, combined with real-world application of this knowledge.

At Carroll University we provide our students with these skills, the knowledge and additional things that make a person complete (i.e. moral, ethical, and religious understanding combined with an appreciation of different cultures and opinions). We provide this knowledge and skills through our general education program, as well as in our over 60 different areas of study. At Carroll we also ensure that students obtain the book knowledge and the applied knowledge. A Carroll education provides our students with the foundation to launch a successful career and a life full of personal fulfillment.

May 27, 2014

Hard Hat Please

For the most part, aside from students taking summer classes, most students have gone home to their families and to work summer jobs. There is ample parking on campus and the hustle and bustle of the semester is pretty much over. But, there is a new audience that has arrived on campus. This audience comes with big and noisy equipment and tools. This summer our campus is transforming into a construction site. Currently, Van Male Fieldhouse is where all the activity is taking place as they begin to demolish parts of it to upgrade the facility. When it is all done the Fieldhouse will have new locker rooms, coach offices, and a new training room and entryway.

Another facility that will soon be demolished is Maxon Hall. The space will make way for our new science building that will be twice as big and feature state-of-the-art classrooms and labs.

In addition to these two projects, the college will also be renovating Haertel field with new stands and an artificial turf playing field. The field will continue to serve Waukesha youth leagues as well as our athletic teams. The university's Schneider Field will also get new artificial turf.

If this was not enough, the school is also upgrading the Greene Field Station (outdoor science facility) with a new bridge and a state-of-the-art environmental lab.

So as you can see from the projects I've mentioned, Carroll continues to invest and upgrade its facilities so current and future students can reap the benefits of a quality education.

May 12, 2014

New Alumni

This past Sunday, May 11, at 12 p.m., I was sitting in my office looking out at the campus. It was buzzing with activity in preparation of the ceremonial transition of 700+ Carroll students to Carroll alumni. From this day forward, our new graduates will never be able to listen to bagpipe music without bringing back the memory of their graduation. Every name announced had its own unique story about how they got to this point in time. Some of the stories are nothing short of a miracle, while others are about meeting expectations. Our graduates' emotions ranged from absolute joy in completing this journey, to absolute sadness and anxiety to be leaving Carroll and moving on to the next chapter of their lives. These journeys do not happen in isolation, as there are countless people that support them throughout the adventure from parents who sacrifice and support the students every step of the way, to faculty and staff who guides, mentors and encourages the students.

As a fellow Carroll alum, I am excited to welcome this new group of graduates into this very special club. I am proud of what they have accomplished and endured to get to this point.

Congratulations Class of 2014!

May 6, 2014

Making a Difference

Last week Carroll's alumni, friends, staff and students raised 41,679 meals during this year's National Day of Service food drive. The Carroll community continues to impress me with their generosity and kindness. It is another example of how our Carroll family contributes to the greater community.

Justin Jacobs, class of '03, majored in mathematics at Carroll. He went on to receive a master's degree in Mathematics from UW-Milwaukee and from University of Maryland-Baltimore. Later this month he will receive his doctoral degree from University of Maryland-Baltimore. Justin works for the National Security Agency and recently received a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Technology which is the highest honor recognized by the United States government on scientists and engineers in the first five years of their independent research careers. Another Carroll alum making a difference in the world!

This week is graduation week. On Mother's Day Carroll will be graduating the largest class in its 168-year history. As a parent of a recent Carroll alum, I can attest that it is an awesome feeling to hear your child's name called at graduation. Soon there will be a new crop of Carroll alums going in to the world to make a difference.

April 28, 2014

New Athletic Conference

Last week, Carroll University was invited to join the CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) starting in fall 2016. Carroll eagerly accepted the invitation. It was a member of the CCIW from 1955 to 1992. The university is now returning to do what is best for student-athletes. The CCIW is one of the premier NCAA Division III conferences in the nation.

I have a unique perspective on this decision. I played for Carroll when we participated in the CCIW, and I coached at Carroll when we competed in the conference. I also coached at two different institutions that were members of the Midwest Conference; the conference Carroll is soon to leave. The schools that form both conferences are wonderful institutions, but those in the CCIW are a much better fit with Carroll. I believe this because the programs the schools offer, and the size of the institutions and their facilities are more similar to Carroll's. Additionally, the travel will be significantly less. The CCIW traditionally has been one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the country. They regularly compete for national championships in almost every sport.

With this announcement came the commitment to improve our athletic facilities. This summer Carroll will upgrade Van Male Fieldhouse, re-turf Schneider Stadium, and renovate/upgrade Haertel Field (home of Pioneer lacrosse program). I am excited for our student-athletes and all of our students as we re-enter the CCIW Athletic Conference. Go Pios!

April 14, 2014


This past weekend UCONN was not the only institution that won a championship. The Wisconsin Association of Physician Assistant Challenge Bowl was won by Carroll University. You might have missed the broadcast of this thrilling event, but never the less, it is a very big accomplishment for a program that is less than three years old. We are very proud of the faculty and students that participated in this event.

The WAPA victory is one more example of how successful Carroll's health science programs have become. Our physician assistant studies, physical therapy, nursing, athletic training, and other health sciences programs are some of the finest in the country. When you consider the size of these programs, the licensing exam pass rates and the job placement rates, it is easy to see why Carroll has such a great reputation.

Building a nationally recognized health science program requires key ingredients. It takes an institutional commitment to provide the necessary resources. It takes outstanding faculty who are excellent at providing students with the required skills and knowledge. It takes state-of-the-art facilities, and the latest technology and equipment. Finally, it takes talented students who are motivated to be the best.

Carroll has a short week with the holiday weekend. Happy Easter!

April 5, 2014

Visiting Carroll

It is Saturday morning and we are preparing to welcome more than 500 guests to campus for an Open House. One of my favorite things about my job is to interact with prospective students and their families. I am so impressed with how talented the prospective students are who are interested in Carroll. In the last three months alone I have met with students who have started their own business, written a book, volunteered at a hospice, traveled to Europe for a conference, completed mission work in Central America, participated in a national soccer tournament, marched in the band at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and more. It is a joy to meet and talk about the prospective student's goals and ambitions.

Carroll University attracts truly outstanding students and families. Carroll is a place that builds community and helps our students achieve their dreams and goals. I have a dream catcher hanging in my office to remind me that it is our student's dreams that make this job so rewarding.

Only one month left to go in our semester (amazing!). Soon students will be packing up and heading home for the summer. While I enjoy the peacefulness of campus when students are away (usually only for about a week or two before they return for summer classes or research projects), I miss the energy and excitement that our students bring to campus.

April 1, 2014

The Difference Between Colleges

At this time of year a lot of high school seniors are trying to decide what makes one college different from another. The obvious differences are size, location, academic offerings and cost (although those can be very similar). There is one other factor in the equation, but it is harder to measure – people.

The reality is that the college experience is primarily about the people who a student encounters along the way. It is these very people who can make or break a college experience. Carroll prides itself on being a friendly and student-centered campus. We try to get to know our students as individuals, not just ID numbers or nameless faces that we encounter. Our goal is to understand what our students' goals and objectives are, and to assist them in reaching these goals. Very often it is the people you meet who become your mentors and trusted advisers. I myself had the good fortune of meeting individuals at Carroll who were my mentors for life.

Carroll's Student Success program once again took center stage last week. At a conference in Denver for admission and registrars of higher education, we presented our program to a standing-room-only crowd and received rave reviews on what we are doing. At Carroll, we are committed to each and every student to help them graduate and achieve their dreams.

March 24, 2014

The Why Question

My youngest daughter is a senior in college and she is registering for next fall, her final semester of classes. She recently asked me the dreaded "why" question: "Why do I have to take a fine arts course when I am a business major?" If I only had a nickel for every time I have been asked that question in my 30+ years of working in higher education. This is the answer I gave my daughter.

The reason why you need to take a fine arts course even though you are a business major is twofold. First, you need to acquire knowledge in a variety of areas because it makes you a more well-rounded person. In today's world you need to have knowledge in lots of different areas because everything is interrelated.

Secondly, receiving a higher education degree is all about acquiring the skills necessary to learn, problem-solve and communicate. Being forced to learn something that you know nothing about or have little interest in begins the process necessary to learn new things, to problem-solve and to communicate this new knowledge. The process that you will go through to learn art history is more important in the long run than the fact that you can identify different artists.

After this great answer, my daughter stared at me like, "What planet did you come from and I can't believe I am related to you." I am not sure whether she totally bought my reply or not, but there will be a point in time when she will see the light and realize that dad might be right.

My daughter's response to my answer is the same response I often get from college students. But there is almost always a point in their lives when they put it all together. I remember asking the same question about calculus. I thought it was ridiculous that I was taking a course that I would never use again in my life. However, it is not the content that was valuable, it was the learning process. I learned how to learn, and that is what we strive to do in higher education.

March 17, 2014

Two New Academic Programs

Last week the faculty Assembly voted to approve two new academic programs. The first is a master's degree in occupational therapy. This offering fits nicely into our collection of established health science programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Carroll's health science programs are recognized as some of the finest in the country and it is our goal to make the occupational therapy program one of the best. Time to completion is two years, or six semesters.

The second program is an undergraduate degree in health care administration. This program has two options: a clinical track that is designed for pre-physical therapy students, and a second track for students who want to work in the health care field with a focus on the business side.

Carroll University is now on Spring Break. Parking lots are empty and campus is quiet. Now all we need is spring-like weather. It sounds like we will have to wait another week for that, unfortunately.

March 10, 2014

Helping Students Succeed

Last week I was in London giving a speech about Carroll's Student Success program. Our model is now being adopted in Great Britain, and being adapted to meet the needs of universities in the U.K. While our higher education systems are very different, there is a lot that we have in common.

In both countries, there is an emphasis on helping students be successful in achieving their educational goals. The biggest difference in our systems is that in U.K., students take an end-of-term test that determines whether they continue on to the next semester or not. A lot of their emphasis is on the academic preparation needed to progress. Another difference is that the length of time to complete their undergraduate degrees is three years. I find it interesting that the average debt for a U.K. student leaving university is almost identical to the average debt for a student who earned a four-year degree in the U.S.

Spring break for Carroll students begins March 15. Many students will go home, some will head south, some will travel with Carroll athletics teams for competition, and some of our students will go on community service trips. It amazes me how much Carroll students generously give back to their community – locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally.

February 24, 2014

Lacrosse and the Carroll Experience

Last week Carroll hired its first lacrosse coach/coordinator, Michael Hodge. Coach Hodge brings a wealth of experience to the position. We are excited to have him at Carroll and look forward to the first lacrosse season in spring 2015.

For students interested in participating in athletics in college, Carroll offers an outstanding experience. Our programs are very competitive, both on a conference and a national level. We offer excellent coaches and top-notch facilities.

Athletics is another example of how a Carroll education is not limited to the classroom. Learning and growing opportunities are available for students throughout the campus, whether on athletic fields, onstage, or within the variety of student clubs and organizations.

This week, I am off to jolly ole England to serve on a panel discussing student retention. This is the second year in a row that I have been invited to be a guest speaker at this international conference. It is a great experience as I get to hear about the challenges facing higher education in Europe and specifically in the U.K. Not surprisingly, a lot of the challenges they face across the pond are similar to those faced in the United States. Some challenges that we all face are the price of higher education, increasing retention and graduation rates, and increased government accountability. It will be fun to share with our U.K. counter parts how Carroll University approaches Student Success.

February 17, 2014

True Grit

You might be wondering what th"e "True Grit" has to do with higher education. Other than the fact that the John Wayne movie was mandatory watching when one (like me) grows up in Wyoming, there is no connection. That being said, there appears to be a strong connection between grit and tenacity when it comes to students being successful in college.

I often ask myself why some students with all the cards stacked against them (some of these students are dealing with unimaginable issues/challenges) seem to make it through Carroll and are successful after college. Then there are other students who appear to have everything going for them, but never graduate from college.

In the Student Success area of the college, we see a strong correlation between success and grit/tenacity. Students who excel in the grit area seem to be able to handle adversity (and there will be adversity in college) by compartmentalizing the issue and regaining their focus on short-term, intermediate and long-term goals/objectives. They are able to adjust their plans in a positive and on-the-fly manner, which enables them to learn from adversity and focus on the future.

On the other hand, students who have less grit seem to run into adversity and struggle to regain their focus on the future, as they focus on what happened to them in the past. Often this behavior causes everything to snowball in negative downhill direction.

The ultimate question is how do students obtain the grit factor? Is it innate or is it learned? I am certainly no expert in this area, but it does appear that it can be learned. We in Student Success are much more in tune with this trait and are trying to help students obtain this skill, which will be valuable in college and will be essential once they leave Carroll.

February 10, 2014

How to Read Your Financial Aid Award

It is the time of year again when prospective students and their families begin receiving financial aid awards from the colleges and universities to which they applied. We began sending out aid notifications last week, while other institutions will start sometime in March.

Here are some helpful hints for when you receive your financial aid award:

  1. Break the cost of the institution into two parts: 1. tuition and fees 2. room and board.
  2. Subtract the gift aid (grants and scholarships) from tuition and fees. This gives you the cost you will pay for the educational component. You can divide that number by the average number of credits (32 for Carroll) to get a cost per credit. This will make it easier to compare institutions.
  3. Take the tuition/fees minus gift aid and add in room and board to calculate your cost per year.
  4. Subtract the federal loans (Stafford Loans and Perkins Loan) from the cost per year. This number will represent the cost to attend that institution for the year. Other loans (PLUS and Alternative) can be used to help cover cost of attendance.
  5. The campus employment piece will not be subtracted from your cost; rather it will be a form of income that you can use in a variety of ways (pay towards tuition, purchase textbooks, extra spending money, etc.).
  6. The book and lab fee expenses will also need to be added into the cost. Carroll's average is $1,200 per year to cover both expenses.
  7. Also remember to calculate in the time to completion when comparing institutions. This is a HUGE factor when looking at cost of completing your degree.

I hope this helps you compare the financial aid awards that you receive from different institutions. At Carroll, we are committed to providing a high quality, individualized educational experience in the most affordable way possible.

February 3, 2014

Lacrosse Comes to Carroll

The Super Bowl is now over and the football season sort of ended with a big thud (unless you are a Seahawks fan). So let's talk about lacrosse.

In spring 2015, Carroll will begin its inaugural season for both men's and women's lacrosse. We are in the process of hiring a lacrosse coordinator who will oversee both programs and be head coach for one of teams. We anticipate have a full roster of about 25 players per team. We are working on scheduling the competitions (mostly in the upper Midwest).

The teams will play on the newly acquired and soon-to-be renovated Haertel Field, located adjacent to Pioneer Hall (a residence hall located on College and Grand avenues). The field will feature a new artificial turf playing surface, stands and concession areas. Local youth football teams and other youth organizations will continue to use this space as well.

We are excited about adding lacrosse to the menu of options for students to participate in while they attend Carroll.

When it comes to sports, the institution has a long and storied history. Carroll played in the first college football game to feature a legal forward pass. St. Louis University threw the first forward pass against Carroll (by the way, it was complete) right here in Waukesha. Additionally, Carroll broke the longest winning streak in college football history by upsetting Augustana College in 1988. Another sport where Carroll was first was soccer. Carroll is recognized as playing in the first-ever soccer game in the United States, with college students against some local townspeople.

To learn more about athletics at Carroll University, visit

January 20, 2014

And We're Off

Second semester begins tomorrow and students are already back on campus. Parking lots are filling up, residence halls are open, dining areas are serving meals, and professors are preparing for their classes to start. It is a busy time and an exciting time for Carroll University. I much prefer campus when there are students taking classes and being active versus the campus when we have a limited number of students around. Let the fun begin!

Last Friday we installed a Nervana touchscreen monitor in the lobby of Voorhees Hall. It is awesome. When fully up and running (which I anticipate will be in about two weeks), the board will help make a Carroll visit special for our prospective students and their families.

