Schuler Steps Up For CMU-St. Louis

Smooth transition expected for new assistant dean

The new assistant dean for Central Methodist University's Adult Degree Program in St. Louis, Michelle Schuler, knows she has a lot to learn. Yet the learning curve won't be as steep as it could have been.


That's because Schuler has been with the CMU-St. Louis program nearly three years as director of student services. A St. Louis native, she knows CMU academic programs and staff members at its office in Maryland Heights. Her appointment is effective immediately.

"Every day here is confirmation that I am in the right place," Schuler said. "I value CMU's commitment to providing an affordable, quality education while viewing students as individuals and not just another number.

"I understand the challenges our students encounter, as I was a non-traditional aged student for most of my college career," she added. "These are students who juggle work and family responsibilities while meeting their educational goals."

Schuler has worked in higher education in the St. Louis area continuously since 2004 and understands what students and employers in the region need, noted Dr. Rita Gulstad, CMU Provost.

"Michelle has demonstrated her knowledge of the economic needs of the community of St. Louis and how we can meet the needs of our community college partners," Gulstad said. "CMU strives to provide quality educational programming with high levels of customer service and Michelle has exemplified that ability."

Schuler's former job at CMU-St. Louis involved working not only with students on degree plans, academic progress, finances, and other issues, but with faculty there and with student and administrative service staff on the main campus in Fayette.

In other words, Schuler assisted people from the "prospective student" stage all the way through to degree completion. It's that comprehensive background, as well as her knowledge of the region, that made her CMU's choice for the assistant deanship, Gulstad said.

Schuler joined CMU after nearly seven years with St. Louis Community College at Meramec. She was an academic advisor for four years and a career and technical education transition specialist for two-and-a-half years. Schuler earlier served the Columbia College branch in St. Louis for more than two years as an academic advisor.

Schuler has a master of education degree in counseling, and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with a math minor, both from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her husband have three children.

Nearly 400 students are enrolled in CMU programs in St. Louis, the majority of them pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. CMU's Adult Degree Program also offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in business and psychology, and the master's degree in education.


Posted April 4, 2014