50 States, 50 Colleges: Minnesota

For our California College, we posted about St. Mary’s College and how it was included in the book Colleges That Change Lives:  40 Schools That Will Change The Way You Think About College.  Part-way through my research for a Minnesota school, I realized that the school I had chosen has also been featured in this popular guidebook.  That’s not surprising; St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota has amazing offerings!

College in the Spotlight:  St. Olaf College

Boe Memorial Chapel by madichan, on Flickr

Location:  Northfield, MN (about 45 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Enrollment:  3,034 students

Fast Facts

St. Olaf is well known for its music program.  Six choirs, two bands, two full orchestras, and several ensembles offer performance opportunities to both majors and non-majors.  Every year the community holds the St. Olaf Christmas festival, which is one of the oldest music celebrations in the U.S.  The nationally broadcast concert features over 500 student musicians.  Music majors focus on one of five areas:  performance, church music, theory and composition, music education, or elective studies (a student proposed program, such as integrating the music major with a business major).

You’ve probably heard of Writing Centers, but have you ever heard of a Speaking Center?  This academic support center has tutors who will help students with speeches and presentations.  Tutors won’t help you write a speech or correct your work, but they will work with you on making your presentation effective, give you an opportunity to rehearse, and give you tips to manage anxiety about public speaking.

St. Olaf’s 300-acre campus is surrounded by nearly 700 acres of college owned and maintained farmland, woodlands, wetlands, and prairie.   The Biology and Environmental Science departments have been working on projects for the past 15 years to aid in the restoration and reconstruction.  Science students may study it, but all students are able to enjoy the beautiful landscape by using the trails that run through the area.  Each year, several students are chosen for the position of “student naturalists.”  These students are passionate about environmental education and are tasked with hosting walking tours and organizing fieldtrips and restoration activities.

Students at St. Olaf are commonly referred to as “Oles,” which is also the name of their athletic teams.  The Division III program hosts twenty-seven varsity teams and enjoys a friendly rivalry with cross-town neighbor Carleton College (another school worth checking out!).

For more information on St. Olaf College, visit http://www.stolaf.edu



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