Bulldog Update, Parents and Family Edition is published eight times in the academic year (September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April)
A Milestone Topped with a Cap and Gown
There are many moments in
life that we celebrate with parents and families. Walking across the stage to
receive a first, second, or third college degree is
definitely one of them. It’s a much-anticipated day by many people who arrive
from many walks of life.
At the 2014 commencement ceremonies, there were 29 countries represented during the May
ceremonies; 29 states within our national borders; and, 77 counties in
Minnesota. The story of each graduate links with another and completes the full
spectrum of our campus.
During the commencement ceremonies, musical selections, artistic renditions in the
printed program, and the variety of colorful medallions, tassels, and
stoles reflect the journey where students began, achieved, and will continue to
build their lives.
Each year, student
speakers are selected and honored with the gift of time by sharing a message
with their class during the ceremony. Throughout the years, student speakers
have paid homage to their families, their friends, and their professors who
have inspired them to reach for a degree, and succeed. In recognition of the
faculty members for their excellence in teaching and research endeavors, commencement
officials announce the professors who have received additional awards for their
The UMD commencement
ceremonies are more than a graduation. It is a day we celebrate. It is a day we
say farewell. It is a day we look toward the future and ask ourselves, how do I
make the future an even better place? It is the end of one thing and the start
of something altogether incredible and exciting. And it all starts with
students, families, alumni,
faculty, staff, and the Twin Ports community saying yes; let’s learn and teach with
this generation for the benefit of the generations to follow.
Christiana Kapsner Assistant Alumni Director Office of Alumni Relations
Calendar of Events & Important Dates
Mid—Spring is a time when some 1st
year students toy with the idea of transferring, stopping out, or dropping
out. By the end of Spring semester most
of these students decide to stay. Some
leave and it works out well for them.
But some students leave and the decision turns out to be a mistake. Some students start down the path of what is
known as “swirling” where they repeatedly transfer from one institution to
another – losing credits, money, and time along the way. Often these “swirlers” never earn a degree,
and end up with a lot of loan debt along the way.
How can parents, family members,
and advisors help students in making a good decision on this topic?
1. Determine the real reason that is at the root of “transfer
There are a few factors that may
contribute to this:
Mental Isolation stage of the W-Curve of transition to college life and instead
of moving forward through the stage, seek to go back to the “honeymoon” stage
of excitement and newness by going somewhere else.They may not realize thatat a new school they will start the W-Curve
all over again and be right back at this same point next year.
time of the semester when they register for Fall classes, so that prompts
consideration of if they are committed to coming back next year. It is a normal
part of college transition to think about this, and most students re-commit to
their school by the end of Spring semester when they reach the “Integration”
stage of the W-Curve.
and/or significant others may be thinking of transferring and a student
considers transferring for the sake of the relationship.
identified a major not offered at UMD that they wish to pursue at another
homesickness and wanting to be closer to home as an attempt to resolved these
considering stopping out or dropping out, it may be due to a lack of commitment
at this time for earning a college degree.They may not have found a sense of purpose of motivation yet for
pursuing a degree at this time.
May not have
fully engaged academically and/or socially on campus and are feeling a lack of
fit and sense of belonging.
experiencing financial difficulties.
Has run into
academic success difficulties (low GPA) and assumes this will be better at a
2. Discuss the reason(s) more holistically – have all of the
potential consequences and outcomes of transferring
been taken into account to determine if this is the best choice?
this affect a student’s financial situation?
lose credits in the transfer?
transferring prolong the time to graduation?
student joined a club or organization?
student met with an advisor or other staff/faculty member to discuss choice of
major, or changing majors? To discuss purpose and motivation? Academic success
student aware of where they might be in the W-Curve?
Does the new
school that a friend or significant other is transferring to have the major the
student wants to pursue?Have they
visited that school? Is it a good fit for them?
student know the deadlines for applying and transferring to a new school?
student applied for scholarships?Met
with a financial aid counselor?
There may be many more questions
to ask and helpful conversations to have in making a decision about
transferring, stopping out, or dropping out.
