University of Minnesota Crookston
|University of Minnesota Crookston|
|Established||1905 as the NWSA/1966 as UMC|
|Type||Public Comprehensive Baccalaureate College|
|Chancellor||Dr. Fred E. Wood|
|Students||1,813 degree seeking|
|Location||Crookston, MN, USA|
|Campus||Rural, 108 acres (44 ha)|
|Colors||Maroon & Gold|
|Affiliations||University of Minnesota system|
The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) is a four-year university located in Crookston, Minnesota. With 1,813 undergraduate students, it is one of five campuses in the University of Minnesota system. Currently, students from more than 20 countries and 45 states are enrolled (Fall 2013).
Located on the northern edge of Crookston, Minnesota, off U.S. Highway 2, the 108-acre (44 ha) campus (237-acre (96 ha) including research plots of the Northwest Research and Outreach Center) is situated in the Red River Valley, the center of a large agricultural region. The region is the transition point from the forested areas of the east to the great plains of the Dakotas.
The University of Minnesota Crookston uses the marketing slogan "Small Campus. Big Degree," meant to highlight the small-campus environment and the University of Minnesota system degree that the university offers.
In 1895, the Minnesota legislature appropriated $30,000 to construct experimental research farms at Morris and Crookston. The Great Northern Railway, under the guidance of James J. Hill, donated 476 acres (193 ha), and the Northwest Experiment Station was established.
In 1905, the Minnesota legislature appropriated $15,000 to establish the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA), a regional residential agricultural high school. The school provided training in "the technical and practical business of agriculture and in the art of homemaking." The school year began in October and ended in March to accommodate farm students. In 1906, the Northwest School of Agriculture officially opened.
In 1963, the University of Minnesota Bureau of Field Studies began examining the need for a two-year institution of higher education at the NWSA and, in the fall of 1966, the University of Minnesota Technical Institute, a two-year (associate) degree granting institution, opened its doors to the first incoming class of 187 students.
For two years the NWSA and the Technical Institute shared the campus. In the spring of 1968 a torch was passed—figuratively and literally—from the 60th and final graduating class of the NWSA to the first graduating class of the Technical Institute, now an official coordinate campus of the University of Minnesota. In all, 5,433 students completed their high school education at the NWSA. Later in 1968 the name of the campus was changed from the University of Minnesota Technical Institute to the University of Minnesota Technical College.
By 1977, the University of Minnesota Technical College had nearly 1,000 students taking classes in a range of degree options in the areas of agriculture; business; home and family services; and hotel, restaurant and institutional management. In 1988, the name was changed to the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC).
In 1993, the University of Minnesota Crookston became a baccalaureate degree granting institution. That same year, the university launched its "Laptop U" initiative, providing laptop computers to all students and faculty. It is recognized as one of the first programs of its kind in the United States. Over the next few years, more than 100 colleges and universities from across the U.S. and Canada visited the campus to learn more about this innovation. Some of these adopted programs modeled closely after UMC’s.
The 108-acre (44 ha) campus (237-acre (96 ha) including research plots for the Northwest Research and Outreach Center) is located on the northern edge of the city of Crookston and includes numerous tree species and flower gardens bordering a spacious mall. Less than a mile away lies a natural history area that contains virgin prairie land. Facilities built or renovated within the last 15 years include three new residence halls (2006, 2009, 2013), the centrally located Sargeant Student Center (2005), renovated Kiehle Building (2002), an indoor animal science facility with an equine arena and stables, various biology and chemistry labs, a recreational and athletic complex (new gym floor installed 2007), a horticulture complex, a controlled environmental laboratory facility, and an early childhood education center. In June 2015 construction began on a $15 million wellness center adjacent to the current UMC Sports Center. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2016 with the new facility scheduled to be available to students in fall semester 2016.
In addition to facilities dedicted to its undergraduate educational mission, the Crookston campus is home to a variety of partner organizations and agencies, most of which are affiliated with the University of Minnesota system:
- The Northwest Research and Outreach Center acquires, interprets and disseminates research knowledge for agricultural and other constituencies.
- University of Minnesota Extension, Crookston Regional Center delivers educational programs to residents and communities.
- The EDA Center for Minnesota is one of more than 40 university centers nationwide supported by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. It conducts applied research, provides direct technical assistance, and delivers educational programs to economic development agencies that support the economy of rural communities throughout Minnesota.
- The Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES), established with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the fall of 2010, engages students, faculty, and research facilities on the Crookston campus to nurture the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of Northwest Minnesota.
- The Northwest Regional Partnership for Sustainable Development connects regional and University resources to develop a sustainable future for the region.
- The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), a public non-profit corporation, develops new uses and new markets for agricultural products.
- Northwest Educational Technology System (NETS) is a coalition of regional higher education institutions employing communications technology to foster cooperation, communication, efficiency, and access.
- Valley Technology Park, operated by the City of Crookston, is a small business incubation facility just north of campus.
- The Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) is a membership organization that exists to help rural citizens, healthcare providers, and organizations learn about how public policy issues may affect them and to teach them advocacy for their interests.
- The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) matches the skills and experiences of volunteer retirees to community needs.
- The 85-acre (34 ha) Red River Valley Natural History Area (containing prairie, marshes, and forests) is located near campus and is used extensively for practice in conservation techniques and nature observation.