Prospective students will see their visit schedule displayed on the board when the Carroll tour guide touches their names. It will show detailed activities for their visit and pictures of the individuals they will meet. Additionally, we will take the prospective student's picture and send it to their email. The guide will share the tour route on an interactive map. A personalized URL (PURL) will be shared with the students and their families, which will be their mobile site for the remainder of the day, and after the visit.

This technology is the latest and the greatest of interactive devices. We will be the first college in the U.S. using the Nervana board for prospective student visits. We hope this technology will help make Carroll University a more memorable destination.

January 13, 2014

Preparing for the Future

Last week, Carroll University took the first steps toward breaking ground on a new science building. Some trees had to be removed in preparation of construction that will begin soon. It is sad to watch trees that are potentially older than the institution itself be cut down, but at the same time, it is exciting to think about the opening of our new state-of-the art science center. Once the new science building is in place and renovation of the existing science buildings is complete, the college will plant trees to replace the ones that we have lost.

Spring semester classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 21. Soon the campus will be repopulated with all students, faculty and staff as we begin another semester.

December 23, 2013

FAFSA Season

Welcome to the wonderful season of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It always is a glorious time of year; when parents of college students spend 30-40 minutes trying to figure out which numbers go in which boxes on the form. If you guess correctly, the good news is that your student is likely to receive money to offset the expense of higher education.

The way the process works is that you first submit a completed FAFSA to a federal site that processes the form. They come up with a number called the Estimated Family Contribution. That number, as well as the results from the FAFSA, are sent electronically to all the institutions you listed on the FAFSA. From there, the institution will build a financial aid award.

At Carroll, our awards can include:

  • Institutional Gift Aid (Scholarships and Grants)
  • Last year, Carroll University awarded $34 million of our own money to students/families so they can better afford a Carroll education.
  • State Gift Aid (Grants)
  • Federal Gift Aid (Grants)
  • Self Help
  • Student Loans
  • Campus Job

The only aid that we cannot access for you once you file the FAFSA is local/private scholarships. Those you have to find by looking online or talking to your high school guidance office.

See, the season of FAFSA really is a joyous time of year.

December 23, 2013

A New Science Building

Carroll is beginning the process of building a new science facility for our students. Science facilities are always one of the more difficult buildings to construct because the price tags are so large. Today Carroll proudly announced:

Carroll University has selected design solutions firm BWBR as architect of its new state-of-the-art science center. One of the upper Midwest's oldest and largest firms, BWBR has completed more than 60 higher education science projects.

Ron Lostetter, Carroll University vice president of finance and administrative services, cited the firm's experience in designing similar projects across the nation and its visionary thinking as key factors in the decision. "BWBR understands the unique dynamic of designing a 21st century facility that will meet Carroll's programmatic needs and at the same time respect the integrity and historic nature of our 168-year-old campus," said Lostetter.

The $22 to $24 million project is the largest single investment in Carroll's history. It will house interactive teaching and research laboratories for biology, chemistry and biochemistry, along with student/faculty gathering spaces. The facility is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2016. It replaces Maxon Hall, which was dedicated in 1961 and is scheduled for demolition.

The effect on campus will be nothing short of transformative, according to Lostetter. All students, regardless of major, will benefit. The specialized anatomy and physiology laboratories in the new building will significantly impact Carroll's highly regarded undergraduate and graduate natural and health sciences programs, including the university's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) and nursing programs. Carroll's pass rate for the DPT program in 2013 was 93 percent. Pass rates for the MSPAS certifying exam and the Nursing NCLEX in 2013 were both 100 percent, all well above national averages.

"BWBR knocked it out of the park with their creativity and the expertise of their team," said Joanne Passaro, Carroll University provost and vice president for academic affairs. "They added exceptional value with ideas for how to get maximum flexibility from the space to serve today's students as well as generations of students to come."

Tom Hanley, BWBR's principal in charge, said the firm believes in an integrated approach that combines related experience with a true understanding of a client and its mission, in this case taking into account how a building of stone, concrete and laboratories can successfully embody Carroll's four pillars of Integrated Knowledge, Lifelong Skills, Enduring Values and Gateway Experiences.

"We have been so very impressed with the folks at Carroll University and the level of enthusiasm surrounding this project. You can just feel the energy behind this. It is such a fantastic opportunity with enormous potential and we are really quite honored to be the chosen design partner for this project," said Hanley.

BWBR has practices in architecture, interior design, and master and strategic planning. Its offices are located in Saint Paul, Minn., and Madison, Wis. The firm has a reputation for service and quality designing complex facilities in the health care, higher education, justice, government, corporate, manufacturing, transportation, worship and recreation markets.

Milwaukee's Gilbane Building Company is serving as the owner's representative for the project. Gilbane is ranked as one of the top builders of higher education facilities in the U.S. In the past five years alone, it has delivered more than 160 higher education projects and 34 higher education laboratory projects.

Carroll University, Wisconsin's oldest four-year institution of higher learning, is an independent, co-educational comprehensive university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Incorporated in 1846, it offers bachelor's degrees in 57 majors and master's degrees in business administration, education, exercise physiology, graphic communication, nursing, physician assistant studies and software engineering, as well as a clinical doctorate in physical therapy.

December 16, 2013

The Investment in College

We are getting close to the time of year when prospective college students and their families prepare to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Prospective students and families are focused on what a college education costs, but they also need to view a college education as an investment.

Data from a U.S. Census Bureau study suggests that a college degree is worth about $1 million in additional lifetime earnings compared with a comparable worker who has only a high school diploma.

To provide some context as to the worth of the investment in higher education, here is an example. If I invest $50 over a four-year period and receive $1,000 spread out over 35 years, most people would think that this is a great deal. The percentage return on this investment is similar to what students experience when they invest in a college education. While this percentage return is excellent, at the end of the day, it still needs to be affordable for the family.

The FAFSA is a tool to see how much your family is eligible for in state and federal financial aid. There is more than $150 billion in grants, loans and work study funds available each year. The FAFSA forms for the 2014-2015 school year will be available in January. For more information, visit

December 11, 2013

What Employers Want

In this day and age, prospective students and their parents are often concerned about the employability of their son or daughter after he/she graduates from college. As a father of two daughters, I share this concern. After going through the job search process with my oldest daughter, and soon my youngest daughter, here are a few things that we discovered can improve your odds of finding a job.

  • A four-year degree does not guarantee a job anymore.
  • Ten years ago, graduating from college meant you would soon be employed. That no longer is the case. A resume should include other skills and accomplishments to help find the kind of job that you seek.
  • College GPA matters.
  • The higher a Grade Point Average, the better your opportunity for employability.
  • Part-time Jobs or Summer Jobs can be vital to future employability opportunities.
  • A part-time job or summer job that is in the field you hope to work can assist you in finding a full-time job after graduation.
  • Working the same job for multiple years can enhance your full-time employability later.
  • Co-curricular activities demonstrate soft skills needed in the workplace.
  • Participating in co-curricular activities while in college demonstrates time management, leadership, team building and other important skills to future employers.
  • Community service shows a willingness to give back.
  • Future employers love to meet students who enjoy giving back to the community.
  • Internships can open doors.
  • Finding good internships in your field can be critical to future employability, from gaining hands-on experience to expanding your professional network, or even receiving a job offer after graduation.
  • Special skills or certifications will make you stand out.
  • Adding something unique to your resume and cover letter can separate you from other potential candidates.

December 1, 2013

The Rush to the End of the Semester

When classes begin on Monday, Dec. 2, there will just be three weeks to the end of the semester. That's hard to believe, when it seems like just yesterday we were welcoming new students at Opening Convocation.

These last few weeks are filled to the brim with papers, tests, quizzes, speeches and group projects. Students and faculty push the limits of how much can be jammed into the end of the semester. As the work mounts so does the stress level; however, it will soon be over and then students will be headed home for a long break between semesters.

This Thanksgiving break I got to experience first-hand the health care system. I had some minor surgery for which I needed general anesthesia (my first experience having this done). I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the entire ordeal, and of course, the most impressive were the medical professionals I encountered. Their expertise and proficiency were amazing. They made the entire process easy and as painless as possible, and helped speed my recovery.

For more than 25 years I have helped enroll students who were interested in the medical profession, but I thankfully have had very few personal encounters with them after they reach their career goals. The next time I work with a prospective student who wants to be a doctor, nurse or therapist, I will have a new appreciation for what they will do in the future.

November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

It is Monday morning and snow is falling. It is definitely beginning to be winter. It also is Thanksgiving week and soon our students will be off to celebrate the holiday with their families. That is hard to believe, because it seems just yesterday we were moving our students into their residence halls.

A lot has occurred since move-in day. Freshman are no longer wide-eyed newbies, sophomores are now seasoned veterans to college life, juniors are looking for internships and how they will fulfill their Cross-Cultural Experience requirement, and seniors are starting to write resumes and think about what is next.

When our students come back from break they have just three weeks until finals. It is a hectic time filled with exams, papers, presentations and quizzes, but soon they will be headed home for Christmas and winter break.

My Thanksgiving holiday started early as my daughter surprised us by arriving last Friday from Texas. Her classes were cancelled for the week as Texas is dealing with some bizarre weather.

Nothing is better than having your kids home for the holidays. Soon our Carroll parents will get to experience the joy of having their sons and daughters at home too. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 11, 2013

The Big Question

Last weekend I gave a speech to prospective students and their families. During the question and answer session, a dad asked me, "What are the characteristics that make a student successful in college?" That is a great question.

  1. Academic Readiness
    • Is the student prepared for the academic rigor of college? Has he/she taken college prep courses and done well in those courses?
  2. Time Management
    • Can the student handle multiple responsibilities and succeed in each area?
    • Does the student have self-discipline when it comes to studying?
  3. Motivation/Work Ethic
    • How hard is the student willing to work to be successful in college?

These three characteristics can help us predict academic success, but some are easy to measure while others are very difficult to determine.

At Carroll, each new student has three people on campus assigned to him or her: a professional academic adviser, a Student Success director and a peer orientation mentor. We do as much as we can to help all students succeed.

October 21, 2013

Fall Break

It is Monday morning and campus is eerily quiet. The parking lots are empty, dining facilities are empty, and classrooms are dark and empty. A college campus without students seems very strange.

Carroll is on Fall Break for the next two days. This is one of the few times during the year when there are no classes held on campus. Classes resume on Wednesday with the second half of first semester. It is the beginning of a very busy time for students and faculty as there is lots of work and learning that occurs between now and the end of fall semester.

On Friday evening I am off to Texas to visit my oldest daughter. She is a Carroll alumna who worked in finance for one year and is now attending school to become a professional tennis instructor. She hopes to combine her finance degree with her professional tennis instruction certificate to work at a tennis club in the future. My wife and I are very supportive of her dream.

October 14, 2013

Wonderful Homecoming

A little rain could not dampen our wonderful Homecoming weekend. Campus was filled with alumni, current students and their families, faculty, staff, and prospective students and families on Saturday. The day was jammed full of activities and events as Carroll celebrated its past, present and future. Tents scattered around campus were host to numerous tailgate parties. All in all, Carroll's Homecoming was a big success.

In Admission, we have hosted lots of prospective students and their families the last few weeks. Fall is a great time to visit campus. Prospective students can meet with an enrollment/financial aid professional, take a tour of campus with a student ambassador, meet with a faculty member, sit in on a class, meet with a coach or someone from music, and have lunch with a current Carroll student. We get great reviews from these visits and we look forward to welcoming more prospective students to campus in the upcoming months.

Carroll's Admission Office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday mornings for group visits. Our next Campus Open House is the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 25. To schedule a visit, call 262.524.7220 or email

October 7, 2013

Homecoming Week

When an institution is 167 years old, celebrations and traditions take on a whole new meaning. This week is one of those special celebrations: Homecoming. Our students and alumni will enjoy themed contests, live music performances, reunion dinners, a parade, the football game and a memorial worship service on Sunday. Traditions and celebrations at Carroll are an important part of our history and are cherished by our students, trustees, faculty and alumni.

The semester is flying by and we are fast approaching a midway point. Students have now settled into their routine and have completed tests, papers and homework assignments. The Office of Student Success is meeting with students to discuss their goals and devise a strategy to achieve them. It always amazes me how much our freshmen mature and grow within the first few weeks of their first year.

September 30, 2013

Carroll supports Junior Achievement

Last week Carroll University and Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) opened an educational storefront at Junior Achievement (JA) Biztown in Milwaukee. It is located in Finance Park and is the first storefront for educational institutions at this facility.

JA expects 10,000 students to go through Finance Park this year, and they all will visit the Carroll/WCTC storefront. Inside they will find two touch-screen computers that show potential careers. Students select a career, then additional information appears, such as education needed, skills required, job requirements and potential salary. Biztown is a wonderful facility that provides students with great information about how to pursue a certain career path.

Another interesting thing about this partnership is that Carroll, a private university, partnered with WCTC, a public technical college. Rarely do private and public institutions work toward a common goal. The Carroll/WCTC partnership is an example of what could happen if more institutions were willing to work together.

September 23, 2013

The College Visit

At this time of year lots of high school students and their parents are visiting colleges and universities. There are many types of college visit formats. From my point of view, the best type of visit is an individual visit during a day when classes are in session. This type of visit provides the prospective student with the opportunity to discuss the experience with a current student, and meet one-on-one with admission representatives, faculty and co-curricular representatives (i.e. coaches, music directors, etc.). An individual visit allows the prospective student to not only see and get a feel for the campus, but also to get information from a variety of representatives who are living the experience.

Another type of visit that can work for prospective students is the group visit. While not nearly as personalized, it does allow students to get a sense of what the experience will be like. Our next open house is Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To register, fill out this form.

The campus visit is a critical component in finding the institution that is right for you. The goal is to find the institution that best meets your (and your parents) wants and needs. It is critical that the admission staff understands your needs and wants so that they can match them with offerings at the institution.

To schedule an individual visit at Carroll University, call the Admission Office at 262.524.7220 or complete this form.

September 17, 2013

The Portal

Carroll University students use a portal to access all of their information (grades, transcripts, financial aid, adviser, campus employment, etc.). We also have a separate portal for prospective students that allows them to see where their application is in the acceptance process and allows them to access PDFs of admission publications they received from Carroll University. The prospective student portal also allows them access to major information and co-curricular information in which they have stated interest. We also conduct online meetings and chats on this site. The portal environment for current and prospective students is critical in today's world of higher education.

The fall semester is off and running. Students are now getting locked in to their routines. The word is that students love the new class calendar. They seem to have more study time as classes are structured into three days a week courses or two days a week courses.

The training of our student admission ambassadors is well underway. Student ambassadors are required to pass both a written and verbal exam before we allow them to give a campus tour. It is a great group who we depend on to share the Carroll Experience with prospective students and families.

September 9, 2013

Off and Running

School is off and running and students are starting to settle into their routines. Between classes, activities, campus employment and studying, their schedules are jammed full. It takes a week or so for students to figure out how best to manage their time. This critical skill helps students meet the demands of college and their future careers.

This year Carroll launched a new class schedule. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes meet for one hour and 20 minutes, and on Tuesday and Thursday classes meet for two hours. The entire campus is adjusting to this new schedule.

September 3, 2013

School Starts

Continuing students moved back into Carroll residence halls on Sunday, and our new students moved in last Friday. School officially starts this week and it is great to have our students back. Carroll will open with approximately 3,500 students enrolled. The average class size will be 21, which remains consistent with previous years.

While enrollment has grown, Carroll continues to make the experience for students individualized. This year every new freshman has a minimum of three professionals to help him or her stay on track and graduate from Carroll in four years. Each student will have an academic adviser to assist in developing an academic plan and schedule. A Student Success professional will provide support and encouragement with any issue that might arise. Lastly, the student will have peer mentor who will provide guidance from a student-to-student perspective.

The first six weeks of school are a very busy time for our students and the professionals at Carroll. There are lots of activities and events to attend. At Carroll we believe in providing our students the TOTAL experience. Not only do we provide a top-notch individualized educational experience, we also believe in providing student growth opportunities in other ways. Whether it is athletics, fine arts, recreation or one of the other 50 different clubs and organizations, there are plenty of opportunities for students to grow and mature. Community service and residence life also provide valuable experiences. Education at Carroll is a 24-7 opportunity for our students.

