|UND will focus on new partnerships with two-year community colleges|
UND will focus on new partnerships with two-year community colleges in North Dakota and Minnesota as a part of a long-term goal of providing more educational opportunities to communities without a four-year public university.
UND will work with community colleges to develop a "hometown university" that offers residents access to baccalaureate and graduate degrees through online and other distance formats. In this model residents can earn their degree from UND while they continue to live and work in their local community. Students will continue to have the traditional transfer option, attending classes on the UND campus in Grand Forks.
"Between the programs offered by the community colleges, and the online and distance education programs available from UND, these communities will have a wide array of educational opportunities available to them," said UND President Robert Kelley. "The 'hometown university' approach brings UND to communities across North Dakota and Minnesota."
UND already has a strong partnership with Bismarck State College, with an office located on the BSC campus. UND has been providing graduate programs to the Bismarck-Mandan community since 1976. UND is also working with BSC to start the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Bismarck this fall. The Osher Institute offers a variety of non-credit courses and activities designed for adults over the age of 50.
UND is also expanding its partnership with Lake Region State College (LRSC), and the two institutions will host an open house for Devils Lake residents interested in UND's online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The Open House is slated for Tuesday, June 23, 5 to 6 p.m. in the Heritage Hall at LRSC.
UND will hire a new full-time staff member to be located on the Lake Region campus. The new staff member will assist UND's distance students living in Devils Lake as well as transfer students who want to complete their baccalaureate degree on UND's campus. Lake Region and UND also have a long-standing partnership for TrainND, the state's workforce training system.
As part of the new focus on community college partnerships, UND will close the UND Fargo Outreach Office effective June 30. Since it was established in 2003, it has facilitated the classroom delivery of a master's degree in Elementary Education and a doctoral program in Educational Leadership. The closure of the Fargo office reflects the realignment of UND's strategic goals, and it will not impact current students in those programs. Fargo area residents will continue to have access to more than 40 degree and graduate certificate programs available from UND in an online format.
UND has begun additional partnership conversations with other two-year colleges across North Dakota and into Minnesota, and administration plans to have at least five new partnerships established within the next year.
"This is a win-win for everybody," said Kelley. "UND will strategically grow online and transfer enrollments, the community colleges will be able to attract more students to their campuses through expanded degree options at the bachelor's and graduate level, and most importantly, the residents will benefit from a strong educational system that meets their needs."
-- Peter Johnson, Executive Associate Vice President for University Relations, 777-4317, email@example.com