By | Robert Brown
Humboldt State broke into the top 50 of Washington Monthly’s most recent annual National College Guide for master’s universities. The guide rates universities across the nation and evaluates them based on graduation rate, price of tuition, and other factors.
The publication is changing the way universities are valued; instead of rewarding colleges for the number of applications they reject, they get credit for enrolling large numbers of low-income and first-generation students. Instead of promoting the most expensive schools, universities that produce research, train next generation scientists and PhDs and instill the importance of public service are acknowledged.
“We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories,” Washington Monthly magazine said.
“Social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).”
Dr. Meredith Williams, Assistant Professor of Sociology, said the faculty and coordinators in the master’s programs are always looking for new and better ways of making programs affordable for all students.
“That is who we are as a university and as the CSU system,” Williams said.
Dr. Yvonne Everett, Professor of Environmental Science and Management, said that despite the CSU system’s pledge to help low-income students, getting funding for graduate school is challenging.
“There is financial aid available for students who qualify and there are a few scholarships students can apply for,” Everett said.
“Students in the natural sciences may also be funded through their faculty members’ research grants.”
“HSU’s graduate programs are different because HSU is different,” Williams said.
“We have great relationships with local businesses, nonprofits and community organizations to connect with in classes, as a volunteer, and with required internships and projects.”
According to Williams, the learning here is hands-on. Many of our graduate programs are focused on applied, real life skills, using the skills and knowledge of our disciplines to create lasting, systemic social change.
“Many students do their M.A./M.S. research or projects on topics in the public interest or that benefit a community organization,” Everett said.
“Graduate students in social work do all kinds of projects with local agencies to help them monitor and improve their services. For graduate students in Wildlife and Natural Resources, HSU is located very close to field research sites with many state and federal agency professionals to collaborate with.”