NDSCS announces Fall 2020 Enrollment

Old Main

Fall enrollment numbers are now official at the North Dakota State College of Science. Total student enrollment is 2,829, which includes Wahpeton, Fargo, Online and Early Entry students.

While the enrollment number is a decrease of 4.97% when compared to the fall 2019 enrollment of 2,977, the College saw only a 2.7% decrease in the total number of credits in which students are enrolled.

“We are seeing fewer high school students enrolled in early entry courses this fall; however, there is a steady number of students who are continuing to pursue a certificate or degree in one of our academic programs,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “This is reflected in the number of credits our students are taking, with 52.5% of our students taking classes full time.”

There was also a slight decrease in the number of students taking classes face-to-face at the NDSCS Wahpeton location; however, the percentage of students living on campus remained steady with 839 students living in a residence hall or campus apartment.

The enrollment data shows 211 students taking all classes online, a 28.7% increase over 2019. An additional 453 students are taking classes at multiple NDSCS locations, or through a combination of in-person and online instruction.

“We continue to see a trend of college students looking for flexibility with how and when they attend their classes,” said Richman. “NDSCS continuously makes adjustments to fulfill our mission by providing our students the opportunity to learn in the mode that best fits their needs.”

Students from North Dakota comprise 71.8% of NDSCS enrollment, with 47 of the state’s 53 counties represented.

NDSCS and Midwest Community College Partners Join Forces with NRCS

Agriculture Instruction

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is partnering with North Dakota State College of Science and eight other Midwest community colleges to support hands-on student learning in the field, to develop future conservation-minded farmers and ranchers, and to cultivate more graduates interested in pursuing careers with NRCS.

Today, NDSCS President John Richman, together with representatives of the Community College Alliance for Agriculture Advancement (C2A3) and NRCS, held a virtual ceremony to formally sign a national memorandum of understanding to develop a cooperative framework to enhance and accelerate training and adoption of technologies and best practices for improved agricultural productivity and natural resources stewardship.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with NRCS to provide access for our students to new soil management and agronomic practices, resources and technical expertise,” said NDSCS Vice President for Academic Affairs Harvey Link. “This partnership recognizes the important role NDSCS plays in providing technical education in multiple agricultural areas. It will allow us to partner with other two-year colleges throughout the Midwest to share resources and best practices that will benefit our students, while also helping the NRCS further its mission.”

All C2A3 member institutions, including NDSCS, have land labs or college farms and are able to utilize their land resources for the implementation of conservation practices on the ground to help educate and inform students and producers. The goal of the cooperative agreement between the entities is to not only accelerate the adoption of conservation practices through the education of current, two-year agriculture students, but to also disseminate information to the broader community through field days and other college events and partnerships.

In addition, the colleges are utilizing the network to share resources, knowledge and expertise. Collectively, they are working on a grant through USDA’s North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which seeks to increase awareness, knowledge and skills related to soil health, cover crops and no till agriculture. The development of content such as videos and case studies for the classroom is a critical component to help illustrate concepts of profitability, sustainability and productivity. These assets will be shared across the network for the benefit of all member institutions.

“Community colleges educate nearly half of all undergraduate students in this country and yet, our agriculture programs have been an under-utilized resource within USDA,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, C2A3 board chair. “A majority of our students are the producers in fields. They are technicians in our local co-ops and implement dealers; and they are our agronomy and seed sales professionals. Through these efforts, we hope more of them will also become the soil health specialists and conservationists for local NRCS offices.”

The C2A3 collaboration was born out of a mutual desire to provide more ongoing education, training and demonstration projects to future farm producers and agricultural service providers with the goal of improving the health, and therefore the long-term productivity, resilience and sustainability of the soil.

“We hope that this pilot will grow over time to include more partners and more institutions,” said Jimmy Bramblett, deputy chief of programs for NRCS. “The more successful we are, the more likely we are to drive further innovation and adoption of practices and impact the long-term sustainability of our nation’s resources.”

In addition to NDSCS, C2A3 member institutions include Central Lakes College (Staples, Minn.), Clark State Community College (Springfield, Ohio), Illinois Central College (Peoria, Ill.), Ivy Tech Community College (Lafayette, Ind.), Northcentral Technical College (Wausau, Wis.), Northeast Community College (Norfolk, Neb.), Northeast Iowa Community College (Calmar, Iowa), and Richland Community College (Decatur, Ill.).

For more information about C2A3, visit the organization’s website at

CDL Instructor

NDSCS, TrainND Southeast expand CDL Training

The NDSCS Division for Workforce Affairs, in conjunction with TrainND Southeast, expanded the capacity for its Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) / Truck Driving training and is now offering additional start dates for individuals interested in the class.


Benjamin Whitmore

Benjamin Whitmore receives Excellence in Innovation and Adaptive Education Award from Tri-College University

Benjamin Whitmore from North Dakota State College of Science was selected for the award for his excellence, innovation, creativity and successful use of advanced technology in producing high quality education under the challenge of limited time allowed for successful transition to a fully distance delivery classroom as a result of the global pandemic.


