The Main Street Initiative Planning Process

Main Street Initiative Steering Committee

The Main Street Initiative Steering Committee began coordinating the development of the Main Street Initiative in June 2010. The committee, chaired by Steve McKelvey, has faculty, staff, and student members:

Steve McKelvey, Professor of Mathematics (chair)
Paula Carlson, Vice President and Liaison to the Board of Regents
Bruce Dalgaard, Executive Director of the Center for Experiential Learning
and Professor of Economics and Asian Studies
Rosalyn Eaton-Neeb, Associate Dean of Students
Mary Emery, Associate Professor of Economics
Theodore Johnson, Professor of Biology and chair, Health Professions Committee
Michael Kyle, Vice President and Dean of Enrollment
Todd Nichol, King Olav V Professor of Scandinavian-American Studies
Janice Roberts, Professor of Dance
Samantha Sickbert, St. Olaf Class of 2011
Nathan Soland, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Alumni and Parent Advisory Committee

Ted Hillestad ’99, Google
Mitch Lehn ’92, Encana
Lauren Melcher ’08, Neuger Communications
Susan Nelson P’11, U.S. District Courts
Eric Nye ’74 P’12, University of Wyoming
Gary Perkins ’80 P’13, US Bank
Mark Pritchard ’85, Best Buy
Joy Quaidoo ’97, United Health Care
Gary Skiba P’13, Microsoft
Mary Skiba P’13, Microsoft
Anne Steeves ’10, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, DC

Main Street Initiative Objectives

The Main Street Initiative objectives

Main Street Initiative Steering Committee Minutes

April 21, 2011
April 14, 2011
March 31, 2011
February 10, 2011
December 22, 2010
September 30, 2010
September 16, 2010
August 24, 2010
August 17, 2010
July 29, 2010
July 15, 2010
July 1, 2010
June 3, 2010

Main Street Initiative Steering Committee Reports

Final Report, April 26, 2011
Resources and References Supporting the Preliminary Report
Preliminary Report of Programming Options

Main Street Initiative Subcommittees

In October 2010, the Main Street Initiative Steering Committee formed subcommittees to work on specific aspects of program development. The four subcommittees focused on Reflection, Exploration, Mentoring, and Connections and issued the following reports to the Steering Committee.

Subcommittee Charges and Memberships
Reflection Subcommittee Final Report
Exploration Subcommittee Final Report
Mentoring Subcommittee Final Report
Connections Subcommittee Final Report

Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness Analysis to Support Main Street Development

St. Olaf’s Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation analyzed data to inform and support the development of the Main Street Initiative. IRE analysts used data from both external and internal surveys conducted between Spring 2007 and Spring 2010.

Student Reflection on Vocation and Career Goals
Students’ Experience with Mentoring
College Experiences, College Outcomes, and Life After College
The Development of Critical Life Skills

Student Research to Support Main Street Project Development

In fall term 2010, six student teams conducted research to support the development of the Main Street Initiative. The students are enrolled in Sociology/Anthropology 371 Foundations of Social Science Research taught by Assistant Professor of Sociology Ryan Sheppard, who devoted this upper-division research course to support the Main Street Initiative this semester. The student teams administered and analyzed surveys of juniors and seniors, and presented their findings to the Main Street Initiative Steering Committee on November 17th. The students’ research will be used by the Main Street Initiative subcommittees as they develop specific program proposals.

Research Overview and Summary
Attitudes, Beliefs, and Plans
Vocation and Career Discernment
Career Exploration
Building Transferable Skills Through Informal Experiences
Gaining Formal Job and Career Experience
Job- and Career-Seeking


A Jobs Mismatch,” Inside Higher Education, June 15, 2010
How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” The Atlantic, March 2010
Partial ‘Program Integrity’,” (Proposed rules intended to prevent abuses of federal financial aid programs), Inside Higher Education, June 16, 2010
Where the Jobs Are: Class of 2010 Hiring, Pay Survey,” CNN Living, May 26, 2010
Study Abroad’s New Focus Is Job Skills,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2010
Live Chat: Innovators in Internationalization,” (Study abroad and work skills), The Chronicle of Higher Education

Programs at Other Colleges and Universities

Smith College’s Praxis: The Liberal Arts at Work

St. John Fisher College’s Guarantee (Article 1) | (Article 2)

Pennsylvania State University’s E-Portfolio | (“Evolving the E-Portfolio at Penn StateCampus Technology, April 6, 2011)

Albion College’s The Albion Advantage Pledge | (“Albion College Pledges Job Help to Future Grads,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2010)

Wake Forest University’s Personal & Career Development | (“Finished College. Now What?The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2010)

University of Illinois’ Exploring Pathways in Career Success

Career-Service Centers Strive to Help the Class of 2010 — and 2009, and 2008,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2010

University of Richmond and Bucknell University Career Programs

Living With The Boss,” A New York Times article on externships, April 16, 2010

Wesleyan University’s Winter Break Career Exploration Opportunities | 4-Year Timeline for Career Planning | WesCAN Career Advisor Network

Tuft University’s Career Network for Alumni

University of Iowa Medical School’s Help Our Students Travel (HOST) Program

SUNY Buffalo’s Alumni Career Reality Videos

Middlebury College’s Education in Action Program

Wagner College’s What’s Your Wagner Plan?

College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University’s ATLAS (Achieving Through Learning And Searching)

Documenting and Decoding the Undergrad Experience,” University Affairs, August 16, 2010

Carleton College’s Engagement Wanted and Carls Help Carls Programs