August 26, 2013

Move-In Week

Campus is ramping up as more and more students are coming back to campus. First it was the Orientation Mentors and Resident Assistants on Aug. 14. Then the fall athletes arrived on Aug. 16.

First-year students have their turn this Friday. Freshmen move-in day is especially exciting. Our faculty, staff, some members of student organizations and our student-athletes help the new freshmen move into their residence halls. Cars/trucks/semis (I hope not!) pull into the designated drop-off areas a team of Carroll folks swarm the vehicle and take its contents up to the designated room. By the time the new students have their room keys, all of their items are in their room. Mom and Dad don't even have to break a sweat. This tradition is a wonderful start for freshmen as they get to see the Carroll Community in full action.

My trip to Texas to drop off my daughter who will start training to become a tennis teacher was a lot of fun. My wife and I set her up in her new apartment and also found time to explore Tyler, Texas, and the school she will be attending. I will never complain about the heat in Wisconsin after spending a week in Tyler with 98-degree days. My wife and I will definitely be visiting her in the winter, when the weather there will be perfect.

August 13, 2013

Busy Week

This week is extremely busy for me. On Tuesday a group of us from the Admission Office have a meeting with a company called Nervana to create a touch pad computer that will be housed in the main lobby of Voorhees Hall, where Admission is located. It is similar to a very large iPad that provides an interactive tour of campus; includes info on admissions, financial aid, and our academic programs; takes pictures of prospective students; shares fun facts and asks questions about Carroll University. Most of what is input into the system will be captured in our main database, and it provides prospective students a mobile connection back to Carroll. It is truly state-of-the-art technology. We will be one of the first schools in the country to use Nervana for admission purposes.

On Wednesday, we have our annual financial aid goal setting meeting for the next academic year, 2014-15. We review a massive amount of data in advance of this meeting, and then we create a plan for how Carroll aid will be distributed to new students in Fall 2014. In this process we are always looking to strike the right balance between affordability for prospective students/families and creating enough revenue to invest back into Carroll to make it a better place for our current students. Always a tricky balance, but we are committed to making a Carroll education affordable.

On Thursday and Friday I will be meeting individually with staff members for year-end reviews. Not my favorite thing to do, but a necessary part of my job. Thankfully we have a great staff and most of the time is spent reviewing data and information that we can use in the upcoming year.

Finally on Saturday, my wife, oldest daughter and I will be leaving for Texas, driving two vehicles. My oldest daughter, a Carroll graduate, has decided she wants to give teaching tennis a try. She worked in finance for a year and wants to do something different for a while. She has enrolled in a program for Certified Professional Tennis Management. It is a 16-hour drive to get there and then we need to get her set up in an apartment.

August 5, 2013

New Faces

Carroll recently added two new faces to our athletic coaching staffs. The new head men's basketball coach at Carroll is Paul Combs. The new head baseball coach is Stein Rear. Being able to attract these two outstanding coaches to our campus is a testimony to the athletics department at Carroll and the institution as a whole. We are excited to have Coach Combs and Coach Rear working with our student-athletes.

There is approximately three weeks left until the new students move to campus. The excitement and anticipation for their arrival is building. The final plans have been made and are being rehearsed for the coming school year and all of the summer projects are in their final stages. Even after 30 years of working in higher education, new school years are always and exciting time. I am looking forward to welcoming the next generation of Pioneers to our campus.

We in Admission are already recruiting the next class to Carroll. We are now accepting applications for FALL 2014. Visitors are coming to campus in record numbers. It looks like Carroll will be an attractive option for the Class of 2018.

July 29, 2013

A First Time for Many Things

For the first time, Carroll will administer the Strong Inventory to all incoming freshman to help match a student's strengths and interests with possible jobs and careers. Two-thirds of all entering Carroll freshman are undecided majors or will change their major at least once before graduating. The results from the Strong Inventory will provide students some information to consider when they begin thinking about potential career paths.

Recently, Carroll University was awarded a three-year, $30,000 NCAA CHOICES grant to improve alcohol education and awareness campus-wide. The program will be administered through our Athletics and Residence Life departments to promote healthy and positive behaviors for all students.

This coming weekend, Carroll University will host the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Outdoor Sports Tournament. After being hosted in Eau Claire for the past 20 years, this is the first time the event will be held in southeastern Wisconsin. About 900 youth and adult athletes along with 300 coaches and 120 volunteers will be on or near campus Friday through Sunday. Carroll is proud to sponsor such a wonderful event.

July 22, 2013

New to CarrollU

Next academic year, Carroll University will add another NCAA Division III sport to its roster. Competition in men's and women's lacrosse will begin spring 2015, and then Carroll will offer 11 men's and 11 women's intercollegiate sports. Lacrosse is one of the fasting growing sports in the Midwest as more and more high schools add programs. Carroll is in the process of acquiring an additional athletic field, located adjacent to campus, to be the home field for our new teams.

For students looking to start classes in fall 2014, Carroll is now accepting applications for admission. We never charge an application fee. We accept our university application or the common application form. Apply today!

July 15, 2013

Lifelong Learning

I am putting my Carroll education to the test.

Last week we began testing a new admission database and software system. The testing will be through the end of August and then we will begin phasing the new system into action. It is a wonderful system, but I feel like I am back in school again. Everything is new and I am trying to learn how the system works and why it does what it does. Carroll prepares students to be lifelong learners by giving them the ability to think and problem solve. I am trying those skills out for myself as we implement this new system.

Private College Week was a huge success as more than 500 prospective students and their families visited Carroll last week. It is always fun meeting this new crop of soon-to-be seniors. I am so impressed by some of the things they have done and what they are doing. It is exciting to see how talented today's young adults are. Too often the media only focuses on the negative, but trust me; there are a lot of really great things happening as well.

July 1, 2013

4th of July

This week fireworks will light up the skies in Waukesha as the community celebrates our country's Independence Day. For us at the university, this is the last week before we need to get very serious about planning for the opening of school.

Campus is in the midst of its summer renovation projects and soon we will have the keys to Prairie Hall (Carroll's third new residence hall in the past six years). By mid-August, fall athletes will arrive and begin practices. Summer at Carroll is quickly coming to an end and soon we will welcome our incoming and returning students to campus.

July 8-13 is Private College Week in Wisconsin. It is one of the busiest weeks of the year for prospective students and their families to visit Carroll. We are anticipating nearly 400 prospective students to visit our campus next week, not counting their family members. We expect nearly 1,200 total visitors to campus. It is a fun and busy week for us in the Office of Admission as we get to meet some outstanding students and their families. To schedule a visit, call 262.524.7220 or email Let the fun begin!

Last week was our first-ever Retention Workshop hosted by Carroll University. It was a huge success as we spent two full days talking about how best to retain and graduate our students. There were 18 total institutions represented, from 14 states and three countries. There were large research 1 institutions at the workshop as well as two-year institutions. All those who participated came away with some new ideas to implement on their campuses.

June 25, 2013

Office of Student Success Takes Center Stage

This week we have approximately 20 institutions from three countries coming to campus to spend two days talking about Carroll's Student Success initiative. Some of the institutions at this workshop are from major research institutions with large undergraduate enrollments, while others are from smaller specialty institutions or two-year schools.

While some of the time will be spent talking about the operations of Carroll's Office of Student Success, most of the time will be for learning from each other about what works or doesn't when it comes to retaining and graduating our students. Carroll's model for helping students be more successful has become a very popular conversation topic among other institutions of higher education. We have consulted schools from Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and across the United States.

Increasing student success and helping them graduate from the same institution where they began their education is becoming a more important part of institutional goals and objectives. Carroll is on the cutting edge of this objective. We are constantly adjusting and fine-tuning our plan to do a better job of helping our students be successful at Carroll University.

June 18, 2013


People might think that summertime on a college campus is quiet and very peaceful, but that is only partially true. Carroll is always busy with lots of different activities. This is a sample of what occurs on our campus during the summer months.

Summer school: Approximately 800 students take summer school classes at Carroll. The college runs three sessions starting in mid-May and ending in late August.

Summer camps: Camps run nearly every week of the summer months. Some are operated by Carroll, such as Carroll Academy enrichment classes and athletics camps, while others are presented by outside groups.

Summer conferences: Carroll hosts a variety of conferences. In two weeks, we will host a conference on student retention for representatives from schools across the country. Some conferences held here are not even remotely related to education, but are on topics such as landscaping and health care.

Summer Arts Series: A series of live music and theater events are held on Sunday evenings in our outdoor plaza or on Main Lawn.

Campus renovations: Each summer we upgrade elements of our campus. This summer Carroll is renovating some properties on Wright Street. Additionally, the residence halls are repainted and refreshed as needed.

Preparations for the new school year: Summer is a time to plan and implement new approaches to helping Carroll students be more successful. They range from conversations about how to graduate more students in less time and how specific course material is taught.

As you can see, summer is not necessarily a slow time at Carroll. It is just a different time of year than when school is in session.

June 10, 2013

Spring Break Trips

Spring Break is perceived as a time of sunshine and shenanigans, but Carroll University provides Alternative Spring Break trips for a completely different experience. It is pretty impressive to think that our students took their own time (and sometimes their own resources) to dedicate their Spring Break helping others in need. Trips this March included:

Service Trip for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Physical Therapy Club
Participants traveled to New York City to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief and clean-up efforts.

Spring Break Service Trip to Rural Appalachia
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship student organization
Students spent a week in Brenton, W.V., exploring the issues of rural poverty and social justice through scripture, discussions, reflection sessions and service experiences, including working with the Appalachia Service Project to repair local homes.

Urban Plunge Trip in Milwaukee, Wis. (for Cross-Cultural Experience credit)
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship student organization
Students spent a week volunteering and were introduced to the dynamics of urban poverty, race and social justice with opportunities for action and reflection.

Spring Break Trip in Pensacola, Fla.
Carroll chapter of Habitat for Humanity
Students worked on a build site for the Pensacola Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. They also spent a day exploring New Orleans, La.

Guatemala Spring Break Trip in Zacapa and Antigua (for Cross-Cultural Experience credit)
Student Nursing Association
Students traveled to Guatemala to work with Hearts in Motion. They spent time at an eye clinic, medical clinic and a nutrition center. Different groups worked on a variety of projects including helping with the construction of an addition to the eye clinic, painting a mural, helping with the weekly food program, and providing dental and general medical assistance. Students also spent one day in Antigua, the colonial capital of Guatemala, relaxing and having fun.

Spring Break in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (for Cross-Cultural Experience credit)
Office of International Education
Students involved in an international mentoring program traveled to Vietnam to meet face-to-face with participants. Carroll students participated in and assisted with English language activities at a high school and middle school.

Spring Break Trip to Jack's Fork River, Mo.
Carroll Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE)
Students spent a week camping and canoeing along the Jack's Fork River in the Ozarks. They learned how to camp in a sustainable manner and became familiar with the geography and terrain of the region.

June 3, 2013

New Graduate Programs

In the last few weeks of the spring semester, our faculty approved three new graduate programs to begin in fall 2013. The programs are:

Master of Science in Exercise Physiology
This program has emphases in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Strength and Conditioning. Carroll students majoring in exercise science can complete both their undergraduate degree and graduate degree in five years. For students coming with a bachelor's degree, the program can be completed in two years. The courses will be taught in the late afternoon and evening to allow greater flexibility for working professionals. We will prepare qualified professionals to work in clinical rehabilitation settings, health promotion/preventative settings, fitness and sports programs, military research and development, and college/university settings.

Master of Science in Nursing
The new Master of Nursing degree builds upon Carroll's strong foundation of training baccalaureate nurses. This graduate program has concentrations in Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Educator. Courses are taught in a hybrid fashion (some online and some in the classroom) and can be completed on a part-time basis. This degree prepares nurses for advanced practice roles within health care organizations, clinical and academic settings.

Master of Science in Graphic Communication
This program provides a wide variety of working professionals the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in the world of graphic communication. It combines graphic design, effective communication practices and advanced business skills. Courses are taught one night a week and Saturdays throughout the year to create an ideal program for working professionals.

These new programs help Carroll continue to build excellence in graduate education. For more information, contact

May 28, 2013

Breadth of Knowledge

I recently learned that the average person between the ages of 18 and 44 will change jobs 11 times in his or her career. Often at least one of those job changes will be a major career change. That is one of the many reasons why getting a college education that has both breadth and depth of knowledge is so important.

At Carroll, students are required to fulfill a general education requirement (the Pioneer Core) along with their major courses. They still have time to take courses for minors, electives, and sometimes they can even fit in a double major or minor.

Having knowledge in a variety of areas makes the transition to different jobs or careers much easier, and it provides opportunities to transition into jobs that you really love doing. I have recently learned this firsthand.

My daughter has worked in finance since graduating from Carroll last May. Late this spring she decided that she would like a career change. Starting in the fall, she will pursue a certificate in professional tennis management at Tyler Junior College. It is a one year program, and when she is done, she will be a certified United States tennis teaching professional. She feels that she can combine that with her finance degree and some teaching experience to become a director of tennis at a resort or fitness club. My wife and I are supportive of her decision as we feel it is important to find a career path that you are passionate about. Thankfully my daughter has a breadth and depth of knowledge to help her pursue her next career.

May 12, 2013


It is Sunday, Mother's Day, and the campus is abuzz with activity. The main lawn has 5,000 chairs on it and a stage located directly in front of Main Hall. It is a majestic setting. All around campus, family members of our graduates are taking pictures. Our graduates will soon file across the stage as their names are read to receive their diplomas. This simple walk will create a memory that our graduates will carry in their hearts and in their minds forever.

It is not the walk; it is the journey that they went through that is so memorable. The journey is filled with highs and lows, and every college student has them. They have filled their lives with new friends and with new mentors who have helped them arrive at this very special moment. Their families have been the bedrock from which this journey was made possible. Without their support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible.

Congratulations Class of 2013!

April 29, 2013

Regional Champions

Eight Carroll University students, competing as a team, won a regional competition for business majors and will participate in a national competition in May.

The students, members of the Carroll chapter of Enactus, beat about 60 other teams comprised of about 1,000 students at the regional competition April 12, 2013, in Chicago. Carroll competed against some larger schools, including the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and the University of Iowa. The national competition is May 21-23 in Kansas City, Mo.

Enactus is an organization of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world. About 500 university chapters are active in 38 countries.

"This is really a talented, motivated, hard-working group," said Michael Levas, associate professor of business at Carroll and the group's adviser. "Bringing home the regional trophy is a testament to their hard work. We are aiming to be at least a top 20 school at the national competition."

Carroll's team included Erica Larson, a senior from Waukesha; Tim Holajn, a senior from Gurenee, Ill.; Huong Vu, a sophomore from Hanoi, Vietnam; Neal Klement, a junior from Waukesha; Taylor Bingaman, a junior from Kenosha, Wis.; Jordyn Herzog, a sophomore from Abrams, Wis.; Shenbaga Shankar, a sophomore from Milwaukee; and Ji In Shin, a student from Seoul, South Korea.

The competition includes a 17-minute presentation of projects the group did throughout the year. Judging is based on projects that had the greatest impact on the local and global communities. Using a $1,500 grant from Wal-Mart, Carroll's Enactus team:

  • Organized a Women in Entrepreneurship workshop, which inspired women to think about starting their own business.
  • Conducted a drive that recycled worn but usable shoes to developing countries to be resold in local markets, helping fledgling entrepreneurs improve their lives.
  • Held educational presentations on micro financing initiatives and sustainability at local high schools.
  • Volunteered at Junior Achievement in Milwaukee.
  • Organized a fair trade initiative project with the Plowshare Center of Waukesha, which helped promote community and campus knowledge on fair trade practices.

April 22, 2013

A First

In this day and age, we can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting our students, faculty and staff. Last week all of us on campus got a sobering reality check.

Mid-morning on Tuesday we received a text alert about a sighting of a man with a firearm. The text went out almost immediately after two students notified our Public Safety Office that they saw a man with a gun on campus.

