Univ. of St. Thomas to open 2-year college for low-income students

The University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is launching a new, two-year college aimed at helping low-income students earn a college degree.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to establish the Dougherty Family College, a first-of-its-kind two-year college in Minnesota, according to a statement. The college plans to admit 150 students in its inaugural class, which will start classes in fall 2017.

The Dougherty Family College is designed to help students go on to earn a four-year degree. Graduates will receive an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts and the courses they take will meet the Minnesota Transfer Guidelines, allowing them to transition to the University of St. Thomas or another a public or private four-year institution in Minnesota.

Students do not need to submit an ACT score to apply to the college, but they must have a high level of financial need to be admitted. A 2.5 grade point average and a qualifying interview is also be required.

Between state and local grants, scholarships and corporate support, officials expect tuition to be just $1,000 a year for the most under-resourced students, the statement said. 

The Dougherty Family College is housed completely within the University of St. Thomas, associate dean Buffy Smith told Fox 9. Students will have the same access to facilities and activities as those attending the four-year university, including the opportunity to join student organizations and play intramural sports.

“They are Tommies,” Smith said.

The college will follow a cohort model, according to Devine. Students will take all their classes with the same 25 students for both years on the university's Minneapolis campus. Devine says studying with the same group of students will encourage them to support and help each other.

More information on the Dougherty Family College can be found here.