VCSU supports nearly thirty articulations and memorandums of agreement with other institutions in North Dakota and other states. These agreements provide students from other academic communities with easy transfer and interaction with VCSU's programs and human resources. Examples of the various types of agreements are described below:
Elementary Education at North Dakota State University (NDSU). For over 15 years, VCSU has provided the elementary education major for students on the NDSU campus. Students in the program double major in Elementary Education (from VCSU) and Child Development (from NDSU), and graduate with degrees from both institutions. VCSU faculty drive to NDSU each week to provide face-to-face courses; students receive laptops and complete the same program requirements as students on the VCSU campus. The program enrolls 70-100 students annually. Recently the Art Department at NDSU has discussed expanding the program to include a B.S. Ed. in Art Education.
Elementary Education at Wyoming Community Colleges. VCSU’s School of Education and Graduate Studies also supports agreements with seven Wyoming community colleges to provide the Elementary Education program via a combination of online, interactive video, and face-to-face coursework which allows Wyoming students to complete teacher education degrees while remaining in their home communities. Recently several secondary education programs options have been added.
3+1 / 2+2 Agreements. While VCSU has a number of articulation agreements with community colleges in the state, several stand out because of their responsiveness to constituents’ needs. The 3+1 Fisheries and Wildlife Science agreement with DCB provides for shared course delivery by faculty on both campuses (using IVN delivery from both campuses), including a third year on the DCB campus for students who begin their studies there. Students may study on either campus for years 1-3, receiving the same program at either campus, and then all students complete their fourth year on the VCSU campus. This provides increased access for students who would otherwise seek a program out of state, and allows for broader curricular offerings since course delivery is shared by both campuses.
A recent agreement developed with North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) offers a new approach to a traditional pathway for Career and Technical Education (CTE) students. Typically students completing vocational degrees at NDSCS have sought a four-year degree from VCSU if they wanted to teach in a high school or vocational school. However, NDSCS identified a real-world need for improved professional business knowledge for those students who plan to develop or maintain a small business or move to management positions, and asked VCSU to work with them to develop a non-teaching, four-year degree pathway for these students. The resulting management option in the CTE major provides the requisite training and access to a Bachelor of Science degree. The agreement is the first of its kind in North Dakota and is designed to help non-traditional students realize the benefit of three types of credentials: U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship programs, Associate in Applied Science degrees, and Bachelor of Science degrees.
Access to College Entry and Two Year Programs. VCSU and DCB have collaborated on a series of programs to provide place-bound students in the Valley City area with access to educational offerings outside VCSU’s identified NDUS mission.
Strengths: Valley City State University responds to the needs of its constituents through collaboration and effective communication with other educational organizations. VCSU continues to engage its learners and constituents through improved accessibility and student-friendly policies and procedures that support a mobile society.
VCSU supports a variety of articulations and agreements with other institutions in North Dakota and other states. Some of these have developed into partnerships that serve our local community as well as distant and diverse communities in other states.
New Initiatives: The collaborative ventures with DCB, especially the access to two-year programs, are in early stages of development, and further development of pathways to four-year degrees from VCSU are under discussion.
Challenges: Maintenance of current agreements, so they continue to effectively support student and community needs, requires constant attention. The development of a stronger administrative structure to oversee the development, implementation, and assessment of collaborative activities would increase office and program efficiencies and improve the student experience.