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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Minnesota: Pioneering Rothenberger Institute Reaches Milestone

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health is known as one of the best schools of public health in the nation due to the quality of its graduate education and its involvement with the community.

But what many people don’t know is that the school’s most far-reaching program when it comes to student engagement — the Rothenberger Institute — serves undergraduates with one-credit, online wellness courses. Since its first offering in 2002, the still-popular “Alcohol & College Life”, more than 50,000 students have taken its courses and those courses have played a significant role in undergraduate retention at the University of Minnesota.

According to the Office of Institutional Research, the odds of a first-year student on the Twin Cities campus returning for a second year of study increased 10.9 times if they took a Rothenberger Institute (RI) course, compared to those who didn’t take a course. Data from multiple graduation cohorts also showed that RI students on the Twin Cities campus are more likely to graduate in four years, compared to non-RI students. And based on numbers from the 2016–17 academic year, a greater proportion of students in the institute’s courses are students of color, first-generation, and Pell-grant recipients, compared to students who didn’t take an RI course.

The vision of the Rothenberger Institute is to equip all college students — at the University of Minnesota and beyond — with the knowledge and skills to live healthy lives and enhance their well-being through an evidence-based, inclusive, and engaging online health and wellness curriculum.

The Rothenberger Institute continues to innovate and today sells its online courses through the University’s Office of External Sales and CogBooks, an adaptive learning courseware company.

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