Carroll went into lockdown. All students, faculty and staff were told to get and stay inside and to lock the doors. Our Safety Office, Waukesha Police and Sherriff Departments, Waukesha and Menomonee Falls K9 units, and FBI agents promptly responded to the emergency.

Over the next 90 minutes a search was conducted to find the man with the gun. Several more text messages and emails were sent out to the campus notifying us of what was occurring. Finally the man was located.

It turned out that the gun was not a lethal weapon; it was an airsoft gun, and a misunderstanding.

In my opinion, it was reassuring to see the professionalism of our Public Safety Office and the Waukesha Police Department. Hopefully this will never happen again, but in today's world one never can tell.

The next day, after the man received a citation for disorderly conduct, a couple students started a fundraiser to help pay the ticket. I thought it was a wonderful gesture of support and kindness from our students.

April 15, 2013

da Vinci in residence at Carroll

"This is a wonderful addition to Carroll and to our applied physics/engineering program," said Dr. Jane Hopp, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Health Sciences and Business. da Vinci was donated to Carroll by ProHealth Care after performing heart and urology related surgeries and more than 300 prostate procedures. da Vinci is retired and is now free to help educate Carroll students.

The tricky part is that he weighs 1,400 pounds. Did I fail to mention that da Vinci is a robot?

In classes and in labs, our students will have the opportunity to use the robot to learn programming, electronics, and operation of the device. Under supervision, students also will be allowed to take the robot apart and put it back together, activities that will give them a much better understanding of how robotic devices work. In an advanced experimental physics class, the robot or parts of it will be incorporated into projects that students will work on by themselves or in groups.

April 8, 2013

Recognizing Achievement

This past week several Carroll students received honors and recognition. Four junior nursing students received internship placements at hospitals in Wisconsin and Minnesota. All of these internships were very competitive. Two of the students were chosen for internships at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Another student was selected out of 200 applicants for a pre-op and post-op internship at St. Cloud Hospital, also in Minnesota. The fourth will intern at an independent clinic in Madison, Wis. These internships are recognition of the quality of the students and of our nursing program.

In other good news, three chemistry students will present their capstone research at the American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans. The students were awarded grants from the local chapter organization based on essays and biographical information. One of the students also earned a grant from the national ACS.

April 24 is Celebrate Carroll, our annual academic conference. Students and faculty present their research and/or course projects to their fellow students, faculty and staff. It is a wonderful day that always leaves me very impressed with the work that is being done in the Carroll classrooms and beyond.

April 1, 2013

Helping Students

There is an office at Carroll with the sole mission to help students to be successful. Success is achieved however a student wants to define it, but most often it centers on graduating and getting a job. The Office of Student Success is where students can go to find assistance with anything that is interfering with their ability to be successful. It is a one-stop shop that is uniquely Carroll.

Most institutions do not have this type of office on campus; however, given Carroll's achievements with this approach, more and more schools are beginning to take notice. We have talked to institutions all over the United States, as well as Great Britain and Ecuador, about our approach to helping students find success.

Carroll's Office of Student Success takes a very proactive approach to helping students. Instead of waiting for students to come in to the office (which some do on their own), the three-person Student Success team reaches out to students who have been identified as possibly having an issue. The team uses a predictive model to identify which students might be having issues. It is important for us to help them resolve the issue before it begins to impact their view of the overall college experience. This proactive approach and our outstanding staff have made Carroll a national leader in helping students accomplish their goals.

March 25, 2013

"The Draw"

This week our students are on Spring Break so Carroll is very quiet. You immediately know something is up when you arrive to campus because there is a lot of parking. That only happens when students are not around. This week is a pause before the campus springs back into action and students begin the six-week journey to the end of the school year.

There are only three weeks all year without classes in session: the week before Christmas, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and the week of Spring Break. The rest of the time classes are being held, on campus and online.

"The draw" is just a couple weeks away and our students are eagerly awaiting the event. This is the annual housing lottery for continuing students to find out where they will live next academic year. At Carroll we do the draw by credit hours, with the highest credit hours going first, and then work our way down to the new freshmen. Freshmen through junior students are required to live in campus-owned housing, but we also accommodate seniors who want to stay on campus. We guarantee housing to all new freshmen.

Generally speaking, a lot of upperclassmen will choose between the campus apartments and the newest residence halls. Carroll has three new buildings built in the past six years and they are organized in pods, or suites. Each pod has four private bedrooms, a common living area, two bathrooms and a partial kitchen. Carroll also offers suite-style arrangements in one of the traditional residence halls.

March 18, 2013

Spring Break

This is the last week of classes before Spring Break. By Friday the campus will be nearly empty as students begin their getaways. Some students will go on service trips to help people in need, some students will go on a trip to earn cross-cultural experience credits, some will go home to spend time with their families, some will go with their spring sports teams to compete or practice in warm weather, and others will head south with their friends.

When students come back from Spring Break there will be approximately six weeks of school left before the semester ends. Those six weeks are jam-packed with papers, projects, speeches and tests. That time goes extremely fast, and then students will go home for summer break.

March 11, 2013

Where to Live

Students who have decided to enroll at Carroll in the fall ask lots of questions at this time of year about the best place to live on campus. Most of these new students are eager to live in one of our new residence halls: Pioneer, Frontier, and the latest, Prairie Hall.

These residence halls are designed in pods (apartment-style). Each pod has four single bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. The buildings have underground parking and access to adjoining restaurants, businesses and a YMCA Express fitness center.

The down side of these facilities is that students are somewhat isolated from their three roommates and, as new students, might not get to meet as many people as in a traditional residence hall. It is truly not the best environment for first-year students, and that is why we try to limit these facilities to upper classmen.

We strongly recommend that new students live in one of the traditional residence halls at the heart of campus. These facilities encourage community building and offer support systems that help incoming students adjust to college living. These facilities are wonderful at providing our students a transition point before the more independent living options available in their future years.

We require students to live in Carroll-owned housing their freshman through junior years, unless they are living with their parents. The reason for this requirement is that students who live in our controlled residential environment tend to do better academically and socially. It also builds the type of community that is conducive to learning and student growth. We want our students to feel like part of our greater community and have the complete Carroll Experience.

March 4, 2013

Power House

This coming weekend the Carroll Curling Team will head to the National College Curling Championship in Duluth, Minn. Last year our team placed first and third in Division IV. This year's team is currently ranked in the top five in the country. The highly successful curling club is a student organization advised by Dr. Michael Schuder, associate professor of chemistry. The club started just four years ago and most of the students have never curled before coming to Carroll.

Last Saturday we conducted interviews for Carroll's most prestigious scholarships. The quantity and quality of applicants for these scholarships was truly amazing. There were so many outstanding and deserving candidates. I was very impressed with these student's academic performance, involvements in and out of school, and their community service activities. It is a very uplifting experience meeting these students.

February 25, 2013

A Right Time, A Right Place

With more than 30 years of higher education work experience, I have realized that there is a right time and a right place for every college student. I often meet with prospective students or current Carroll students who would have benefitted from taking some time off before starting college, whether they work, do community service or join the military. It is clear to me that some students are not yet ready for college. Sometimes it is a level of maturity, other times it is just a matter of focus.

Being successful in college takes motivation, focus, persistence, self-discipline, maturity and hard work. Young people often feel pressure from their peers and/or family to start college right away. I certainly understand that attitude, but in the long run, some might be better off doing something else for a couple years before starting college.

This may seem like a strange thing for me to say given my role as Chief Enrollment Officer at Carroll University, but the reality is that we want students to graduate from Carroll, not just start their education at Carroll.

A few years ago I worked with a young man who had served a tour of duty in Iraq. In high school he was a terrible student. His grades were bad, his attendance was bad and he lost confidence in himself. He decided to join the military, and after four years of service he decided it was time to go to college.

He contacted me and I helped him to get started at Carroll. I was very nervous about his ability to be academically successful here, so we decided to start part time to see how it went. That first semester was a challenge, but he got Bs in his classes. I could see his confidence grow. He took 12 credits his second semester and he did great in school. The rest is history. He continues to have above a 3.0 cumulative GPA and is thriving at Carroll.

One day I asked him why he has been so successful. He told me because he was mature, focused and driven. In other words, he found the right time and the right place.

February 21, 2013

How Long Does it Take?

In recent years, one of the real hot-button issues with parents is the time to completion in higher education. Basically, how long will it take our son/daughter to complete his/her degree? Time to completion is a major key in keeping college costs as low as possible. At Carroll, most students complete in four years or less.

We recently did an analysis on why some students take longer than four years to graduate. At Carroll there are two basic reasons why this occurs. 1. The student repeats courses or withdraws from courses needed to graduate, or 2. The student changes majors after his/her sophomore year of college. If a student changes his/her major in either freshman or sophomore year, it is generally still doable to earn the degree in four years. However, if a student changes after that point, it will be difficult to complete on time, especially if he/she changes to a major with lots of credit requirements.

Carroll also offers students the opportunity to accelerate their time to completion. We offer the Carroll3 program in approximately 10 to 12 majors, in which students can take summer courses and graduate in three years. This is an enormous savings to students and their families because a student can be earning money at a job in their traditional fourth year instead of paying another year of tuition. Additionally, summer credits are charged on a part-time per-credit basis that tends to be cheaper than full-time costs.

Another way to accelerate time to completion is the Carroll5 program, in which students can earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in five years. The most common track is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Whether the student is a business major or a business minor it is still possible to complete both degrees in five years.

February 11, 2013

Classes that Allow Participatory Learning

Starting in Fall 2013, Carroll will switch to a new course schedule. Because we offer mainly four-credit courses, traditionally we have offered our classes four days per week for one hour, or two days per week for two hours. Starting in the fall we are changing to a schedule of three days per week for 70 minutes, or two days per week for two hours. The goal of this new schedule is to expand the number of course sections so that we can maintain personal attention within the classroom for increased participation versus spectator-based learning. While Carroll's enrollment has grown in recent years, our average class size remains at approximately 20 students.

January 28, 2013

10 Financial Aid Award Hints

Soon prospective students and their families will receive financial aid awards from institutions that they are considering. Here are a few hints to consider when reviewing aid awards.

  1. Make sure you understand what is included in the cost (i.e. tuition, fees, room, board, etc.).
  2. Focus your attention on the bottom line, out-of-pocket cost to you, not the total amount of the award.
  3. Separate the award into gift aid, loans and work study, and then compare. Some schools package PLUS and Alternative Loans into the award.
  4. Understand how outside scholarships (i.e. Rotary Club Scholarship) will impact your financial aid award.
  5. Ask about the institution's average yearly cost increases for the past five years.
  6. Know what happens to your institutional aid after the first year.
  7. Make sure to understand how and when you pay your part (payment plan terms, etc.).
  8. Compare all the institutions that you are considering based on the following items: cost of attendance, time to complete degree, size of institution, location of institution, academic programs, co-curricular activities and student life.
  9. Ask more questions if you don't know the answer for a particular institution.
  10. Don't make your decision until you have all the information you need to make a comparison.

January 21, 2013

The Crystal Ball

One of the great mysteries in higher education is why some students graduate and other do not. We have done more work on this topic than most institutions across the nation, but the mystery still exists. Is it based on ACT score, high school GPA, college prep coursework, family economics…the list goes on and on.

The factors that we are certain of are impossible to measure: motivation and drive. They are the only explanation for why a student who, on paper, looks like he or she has little chance at success, yet thrives in college to earn a degree and have career success.

How do you measure how hard someone is willing to work in order to obtain his or her degree? Sometimes there are clues, like looking at a student's high school record and test scores, but other times those clues mislead you. It seems to work both ways; sometimes you see an exceptional student in high school with high test scores, but when he or she gets to college there is a lack of motivation and focus necessary to be successful.

If only we had a crystal ball that could tell us how hard students are willing to work in order to get their degrees.

January 14, 2013

The Season of FAFSA

I am sitting at my office desk looking out the window and it appears to be just a normal March day, with one exception - the calendar reads Jan. 12. The snowmen that were created by our students prior to finals are long gone. Our January term semester is already halfway over and soon all of our students will be back on campus.

For prospective students and families it is the season of FAFSA. It is the time of year when families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and hope for the best. It is a stressful time because the cost of higher education is front and center. The prospect of paying tuition will soon become a matter of fact.

Let me see if I can ease your mind with some facts about financial aid.

  1. About 98 percent of Carroll students receive financial assistance.
  2. Last year Carroll awarded more than $34 million in institutional gift aid.
  3. Most of our students graduate in four years.
  4. Carroll is committed to remaining a good value for our students and families.

All you can do is go through the process. A lot of times families and their students are pleasantly surprised at how much aid they are eligible to receive.

January 7, 2013

Back at It

Christmas break is over and we are now in our J-Term, or winter session classes. There are about 350 students taking courses this January. Students take courses during this interim semester for lots of different reasons. Some want the flexibility that it provides, some because they want to add extra majors, some because they changed majors and are trying to catch up, some because they are winter-season athletes, and some just because they want to be back on campus.

J-Term is a unique semester that lasts approximately three weeks with courses meeting for extended periods of time each day. It's actually sort of a fun time for students because campus is relatively quiet and they can move back into their residence hall room before everyone else.

Carroll once again has shown its creativity by partnering with the YMCA to open an Express on campus. This facility is 5,100 square feet of state-of-the-art exercise equipment open to students and the community 24/7.

December 17, 2012

End of the Semester

Students are now in finals week, and we are beginning to see the departure of many students as they finish their courses and head home for Christmas break. Over the course of this week, campus progressively gets more scarce. Dec. 20 through Jan. 2 is the only time of year where there are NO classes at Carroll.

My trip to England was very enlightening. The U.K. system of higher education is very different and statistically there is no real way to compare our system with theirs; however, some of the challenges are very similar. Both countries are experiencing decreased funding of higher education from government sources and increased accountability for the outcomes of its students. I am probably rare as a higher education administrator who welcomes increased accountability, but I am always concerned with making higher education accessible to students regardless of socio-economic conditions.

This to me is the ultimate challenge for higher education both in the U.S. and in the U.K. Student debt for college graduates in the U.K. is expected to be greater than their U.S. counter parts in the next few years. This is certainly something that U.S. higher education administrators are very concerned with too. Higher education remains a good investment, but institutions need to be looking for ways to reduce costs wherever possible.

December 3, 2012

Jolly Ole England

This week I am headed off to London to give two speeches on retention and graduation rates. It should be an interesting experience talking to colleagues in Great Britain about higher education. While our systems of higher education are very different and our data is not comparable, we do seem to share similar challenges.

One of those challenges is how to better retain and graduate our students. They are interested in hearing about Carroll's Student Success program and how we utilize predictive modeling to identify students who are most at risk of leaving the university. I will talk extensively about Jenzabar Finishline (the software vender we use for predictive modeling). While there, I also will meet with two organizations to assist new arrangements for Carroll students to study abroad in Great Britain.

There are only two weeks left in this semester and everything on campus is looking like Christmas -except the weather. The colored lights shine on campus and the Christmas star is lit atop Old Main. I am definitely not complaining about the unseasonably mild weather. As far as I am concerned the warmer the better (sorry to all of you white Christmas lovers).

November 26, 2012

A Dad's View of a College Graduate's Job Search

I write this blog not as a higher education professional, rather as a father of a recent college graduate. A lot of attention has been paid to the fact that 50 percent of May college graduates do not yet have jobs. That is a depressing and somewhat overwhelming statistic.

My daughter was a May graduate and was part of that 50 percent until just recently. In watching her job search I realized several things regarding what makes you more marketable. There are some majors for which job placement is much easier, such as in the health care fields, accounting, computer science and actuarial science.

If you are majoring in a different field, here are some helpful hints to becoming more marketable:

  • College GPA does matter.
    • Most of the management trainee jobs require a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
  • Get involved.
    • Companies like to see that you can handle multiple responsibilities and excel at all of them.
  • Cross-cultural experiences help.
    • Study abroad or other cross-cultural immersion experiences are important to a lot of companies.
  • Speak a foreign language.
    • Competence in another language makes you more desirable in this global society.
  • Gain as much internship experience as possible.
    • Internship programs (yes, more than one) in a related field can lead to your first job.
  • Work while going to school.
    • It is good to have a campus job, but if at all possible, try to also work a part-time job in a related area. Customer service and money handling experience is especially valuable.