NDSCS to begin 118th academic year August 24

Old Main

North Dakota State College of Science fall semester classes will begin Monday, August 24 at 4 p.m. for all students in Wahpeton, Fargo and online. Students who are not yet enrolled for fall semester can still do so by contacting the Enrollment Services office at 701-671-2521. Opening weekend events in Wahpeton will kick off on Saturday, August 22 when residence halls open.

NDSCS began holding limited in-person classes for the College’s second summer session, which began on June 29. Additional students and faculty returned for the in-person Technical Skills Session, which began August 3 to provide an opportunity for hands-on instruction that was missed during the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19.

NDSCS has implemented steps and actions throughout a four-phase re-entry plan that was created in response to COVID-19. Protocols that have been implemented include a requirement for all members of the NDSCS community, as well as visitors, to wear face coverings when indoors and physical distancing is not possible.

“We are excited for the fall 2020 semester,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “We look forward to the energy our students bring to our college community, and we are prepared to provide academic experiences in a manner that is consistent with guidelines that can minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19.”

NDSCS Commencement Ceremony set for Friday, August 21

NDSCS graduate

North Dakota State College of Science will hold its Commencement ceremony on Friday, August 21 at 4 p.m. outdoors at the Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium in Wahpeton, N.D. Approximately 600 students from the Wahpeton campus, NDSCS-Fargo location and online are scheduled to graduate, and approximately 160 graduates plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Faculty Senate President Dr. William Shay will serve as the Stage Marshal, Vice President for Academic Affairs Harvey Link will preside as the Master of Ceremonies and NDSCS President John Richman will make remarks and recognitions as well as the presentation of degrees, diplomas and certificates. Student Senate President Marquisia Bashir will also share remarks, and a trio of NDSCS Performing Arts musicians will perform a musical selection.

The NDSCS Commencement ceremony was rescheduled from May 15 in response to COVID-19. The event was moved outdoors and a number of guidelines will be in place throughout the event to help minimize the risk and exposure to COVID-19. These guidelines include a requirement for all graduates and guests to wear a face covering at all times and to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet when possible. Guests will be limited to three individuals per graduate and will be issued a free ticket that will be required for entry. Those guests will be asked to remain seated throughout the event and will remain in a separate area than the graduates.

NDSCS 2020 Football Season Cancelled

Wildcat logo

The North Dakota State College of Science 2020 football season has been cancelled, as the College’s football conference, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC), announced today that it will limit its fall sports to those that have been identified as low-risk as it relates to COVID-19.

The decision to cancel the season only impacts NDSCS’s football program. The NDSCS Clay Target team also competes under the MCAC; however, that sport has been identified by the conference as low-risk and will continue this fall. The NDSCS volleyball team is a member of the Mon-Dak Conference, and is not directly impacted by today’s MCAC announcement.

“We are disappointed that our 2020 football season has been cancelled; however, we recognize this was a difficult decision for the MCAC,” said NDSCS Athletics Director Stu Engen. “We are committed to supporting our student athletes as they navigate the impacts this will have, and we look forward to the return of Wildcat football in 2021.”

NDSCS Blikre Activities Center to Reopen July 1

Blikre Basketball Hoop

The Clair T. Blikre Activities Center at the North Dakota State College of Science will reopen on July 1 and will be available for use by students as well as individuals who have fitness memberships.

The Blikre Activities Center was closed in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19. New guidelines have been established for each of the fitness areas in the facility to encourage social distancing and to allow for additional cleaning of equipment.

The facility will be open Monday through Thursday from 6-10 a.m., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 3-6 p.m., and Fridays from 6-10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Individuals with questions can contact the NDSCS Athletics department at 701.671.2281.

NDSCS Athletics Cancels 2020 Summer Camps


The North Dakota State College of Science Athletics Department has cancelled its youth athletic camps that were scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020. These camps include the boys’ and girls’ basketball camps, volleyball camp, and “Kiddy ‘Cat” basketball and volleyball camps.

“We enjoy welcoming area youth for our athletic camps each summer,” said NDSCS Athletics Director Stu Engen. “Our priority must be on the health of our community and reducing the spread of COVID-19. With that in mind, we feel we are unable to provide a full camp experience in a way that aligns with current guidelines. We look forward holding our NDSCS athletic camps in the summer of 2021.”

Those who have registered for one of the cancelled NDSCS Athletics camps will receive information regarding registration fee refunds. Individuals with questions can contact the NDSCS Athletics department at 701.671.2281.

NDSCS names Adam Jacobson Head Women’s Basketball Coach


The North Dakota State College of Science Athletics Department has hired Adam Jacobson as its new Head Women’s Basketball Coach. Jacobson will also lead the Athletics Department’s fundraising, marketing and promotions initiatives.

“Coach Jacobson brings diverse experience, and those experiences are from within our recruiting region. This is a perfect combination,” said NDSCS Athletics Director Stu Engen. “He has earned a high level of respect from those in the profession, and I know he will represent NDSCS in an outstanding manner.”

Jacobson has 12 years of collegiate coaching and recruiting experience, most recently at the University of Mary, where he was an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. Prior to his position at the University of Mary, he spent four years at the University of North Dakota as an assistant basketball coach, recruiting coordinator and game scheduler.