October, 2015

INFORUM: Forum Editorial: Tri-College University great deal for students

October 26, 2015

It might be a surprise that some 35,000 students study at five college and university campuses in Fargo, Moorhead and Wahpeton, N.D. That's a significant number, not only because it represents a real commitment to higher education, but also because the students are essential to the long-term economic growth of the region. Those factors are enhanced because students on the five campuses can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities offered by Tri-College University, a successful formal collaboration among the schools.

It's not new, having been first discussed in 1962, and formalized a few years later. What is new is the addition of two campuses to the original three. Started by Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University, TCU has grown with the addition of the North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpeton and Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead. The depth and breadth of course offerings for all students in nearly every discipline is truly astounding.

Leaders of Tri-College, particularly the campus presidents, have developed a model that is student-centered, not competitive, in that individual schools don't compete for students. Rather, the attraction of easy access to courses and resources on five campuses sells itself to potential students. A student at Concordia looking for a specific course that is not available at Concordia likely can find it at MSUM, NDSU or one of the two-year technical colleges. For example, a fine arts student studying sculpture might want to master high-tech welding, and would find the course at NDSCS or M State. The same cross-pollination is readily available in nearly all academic studies.

The TCU model might not be unique in the nation, but the great success of the five-school regional program makes it different from others. Campus leaders, the business community and many policymakers have embraced the concept because it works for students. It also can provide opportunities for faculty to collaborate in ways that might not be possible without TCU.

The Tri-College University (now with five members) is growing as more and more students take advantage of its multi-campus opportunities. It was a visionary idea from the beginning and, because of the strong commitment from campus presidents, the vision is being realized every year in more and better education opportunities for students.

Full article from

NDSCS Performing Arts Department to Present Fall Concert October 22

October 19, 2015

North Dakota State College of Science Concert Choir, Concert Band, Wildcat Singers and Wildcat Stage Band will hold their annual fall concert on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the Bremer Bank Theatre in the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m.

The Concert Choir is set to perform four numbers under the direction of Bryan Poyzer, including: “The Heavens are Telling,” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Soon Ah Will Be Done,” by William L. Dawson, and “Truly Brave,” arranged by Mac Huff.

Under the direction of Laurie Lekang, the Concert Band will perform four pieces as well, including: “Fury of the Gods,” by Rob Romeyn, “Runaway Circus Train,” by Erik Morales, and “Kinetic Dances,” by Randall D. Standridge.

Also taking the stage, the Wildcat Singers will sing a few popular pieces, such as “Your Lips are Movin’,” arranged by Mark Brymer, “Dear Future Husband,” by Meghan Trainor, and “Uptown Funk,” arranged by Mark Brymer.

In addition, the Wildcat Stage Band will be performing a variety of pieces, including “Sharp Dressed Man,” arranged by Roger Holmes, “Holy Hanbanero,” by Doug Beach and George Shutack, and “Eye of the Tiger,” arranged by Victor Lopez.

The concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be accepted at a reception following the performance in the lobby.

Daily News: Students immersed in a day of manufacturing

October 16, 2015

By Frank Stanko

Wahpeton High School’s sophomores and juniors received a first-hand look at innovations being taught and implemented in their city during Wednesday’s second annual Manufacturing Day.

Four area businesses, Bobcat, Minn-Dak Farmer’s Cooperative, Masonite Corporation and ComDel Innovation partnered with North Dakota State College of Science to hold a day’s worth of hour-long tours explaining the changing face of manufacturing.

“Manufacturing Day is an initiative that is country-wide for the last four years. And so, we decided to have our own Manufacturing Day,” said Clint Gilbertson, who coordinated the event for NDSCS. “It was formed by the Economic Development Committee at City Hall and they contacted us and some local manufacturers. So they’ve got a partnership and we’ve got a fun, informative day for the students.”

The fun included computer simulations of welding and use of robotics to play a variation of the popular “Claw Game” in order to pick up candy from a dish. Along with welding technology and robotics mechatronics automation technology, students observed precision machining and how Willie the Wildcat is engraved on items such as ball hinge keychains. At ComDel, auto body painting equipment was made. Some students even got to keep completed liners they watched get molded.

Gilbertson said just under 200 students participated in Wednesday’s events. “And last year, it was juniors and seniors. This year, they decided to go with sophomores and juniors to catch a new group of students. There’s already talk of next year possibly having all the seniors from across the county, across the county’s schools, come in. We’re always thinking of ways to improve Manufacturing Day and to reach out to the most and have the best impact on students.”

