MSU administration launches academic year, discusses new changes
This year’s freshman class is the largest, most diverse group of students in MSU's history. The Class of 2022 has also been introduced to changes that were made by the university to benefit undergraduate students.
The MSU administration officially launched the academic year at the beginning of September and discussed these changes, statistics on enrollment and incoming class highlights.
“As I’m sure you’re aware, this week we welcome the largest, most diverse and best prepared class of incoming students in MSU’s history,” Interim Provost for Undergraduate Education Mark Largent said. “And they’ve already raised the bar.”
Changes to the university
Largent discussed specific changes that were made to benefit the Class of 2022. These changes include improving counseling services and implementing new course options.
“Our students' learning and success continues to be supported by increased capacity in MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services,” Largent said. “This is an important part of student success and very much a part of what we’re focusing on.”
Adding several more counselors, implementing additional space, launching an app called “MY SSP” that provides 24/7 counseling access for students and the integration of the Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, into an overall student health and wellness effort on campus are all a part of this change.
The university also increased staffing at the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
For undergraduate students, there are also 37 new courses and nearly 2,000 more seats than last year, Largent said.
The class of 2022 will also benefit from less challenging course requirements.
“These students will benefit from our reform of gateway mathematics, which addressed a problem that vexes most institutions of higher education — namely how do we provide pathways to graduation for otherwise talented students who have not yet mastered algebra and calculus,” Largent said.
The availability of “Quantitative Literacy” courses, designed for majors that are not calculus-based, will be “significantly expanded”. Also, Math 1825 will be replaced with an algebra course, where research-proven approaches for teaching mathematics will be applied, Largent said.
Historic size and diversity
Half of the freshman class came into their first year of college with 15 or more credits, Largent said. He said because of the recent “Go Green, Go 15” campaign — an initiative aiming to make students graduate from college on time with less debt — the number of freshmen taking 15 or more credits per semester is now at 50 percent.
Provost June Youatt presented statistics on the incoming class and enrollment at the first Board of Trustees meeting of the semester.
She said the class consists of 8,400 students, 26.3 percent being students of color. The median GPA of these students is 3.77, making it the “best prepared” class in MSU’s history. The incoming class also has the most honors students, making up 8.6 percent of the class.
Youatt said the students in the freshman class come from all 83 counties in Michigan, all 50 states and 140 different countries.
“There is nothing average about MSU”
Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank concluded the official launch of the academic year by pointing out the talent and originality of the 725 new students who have entered MSU's Honors College.
These students include a winner of a national science and mathematics team competition, a self-taught musician who can play eight different musical instruments and someone who began research on pollution as a high school student.
“They are joining us to make this place better,” Maybank said. “As we listen to the voices of 300-plus courageous young women to help us make it (the university) better, these young people join us and are the now for MSU, and who we will be, and what we will offer, and how we will move forward.”