What my daughter found was that there are a lot of jobs if you are willing to do sales (some commission) and/or customer service jobs. A willingness to relocate helps make you more marketable as well. And finally, temporary jobs are becoming more and more popular as a way to "test drive" the employee without benefit compensation. This is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Thankfully my daughter has landed a job, but it took time and patience. The skills and knowledge acquired in college pay huge dividends once graduates obtain their first job.

November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

With Thanksgiving fast approaching most Carroll students will soon be migrating home to be with their families. For those students who can't make it home this Thanksgiving, a lot will travel home with their Carroll friends to celebrate the holiday. Going home for Thanksgiving is especially meaningful for our first-time freshmen.

I still remember my freshman year of college and going home to Wyoming for Thanksgiving. It is one of those memories that lasts forever. I soon realized that going home for Thanksgiving and other breaks was very special, but so was coming back to college. I guess that is part of growing up.

The time between Thanksgiving and the end of first semester is very short for our students. There is a lot to do and little time to do it so it can be stressful, but soon first semester will be over and it will be Christmas break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Carroll Student

I am not sure there is a "normal" schedule for students at Carroll. All students seem to have their own unique schedule depending on their needs and wants. On average, Carroll students take four four-credit courses (in other words they are in class 16 hours per week, not counting labs). Courses run from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (although most are between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) Carroll courses are generally one hour each four days a week, two hours each two days a week, or four hours each one day a week (night courses).

Upper-class students register before the younger students so their schedules tend to have more flexibility. At Carroll, students don't run into the sequencing issues found at many larger institutions, when you can't take the next class until you complete the course you can't get into.

The reasons for a Carroll student taking more than four years to graduate are often self-inflicted. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Failure to register at assigned registration time and date.
  • Repeating courses or getting a bad grade in a course.
  • Changing majors late in your academic career (this is dependent on what major you change in to, some are easier than others to complete).

The key to success in college is how many hours a student is able to study outside the classroom. As a general rule of thumb, for every hour in class a student needs to study at least two hours outside the classroom.

November 5, 2012

Popular Carroll

I always tease the Admission staff when they mention how busy they are. I always say, "Job security." The volume of applications, credentials (i.e. ACT scores, transcripts, etc.) and visit requests are running at an all-time high - definitely job security for us in Admission. Our office is swamped with entering information into our database and in managing prospective student requests in a timely and effective manner. We pride ourselves on being student-friendly despite the challenges of high volume.

The question that I get asked a lot is why is Carroll so popular. I do not believe there is one answer that fits all. Here are few that we hear most often:

  • Academic program offerings and reputation.
  • Co-curricular involvements.
  • Cross-cultural experience program and cultural immersion program.
  • The look and feel of the physical campus.
  • Student support systems, including our Office of Student Success and Learning Commons.
  • Time to degree completion, usually four years or less.
  • Dual-degree options to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in less time.
  • Cost to complete degree, with the help of a generous financial aid program.
  • Size of campus, with a total enrollment of about 3,500 students.
  • Location, including proximity to Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago.

Is Carroll the right fit for you? Apply today!

October 29, 2012


It is the time of year for mid-term grades for our freshmen. Students are either thrilled at how the semester is going and realize that they can do this, or they are stressed about how the semester has started.

Transitioning to college academics can be difficult for some students. The biggest difference between high school and college is the amount of work and how knowledge/skills are assessed.

I will use myself as an example, albeit many years ago. In high school, a lot of the homework could be done during free time in class or free time during the day. There was some homework at night, but maybe one or two hours maximum. I also remember that when teachers would prepare you for a test they would give you study guides, and sure enough, those were the same questions on the test.

In college, when professors prepare you for a test they go over the material, but the test questions are not exactly what was reviewed. In high school it is about memorization and in college it is about your ability to apply the knowledge/skills.

The general rule of thumb in college is that for every hour in class you can plan on studying two hours outside of class. Four hours in class means eight hours of homework each day.

The bottom line: college is tough, otherwise everyone would have a degree and that is not the case. The good news is that with the right motivation and work ethic from the student combined with people that care about their success it can be done. Carroll students generally figure this out, but sometimes mid-term grades can be an eye-opening experience.

October 22, 2012

General Education

Every institution of higher education in the United States has a general education program. Basically, these are requirements that ALL students must complete before they graduate. To some prospective students and their families, these requirements seem to unimportant and pretty much all the same.

For those of us who work in higher education, however, this is a vital component of our students' education. It is the breadth of knowledge and the focal point of what an institution delivers to its students.

Carroll's general education program is unique and is being recognized for its innovative approach. The program has two components:

  1. Cross-Cultural Component
    • Cultural Seminar
    • Writing Seminar
    • Cross-Cultural Designated Course
    • Cross-Cultural Experience
      • A two-credit course that requires a student to have a cultural immersion. Students have the opportunity to fulfill this requirement domestically or internationally.
    • Global Perspectives Colloquium
  2. Distribution Component (Students must take one course in each area except for which they are majoring).
    • Fine Arts
    • Humanities
    • Philosophy/Ethics/Religion
    • Social Sciences
    • Natural Sciences

For many Carroll alumni (including myself), some of our favorite courses were general education. For current Carroll students, the general education program provides a Breadth of Knowledge, Depth of Knowledge and Cross-Cultural Exposure. This will prepare them for success in their life and career.

October 15, 2012

Re-Charge Time

It is Fall Break this Monday and Tuesday. Campus is supposed to be empty except for a group of high school guidance counselors and Wisconsin Private College/University representatives.

Wait! Stop just a minute! It is Monday morning at 6:45 a.m. and campus is packed with people. Carroll's chapter of College Republicans sponsored a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate. They are expecting 2,500 people to attend the event, several television networks, and a dozen or more Secret Service agents. So much for a quiet campus during Fall Break, but that is a good thing.

Fall Break is time for our students to re-charge their batteries before the next big push. This is the time in the semester when the students' stress levels really get cranked up. Tests, papers, research projects and homework are starting to reach peak levels, and will continue until the next break, Thanksgiving weekend.

October 8, 2012

Shovels in the Ground

WOW! I suppose you could say that this was the best Homecoming in Carroll's 167-year history; however, that probably would not be true.

In partnership with a local developer, ground has broken on Carroll's third new residence hall in the last five years. Located at College and Grand Avenues on the west side of campus, this complex will house 650 Carroll students when it is complete.

These are not like the residence halls from the '50s. Each suite-style apartment has four individual bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a common living area. The suites are air conditioned and have lots of closet space, good lighting and wireless connections. They also have underground parking.

Additionally, the complex includes a soup and sandwich restaurant where students can pay with their campus food plan. Soon it also will have a YMCA Express fitness center, convenience store and frozen yogurt place. This complex is state-of-the-art student housing.

The next few weeks are extremely busy in the Admission office. We have lots of visitors and are receiving applications plus the necessary documents to complete the admission process. We are on record pace once again. If you are considering Carroll, it is important to get your materials in as early as possible.

October 1, 2012


WOW! I suppose you could say that this was the best Homecoming in Carroll's 167-year history; however, that probably would not be true.

You see, I doubt they celebrated Homecoming in Carroll's early years. If they did, the events would have been really small. When the college opened in 1846 there were only five students and two faculty members.

But yes, this was a wonderful Homecoming at Carroll. The weather was perfect and the campus was full of alumni, students, staff, faculty, family members and friends. There was a parade, friendly competitions, live music, athletic competitions and lots of food.

Ceremonies at Carroll are special. Whether it is opening Convocation, Homecoming, graduation or Founders' Day, these events are memories that are etched into our students' minds.

September 24, 2012


Each academic year at Carroll we explore a campus-wide theme. We started with Food, then Water, and now our theme is Energy.

We'll learn about Energy's many forms, from cellular to solar, and from individual to societal and global perspectives. This interdisciplinary series of presentations, workshops, performances, convocations and other activities will explore energy from a variety of perspectives, including fossil fuel dependence, developing new sources of energy, personal energy, and spiritual energy.

Some of the activities include:

  • A hybrid auto show.
  • Green Wars competition between residence halls.
  • A lecture on "Renewable Energy from Electrochemistry" by a distinguished professor from Northern Illinois University.
  • A presentation on "High-Energy Food that's Good for the Brain" by a Carroll professor of athletic training and exercise science.
  • A lecture by the CEO of We Energies.
  • "Experience the Energy of the Labyrinth," a walking meditation and panel by Carroll professors of English, religious studies and psychology.
  • A solar panel oven cooking competition.

For a complete list, click here.

Now you see just how much ENERGY is associated with Carroll University.

September 17, 2012

Location, Location, Location

There are many great things about Carroll, but we continually thank our founding fathers for our location. When Carroll was founded Waukesha was a resort town called Spring City because of several natural springs that were said to have healing waters. Back then, Prairieville Academy (as Carroll was originally known) was part of the small town community.

Today Waukesha is a vibrant city of 68,000. Carroll is still an important part of the community. Our students provide service hours to the community as well as an economic benefit to local merchants. Carroll students also take advantage of part-time employment opportunities, internship experiences and local entertainment.

We are very fortunate to be located in such an ideal location.

September 10, 2012

Net Price Calculator

Now online, prospective students and their parents will find a Net Price Calculator, which shows exactly how the financial aid process works and how affordable a Carroll education can be. Last year the Net Price Calculator was used by families nearly 7,000 times.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, we awarded nearly $42 million of Carroll dollars in institutional gift aid so that our students and their families can better afford a Carroll education. When you combine that with the fact that our students tend to graduate in four years or less, Carroll becomes a wonderful value.

We are now beginning our first full week of classes. The first couple of weeks are always the hardest for our new students as they are adjust to their courses, life in a residence hall and making new friends. It just takes a little time to get into a routine. By the third week things have settled in and the students are off and running.

September 4, 2012

Move-In Day

On Friday the Carroll community gathered outside the freshmen residence halls on campus. There were alumni, faculty, staff and current Carroll students awaiting the arrival of the new freshman. As they pulled into the parking lot, the Carroll volunteers would ascend on the vehicle to unpack it and take the freshman's belongings to his or her room. In most cases, the vehicle would be empty in less than 10 minutes.

This tradition is our way of helping new students get off to a good start. Instead of having them huff and puff for hours, the Carroll community demonstrates that their Carroll experience will be a team effort and that we are there to support them on their quest to receive a college education.

Campus is now officially full. New and continuing students are all on campus. Classes will begin later this week, and it is exciting to have a full campus again.

August 27, 2012

T-Minus 4 Days

I would suppose that across the country there are a lot of nervous 17- and 18-year-olds who are preparing to leave home for the first time to go to college. I think most of these students are feeling a mix of excitement with the nervousness.

Will I like my roommate? Are the classes going to be hard? How will I make friends? Will my professor be mean? What will the food be like? These are just a few of the questions that I imagine these students might be asking themselves. The reality is that it is ok to be nervous and to ask these questions. It is a transition for ALL students (some just cover it up better than others).

Colleges are very good at helping freshman with this transition. Rule Number One is keep them busy so they do not have time to feel sorry for themselves. At Carroll, there is literally something scheduled for our students from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. during Welcome Week. There are lots of activities so that students begin the process of building a community at Carroll. By the time classes start, students will have friends, they will know where things are located, and they have begun the transition into college life.

So for all you soon-to-be freshman out there, sit back and enjoy the ride. It will be an awesome experience. Just keep a smile on your face, make yourself get involved, and know that every freshman is going through the same thing you are.

Move in day for Carroll freshman is Friday. It is a day when the entire campus comes together to assist our new students in moving into their residence halls. It is a fun day for all.

August 20, 2012

Bit by Bit, a Full Campus

Each day when I arrive to Carroll, I notice more and more cars in the parking lots and more students on campus. First it was the football team and now the other fall sports teams are starting to arrive. The Resident Assistants and Orientation Leaders are also here. Bit by bit, the campus begins to fill.

Last fall, the Admission Office was asked to do something that we have never done before. The President and other administrators wanted us to enroll fewer students in the upcoming school year so as to maintain the quality individualized experience that Carroll University is known for. We had a window of 740 to 760 new freshmen to enroll.

Some might say that this should be easy to accomplish, but believe it or not it, is actually really difficult. As a rolling admission school that makes admission decisions as applications are completed, rather than by a set deadline, our process is designed to reach a minimum number of freshman, not to enroll between a minimum and maximum. Because Carroll is such a popular place, my concern was how not to exceed 760 students. We had to use every trick in our bag to effectively manage enrollment. The good news is that as of today, we are at 740 new freshmen.

August 13, 2012

The Webinar

Last Tuesday, Carroll University President Hastad, Jeff McNamara, director of Student Success, and I presented a webinar hosted by University Business magazine. To our amazement, we had more than 450 participants sign on (which actually means that there were a lot more people present because more than one person can listen in).

Our topic was retaining and graduating your students. The presentation lasted about 30 minutes and then we fielded questions. At one point, there were more than 150 questions in the queue for us to answer. That is the most questions University Business has ever had after a webinar. Clearly this topic has become a major issue at universities and colleges around the country.

Our presentation covered our approach to retaining students and how we organized ourselves to be successful in this endeavor. We also covered the use of technology (FINISHLINE) that we use to identify students with concerns. The Carroll Office of Student Success and our STAY Program (right Student, right Time, right Attention, right Yield) has become a system for retaining students that other schools are starting to emulate. Since beginning this program, we have seen a 5 percent increase in freshman to sophomore retention, which is an enormous improvement.

August 6, 2012

Cross-Cultural Experiences

Every institution of undergraduate higher education has some form of general education requirement. At Carroll we focus on two main things: a liberal arts core of courses and cross-cultural experiences. The cross-cultural aspect is woven throughout our general education program.

Carroll offers cross-cultural experiences in many forms, both domestic and abroad. Students choose what kind of experience they want to have. International travel ranges from one to three weeks with a Carroll faculty member and 15-20 other Carroll students. These educational experiences happen in Italy, England, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, and many other places throughout the world. Providing our students with an appreciation and openness to other cultures is an important part of the Carroll experience.

In less than seven days, our football team will report to Carroll for pre-season workouts. We are expecting somewhere between 130 and 135 student-athletes next Saturday. Soon student-athletes from our other fall sports will start reporting to campus. The start of school is not very far off in the future.

July 23, 2012

A Busy Campus

Unbelievably, in just a few short weeks our fall athletes will start arriving on campus. Summers seem to be busier and busier and shorter and shorter. I guess this is a sign of my age. I remember a time when summers on our campus were rather quiet, but not lately.

This summer alone we will have approximately 500 prospective students visit campus (not to mention their families). There also will be between 750 and 1,000 camp participants (for a wide array of themes, including music, theater, athletics and leadership) at Carroll. Throw in nearly 1,000 college students taking classes and a few dump trucks and bulldozers for construction projects. This all adds up to a very busy campus – a good thing.

Construction on our third new residence hall in the last five years will begin in September. When complete (by fall 2013), there will be 650 students living in these complexes on the western side of our campus. These new residence halls are not like the halls built in the '50s and '60s that are common on many college campuses. These new halls have four individual bedrooms in a suite-style apartment, two baths, a kitchen and a large living room. They have central air, underground parking, lots of electrical outlets, good lighting and wireless access. They are favored among our upper-class students.

July 9, 2012

The Recipe for Success

For more than 25 years I have met with prospective students to talk about their educational and career goals/objectives. Every student brings with them their own educational and life experiences. The ultimate question for every college admission officer is, "Will this student be successful at our institution?" I have learned over the years that this question is part science, part gut feeling. If I were to create a recipe for success it would include the following:

  • Maturity: Maturity to handle the transition to college and to have the self-discipline to know how to manage his/her time.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: The drive and focus to attain his/her goals and ambitions, and the work ethic to put the effort into attaining those goals.
  • Academic Readiness: Completion of the right courses that prepare a student for college success (English, math, social sciences, science, etc.). Sometimes students learn a lot in a class, but don't necessarily score an A in the course.
  • A Sense of Humor: College is stressful and difficult, but it is also a great time. Students who can enjoy college life and laugh at themselves do best. Learning to handle stress in a productive manner is a key.

