FARGO – North Dakota State University and North Dakota State College of Science have entered into an agreement to expand their partnership, with the aim of helping to meet the state’s workforce needs.

The new agreement, signed Monday, June 18, allows the schools to develop student transfer guides and processes to facilitate transfers from NDSCS to NDSU, and work together to identify new career and technical programs and change existing ones.

NDSCS President John Richman said the agreement reassures students at NDSCS, which has campuses in Wahpeton and Fargo, that the courses they’re taking will apply to their associate’s degree, and will “transfer seamlessly” to NDSU if they want to get their baccalaureate degree.

The agreement enables students to start at NDSCS and end up at NDSU, or vice versa, Richman added.  

“That is the flexibility of it for the student,” NDSU President Dean Bresciani said. “They don’t have to make an absolute decision at one point. They can go back and forth however their career and educational interests warrant, and get the training and the degree from whichever institution ends up being the right one.”

The new agreement has the goal of keeping students in North Dakota after graduation, Richman said. “Any student who graduates from either institution will have multiple job opportunities waiting for them,” Bresciani said.

Tom Shorma, CEO of WCCO Belting, a rubber belt manufacturer in Wahpeton, said his business and ones like it benefit from this kind of collaboration. It creates a workforce with various skills so open jobs can be filled, he said.

NDSU and NDSCS have a history of collaboration. They previously partnered to create the Pathway Program, an avenue for students denied admission to NDSU to complete developmental coursework at NDSCS while living on NDSU’s campus, and Reverse Transfer, an agreement that allows transfer students enrolled at NDSU to transfer credits back to NDSCS for the purpose of attaining a degree there.