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

INFORUM: Higher ed officials tout workforce contribution

October 08, 2015

By Dave Olson

When it comes to helping solve the area's workforce shortage, five schools are better than one.

That was consensus that emerged Tuesday during an Eggs & Issues breakfast hosted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, which featured representatives from five area institutions of higher education.

"We need to collaborate for the sake of our communities. Yes, we are competitors, but we also support one another," said William Craft, president of Concordia College, who outlined some things Concordia is doing that are tied to workforce development, including recently introducing a new major in finance, a new concentration in agribusiness and a new master's degree program in nutrition.

Joseph Bessie, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State University Moorhead, said colleges are economically valuable for a number of reasons, including the population/consumer base they create and the workers they provide when students graduate.

"One of the ways we help the community is by bringing in people," Bessie said.

John Richman, president of North Dakota State College of Science based in Wahpeton, said his school is expanding offerings in areas that include information technology, and paramedic and nursing programs.

"We are about workforce," Richman said, adding that one challenge schools like NDSCS face is educating people about the value of an associate degree.

He said some companies realize that and are picking up the entire cost of a college education for some workers.

As far as the cost of education, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, which has a campus in Moorhead, will soon introduce several new scholarship options that will allow students to attend college tuition-free, said Carrie Brimhall, vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer at MSCTC.

"We don't want cost to be a barrier to meeting workforce demand," Brimhall said.

She said MSCTC has 44 programs that students can complete in a year or less, and the school has started putting classrooms on wheels to make programs more accessible to students, particularly in rural communities.

"We're bringing education to our region," she said.

Dean Bresciani, president of North Dakota State University, said NDSU has been mindful of where it grows its enrollment and he said university now has the highest enrollment of students in health-related professions in the state of North Dakota.

He said that fact will be critical to communities across the state, including Fargo, where Sanford Health is building a new medical center.

"As the new Sanford facility opens, they're going to face their own struggle, staffing that with nurses," Bresciani said.

Full article from

NDSCS to offer new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Course

October 07, 2015

New course kicks off Tuesday, October 20 at Wahpeton

The North Dakota State College of Science will kick off a new course, Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. This two-credit course will be offered from 4 – 5:50 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and run for eight weeks.

TECH 192 Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems will focus on an introduction to the fundamentals of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including history and their developing role in the modern aviation industry. Topics include structural elements, avionics, flight control and guidance systems, navigation, remote sensing and human factors. The course will also cover UAS integration into commercial applications as well as FAA regulations and sanctions. An emphasis will be placed on future employment in the field with a focus on commercial airspace.

For more information, visit or contact Rick Hendrickson at 701-231-6923 or

INFORUM: Forum editorial: Culinary center on track

October 05, 2015

What started out as an intriguing idea is on pace to become reality in downtown Fargo. It’s a “culinary center” that would blend education, the culture of food and food preparation, and marketing in a single comprehensive and accessible program. The idea is not new, but bringing together essential stakeholders is putting substance to the idea.

Several partners from the public and private sectors are on board. The vital education component would be managed by expertise already in place at the North Dakota State School of Science, which has a presence in north Fargo. Margie Bailly, the legendary former executive of the historic Fargo Theatre, is coordinating discussions to make the center happen. Downtown, with its new vitality and diversity of dining, entertainment and living spaces, would be the ideal site, and a major downtown developer is working with the group. Restauranteurs see the potential of a culinary center, and also are participating in discussions.

The timetable is flexible, but Bailly and the partners think it will take about five years for a full-blown site to be operational. Meanwhile, programs associated with the evolving center can come on line sooner. “It is definitely moving forward,” Bailly said, “and we’re continuing to connect the dots.”

It’s a great concept that has worked well in other urban centers. Culinary institutes are fixtures in most major cities and in many smaller cities. Fargo’s downtown is a national success story that adds chapters every year. The renaissance of downtown has made it a destination for entertainment, retailing, business and dining. A culinary institute will be a perfect fit.

Full article from

NDSCS celebrates completion of Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium reconstruction

October 02, 2015

Stadium Grand Opening Program and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony showcase Athletic complex reconstruction

The newly reconstructed Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium officially celebrated its completion today in Wahpeton at the North Dakota State College of Science.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Alumni Foundation and Athletics department, Wahpeton Public Schools and NDSCS Student Senate support, the Stadium renovation is now complete and student athletes, coaches and fans alike are all enjoying a fully functional Athletic complex.

“The final completion of the Stadium reconstruction is quite the achievement, both for NDSCS and Wahpeton schools,” said Dr. John Richman, NDSCS President. “Since funds for the improvements were not state-appropriated, many people – from the Athletics department in conjunction with our Alumni Foundation to numerous community members – spent a great deal of time and energy to make it a reality.”

