Dickinson State University is a small school in a small city, but the university uses it’s size to its advantage in helping students find financial success outside of college.
The university is ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation ( #8) for improving students’s economic status upon graduation, according to a recent study conducted by Zippia.
“85 – percent of the kids who go on to graduate school generally come from a smaller 4-year institution, because they get to work directly with a faculty members. They get that insight into doing research,and they do it at very high levels,” said Thomas Mitzel, Dickinson State University president.
Graduate, Cassiday Rhoades, said the one on one relationship she had with her instructors was invaluable.
” So when I was in the classroom I could raise my hand, and answer questions, and get that feedback right away, but on the outside of the classroom as well. I could get a hold of my professors. They really help you get to that next level as a student,” said Rhoades.
Dickinson’s population is around 24,000, but Mitzel said business leaders in the community look to help the next generation of leaders.
“The goal is to have every student do an internship, before he or she graduates from DSU. They are really exposed to these really high powered businesses in industry, where the owners of those businesses in industry understand DSU, because they grew up here, ” said Mitzel.
Rhoades said her internship taught her things that gave her an advantage outside of school
“Building that relationship as well as learning so many things that you would of never of learned inside a classroom,” said Rhoades.
Another program the school offers is Backpack to Briefcase. It helps students develop the tools and resources they need know upon graduation like where and when to look for a job, and how to land that job once you get an interview.
” We market by asking lots of questions , ‘your going to graduating in December or May’, and when they give us that deer in the headlights look, we say here. This great opportunity. This is what you are going to learn,” said Jen Withers, Dickinson State University ,assistant dean of student services.
Current student, Kaitlyn Anderson, said she appreciates the interest the school has taken in her future success.
“From pretty much day one of me coming here and being in this, we have labeled out every single credit I’m going to take now until graduation,” said Anderson.
Dickinson State expects about 1,400 students this school year.