By Matthew Liedke
Graduate placement at two-year college shows impressive statistics
A new report from North Dakota State College of Science shows how the school is fulfilling its mission of meeting the work force needs of the state.
According to information from NDSCS, 98 percent of the college’s 2014 graduates have either found employment or are continuing their education.
When the numbers are further broken down, 69 percent of NDSCS grads have found employment in the state and 88 percent of those pressing on for additional education are doing so at a university in North Dakota.
The data also shows that out of 31 programs at NDSCS, 24 of them have recorded 100 percent placements. The annual salary of a 2014 graduate is $36,240.
“Our historic trend over the last decade has been either 98 percent or 99 percent,” said NDSCS President Dr. John Richman. “The reason it remains so high is that it speaks to the workforce issues that the state is faced with today.
“Every company we visit with, no matter what sector they are from, they’re all short people in two areas,” Richman continued. “One is current employees are retiring at a higher rate, and two, is there has been a declining number of high school students.”
One of the ways NDSCS has responded to the issue of meeting the work force needs has been maintaining a curriculum that meets modern day practices.
“Ten years ago, the curriculum looked different from what it is today and 10 years in the future it will look different, too,” Richman explained. “If we get more people here, they have to be knowledgeable, educated and have the right skill sets. If we have that population, then we can sustain and grow our economic position.”NDSCS has prepared its graduates through partnerships with the business community.
“We have a number of partners that make a huge investment during the front end and during the whole education process,” Richman said. “We have active partnerships where their companies are recruiting the students. Some businesses hire the students before they’ve finished school.”
On the other side of the spectrum, those who have chosen to continue their education after completing courses at NDSCS have benefited from state-wide programs.
“We have the North Dakota Common Core, which has the same core courses between all institutions, along with the GERTA Agreement, which is the General Education Requirement Transfer Agreement,” Richman explained. “If you have your associate degree from NDSCS, those credits you earned will transfer to a four-year school. It makes for a seamless process.”
The biggest factor in NDSCS’ success in placing its students in either jobs or more education, though, is the students themselves and the workers at the school.
“It’s a testimony to the faculty and staff and to the students who work to achieve those degrees as well as the business partners who see the importance of making an investment,” Richman said. “It’s gratifying on a lot of different levels. We are able to put the dominos in a row and we can knock them down.”
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