I think if a student has these qualities then he/she will be successful in college. Sometime students coming out of high school don't initially possess these qualities, but learn them later in life.

June 25, 2012

Visit Carroll University

The last few weeks have been extremely busy in the Admission office with prospective students and their families visiting Carroll. The summer between a high school student's junior and senior year is an ideal time to visit colleges that have been identified as potential institutions. While there are not as many college students around, a prospective student can still get a sense of the campus, its size, and what the school has to offer. Summer visits can help students shorten their list of prospective schools. Then they can schedule fall visits to get a real sense of what an institution is like when school is in session.

Carroll is open for visits Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our next open house is during Private College Week, on Saturday, July 14, from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To schedule a visit, call 1.800.CARROLL.

June 18, 2012

The Portal is Open

If someone referred to a portal 10 years ago, I would have thought that they were talking about Star Trek. You know, "Beam me up, Scottie," using the PORTAL. In today's world, however, the portal refers to an individualized computer content system. In other words, a web environment that is specific to you.

In higher education we use portals a lot, first as a prospective student to Carroll (candidate portal) and then as a current student of Carroll (student portal). We have them for faculty, staff and alumni too.

In the candidate portal we include your application status (what we have and what we still need to make an admission decision), your profile (major, co-curricular interests, etc.), financial aid information (missing information and your award), housing information, direct mail pieces (MY Documents), and more. This portal is a great, real-time way to find out where you are in the application, financial aid and housing processes, as well as a way to specify information to your needs and wants.

The student portal provides our enrolled students with copies of their transcripts, course information, financial aid information, housing information, email access, and it enables students to register for their classes each semester. Our students access this portal on a daily basis.

While our portal might not be as cool as being beamed up from some strange planet to the U.S.S. Enterprise, it is still a very valuable piece of technology.

June 11, 2012

Office of Student Success

Four years ago we created the Office of Student Success. This was something new for Carroll, as we increased our focus on ensuring that every student we enroll has the best possible chance to graduate from Carroll. The office uses state-of-the-art software (which we helped develop) to monitor students' progress toward graduation. We use the STAY program, which is defined as:

  • Right Student
  • Right Time
  • Right Attention
  • Right Yield

Since implementing the Office of Student Success and the STAY program, our freshman-to-sophomore retention rates have increased by more than 5 percent, while national averages show declines. We also have prepared a series of webinars and articles, as Carroll has become a leader in helping students succeed.

May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

Since the very beginning of Carroll's existence in 1846, veterans and active servicemen have attended the college. Carroll was founded 15 years before the start of the Civil War and 71 years before World War I. In 1942, the Army Air Corps used Carroll's Voorhees Hall as a barracks. Then there was a large influx of WWII veterans who attended Carroll on the GI Bill. Today we are a Yellow Ribbon institution for military veterans and their family members. Carroll continues to be committed to helping our veterans, and we continue to educate students who will go into the military after they complete their education.

On a personal note, I am honored to have known and been mentored by some enormously brave veterans. My father was a B-17 pilot with more than 52 combat missions during WWII. My wife's grandfather was a tank driver in the Battle of the Bulge under General George S. Patton. The person who gave me my first job was a Marine who fought in the South Pacific. A dear friend of our families was captured during WWII in Germany and spent several years as a POW. The list of veterans who have touched my life goes on and on. Sometimes it is easy to take our freedom in the United States for granted, but behind that freedom are very brave men and woman who make it possible.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 21, 2012

Summertime at Carroll

A college campus is a pretty strange place when there are not lots of students milling around. During the summer at Carroll we have about 1,000 students who take classes during our three summer sessions. About 50 percent of the summer classes meet during the evenings and another small percentage are online courses. There is a very modest number of students who are taking classes during the day. The good news is that there is lots of parking and you have no problem finding a place on campus to hold meetings. In other words, campus is rather quiet. Sure we host lots of camps for younger students during the summer, but campus just doesn't have the same energy level as the school year.

Faculty and staff at Carroll use the summer months to plan for the next school year. It is also a time for the faculty and staff to re-energize. Lots of maintenance and renovation projects occur in the summer too.

For us in Admission, it is actually a very busy time as juniors and sophomores come to campus with their parents to learn more about what Carroll has to offer. During an average summer we will have a minimum of 1,500 prospective student visitors with their families. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We also have a big campus open house on July 14 as part of Wisconsin Private College Week. To make an appointment to visit Carroll, call 262.524.7220.

May 15, 2012

Just a Dad

Every now and then in life's journey you bump into a moment that becomes etched on your mind and in your heart. I had one of those moments on Sunday.

I have attended 25 Carroll Commencement ceremonies and every time I am touched by the stories of how our students have ended up walking across the stage to receive their Carroll diplomas. The story is unique to every single student and the family members who support him or her. I am always so proud of them and how far they have come.

Yesterday I felt the same way for the more than 600 graduates, except that for one of the graduates I was a proud dad as well. I finally was able to feel the pride of having a daughter become a college graduate. I have watched countless fathers and mothers in the past as they celebrate with their child. I watched with envy the joy that other dads take in their newly minted Carroll alum. I now know firsthand how great that feels.

For every student it is a journey filled with sacrifice, hard work, bad days and good days. As a parent, all you can do is be there to encourage your student, waiting for the day you will hear those magic words: his or her first name, middle name and last name.

They announced my daughter's name and she came bounding up the stairs (lots of jokes about not falling occurred the night before) to the platform, eager for that a little piece of paper that means so much. My wife and I are so very proud of our new Carroll graduate, just like all the other mothers and fathers are proud of their Carroll graduates. It's a great day to be just a dad.

Awesome job Carroll Class of 2012! Go out and make a difference.

May 7, 2012

Finals Week

We are now in finals week. At Carroll, most classes do not require students to take comprehensive final examinations; rather, tests focus on the content covered since the last exam. That being said, it is still a very stressful time for our students. It is the last time when students can significantly impact their overall grade in the class. Depending on the course content, sometimes the tests are open book and open note. To be honest, often these are the hardest types of tests because the expectation of knowledge seems to be greater when you have access to the materials. I can also say that when that last test is over there is a great sense of accomplishment and relief.

Summertime for our students will begin later this week. The campus will empty out and our students will be off on their summer journeys. For most that will mean home and work, for some it means taking courses at Carroll, and for others it means going on a brief New Cultural Experiences Program (NCEP) trip before going home. For our soon-to-be graduates, it means preparing for graduate school or getting a job. Regardless of the next adventure, Carroll will always be a part of their memories.

April 30, 2012

Celebrate Carroll

Wednesday, May 2, is the last day of classes for spring semester. It seems like just yesterday that we were moving the freshmen into their residence halls.

Last week was a busy week on campus as the spring sports wrapped up their seasons and we had Celebrate Carroll, an annual event for students and faculty to display their academic work. It is also the day of the year when I feel very inadequate as the students report on topics that I have no knowledge about. Some of the topics that our students present on are totally amazing.

The Pioneer Scholars, participants in our undergraduate research program, also present their topics at Celebrate Carroll. The Pioneer Scholars program is an opportunity for students to conduct and present undergraduate research in cooperation with a faculty member. The nature of this research is very impressive and it empowers our students to continue to think and learn about topics not normally studied in an undergraduate experience.

It is now less than two weeks until graduation. The Commencement Committee is putting the final touches on this very special day at Carroll. A Carroll Commencement is a spectacular event and something graduates remember for the rest of their lives. This year will be especially special for my wife and I as our oldest daughter will be one of the graduates. We are very proud of her and she has certainly had the FULL Carroll experience.

April 23, 2012


On Friday night, approximately two hours before the doors officially opened, students began lining up in the Campus Center. One would expect that students were waiting for a free concert, comedian or something like that. However, that would be wrong. They were lining up for BINGO. Yes, that's right, good old fashioned BINGO. BINGO occurs four or five times a year on campus and each time several hundred students wait in line to get in. So what is so attractive about Carroll BINGO? The prizes (plus the fun of getting together with a group of friends). Students can win vouchers for free airline tickets, food gift certificates, iPads, iPods, big-screen HD televisions and many more prizes.

If BINGO is not your thing, you could help load trucks with food on Saturday for Carroll's National Day of Service. The goal was to have 50,000 meals donated by Carroll students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and community members.

If you were not interested in helping load the trucks, you could get a team together and walk around the track for the Relay For Life fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society. This event always attracts lots of students.

I am inspired by the many ways our students make an impact on the greater community. Carroll students always find ways to give back.

April 16, 2012

Lots of Visitors

The last few weeks have been very busy for our Admission Office. This is one of those years when high school spring breaks were spread out over three weeks. Our Admission Office was VERY busy with prospective students and their families. Carroll remains very popular with prospectives. This Saturday, April 21, we will have a Campus Open House. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and it will be a nice day for guests to visit Carroll.

This Sunday, my wife and I attended the Carroll's men's and women's tennis matches at UW-Whitewater. Whenever I have the opportunity to interact with our students and their families away from Carroll I always come away impressed. What a wonderful group of young men and women. The families that we have gotten to know through the Carroll tennis teams are just outstanding people. We have become friends as we watch our daughters compete for the Pioneers.

April 9, 2012

Next Stop: Graduation

Easter is now behind us and the next break for Carroll is the end of the semester, only four weeks away. These last few weeks are usually jammed full for our students and professors. Papers, presentations, quizzes and tests will be very prevalent. For seniors, this is the last time they will need to endure the stress of finals at Carroll (unless they are matriculating into one of our graduate programs). Soon it will be summer and students will be dispersing to work their summer jobs. But by July they are usually anxious to get back to Carroll to start another semester.

Easter at the Wiseman household was pretty active as we adopted a standard poodle. We have one standard poodle Macy, who is 12, and now we added a 2-year-old Molly. She is a very good dog and fits right in with Macy and family. Let the fun begin.

April 2, 2012

The Internship

On Saturday my wife and I traveled to Chicago to watch a Chicago Slaughter indoor football game. Actually we were there to see our daughter, who is an intern with Slaughter and a senior finance major who will be graduating from Carroll in May. Her internship involves a little bit of everything (marketing, operations, finance, etc.). It has been a great experience for her as it is a small organization and depends on interns to do real work. She travels to Chicago two days per week and works all day. The rest of the week she has three classes. Besides her internship and classes, she has been interviewing for jobs. She has had about seven interviews and has received one job offer. Unfortunately that position is not what she wants to ultimately do, so she continues to interview for other potential opportunities.

The job market for college graduates is not great, as most are aware. However, there are opportunities out there. We are learning from my daughter's experience that if you are willing to relocate and if you are willing to work your way up an organization through hard work, then there are opportunities. Health professions are still hiring a lot of new graduates, and so are fields like accounting, finance and computer science. A resume that includes internships, travel abroad, work experience and co-curricular involvement can still make a recent graduate very employable.

March 26, 2012

Do It All, See It All

The Carroll experience allows for a broad education. Our students have the opportunity to learn and grow in the following environments:

  • Classroom
    • Interactive and personal learning environment
  • Carroll Community
    • Athletics, music, theater, residence life and more than 50 student organizations
  • Greater Community
    • Internships, clinical experiences, student teaching and community service
  • The World
    • New Cultural Experience Program trips, semester-long study abroad, yearlong study abroad and international students studying at Carroll

We provide our students the opportunity to choose how best to construct their educational program. Individuals can design an educational experience that best fits their needs and wants. Students at Carroll can do it all and see it all.

March 19, 2012

Cross-Cultural Experiences

As part of Carroll's General Education Program, students are required to complete a course that allows for cross-cultural experiences. There are lots of ways for students to fulfill this requirement; here are just a few examples:

  • Study abroad at an institution in another country (Carroll's Office of International Education helps arrange this experience).
  • NCEP (New Cultural Experience Program) course, in which students are led by Carroll faculty to a foreign country or to a region of the U.S.
  • Exploring the greater Milwaukee area to experience differences in race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities and other forms of diversity.

We believe it is critical for our students to be exposed to and have an appreciation for different cultures so that they will be prepared to succeed in our global society.

March 12, 2012

Undergraduate Research

Carroll has an undergraduate program, Pioneer Scholars, for one-on-one summer research with a faculty mentor. Both the student and faculty member receive stipends to allow them to focus solely on the research, and not on ways to earn a paycheck. The research done varies depending on the discipline of the mentor and student.
This year's Pioneer Scholars and their topics are:

  • Dr. Jason Freund and Carrie Litterio, "Quantifying energy inputs to Genesee Creek, Greene Field Station, with emphasis on an invasive species dominated riparian zone."
  • Dr. John Garrison and Natalie Nichols, "Shakespeare and Early Modern Property Law: The Case of the Phoenix and the Turtle."
  • Dr. Paul Hampton and Melissa Gall, "Prey size selection and its effect on locomotion in snakes."
  • Dr. Scott Hendrix and Catherine Gaggioli, "Popular Resistance, Popular Participation: Rioting in Seventeenth-Century England." This team will conduct international archival research in England as part of their project.
  • Dr. Lori Duin Kelly and Alicia Zuberbier, "Civil War Perceptions of Psychological Trauma."
  • Ms. Laurie Kunkel-Jordan and Emily Clippinger, "Exploring relationships between awareness of, knowledge of and attitudes toward evidence-based practice among ICU nurses and adherence to the ventilator-associated pneumonia bundle protocol."
  • Dr. Greg Marks and Chelsea Stokes, "Determination of the Binding Constant for the Glycitein/Rat Estrogen Receptor Beta Complex."
  • Dr. Christopher May, Kelli Johnson and Jared Weyker, "A Psychophysiological Investigation of the Effects of Extended Loving-Kindness and Concentration Meditation using Hierarchical Linear Modeling."
  • Dr. Matt Scheel and Aimee Ambrose, "Glucose and dichotic listening: An auditory test of Perceptual Load Theory."

February 27, 2012

Spring Break

Carroll's Spring Break is March 3 through March 12. It seems like spring semester has just begun, but after this week we will be nearly halfway to the end of the semester. Carroll students will soon disperse for Spring Break. Some students are going on service trips through a Carroll-sponsored organization while others are going with friends and/or family to somewhere warm and a lot of our students will be going home. All are looking forward to a break from their books.

Carroll's basketball teams had a very successful weekend. Both of the teams were seeded as the #4 teams in the conference tournaments. That means that they had to play the #1 seed in the first round. Our teams were big underdogs and most people thought they would be one and done. To every one's surprise, both Pioneers teams won. The next day they played in the finals with the men winning and qualifying to play in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament. The women lost in the championship, but they will always have the memory of beating the #1 seed in the Midwest Conference.

February 20, 2012


If you were to listen to our students talk to each other you would be amazed at all the acronyms you would hear. It seems as though college students are charged by the word because they shorten much of what they say. Maybe this is the influence of text messaging.

Here are just a few you might overhear:

  • FYP - First Year Program
  • CCS - Cross-Cultural Seminar
  • CCE - Cross-Cultural Experience
  • GE1 - General Education Level 1 Course
  • GE2 - General Education Level 2 Course
  • PIO - Pioneer (our nickname; Carroll is the oldest college in Wisconsin)
  • MDR - Main Dining Room
  • PIT - Pioneer Indoor Terrace
  • POT - Pioneer Outdoor Terrace
  • ABP - Au Bon Pain restaurant
  • The BERGS - Bergstrom Residence Halls
  • NCEP - New Cultural Experience Program

February 13, 2012

The Whole Enchilada

Education at Carroll does not start and stop at the classroom door. Education is something that our students experience in a 24/7 environment. Whether it is living in the residence halls, working in campus employment, eating in our dining facilities or being involved in a co-curricular experience, these are all opportunities for our students to grow and develop.

In order for us to help students fulfill their dreams, goals and aspirations, we need to provide our students with the right knowledge, the right skills, and help them develop the right characteristics that will make them successful in today's world, and into the future. In today's economy, the most valued qualities seem to be critical thinking skills, an ability to solve problems, the ability to communicate, the willingness to learn and grow, open mindedness, and the ability to work with a wide variety of individuals and cultures. At Carroll, those are the types of skills that we work at every day in every class.

