Tri-College University: Tri-College University expands partnership

The Board of Directors of Tri-College University (TCU) has voted to expand to add two area two-year campuses to the partnership. The partnership has included Concordia College of Moorhead, Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) and North Dakota State University (NDSU). To that partnership Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) and the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) have been added by a unanimous vote of the Tri-College board of directors.

“I join with all on the Tri-College University Board in welcoming M State and NDSCS into partnership with us. We see great benefits for the students from all five of our institutions, and we see great advantages for the economy, culture, and civic strength of the Fargo-Moorhead community, now 35,000 college and university students strong” according to Dr. William Craft the Chair of the Tri-College University Board and President of Concordia College.  

Tri-College University dates back 45 years and is one of the nation’s premier, most recognized and longest serving partnerships. It has been comprised of both public and private campuses located in Minnesota and North Dakota and now with the expanded partnership will include two-year campuses as part of the consortium. 

Included in the expansion agreement will be the course exchange program which allows undergraduate students to take courses outside of their home campus at any one of the partner campuses without paying any additional fees/tuition.

“This expansion agreement gives the TCU partnership the equivalent size of a Big 10 campus in our area, and one that will be of vital importance as we continue to focus on a diverse knowledge based economy” according to TCU Provost Tim Flakoll. “Numerous benefits have been identified for this expanded membership including: increased academic options for students resulting in improved student retention/graduation rates, satisfying workforce needs, potential for exploration resulting in more traditional transfer and reverse transfer opportunities, and provides enhanced professional development opportunities. This is a historic step forward as we continue to strive to be visionary and focused on providing high quality programs to meet the needs of our stakeholders.”

The board of Tri-College is comprised of Dr. William Craft of Concordia, Dr. Anne Blackhurst of MSUM, Dr. Dean Bresciani of NDSU which serve as Presidents of the original partners as well as community board members: Paul Marquart, Pam Astrup, Debra Knutson, Mark Nisbet and Paul Richard.


  • Between the 2008-2009 and 2012-2013 academic years, 770 NDSCS students and 752 M State students transferred to Tri-College campuses. Of those, 203 from M State and 399 from NDSCS transferred in 2012-2013 alone.
  • M State has campuses in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Wadena but the partnership will focus largely on students at their Moorhead campus. Overall they have more than 6,000 students, including its campus in Moorhead.
  • NDSCS has a main campus in Wahpeton and a smaller campus in Fargo. Overall they have more than 3,000 students and 80 academic options.
  • The name Tri-College University will remain the same.

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