Capital for the Stadium reconstruction was collected through several private donations from alumni and friends, fundraising efforts and the Locker Room Campaign as well as from the Wahpeton High School. Discussions for the reconstruction and pre-design began in Fall of 2010, while the actual renovation itself started in the Summer of 2014 and wrapped up during the Summer of 2015.

The $1.5 million Stadium renovation resulted in a new retail outlet for the NDSCS Bookstore, an updated concession area, revamped locker rooms, a new training room and equipment storage area, a larger and more functional Catbacker room, renovated public restrooms, new cement, an updated water and sewer system, and a new ticket booth resembling the iconic Old Main steeple.

“The Alumni Stadium is always packed with proud alumni, students and friends for Wildcat and Husky football games, and we’re happy to provide an enhanced area for these College and community events,” said Stu Engen, NDSCS Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

For many years, the Wahpeton Huskies have played on the gridiron and shared the Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium. Area schools also use the facility for regional and state track meets, as well as for other events such as football camps.

The program concluded with a special ribbon cutting and self-guided tours of the new Stadium facility. For additional information, please visit

Daily News: NDSCS stadium grand opening set for Friday

October 02, 2015

By Turner Blaufuss

North Dakota State College of Science took a step forward to improve its football program with numerous improvements and additions to Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium.

The stadium’s grand opening is at 1:30 p.m. Friday and some of the improvements include state-of-the-art locker rooms, equipment space, an athletic trainer’s room, new concessions area, an extension of the NDSCS bookstore and a Cat Backer room for the booster club. The college put $1.5 million toward the project.

“We’re certainly enjoying it. I think there’s a pride issue with it that we have such a long, strong history at NDSCS. It kind of encompasses all that and it’s great to have that atmosphere,” said NDSCS Athletic Director Stu Engen. “It’s not only an NDSCS thing – it’s a community thing.”

Some of the new lockers are open for sponsorship and the improved equipment also reflects the football team’s storied history. Past players’ names and years spent in a Wildcat uniform are displayed on the lockers of their former numbers.

“We just put tape up on them and not all the spots are filled out yet. They’ll recognize the number of the student athlete, what they played and the years they participated on the bottom,” Engen said. “They look very sharp and do a good job of acknowledging some of our former football players.”

The revamped facility moved the locker rooms out from under the bleachers and Engen was happy with the other adjustments made to free up space beneath the stands.

“It’s just concrete everywhere and has a nice open space. The old locker rooms were underneath those things and that made it a little more congested,” Engen said. “That walking space really opens things up. At halftime of the game or before the game you have a nice place to socialize.”

NDSCS was happy with the new and improved stadium because, along with the Wildcats, Wahpeton Public Schools and Circle of Nations also use the enhanced facility.

“It’s an overall great venue for our students, our campus and for the community and so many people utilize it,” Engen said. “It’s going to be something wonderful to share for years to come.”

The improvements also mark a step forward for the football program who are in their second year of non-scholarship competition.

“I think it shows people our commitment to our football program,” Engen said. “We transitioned into Minnesota and going into the non-scholarship league I think some people thought we didn’t care. It was the absolute opposite, because we wanted to maintain our football program. This administration put $1.5 million into those locker rooms and these new facilities.”

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

Schmidt and Kleinsasser crowned 2015 NDSCS Homecoming Royalty

October 01, 2015

North Dakota State College of Science crowned the 2015 Homecoming King and Queen on Wednesday, September 30. Queen Brenna Schmidt is from Kintyre, N.D., and is pursuing a Dental Hygiene degree. She was sponsored by the Dental Club and Diesel Club. King Logan Kleinsasser is from Jamestown, N.D., and is pursuing an Information Systems Administration degree. He was sponsored by the Wildcat Singers as well as the Wildcat Welcome Team. Schmidt and Kleinsasser will preside over NDSCS Homecoming activities for the duration of the week.

The 2015 Homecoming Court also included:

  • Caitlin Bitz of Kulm, N.D., Practical Nursing; sponsored by the Practical Nursing Club and the Electrical Club
  • Anna Lundeen of Brandon, Minn.; Dental Hygiene; sponsored by the Media Squad and the Wildcat Singers
  • Grant Davis of Howard Lake, Minn.; Diesel Technology – Komatsu; sponsored by the Diesel Club and the Dental Club
  • Justin Lupkes of Wheaton, Minn.; Business Management; sponsored by the NDSCS Ambassadors and the Campus Activities Board

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