Now let me put on my dad hat and talk about my daughter who is a senior finance major at Carroll. She is in her last semester, taking three courses and an internship experience. Twice a week she drives to Chicago to intern with the Chicago Slaughter, an indoor professional football team. She is also applying for jobs after she graduates. She has about four or five companies interested in interviewing her. She is doing second interviews with two companies right now, both in Chicago. Not bad for a not yet graduated college student in a tough economy.

I thought back on her total college experience and I began to see why my daughter has had good luck in attracting interest. She is a finance major with an accounting minor, she is an average to slightly above average student, she has worked while going to school, she has worked every summer, she has studied abroad twice, she has played four years of varsity tennis in college and she has very good people skills. I guess you could say that she has the whole enchilada when it comes to a college experience, and that is valuable to many employers.

February 6, 2012

Breadth and Depth of Knowledge

Carroll University is an institution that requires students to gain a liberal arts core through the general education program. That means students need to take a course in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Each category has 10 to 15 courses that students can choose from. Most students take these courses throughout their four years at Carroll.

Additionally, there is a cross-cultural component throughout our general education program. At Carroll we believe that students need to have a breadth of knowledge that includes an understanding of diversity. In today's world, having an appreciation for different cultures is critical for success.

The depth of knowledge comes from the major that a student chooses. Majors range from 40 credits to 90 credits, depending on the discipline. All of Carroll's programs can be completed in four years or less.

Providing our students breadth of knowledge, depth of knowledge, cross-cultural experiences, and the opportunity to develop leadership and teamwork skills through co-curricular involvements creates students that are well-prepared for society's demands today and into the future. Our students have the right knowledge, skills and characteristics to make their dreams, goals and aspirations come true.

January 30, 2012

The Money is in the Mail

Later this week we will begin sending out financial aid awards for the 2012-2013 academic year. At this time of year, this is the letter that prospective students and their families most anticipate. Very often it is the one piece of information that they need to make a final decision on a higher education institution.

The aid award notification document includes lots of information, but most importantly it includes the aid award letter, which includes the cost to attend Carroll University (tuition, fees, room and board) for that student/family. Books are a separate cost that can be approximately $1,000 per year.

The financial aid award is divided into three components:

  • Gift Aid (grants, scholarships)
    • Institutional, state, federal
    • Private scholarships that students apply for and receive on their own are not included
  • Self Help
    • Loans
      • Stafford and Perkins
    • Campus Employment
      • Work study and campus-funded employment
    • Family Contribution
      • Payment plan
      • PLUS loan (a loan for parents)

Carroll University is very generous with its financial aid awards. Last year the institution contributed $30 million to ensure that a Carroll education is affordable.

January 23, 2012

Physician Assistant program

Last June Carroll enrolled its very first class in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, and we just wrapped up the admission process for our second class. We received more than 400 applications for 19 spots. When Carroll students or alumni apply for this master's program, they automatically get 10 points out of the 70 total points just because they attended Carroll. The 10 points are a really big deal when you consider how competitive the admission process is for this program.

Regardless of whether or not the applicant is from Carroll, students need a very high overall GPA and science GPA to make the final cut. The admission committee selects the top 60 applicants to be interviewed, then ranks the students in order of preference. Often applicants at the top of this list have offers from other schools with physician assistant programs. We offered 19 spots and only four students turned us down for other schools. That is a real credit to quality of our program.

Our Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, our Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy program, and our other three graduate programs are all housed at a state-of-the-art graduate center located approximately two miles from our main campus. This facility provides our students with a convenient location, ample parking and facilities that are ideal for graduate education.

January 16, 2012

And Away We Go

Spring semester begins this week Thursday. Soon campus will start filling back up with students. We are expecting a record number of students to start this semester. Enrollment will include approximately 100 students who have transferred to Carroll after attending a different institution in the fall. Carroll remains a very popular choice for students.

My oldest daughter is in her last semester at Carroll. She has been interviewing for spring internships. Thus far she has had six interviews ranging from an insurance company to a professional football team. One of Carroll's great advantages is our location and proximity to wonderful internship opportunities.

My daughter will be taking three classes and her internship this semester. She has definitely jammed a lot into her college experience. She studied her first year and a half at a school in Philadelphia, studied in London one semester and spent her final two years at Carroll. She has played intercollegiate tennis at both institutions, has worked, and is a business finance major. Time has really flown by for her and for my wife and I as parents. I look forward to handing her a diploma in May - she has earned it.

January 10, 2012

Season of FAFSA

The Season of FAFSA has begun, marked by thousands of parents of college-age students taking time to fill out a government form. The form asks all sorts of fun questions that require you to pull out old W-2 and/or income tax forms. Then, after spending 30 to 60 minutes filling out the form, the government then tells you how much you can afford to send your child to college. Oh the joys of parenthood. Better yet, the number given does not provide any explanation of how it was calculated. Nor does it consider factors like home mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, medical bills, etc. The Season of FAFSA is such a wonderful time of year.

On a serious note, the FAFSA is not a perfect system, but on average it can be pretty accurate. There are times when it calculates too high and there are times when it calculates too low. Colleges use the FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution as a starting point, not a hard and fast number that families must absolutely pay. Sometimes colleges will make the family pay less than the government number and sometimes they will make families pay more. Lots of factors go into determining the cost of higher education, and each college has its own formula. I will say that often families are pleasantly surprised at how affordable the cost can be for a Carroll education.

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Yes, 2012 has arrived and today begins our January term. We have a record enrollment for J-Term with more than 400 students taking classes. Carroll students take courses over January for a variety of reasons. Some create flexibility in their schedules, some add minors or second majors, while others have an internship or study abroad experience. Carroll students are not required to take a class in January to graduate within four years, but it does allow for more options.

Second semester begins Jan. 19 and the residence halls re-open for students on Jan. 18. Spring semester seems to go by even faster than fall semester. Two breaks are built in - Spring Break and a long weekend for Easter. Carroll always holds the Commencement ceremony on Mother's Day, so our semester usually ends the week before, in early May.

December 19, 2011

Christmas Break

The Christmas tree lights are on at Carroll, but hardly anyone is at home in the evenings. The lights that decorate the large pine trees are on and so is the Christmas star atop Main Hall, but the campus is pretty empty. I hope Santa does not leave presents under those Christmas trees.

This is the one time of year with NO classes. Classes resume Jan. 2 for an optional short semester prior to the start of spring semester on Jan. 18. Administrative offices are open this week, but starting on Thursday those offices are closed until Jan. 2 (except for Admissions, of course).

The Admission office will be open for visitors the week between Christmas and New Year's. In fact, we are very busy with visitors that week. Although campus is very quiet at least students can see the campus and talk to us in Admissions. Applications for Fall 2012 have been coming in fast and furious. We are digging through the papers (or online data), anticipating the next big influx after the high school semesters end in mid-January.

Last week we interviewed students for our Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. We received more than 400 applications for which we will interview approximately 60. Our goal is to enroll 20 new students to begin June 2012. The program is one year old and has already established itself as a wonderful MPAS degree program.

Merry Christmas!

December 12, 2011

First Semester Comes to an End

The fall 2011 semester at Carroll will come to an end on Wednesday. Some of our students are already done and have headed home. Gradually over the course of this week, the library, dining areas and parking lots begin to empty out. A college campus with no students is sort of a strange place.

From now until Jan. 19 (the start of spring semester) the campus will be very quiet and empty. This is the one time period during the year when there are very few students on campus. During the summer Carroll operates a very robust summer school program with students living on campus. Approximately 300 students do take J-term classes that start Jan. 2, but that is the smallest number of students that we have on campus. Maybe the weather will cooperate and not be so snowy and cold, which will make this quiet period on campus slightly more tolerable.

Both of my daughters have finals this week, but will be coming home later in the week. I am sure they will have lots of wash to bring home. My wife and I are looking forward to spending some time with them and our extended family for the holidays.

December 5, 2011

Finals Week

On Friday, Dec. 9, Carroll students will begin taking their first semester final exams. Final exams can be a rather stressful time for students. On the other end of the spectrum is the feeling that students have when they finish their last final for the semester.

I still remember that feeling. I remember sprinting out of the classroom of my last final and proceeding directly to my car (which was all loaded) for the 16-hour drive back to Wyoming. My daughter, a senior business major, has an exam on the last day of finals week (Dec. 14). After that she will pack her car and head for home (I am sure with lots of laundry). So goes the migration of Carroll students from campus to their homes.

Carroll celebrated Christmas this past weekend with our annual Christmas at Carroll concert. As usual it was very impressive and the talent of students always amazes me. In the admission world we always say that we enroll multi-talented students. The Christmas concert is just one example.

November 28, 2011

Final Stages of Semester

Thanksgiving break is over and students are back on campus. There is approximately three weeks left in the semester including final exams, which means there is really only two weeks left of classes. Those two weeks happen to be the busiest of semester. There are papers to finish, group projects to present, quizzes/tests to take and lab work to complete. It is a stressful time for our students as they must complete the above list and prepare for final exams. Final exams can be comprehensive or just over the latest material. It often depends on the course and/or faculty member as to which kind of final they choose to administer.

My house was full over break as both my daughters were home. There was lots of shopping, football watching and eating. We also managed to ring bells for the Salvation Army (a family tradition that includes my sister's family). It is actually very uplifting and humbling. My wife also managed to fit in Christmas decorating and some cookie baking. It was a perfect Thanksgiving weekend.

November 21, 2011


It is Thanksgiving week and our students are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to go home and see their families. Students have been working really hard and the last several weeks have brought lots of test, papers and projects. This is the perfect time for a little break because when they return there will be only three weeks left before finals.

Winter sports have now begun and fall sports have come to an end. It was a very successful fall season for our student-athletes and we are eagerly anticipating the winter sports season.

Yesterday my oldest daughter, a senior at Carroll, and her friend, a fellow Carroll student, went to their very first Green Bay Packers regular season game. They had a great time and they even made national television. When Jordy Nelson scored and did the famous Lambeau Leap, my daughter and friend were right in the middle of the celebration. As they now tell us, they even made ESPN Sports Center. I am sure someday they will probably say that they helped Jordy score the touchdown.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 14, 2011


Friday was Veteran's Day and I was reminded of all the sacrifices that our military families make for our country. In recent years we have been enrolling more and more students who have served our nation in the military. They bring a lot to our campus. Their military experiences are reminders to the entire campus of the sacrifices that they and their families have made to protect the freedoms that we enjoy.

I am very sympathetic to these individuals. My father was a WWII veteran as a B-17 pilot. He flew more than 50 missions in northern Africa and Europe. As he always told us, he was "just doing his duty." Thank you to our veterans and active military for doing your "duty" and allowing all of us to enjoy the freedoms that your "duty" brings to this country.

October 31, 2011

Bon Voyage

Study abroad is an opportunity that most schools have, but there is a big difference between an offering and making an institutional commitment. At Carroll, part of our general education program is devoted to cultural diversity requirements. First is a cultural seminar course for every freshman, then a cultural designated course, a cross-cultural experience, and finally a cross-cultural colloquium course in a student's senior year. The cross-cultural experience can be a study abroad experience or a domestic internship/clinical rotation/student teacher experience. Study abroad students can pick multiple options, ranging from a one-week experience during Spring Break to a full year experience. Carroll offers study abroad opportunities to a wide variety of countries either through our New Cultural Experience Program (NCEP), courses for students to travel with Carroll faculty, or exchange programs for students to study at an institution in another country.

My daughter, a Carroll senior, did both an NCEP to Dominica and a semester in London. Both were fantastic experiences that she will remember for the rest of her life. I believe that these two experiences were an important part of her educational growth. I know that she has a greater appreciation for other cultures and an understanding of the issues that confront these countries. I believe that study abroad is an invaluable experience in any student's education.

October 24, 2011

Hello, Welcome to Carroll

It is a very busy week in the Office of Admission. We will host more than 300 prospective students and their families on Friday and Saturday. The good news is that I get to do some admission interviews and I even get to give a tour. I actually love doing those things. I get to meet some of the neatest students and families that way. The one regret I have in my current job is that I don't have as much student contact as I once did. I'm glad that this week I do get to meet and talk with lots of students and families.

Hosting a prospective student open house on a school day has proven to be very challenging. First, the parking is tight even though we reserve a lot for our guests. Second, facilities get tight as classes have priority over the rooms. Lastly, our students have classes (the nerve!) and are not available to give campus tours. Thankfully we have a very talented and committed admission staff and they somehow, some way find a way to make it work for our guests.

Carroll remains very popular with prospective students and their families. There are lots of reasons: the academic programs, the campus, the people, the reputation, the co-curricular offerings and the value (what students get for what they pay) are just a few.

October 17, 2011

Fall Break

Carroll's Fall Break began on Friday at 5 p.m. and classes resume Wednesday morning. A lot of the fall athletes are still on campus during break as they prepare for competitions.

My wife and I spent Saturday and Sunday in Madison at the women's tennis conference tournament. My daughter is a senior on Carroll's tennis team. After spending nearly 14 hours with the women's tennis team and their families, I walk away very impressed with the quality of these student-athletes and their families. What a great group! Tennis can be a very cruel sport at times as the athletes go through the highs of winning a competitive match to the lows of losing a match. I watched with amazements as teammates and families consoled the lost matches and cheered the victories. The girls share a mutual bond of knowing that there will be good matches and there will be bad matches, but together with the support of their families, they find a way to persevere this intense competitive environment.

After watching this tennis competition I was reminded of how valuable the out of classroom experiences can be to education of our students. Whether it is athletics, music, theater or any one of the more than 60 student organizations, there are valuable lessons to be learned by being involved in co-curricular activities. At an institution like Carroll, education is not limited to just the classroom; education occurs throughout the total experience and prepares our students for success beyond Carroll.

October 10, 2011


Saturday was Homecoming at Carroll University. The weather was absolutely perfect and campus was full of energy and excitement. Carroll was bursting at the seams with alumni and their families, current students and their families, and faculty and staff. There were bands playing, fans tailgating, alumni reunions, games, a parade, and of course, athletic competitions. Homecoming at Carroll is special and this Saturday was a prime example.

Fall Break starts this coming Saturday and lasts until Wednesday morning, when classes begin again. It is a time for students to get a little break from their classes and hopefully catch up on their homework. Once Fall Break is over, the next break is Thanksgiving. From Fall Break on the semester really picks up steam and goes by very fast. Students are now into the swing of tests, homework, presentations and quizzes.

October 3, 2011

Reality Check

The semester is now about three weeks old and students are beginning to take exams and turn in papers. It is especially stressful for freshman as they sometimes get grades that are lower than what they earned in high school (which is perfectly normal). Each year we deal with the tearful freshmen who, for the first time in their lives, get a C on an exam or paper. I remember getting back my first college paper - UGLY - there were more corrections than words. Over time, hard-working students catch onto what professors' expect and what they are looking for. They learn how to study more effectively for exams and they also learn that sometimes Cs and Bs are the norm, not the exception. College is definitely not grade 13 of high school. The expectations are much greater and every student is motivated and talented.

I also remember a time when a student came to see me, crying her eyes out. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she had gotten a B on her physics exam. I said congratulations and then she started to sob uncontrollably - whoops, wrong thing to say. She proceeded to tell me that she had never gotten less than an A in her entire high school career. I asked her if she did her best and if she studied enough for the exam and she said yes. I explained that a B is a good grade (sometimes students need to do their best, take the B or C and move on). Today she is a very successful physical therapist and yes, she did end up with some Bs. Believe it or not, individuals can be successful after college and still get Bs and Cs as grades.

September 25, 2011

The "C"

It is Sunday afternoon and I am in my office watching it rain. I cannot believe how many students I see roaming around campus in their Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears jerseys. Packers-Bears week is sort of interesting at Carroll because we have an ample supply of both teams' fans on campus. Our football field has a big orange "C" in the middle of it. I often am asked why we have the Bears "C" in our field (Bears fans love the fact, Packers fans hate the fact). The truth is that Carroll actually used the "C" well before the Bears, but back then no one ever thought of taking out a copyright on it. Later the NFL actually did copyright it, but allows us to use our "C" provided we don't purposely try to confuse consumers.

