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CSP Realignment Series: Installment #3 – College of Education & Humanities


University News

Today we bring you the third installment of six articles that showcase the new colleges that will comprise CSP with our 2022 realignment. The transition to the new structure of six colleges, which was announced in January, is already well underway and will be fully implemented for the fall 2022 semester.

This week, we focus on the College of Education & Humanities. This college brings our humanities programming into a natural connection with our education degree program offerings. Significant interdependencies within programs will help CSP further build out our education degree programs while ensuring long-term viability and presence for important and well-respected humanities degree programs.

College Leadership: Prof. Lonn Maly, Dean of the College of Education & Humanities

  • Joined CSP in 1996
  • Ed.D. Organizational Leadership (Higher Education) – Grand Canyon University, ABD
  • M.S. Educational Leadership – Drake University
  • B.A., Elementary Education – Concordia University, St. Paul

Dean Lonn Maly takes on a redesigned role with CSP after 26 years of dedicated service on the university faculty and in multiple leadership roles. Serving most recently as the Dean of the College of Education, Lonn has been instrumental in facilitating the 2022 college realignment project. Now, as Dean of the College of Education & Humanities, Lonn will continue to oversee programs related to education majors, while adding humanities and performing arts programs, and church work programs. Academic programs in the new college are offered at the bachelors level, the masters level, and the doctoral level. Over 1,500 CSP students are currently enrolled in programs in the new college.

Lonn’s steadfast leadership and his deep institutional knowledge blend well with a keen vision for the future at CSP. He will work side-by-side with the other five college deans at CSP to expand high demand/high growth programs and preserve essential core programming in humanities and the arts.

CSP College of Education & Humanities – Academic Programs:
The restructuring of colleges has resulted in the following departments in the College of Education and Humanities:

  • Art and Design
  • History, English, Languages, and Political Science
  • Music, Theater, and Dance
  • Theology and Ministry
  • Undergraduate Teacher Education
  • Graduate Teacher Education
  • Doctoral Studies in Education

Degree offerings related to education and humanities will focus heavily on bolstering career paths and aligning student passions with real world job opportunities. The realignment will allow faculty to work more closely to reimagine academic programming.

CSP’s education degrees will generally be structured as follows:

  • Traditional and non-traditional undergraduate degrees that will help students matriculate into high demand teaching jobs, with a significant focus on pre-K through 12 schools.
  • Masters programs (online) – advanced degrees for teachers already in the field seeking ways to gain important mastery of teaching disciplines, advance in their profession and pay structures, add endorsements, or shift to teaching in higher education.
  • Advanced programs (online) – Ed.S. and Ed.D. degrees focused on leadership roles in schools, school districts (Principals, Superintendents), and other organizations.

Demand is high for teachers and leaders at all levels, particularly in K-12 settings. School districts of all sizes are continually challenged to fill teaching positions with the kinds of highly skilled, well trained educators that CSP produces.

The new alignment offers extensive crossover with education degrees along with humanities-specific career pathing. Humanities courses fill current required coursework for future teachers. They also allow education students to focus more specifically on areas in which they hope to teach, such as:

  • Art
  • Communication Arts and Literature
  • Music
  • Social Studies

Within each of the humanities disciplines, Lonn and the faculty will also work with students closely to map their passions into non-education career paths for fulfilling, lifelong opportunities. Our faculty helps students see the opportunities in business and the community bolstered by a major in Art, Graphic Design, Music, or Theatre; English, History, or Creative Writing (MFA) – for jobs in journalism, professional writing, museums, marketing, advertising, or photography. In addition, opportunities exist for performance degrees that help entrepreneurial-minded students to open music or dance studios. Graduates have also launched careers in public affairs, politics, and consulting to name just a few.

Finally, the College of Education & Humanities will also be home to the Theology & Ministry programming, which is at the core of CSP’s LCMS legacy. By aligning Theology & Ministry more closely with Education, CSP continues strong pathways for theology-based church work careers including Directors of Christian Education or Outreach and teachers in Lutheran schools. The pre-seminary program prepares students for graduate work and the pastoral ministry.

“The opportunities to create even greater value for our students across education and humanities are extraordinary,” noted Lonn Maly. “We are working to fill high demand career paths in education, while at the same time bolstering programming for students with specific areas of passion in the humanities. CSP is better positioned now to help guide students across education and the humanities into rewarding, fulfilling career paths. We are continuing important legacies that have helped define Concordia for decades, and build a more vibrant future for the university and the students we serve.”