As of fall semester 2015, the University of Minnesota Crookston offers 33 undergraduate degree programs (majors), 36 areas of concentration, and 22 minors through four academic departments: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Business; Liberal Arts and Education; and Math, Science and Technology. Since 2004 the campus has gained approval from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to offer additional majors in Biology, Communication, Criminal Justice, English, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Sciences, Exercise Science and Wellness, Finance, Health Sciences (pre-professional), International Business, Marketing, Medical Laboratory Science, Quality Management, and Software Engineering. In December 2012 the Minnesota State Board of Teaching approved a degree program in Elementary Education (approved by the U of M Board of Regents in spring of 2012). In December 2014 the Board of Regents approved bachelor's degree majors in International Business as well as English. In June 2015 the Board approved bachelor's degree majors in Exercise Science and Wellness as well as Medical Laboratory Science, making them the most recent additions to UMC's list of majors.
The top five degree programs with the greatest enrollment (in order) are Business Management, Natural Resources, Equine Science, Animal Science, and Accounting.
The curriculum for programs offered by the Crookston campus has a focus on experiential learning, applied skills, and technology, and graduates of UMC have high placement rates in positions within their chosen discipline. The student-faculty ratio is 18:1, and class sizes are relatively small with 57% of all classes containing fewer than 20 students and 81% of all classes with fewer than 30. Numerous opportunities exist for students to "learn by doing" through special projects for campus offices, undergraduate research projects, service learning activities, and applied internships, which are required in all degree programs.
As of spring semester 2015, fourteen degree programs are offered entirely online (as well as on-campus). They include Accounting (B.S.), Applied Health (B.A.H.), Applied Studies (B.S.), Business Management (B.S.), Communication (B.S.), Entrepreneurship (B.S.), Finance (B.S.), Health Management (B.S.), Information Technology Management (B.S.), International Business (B.S.), Manufacturing Management (B.M.M.), Marketing (B.S.), and Quality Management (B.M.M.), and Sport and Recreation Management (B.S.). These online programs are administered through the Center for Adult Learning . In January 2011, the New Century Learning Consortium (NCLC), founded at the University of Illinois, Springfield, added the University of Minnesota, Crookston as its 10th member.  The NCLC is designed to assist universities in implementing high quality, large-scale online and blended learning programs.
In 2006, the University of Minnesota Crookston received full accreditation for the maximum period of ten years from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Since that time the campus has received approval to use the HLC's Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) as its assessment process for accreditation. With AQIP, an institution works on continuous quality improvement activities, and accreditation becomes a continuous process.
The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles compete in NCAA Division II athletics in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The mascot is an eagle named "Regal" . UMC offers the following sports:
The University of Minnesota Crookston is governed by policies established by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. The president of the University of Minnesota provides oversight to the chancellor at the U of M, Crookston. The vice chancellor for academic affairs oversees the four academic departments with leadership in each area provided by a department head. The associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management oversees most support units. For more detail, review the organizational chart 
The Crookston campus gained national attention in 1993 when it became the first university in the United States to issue laptop computers to every full-time student and faculty member, something it continues to do as part of the campus culture and student experience. Students pay a technology fee each semester to help fund the initiative as well as related technology maintenance and upgrades. In return each student is issued a powerful laptop computer with standardized, preinstalled software. As the original “Laptop U” with more than 20 years of leadership in technology integration, the U of M, Crookston also helps students develop day-to-day technology skills in an environment richly immersed in technology and related applications. Employers consistently report that the U of M, Crookston graduates they hire are extremely well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.
The U of M Crookston was also the first campus in the University of Minnesota system to offer degrees online, with the first student graduating in 2001.
In fall of 2010 the U of M Crookston's Math, Science, and Technology Department began construction of an immersive visualization and informatics lab. Funded with federal stimulus dollars, the project features an immersive visualization room, which allows users to experience visual data in a 3-D format, as well as a separate informatics room with various large screens on which data is projected in various ways for analysis. The lab is intended to supplement the student experience for those enrolled in the software engineering degree program but is available for use by students and faculty in any academic discipline.
There are approximately 40 student clubs and organizations for students to join.
The Crookston Student Association (CSA) is the student governing body and serves as a conduit for student concerns to administration. The Crookston Student Association Executive Board meets weekly with its faculty and staff advisors to act on student concerns, plan campus events and represent the voice of the student across the campus and system wide. The CSA President serves as the Student Body President. The 2015-2016 CSA President is Tareyn Stomberg.
U of M, Crookston has received national recognition for its technology integration and academic offerings including:
- Named among the "Best Midwestern Colleges" for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008 by the Princeton Review.
- Has ranked among the top four U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" in the "Midwest Public Regional Colleges" category for sixteen consecutive years, from 1998 - 2015. It ranks #1 in its category for the 2015 listing .
- Named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013
- Yahoo! Internet Life Online ranked UMC the number 1 "Most Wired College in America" for 2000 in its category.
- U of M Crookston received the Pioneer Award at the Fourth Annual Conference on Ubiquitous Computing in January 2001.
- University of Minnesota Crookston official website
- University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles Athletics website
- University of Minnesota System official website
- Campus maps of the University of Minnesota Crookston