Jul 13th, 2004 @ 3:26 pm | Author: By Ellen-Earle Chaffee
People choose to participate in circumstances that they find satisfying. We were delighted, then, to receive the most recent student satisfaction survey results. Judging by those measures, Valley City State University truly cannot be beat.

Two years ago, our student satisfaction scores were so far above those of other four-year schools in the region and nation that we celebrated every week for a semester. Not only did we reach those heights again this year, but all three of our overall satisfaction indicators went up compared to last time. These results indicate that the people of VCSU are doing every day the important tasks that cause students to want to be here and to stay.

A couple of weeks ago, a teacher from Maryland stopped by the campus. He is taking the long and meandering road to California this summer, pausing when and where the spirit moves him. The university sign on the interstate drew him off the road, curious, and somehow he found his way around the bridge construction, through town, and to the campus. He was so struck by the place that he parked and walked around the buildings for awhile. He could not stop exclaiming about the friendly people and this žNew England styleÓ campus ž(no offense, but) right in the middle of nowhere.Ó He was sure we must have very high admission requirements and hundreds more applicants than we could admit – especially when he heard what our tuition rate is.

We hope he will carry the word back East, because if we had more students, we could add more value and satisfaction to the lives of more people. As always, we are working on that. Here are a few of the current major initiatives:

1. We have a new major in music management. The relatively new psychology major is growing well.
2. We are working on new majors in health sciences and wildlife/fisheries management.
3. The new professional communications major and the library media/information science program will be offered online this fall for the first time.
4. We are about to launch a new service for high school juniors and seniors called Jump Start. Similar to dual enrollment, Jump Start will make it easy for capable high school students to enroll in a large array of college classes early, whether they count for dual credit or not.
5. Faculty and staff are working overtime this summer, and will continue through next year, to prepare and gain approvals for the university to offer its first masters degrees, starting next fall. Many, many people have been waiting and wishing for this service.
6. Our new marketing director has been working closely with both enrollment services and alumni relations.
7. Our new athletic director is already finding ways to leverage the additional resources the university has provided, with a specific commitment to recruit and retain students.
8. A creative group is developing new ways of using our technology advantage to deliver VCSU courses in a form that is highly convenient and comfortable for people of any age, schedule, or location; easy for faculty to use; and academically sound.

These initiatives may yield more students this fall, and they hold great promise for growth in the years to come.