Founded in 1936, Mount Marty College’s history stretches back to a girl’s high school founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Yankton, SD, in 1887. During the depths of the Great Depression, the idea of a women’s junior college may have seemed unlikely, but the drive to prepare women for adult life proved to be prescient, especially in WWII and the years after, which saw MMC become a four-year college, and coeducational. Today Mount Marty is a small but respected college noted by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional college and as a Washington Monthly best buy.
Academic ProgramsAs a private Catholic college, Mount Marty remains dedicated to the Benedictine tradition, with values rooted in the Rule of Saint Benedict, including service, community responsibility, and individual spiritual and intellectual improvement. This is the filter through which all of Mount Marty’s curriculum can be viewed. Mount Mary has a vision and mission to combine the liberal arts and modern professional career preparation with spiritual growth, shaping leaders for South Dakota and the world. A 10:1 student:faculty ratio, and courses restricted to no more than 25, helps Mount Marty achieve that goal, using faculty mentorship, collaboration, and academic community to motivate students to excellence.
With around 30 undergraduate and graduate degree choices, students have a range of options, but nursing and education remain Mount Mary’s top strengths, reflecting the college’s history and the needs of the region. Around a third of Mount Marty students are adult learners, and the college has made outreach and support of these students a priority. Mount Marty’s student-centered commitment pays off for graduates, 95% of whom find work or enroll in graduate school within 6 months. 90% of students who apply for graduate school are accepted, a far higher-than-average success rate.
Student LifeMount Marty College’s student body numbers just over 1100, 60% women. More than half of all students are Catholic, not surprisingly, but all faiths are welcomed and accepted. With its Benedictine heritage, Mount Marty is deeply dedicated to engagement and outreach, and received honors from the 2016 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for programs like the Nursing Department’s Lakota Cultural Immersion and Service Learning. Service opportunities through Campus Ministry and student-led organizations abound, from collecting food to protecting homes from flooding by the Missouri River.
In addition to service, of course, faith is a fully integrated part of life at Mount Marty, including mass, worship services, prayer, and bible study. Around three dozen active clubs help keep students physically and intellectually active, as well as building community and relationships. Outdoor recreation activities are also in easy reach in and around Yankton, from the kayaking, fishing, and exploring around the Missouri River and Lewis & Clark Lake, to extensive bike and hiking trails throughout town. Student cheer on 15 NAIA conference teams, the Mount Marty Lancers, including both women’s and men’s programs in basketball, track & field, and archery.