Challenges (5-10 years)
Students (and their parents) increasingly view college tuition as an investment specifically focused on career-oriented employment. As a result, some humanities-specific degree programs are no longer growing at colleges and universities of all sizes. Even though such degrees can offer vibrant, fulfilling career paths, they don’t attract the kind of interest now seen for degree offerings related to STEM, business, computer science, health care, and other areas that are innately in high demand.

In addition, changing dynamics in the workforce and among employers are a factor that colleges and universities must confront. In certain career areas, a degree of any type can simply meet a requirement (“bachelor’s degree required”), while in other circles some organizations are looking for specific skillsets, sometimes with less focus on specific degree types. Conversely, many careers still deeply rely on specific skill training, certifications, licensure, and other assets students gain through rigorous academic programming – such is the case with education.

Finally, another major challenge for all of the colleges within CSP, students are increasingly looking for rapid completion. They want to get in, get their degree, then get out and move to their career.

These dynamics pose challenges as well as correlating opportunities for colleges such as CSP to address.

Opportunities (5-10 years)
For the College of Education and Humanities, a key opportunity will be our ability to attract motivated students looking for high quality, yet affordable, degree options. For students who want to get started in teaching careers, for example, the ability to follow traditional or non-traditional programming can provide a rapid return on their academic investment. CSP’s online and in-person courses are designed to engage students and prepare them as excellent educators. The value proposition for degrees in this college is very high in comparison to competing options.

CSP also sees significant growth potential for our graduate programming, because masters and doctoral degrees are absolute essentials for improving the educational work of teachers and for moving through the pay structure process that guides teacher compensation. As noted above, educators who hope to advance to administrative/leadership positions in schools and school districts must have advanced degrees and credentials to be considered for any such role.

A closer alignment with the humanities offerings will also allow our students to make themselves more attractive for speciality positions in specific areas of study.

Enrollment Trends
The chart below highlights enrollment trends for degree programs within the College of Education and Humanities for traditional students over the past decade. The chart shows a peak enrollment in 2015, but relatively stable numbers in the following years. The new alignment will help CSP continue to serve these programs via traditional delivery, while focusing growth strategies more to the non-traditional and graduate level programming, noted in subsequent data charts below.

Traditional Enrollment

Turning to non-traditional undergraduate programming, the chart below shows overall growth in enrollment in child development programming. While enrollment peaked in 2019, continued demand in the marketplace for child development skillsets provides an opportunity to sustain enrollment and push for renewed growth via online delivery.

Adult Undergraduate Enrollment

Important growth opportunities exist to serve professionals already in the workforce seeking masters and doctoral degrees for career advancement. The first chart focuses on masters programming, which shows sustained and growing enrollment for those seeking masters in education degrees, along with fairly steady enrollment in sport management and the emergence of enrollment in teaching, creative writing and special education.

Masters Enrollment

This final chart shows CSP has an important opportunity to serve more working education professionals seeking career-propelling doctoral degrees in school administration and education leadership. As noted earlier, these degrees are essential for those interested in moving into roles such as principals and superintendents, in particular. Strong demand exists for such degrees, which creates another area of growth potential for CSP over the coming decade.

Doctorate Programs

Finally, CSP will continue to expand strong partnerships with school districts and other organizations hiring for humanities-related fields to ensure high quality internship opportunities that give students real-world experience while they are doing their studies. Our opportunities for powerful relationships in the Twin Cities and beyond are extraordinary, and cultivating these connections will be a priority for the leadership and faculty within the College of Education & Humanities.

The Go-Forward Strategy for the College of Education & Humanities
Much work is already well underway connecting the humanities programming into the newly structured college within CSP. Leadership and faculty members are working closely together to determine all points of interconnectedness to make the most out of the resources available to students.

Structurally, we gain efficiency in support for our academic programming – particularly for the humanities-focused fields of study. We are able to better deploy our staff and support resources to help ensure a vibrant future for CSP’s highly respected performing arts offerings. CSP is focused on continuing our legacy of providing opportunities for students to explore their passions in the arts and programming. Creating well-rounded students will always be a cornerstone for CSP’s delivery of higher education.

Our teams are already identifying potential changes in requirements and credit transfer opportunities to speed time-to-completion without compromising on the quality and depth of the education our students need and deserve.

More will be communicated in the coming months regarding the advancements within the newly aligned College of Education & Humanities. This college structure helps us build on our legacy while adapting for a future that serves a much broader universe of students.