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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- Make sure you understand what is included in the cost (i.e. tuition, fees, room, board, etc.).
- Focus your attention on the bottom line, out-of-pocket cost to you, not the total amount of the award.
- Separate the award into gift aid, loans and work study, and then compare. Some schools package PLUS and Alternative Loans into the award.
- Understand how outside scholarships (i.e. Rotary Club Scholarship) will impact your financial aid award.
- Ask about the institution’s average yearly cost increases for the past five years.
- Know what happens to your institutional aid after the first year.
- Make sure to understand how and when you pay your part (payment plan terms, etc.).
- 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.
- Ask more questions if you don’t know the answer for a particular institution.
- 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.
- About 98 percent of Carroll students receive financial assistance.
- Last year Carroll awarded more than $34 million in institutional gift aid.
- Most of our students graduate in four years.
- 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
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.
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
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
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:
- 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
- Distribution Component (Students must take one course in each area except for which they are majoring).
- Fine Arts
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- 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
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
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 (www.carrollu.edu/cost) 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
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 WEB PAGE.
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.
- Does the school have the major I am looking for?
- How long will it take me to complete the degree?
- 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 José, 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
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 café, 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:
Give Gert a hug.
Eat at Waukesha’s favorites La Estacion, Jimmy’s Grotto, Divino Gelato and Taco John’s.
Spot the infamous albino squirrel.
Join an interest-based student organization or create your own.
Play Frisbee on Main Lawn.
Score an awesome internship.
Learn the Morgan Manor ghost story.
Host a WCCX radio show.
Celebrate Spring Fling.
Be part of the Homecoming parade.