The Dougherty Story

The Dougherty Family College is named for St. Thomas alumnus Mike Dougherty and his family. The family supports the college, because they believe in the value of a college education and “want to give motivated, hardworking students the opportunity to succeed in college so they can use their talents and support themselves in the future.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only one-third of adults attain a four-year college degree despite the benefits of increased employment and income. The Dougherty Family College exists to help change this, particularly for those from diverse and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Julie Sullivan, president of the University of St. Thomas, described the new two-year college as part of the university’s mission to advance the common good. “We are determined to reduce the educational attainment gap in Minnesota and prepare students to become transformational leaders in our communities, state and nation. … This is intended to be a pathway to, and develop the skills that students need to attain a four-year degree.”

The Dougherty Family College offers structured and intensive mentoring, a core curriculum of liberal arts classes, generous financial aid and small class sizes to prepare students to matriculate to a four-year college program after attaining their associate degree with minimal student debt.

“I didn’t want to be that kind of person who lives in their mom’s basement. I’m the first Mikesell to go to college. It’s a really big deal.” – Kyle Mikesell, freshman inaugural class