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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Responding to North Dakota's Needs
Gene Smestad to Deliver VCSU Commencement Keynote
VCSU Elementary Education Students in Classrooms
VCSU Scholarship Auction
Student Drawing Exhibition at VCSU Gallery
Klingenstein Receives Grant and Attends Conference
Stickler Delivers Presentation on the Medicine Wheel
Tech Ed Exhibits at WTEEA Conference
Adams on Panel at National Conference
Employee Benefit: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
HOW TO GO GREEN: Spring Cleaning
5 Ergonomic Resolutions
Viking Athletic Update
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City
April Birthdays

Responding to North Dakota's Needs

Responding to North Dakota\'s Needs
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of April 4.

Several weeks ago, Valley City State University and the North Dakota State College of Science signed an articulation agreement that will create new pathways for North Dakota's students. This new agreement will allow graduates of the NDSCS Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Technical Studies – Journeyworker program to seamlessly transfer into VCSU's Bachelor of Science degree program in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The students transferring into VCSU's CTE program will have the option to pursue either a Management or an Education track. This new agreement is the first of its kind in the state of North Dakota.

The CTE Bachelor of Science degree at VCSU provides for two separate curricular tracks. Students can either pursue an Education option qualifying them to teach at the post-secondary level at a vocational or technical school. Or, students can pursue a Management/Leadership option providing them with the business management tools necessary to manage their own business or reach leadership positions with their current employers.

This partnership is unique and beneficial to students for several important reasons. First, this relationship helps students realize three different types of credentials: U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship programs; an Associate in Applied Science degree; and the Bachelor of Science degree. When combined, these three credentials are a powerful combination representing a strong variety of skill by the graduating student. Next, the agreement provides for credit transfer through VCSU's Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program that allows adult learners to earn University academic credit for prior work experiences. In many instances, students may have thousands of hours of on-the-job training and experience, and the PLA recognizes that background.

Additionally, this new partnership is primarily geared toward non-traditional, adult learners who may be place-bound due to current career or family commitments. Much of the coursework to complete the VCSU CTE Bachelor's degree is available online via the Internet, further benefitting these place-bound students. This agreement also provides for a blending of skills that combine both the technical and managerial and/or educational components inherent in Career and Technical Education.

One of the complaints we sometimes hear from those critical of higher education is that there might be resistance to change or try new things. This new articulation agreement is exactly the kind of new relationship between two campuses in the North Dakota University System that represents change. As a University System, we must be responsive to the educational and workforce needs within the state, and this new path addresses some of those very issues. This opportunity will be beneficial and serve multiple audiences simultaneously: the student, the employer, and the current needs within North Dakota's flourishing economy.

VCSU and NDSCS paired together equal a winning combination. We look forward to exploring more of these types of collaborative partnerships to ultimately provide successful alternatives in the best educational interests of North Dakota's students.

Gene Smestad to Deliver VCSU Commencement Keynote

Gene Smestad will deliver the keynote address at Valley City State University's 119th Commencement Exercises.

Mr. Smestad was the president and CEO of AgCountry Farm Credit Services until his retirement in 2008. AgCountry, corporate headquarters in Fargo, ND, provides credit and financial services to more than 12,000 farmers and ranchers in eastern North Dakota and west central Minnesota. At the time of Mr. Smestad's retirement, AgCountry was managing $3.1 billion in assets, operating 28 branch offices and doing agribusiness loan & leasing relationships in 31 states nationally. In 2006, Mr. Smestad was one of 15 corporate CEO's nationally whose companies were awarded the Employer Support Freedom Award by United States President George W. Bush. He was one of the founders of the VCSU Foundation, served as its first president, and is currently on its Board of Directors. He also has served as a Director of V-500, the academic scholarship fundraising arm of the VCSU Foundation. Mr. Smestad is a native of North Dakota, was a member of the North Dakota National Guard for six years, and is a graduate of North Dakota State University.

The Commencement Exercises are scheduled for 10:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2011 in W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse on the VCSU campus. Approximately 136 graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to participate. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and a reception that immediately follows.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.

VCSU Elementary Education Students in Classrooms

VCSU Elementary Education Students in Classrooms
Elementary students grades K-5 made paper airplanes, built marshmallow robots, measured with peanuts, and spent a morning engaged in other hands-on, standards-based activities during Math Field Day, presented at Holy Spirit School in Fargo by 40 preservice teachers enrolled in the Valley City State University elementary education program at NDSU. Students grades K-5 rotated through activities that reinforced math concepts across the North Dakota State Standards. The activities were organized into 24 leveled stations; elementary students in groups of six rotated between stations according to their grade level.

VCSU Instructors Jackie Owen and Sheri Okland, who co-teach the class, organized the half-day event for students to fulfill the collaboration abilities project, after Cheryl Bombenger, 3rd grade teacher at Holy Spirit School, requested assistance with a math activity day. The event gave preservice teachers additional teaching experiences, and also introduced them to the process of applying to be conference presenters. Preservice teachers enrolled in EDUC 315 collaborated to submit a formal "Call for Proposals" for the event, then worked collaboratively to plan, implement, and evaluate the activities proposed. The event was also a collaborative experience for VCSU faculty. Assistant Professor Al Olson taught one STEM related station prepared by Instructor James Boe in which fourth and fifth grade students used 2-D representations to make 3-D models using Lego blocks. Associate Professor Patricia Gegleman also assisted by taking pictures for students to use in their portfolios. Individual student reflections of the experience will be portfolio-ready.