The second annual Admission Ambassador bowling outing is today. Last year I was amazed at how good some of our students were at bowling. It is always fun to interact with them outside of work in this kind of environment. They are such wonderful young people. I always leave these events thinking how fortunate I am to be around these kinds of young people. Too often we only hear about the bad, but if you spend two hours with these students, you realize how great they are.

September 19, 2011

Time to Completion

Time to completion has become the new buzz phrase in higher education. In other words, how long does it take to get your degree? The national average is inching towards six years, but at Carroll we continue to graduate our students with bachelor's degrees in four years or less. Carroll also offers a three-year degree program in more than 12 different academic fields, and in some fields we now offer a five-year bachelor's and master's dual degree program. Graduating in four years or less can be a HUGE economic savings to students and families. If you add in the earning potential of one or two years on the job, the economic benefit can be well over $50,000.

The Carroll Campus Activities Board and Student Senate announced last week that Owl City and Days Difference will be performing on Nov. 6 in our Van Male Field House. I have been told by students that this is a big deal. Tickets are on sale now.

September 12, 2011

How Much Does It Cost?

Determining the cost of a college for prospective students and their families is a very unique process. No other industry in the world has a pricing system quite like higher education. Higher education cost is a variable number, not a fixed number that everyone pays. Yes we all have a sticker price, but VERY FEW actually pay the sticker price. The variability of cost is determined by two pieces of information: 1. academics and 2. economics, which ultimately determine what a family will pay.

The other factor in college cost is time to completion. With the average time to completion now pushing six years at many institutions, being able to graduate in four years or less (like most Carroll students) becomes an enormous consideration is the affordability equation.

This week Carroll will launch its new Estimated Cost Calculator. The Estimated Cost Calculator is an online device that will give students and families a REAL estimate of the cost to attend Carroll University. The federal government has mandated that every school offer this service, however many cost calculators are not very accurate and often overestimate the amount of aid a family will receive. Carroll's Estimated Cost Calculator will give very accurate numbers - provided the information submitted is accurate. Carroll's Estimated Cost Calculator ( will be available starting Sept. 14.

September 6, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Ready, GO!

The school year has begun! We have had two day of classes thus far and this week is our first full week (well, after Labor Day). It is always an exciting time to begin a new school year. Students are eager to get started, faculty are excited to educate a new crop of students and staff are just glad to have students back on campus. Semesters are generally 16 weeks long and those 16 weeks seem to go by very fast. Semesters are much more of a sprint than a marathon as faculty try to stuff knowledge and skills into the brains of our students.

Au Bon Pain restaurant has opened in the lower level of Frontier Hall (our newest residence hall). Au Bon Pain is a national franchise and this is the first location in Wisconsin. Students can use their food plans (Dining Dollars or Carroll Cash) to buy food at this restaurant. Au Bon Pain is also open to the public. The restaurant is consistently named as a healthy - and delicious - place to eat.

August 29, 2011

Move-In Day

It is now official: Fall is upon us. On Friday we moved more than 700 new freshmen into campus housing. It is an exciting day for the campus as faculty and staff gather at the various residence halls to assist (with the help of Carroll athletes) freshmen and their parents with the move in.

This year I was stationed at the Bergstroms, where approximately 450 freshmen were scheduled to live. Needless to say we were very busy unloading cars, looking like a column of ants marching up to the students' rooms with all of their college belongings. It is hard work, but also very enjoyable and satisfying work. Our student athletes are a great help. At the Bergstroms we had the football team. One football player carried 15 refrigerators all by himself (now that is a workout).

I am always amazed at what some students bring to college. One young man brought four cases of Easy Mac and eight cases of water. I guess he is figuring on eating in his room a lot or inviting his entire floor to an Easy Mac dinner with water. We also moved someone in with four bowling balls; I have a feeling he is a really good bowler. One student brought a couch for his room, but there were several problems. First, he lived on the fifth floor and four football players labored to get the couch up the stairs. When they got up there, it was discovered the couch would not fit to well in the room. Down the players went carrying the couch. Amazingly, they did not complain once.
After working four hours carrying stuff to rooms, the football players then had practice. I hope Coach went easy on them because they had a good workout moving freshmen into their rooms.

On Sunday it was the continuing students' turn to move in. I noticed that they are much wiser in what to bring and how to pack. They definitely do not bring as much and they pack in smaller boxes that are much easier to move. That day goes pretty smooth aside from the fact that the parking lots are now full.

Another great day at Carroll!

August 22, 2011

Migration of College Students

About this time of year there is a migration of college students from their home nests to their college residences. The Wiseman nest emptied out last week as both my daughters made the migration to their colleges. The house went from being loud, energetic, full of people, messy and somewhat disorganized to a house of total quiet (other than my wife giving me "honey do" lists). Hard to believe, but I actually prefer the loud and energetic environment. What my wife and I are experiencing is happening all over the country as college students begin migrating back to their colleges.

As it turns out, the migration pattern seems to be part of the maturation process. It seems like each time my daughters go away for college they come back home a little more mature and independent. Their rooms seem neater, they seem more willing to help with household chores, our conversation topics are deeper and they seem to not stay out as late at night. College seems to be providing my daughters more than just knowledge and skill; it seems also to be providing them with a laboratory for growth and independence. So for now my wife and I will hold down the home nest with the dog (Macy) and the cat (Maya) until our daughters migrate home even more mature and independent.

August 15, 2011

Summer is Over?

On Saturday the first group of students starting moving into their residence halls. The football players (approximately 135 of them) and some other fall athletes moved in, which means summer at Carroll is officially over.

One of those students moving in on Saturday was my daughter (a senior) who is a tennis player. Officially the tennis team moves in Thursday, but because she is taking two summer classes this term we decided to pay rent for an extra few days versus paying the gas for her to drive back and forth. She moved into Frontier Hall and wow is it nice. Her suite (apartment) is four bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living room. There will be four girls living here. The most impressive thing about these suites is the attention to detail that went into them. There is great lighting, lots of electrical outlets, big closets, wonderful windows, nice big bathrooms, and of course air conditioning. Our move in went smoothly; my daughter has gotten really good at organizing for these moves (practice makes perfect).

This week I get to move my youngest daughter into her college apartment (practice makes perfect for Dad and Mom too).

August 8, 2011

How Do I Choose a Major?

Often when high school prospective students visit campus, they are not sure what field of study should be their major. Sometimes they feel rather guilty about not knowing; however, what they don't realize is that more students are like them than students who know exactly what they want. The statistic at Carroll is one third of the freshmen coming in the door know what they want as a major and actually graduate in that major (a lot of times it is fields like nursing, education or computer science). One third of freshmen think they know, but will change their minds and graduate in a different field (some students change three or four times). And one third of freshmen come in totally undecided.

Sometimes students ask how to pick a major or career field. My answer is find something you like (have a passion for), find something you are good at, and find a career that matches your life priorities, goals and objectives (lifestyle). Carroll's Career Center has different inventories to help students decide on a career path. Picking a major is hard - I know, it took me four tries before I found one - but the most important thing is to find something you will like to do. It might take six months or two years, but generally speaking, students find what they are looking for.

August 1, 2011

Not Long Now

In just over two weeks, fall student-athletes will begin moving back to campus. Frontier Hall is ready for students and construction on the plaza between Shattuck Music Center, Otteson Theatre and Van Male Field House is almost complete. The new restaurant in Frontier and the new patio outside of the library should both be ready for students at the start of school. The bookstore move is still on schedule with anticipated opening in approximately two weeks. The Carroll campus continues to get better and better.

On Friday I visited another private school in Wisconsin with my younger daughter, who is transferring schools after one year. She is admitted to Carroll, but wants to create her own path (dad, mom and aunt are Carroll alums, and older sister is a current Carroll student). The school we visited is very nice, a lot like Carroll albeit Carroll is considerably larger. When I visit other schools it makes me appreciate all that Carroll has to offer. Our residence hall offerings and dining choices are as good as at any institution. Construction of Pioneer and Frontier halls was done right. Every little detail (lighting, the number of outlets, closet space, size of apartments, restrooms, etc.) was considered. My daughter will make her decision sometime this week. She loves Carroll, but she really wants to do her own thing and try something new (my daughters literally grew up on the Carroll campus).

July 25, 2011

The Portal is Open

For my generation, a portal was something that was used on STAR TREK to beam Scottie up, but today a portal means something totally different. Portals are individualized places on websites to get personal information. In higher education, portals are used for prospective students and for current Carroll students.

For prospective students they have become a vital means of communication. Carroll's portal for prospective students is recognized in the industry as being one of the best. Prospective students can customize their portal based on major, co-curricular interests and important decision topics. Additionally, the portal keeps track – in real time – all the documents that we have and still need for a particular student. It also has a MY DOCUMENTS portlet, allowing students to open and print PDFs of brochures so that they no longer need the grocery bag filled with college publications. Pretty much everything is done within this portal, including financial aid awards and housing applications. I strongly encourage prospective students who are looking at Carroll to log in and use their portal, the MY CARROLL WEBPAGE.

July 18, 2011

Impressive Prospective Students

Last week Carroll was host to more than 800 prospective students and their families. One of my favorite things about my job is getting to meet prospective students and their families. Talking to high school students about their dreams, goals and wants/needs in a college is exciting and uplifting. Last week I had the good fortune to interview several high school seniors as well as give a tour of campus to a group of about 12 prospective students and their families. Wow, what an impressive group of young people. These students are taking incredibly difficult coursework in high school and still manage to do impressive things outside of the classroom. The future is bright for these outstanding students.

My daughters are busy being college students this summer. They enjoyed Summerfest, they worked, they watched movies, swam, traveled and are taking summer classes. My oldest daughter, a senior finance major at Carroll and tennis player, will complete three summer classes by fall. She spends a great deal of time studying, working and playing tennis. My youngest daughter, a sophomore in college, has been traveling in Italy for two weeks with her aunt and uncle. When she is not traveling she works a lot and is getting ready for classes to start. Summer is fast coming to a close in our household as the girls get ready to return to school.

July 11, 2011

Three Questions to Ask

When it comes to selecting a school of higher education these days there seems to three basic questions.

  1. Does the school have the major I am looking for?
  2. How long will it take me to complete the degree?
  3. How much will it cost?

There are other important considerations such as size, location, and co-curricular interests they weigh into the decision process, but those three basic questions seem to start the search process for a student and his or her family.

Does the school have the major I am looking for? Depending on what a student is looking for (if he or she knows); this question can definitely limit the kinds of institutions to look at. If a student is looking for a business program then there will be LOTS of choices and the programs will look very similar. However, if a student is looking for a program in nursing, the choices are more limited and every program is slightly different.

How long will it take me to complete the degree? This is a HUGE question in today's world of higher education. There are now schools where the average time to complete a bachelor's degree is more than five and half years - and growing. At Carroll, the majority of our students graduate in four years or less. Carroll offers a three-year graduation program as well as dual degrees that are five years or less, such as a bachelor's in business and MBA in four and half years.

How much will it cost? The ultimate question is not about cost, but about value. What do you get and how long will it take for the cost that we will pay? Higher education is an investment that pays back over a lifetime, but understanding the value question is a key part of that equation.

July 5, 2011

Constantly Improving and Getting Better

The July 4 holiday is over and preparations are under way to welcome our students back to campus. Fall athletes start moving back in mid August. Campus improvement projects are well on their way. Frontier Hall is in the final stages of completion, the new bookstore on the main floor of the campus is moving along nicely, and the renovations to the lower quad of the campus are in progress.

This coming fall will be the largest enrollment in Carroll history and the largest number of new students. Carroll will welcome approximately 1,000 new full-time undergraduate students (freshmen and transfer students) in late August. When I was a student at Carroll, the entire enrollment was 1,200. While the number of students has grown, the type of experience students receive has not really changed all that much. The average class size is still 21 and the student to faculty ratio remains at 17:1. There are many more activities and organizations today in which students can get involved compared to when I was a student at Carroll - the advantage of being a bigger campus. Additionally, when I was a student, Carroll had about 25 undergraduate areas of study and no graduate programs. Today, Carroll has more than 60 areas of study and six graduate programs, including some that are dual degree (BS-Business/MBA). Carroll has definitely continued to grow and improve itself as an institution of higher education.

June 27, 2011

Back Home and Our Open House

Well I survived zip lining through the jungle of Costa Rica and it was a real BLAST! We did 24 stations and two repelling stations over five waterfalls. It was absolutely gorgeous. We had a most enjoyable experience in Costa Rica and I would definitely like to visit this country again in the future.

Back at Carroll, we are coming up to one of the busiest visit weeks for prospective students. July 11-16 is Wisconsin Private College Week, presented by the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. It is not unusual for us to get 500 to 600 visitors that week. Carroll has become so popular with prospective students and their families that last year alone we had more than 2,500 visitors to our campus. Carroll has become a must-see stop for students looking at schools in the Midwest.

June 20, 2011

Blog from Abroad

I am writing this blog from Costa Rica. My wife's parents are celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary and took their entire family and grandchildren to Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country with ocean, rain forests and volcanoes, albeit each afternoon it downpours rain. Tomorrow we will be zip lining through the jungle and we are all very excited to do that. Yesterday during the rain storm we watched Costa Rica play Honduras in soccer on a big-screen television in a room filled with screaming Costa Rican fans. They had whistles, drums and flags and every exciting play was cause for lots of noise. It was a lot of fun and it was amazing to see how passionate they are about their soccer.

Carroll actually has a partnership with the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, where students can study Spanish. Carroll has a wide variety of options for students to study abroad, but after visiting this wonderful country, I would highly recommend this place.

June 13, 2011

Under Construction

Last week bulldozers appeared on campus. It was not Dozerfest, merely the beginning of construction to renovate the lower quad of campus, including the Van Male Field House entrance and the Otteson Theatre entrance. The walkway leading down to this area is also scheduled for renovation. Students will now have steps to climb instead of a very steep hill. Also included in these plans will be a new outdoor patio area for our Second Cup cafe, which is in the Todd Wehr Memorial Library.

That is not the only construction taking place on campus. The Carroll Bookstore will be moved from the lower level up to the main floor of the Campus Center. Additionally, Frontier Hall (our new residence hall) is in the final stages of construction and is scheduled to be opened in early August.

June 6, 2011


I think it is safe to say that summer is officially here. After all, Memorial weekend has passed and the weather is getting warmer (and yes, more humid). While there are lots of different things that college students do in the summer, there are a couple more common activities.

Obviously the most common activity that all we parents like is for our college students to work and save some money for next year's tuition bill. Even better if students can find a job that actually gives them experience for what they ultimately will do. Some of our nursing students work as a CNA over the summer, which certainly provides them with excellent work experience. Most of our students working over the summer is still the norm.

Another common activity is for college students to take courses over the summer. Some take courses at their home institution, but many do not (they just make sure the courses will transfer back to their home institution). Taking summer courses can trim time off the student's time to complete his or her degree and often saves considerable amounts of money (summer courses are almost always cheaper than academic-year courses).

Students also combine the two activities, working and taking summer courses. Doing this allows a student to earn money well at the same time as taking courses that will expedite their ability to graduate from college.

Students make time for fun activities too, but these are the norm for most hours in a summer day.

June 1, 2011

Top 10 Things To Do Before Graduation

In Carroll's most recent Pioneer Magazine, alumni identified the Top 10 Things to do before graduation. Here they are:

  1. Give Gert a hug
  2. Eat at Waukesha's favorites La Estacion, Jimmy's Grotto, Divino Gelato and Taco John's
  3. Spot the infamous albino squirrel
  4. Join an interest-based student organization or create your own
  5. Play Frisbee on Main Lawn
  6. Score an awesome internship
  7. Learn the Morgan Manor ghost story
  8. Host a WCCX radio show
  9. Celebrate Spring Fling
  10. Be part of the Homecoming parade

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