At the end of the day, it is not automatically right or wrong to
transfer. The question lies in if the
decision is well thought out and for good reasons. A final question might be, does transferring
increase the student’s ability to achieve their educational and life goals?
Susan Darge Lombardo Director of Advising & Academic Services College of Education and Human Service Professions
Summer is a Great Time for Your Students to Work on Their
Completion of a college degree requires a strong commitment from both
students and their families. From the
freshman through the senior year, there are varying highs and lows that can
lead a student to ask, “Is a college degree really worth the time, work, and
expense?” The evidence is clear that it
is worth it.
From a return on investment standpoint, a college degree increasingly
shows significant value over a lifetime. According to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage of Minnesota adults age
25 and older with a bachelor’s degree is $20,000 more than their high school
graduate counterparts. A September 2014Huffington
highlights an analysis conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank showing
individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn around $300,000 more over their
lifetime than those with a high school education. This indicator has tripled since 1980 when
the difference was $80,000.
A 2013 report published byCollege
Board also demonstrates the range of individual and societal benefits of a
college education. Their research found
that college-educated adults are more likely to receive health insurance and
pension benefits from their employers, are more likely to volunteer in their
communities, lead healthier lifestyles, and report overall higher satisfaction
with their work. We are fortunate to
regularly hear thesuccess stories of UMD
graduates, which bring all of these positive statistics to life.
Cost is often a concern for students and can deter some from
continuing to graduation. Students
encountering financial challenges are encouraged to meet with aOne Stop counselor in
order optimize aid eligibility. UMD’sfinancial literacy counselor also
assists students in creating a budget plan, reducing ongoing expenses, and
calculating loan repayment. Finally,
decreasing the number of semesters needed to graduate is one of the best ways
to reduce the cost of a degree. The30-60-90
Student Success Roadmap guides student progress toward timely graduation.
So the next time the
“is it worth it” question comes up, say YES!
Niki Pechinski, Financial Literacy Educator Office of Financial Aid
Lorry Walsh, UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP)
This month Story Harbor spent time getting to know Lorry Walsh from UMD's nationally acclaimed Recreational Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP). Over 90% of UMD's student body participate in RSOP activities and programs. Lorry happily celebrated her 15 year anniversary at UMD last September. She provides administrative support to RSOP.
Lorry is a Duluth native, and has always had a passion for physical education, recreation and coaching. She began her career after college working with youth in the Duluth School District. Her first experience at the collegiate level was with Lake Superior College. When the position in RSOP opened up, she jumped at the chance to get back into education, recreation and sports! The fact that the university had excellent benefits was also very important to Lorry and her family. Over her years working at UMD, Lorry has been able to nourish her passion for sports and the outdoors. She noted that through her role in RSOP, she and her son discovered a love for kayaking through a waterfront kayaking tour.
Lorry shared her reasons for enjoying her work at UMD.
UMD has given me the ability to grow personally and professionally with the various courses, training and informational offerings for staff both within Student Life and campus wide. I love working with the students! Their energy and enthusiasm is so contagious. Students get involved with RSOP because of their love for the outdoors and keeping active and engaged with recreation.
As a native Duluthian, Lorry loves living in her hometown. Having lived away from Duluth for brief periods of time, there are a number of things that make Duluth special for Lorry.
I love experiencing the changing seasons with fall being my favorite. We have some of the best national parks and trails to explore in any direction you want to go and of course the lakes. I have always enjoyed my summers at the cabin and have been blessed to give that same experience to my kids.
Lorry is the mother of one college graduate and another a month away from graduating. Lorry provided Story Harbor with really great advice for parenting, and she's well qualified based on the combination of parenting and RSOP experience!
I feel it is important for parents to "let them spread their wings". It is amazing what your student is capable of when given the chance. Let them know that you are there to support them and that you are their biggest fan. Coach them through their journey and don't try to live it for them. Your kids are amazing and I feel so blessed to get a chance to know so many of them through our program. Make sure that their student checks out all that RSOP offers the throughout the year. We are a great avenue for relieving stress and making friends.
UMD is very fortunate to have staff like Lorry Walsh!