Campus News


Celebrating 50

MSUM’s Comstock Memorial Union (CMU) opened to serve the campus community in 1967—that’s 50 years of connecting students and being a home for Dragon Pride. Join us for a free, family-friendly 50th anniversary celebration with games, food, prizes and some surprises. And if you haven’t seen the recent remodel and addition, it’s a great time to check it out.

Please join the CMU following the MSUM Homecoming football game on October 7, and see how your student union continues to evolve while we honor its legacy.


Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism Dedicated

The School of Communication and Journalism dedicated its Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism in May, unveiling a wall display showcasing the historic partnership between MSUM and Forum Communications. The Center is a collaboration between Forum Communications and MSUM that enhances the university’s longstanding reputation for producing highly qualified reporters, photographers and other media professionals. It was established in 2013 with a $1 million gift from Forum Communications to support scholarships, student internships, studentfaculty research, residencies by communications leaders and more. To date, 20 students have participated in career-development opportunities within the Forum Communications Company network. Additionally, 20 $1,000 renewable scholarships are awarded each year.

Quality Matters to Online Learners

Four faculty members teaching 12 online courses have earned Quality Matters (QM) certification from the international organization recognized as the leader in quality assurance for online education. Certification is based on research-supported and published best practices to ensure courses are highly engaging, well-designed and student-centered to promote learning among many different learning preferences.

“Our commitment to online students is to create student-centered courses that are both rigorous and accessible to diverse learners,” said Julie Zaloudek, dean of Online and Extended Learning. “We are proud to be expanding QM training and course design to benefit our valued online learners.”

Three graduate faculty in the School of Teaching and Learning have earned the prestigious QM designation. They are: Drs. Boyd Bradbury, Michael Coquyt and Sue Severson, as well as Rhonda Ficek, Computer Science & Information Systems. More than 60 faculty have completed formal QM workshops while many more have engaged informally through training and internal course review.

“With QM certification, we pride ourselves on providing students with engagement and rigor equivalent, if not exceeding, that which is found in traditional settings,” Bradbury said. “Our courses are designed so we have nearly daily interaction with our students, whether in written or oral form, throughout the course. As a result, students don’t have to wait until their next class period to interact with the instructor. Interaction is just a few keystrokes away with a guaranteed timely response.”

MSUM is a member of the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative.

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#1 National Winner
Campus News named national SPJ finalist

Campus News was named a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2016 Mark of Excellence national finalist in the Best All-Around Television Newscast category.

Watch the winning newscast: Campus News 4-30-16.

Campus News is a collaborative learning project where faculty and industry professionals mentor students to produce a weekly television program that airs on Prairie Public Television. Campus News is broadcast into the homes of more than a million people via Prairie Public Television. The 30-minute newscast includes local, regional and national stories, and is written, reported, photographed, edited, anchored and produced by students.


76.9% CPA Exam Pass Rate
MSUM Accounting students rock CPA exam second year in a row Achieve higher pass rates than other Minnesota, North Dakota schools

 MSUM students who took the 2016 Uniform CPA Examination within one year of graduating achieved a pass rate of 76.9 percent, higher than other colleges and universities in the region. Only the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities achieved a higher pass rate surpassing MSUM by just .4 percent.

The pass rate measure refers to “…sections taken within 1 year (365 days) of graduation from a given program. This tighter filter allows the (NASBA-National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) book to more closely associate a candidate’s performance with his/her most recent educational institution.”

“Our students are challenged by faculty who are dedicated to providing a top-notch learning experience for our students,” said Sheri Erickson, professor of accounting. “Our small class sizes likely contribute to student success and our unique master of science in Accounting and Finance program prepares our students not only for success on the CPA exam, but for challenging professional careers.”

Bradley Ostendorf, a 2012 accounting graduate, was one of 39 winners of the 2012 Elijah Watt Sells Award given by the American Institute of CPAs. He credits MSUM’s professors and the rigorous accounting curriculum for preparing him so well for the CPA exam.

“It may sound cliché, but the fact that you are able to develop personal relationships with your professors makes a world of difference. Knowing, at a personal level, that the people who are meant to guide you through your formative collegiate years makes the transition from high school to college, and ultimately college to the professional world, much easier,” Ostendorf said.

“MSUM’s Accounting program, and the Paseka School of Business in general, provide an unbelievable value for what you pay,” he said. “As all incoming freshman see and hear when they turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or talk to buddies, college is expensive. But being able to turn the tuition you pay for your education into an immediate career (and significant paycheck) in your field of study is worth its weight in gold (figuratively, and almost literally).”

Fifteen MSUM accounting graduates took 39 sections of the 2016 exam within one year of graduating.


#1 National Winner
Kayleigh Omang named national finalists in SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards

In the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, photojournalism senior Kayleigh Omang was named a national finalist for her piece titled, “Dakota Access Pipeline camp” in the category of “General News Photography, Small School Division,”


100% Pass Rate
Construction Management students excel on the National Associate Constructor Exam

For the very first time, 100 percent of the students in MSUM’s Construction Management program passed the Associate Constructor Exam.

More than 1,000 students across the nation sat for the spring 2017 Exam, which is given in the fall and spring and is developed and monitored by the American Institute of Constructors Certification Commission.

MSUM students’ average score was 77.8 percent while the national average was 73.4 percent, and they scored well above the national average in nine out of 10 Construction Management Student Learning Outcome assessment categories. MSUM students have scored at the national average or higher 31 out of 38 times the exam has been given.

All MSUM Construction Management students sit for the AC Level I, Construction Fundamentals Exam when they are enrolled in their senior-level capstone experience course.

“Passing this exam indicates that our students are very prepared to enter the construction management workforce,” said Norma Andersen, a professor in MSUM’s Construction Management program. “It demonstrates to employers that MSUM Construction Management graduates have the knowledge and skills to be an asset to their organization immediately upon hire and have the potential to advance in the industry.”

Learn more about the Construction Management program.


#4 Nation 
Operations Management degree ranked No. 4 in nation

MSUM’s online Operations Management degree was ranked No. 4 nationwide in a ranking by Best Degree Programs. The organization reviewed 56 accredited colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES College Navigator) that offered online bachelor’s in operations management, project management, or closely related degree programs. Also reviewed were rankings received from major publications like U.S. News and World Report and cost of attendance.

See the full “20 Best Online Bachelor’s in Operations or Project Management 2017” article.

Learn more about MSUM’s online Operations Management and Project Management degrees.


International Champion
Bruer named DECA International Champion

Michelle Bruer earned first place at the DECA International competition in Anaheim, Calif., as part of the 12 member DECA team from MSUM. She is the second Dragon in the past three years to hold the distinction of DECA International Champion, earning her award in the accounting role play category.

The team of Justine Rittgers and Kaleen Krueger made the finals in Business to Business Strategies, entering the contest as reigning DECA Minnesota State Champions. Cody Rittenhouse and Bruer were recognized for having the highest test scores in the accounting category.

Bruer’s accomplishment should not have come as a surprise as she took top honors last year as a freshman in the Minnesota DECA championships.

This is only the fourth year MSUM has competed at the international level, an event with a50-year history. More than 1,500 students from a couple of hundred colleges and universities participated in this year’s event.

Bruer downplayed her performance to fellow team members while confiding with one colleague that she had done “really well.” Indeed, she did quite well.