Teachers at Holy Spirit School were given copies of the activity proposals so that they could use the activities with future classes. Preservice teachers were treated to an excellent school lunch.

Math Field Day drew rave reviews from the staff at Holy Spirit School, who are already planning for us to return next year.
VCSU Elementary Education Students in Classrooms

VCSU Scholarship Auction

VCSU Scholarship Auction
Be a part in bringing more students to Valley City State University. Come and get into the Zone – the VCSU Zone and support scholarships by bidding on live and silent auction items at the VCSU Scholarship Auction on Friday, April 29 at the Valley City Eagles!

Tickets are $35 or two for $60 which includes dinner, two refreshments and three big chances to win. Prizes this year are an iPad (Wi-Fi 32GB) with case and camera connection, a $500 gift card to Leevers and a Magnavox 26-Inch 720p LCD HDTV with built in DVD player. You do not need to be present to win!

Purchase your ticket and support the VCSU scholarship programs by calling the VCSU Foundation Office at 701-845-7203.

Student Drawing Exhibition at VCSU Gallery

Currently installed in the VCSU Art Gallery is The Drawing Show, an informal exhibition consisting of 40 drawings by nine student artists from VCSU drawing courses.

An Artists' Reception is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 7:00-8:30 pm where the artists will discuss their work. The exhibition will remain in the gallery through April 13.

Come and be Amazed! The exhibition and reception is sponsored by the drawing students.

Klingenstein Receives Grant and Attends Conference

Klingenstein Receives Grant and Attends Conference
In support of her efforts to improve her teaching and artistic skills, Associate Professor Beth Gigante Klingenstein applied for and received a $500 Professional Development Grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

This state funded grant program is designed to benefit artists by providing financial assistance for informational/educational opportunities relating to the arts and arts development.

Klingenstein used the funds to attend the Music Teachers National Association Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While at the conference, she attended a number of excellent presentations, forums, recitals, master classes, and concerts, as well as a Leadership Summit.

Stickler Delivers Presentation on the Medicine Wheel

Stickler Delivers Presentation on the Medicine Wheel
Joe Stickler gave an invited talk about Medicine Wheel Park at the Ohio Wesleyan University Science Lecture Series on March 17, 2011. About 60 people attended the one-hour presentation including several faculty Stickler worked with in the 1980's. Stickler emphasized the student community service aspect as OWU provides extensive opportunities in this arena for its students.

Stickler graduated from OWU in 1964. He was a visiting professor at OWU in 1987/88 on sabbatical leave from VCSU and enjoyed this opportunity to return to his alma mater.

Tech Ed Exhibits at WTEEA Conference

Technology Education Instructor Peder Gjovik and Assistant Professor Roger Skophammer attended the Wisconsin Technology and Engineering Education Association annual conference March 10-11.

Gjovik and Skophammer manned a booth promoting VCSU graduate and undergraduate programs at the conference. Interested was shown for the graduate program as well as teaching jobs in ND.

Adams on Panel at National Conference

Adams on Panel at National Conference
Assistant Professor James Adams moderated two sessions at the College Band Directors National Association Conference last week in Seattle. As part of the National Task Force for Small College Issues, Adams presented and moderated two sessions during the conference, as well as participating in related meetings and events.

Adams serves as the North-Central Region representative on the national committee and during the conference was appointed as Chair of the North-Central Region CBDNA Task Force for Small College Issues. In that capacity he will be involved at the Regional CBDNA conference next Spring in Michigan.

Employee Benefit: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Are you aware that VCSU's benefit package includes an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? Employees of VCSU, spouses, and children are eligible for up to 6 free visits per person/per year. After the 6 visits, health insurance provides coverage with some expense remaining for payment.

Traditionally an EAP is viewed as a place to get 'therapy,' however, VCSU's provider (The Village) actually provides many services for issues involving (for example):

- Relationships
- The workplace
- Emotional health
- Financial counseling
- Legal counseling

Visits are confidential and the University will not know you attended. The EAP provides employees an opportunity to deal with private matters confidentially, and outside of work.

To contact The Village, call 1-800-627-8220 or send them a message through their webpage: THE VILLAGE. They also have many locations across the States of Minnesota and North Dakota found here: THE VILLAGE.

When you call, inform them you work for the North Dakota University System and you would like to schedule a visit. Be prepared to briefly summarize what you wish to gain from the visit. Feel comfortable making requests, for example, perhaps you feel more comfortable speaking with a male than a female (or vice versa), or prefer a person of a specific age, religion, or background.

Remember, you are not 'locked-in' to the person you meet with first; if you feel uncomfortable, don't trust them, or simply don't like them, ask for a new person the next time. They can't do their job well if you don't have that comfort.

HOW TO GO GREEN: Spring Cleaning

by Blythe Copeland, Great Neck, New York

1. Reduce The first step to fighting messes and keeping your home spic-and-span is getting rid of all that stuff you never use. Go through all the places where it accumulates--try closets, junk drawers, out-of-reach shelves, attics and basements, and any other place where you're inclined to toss stuff as you say, "I'll deal with this later". The quickest way to cut your cleaning time is to simply have less stuff to clean.

2. Make your own household cleaning supplies
Buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies is a good start, but for a truly green clean, make your own cleaners. Most of your home can be cleaned with cleaners that are a combination of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda or washing soda; add a few drops of essential oil for scent if you prefer. Since you're only making what you need as you need it, you're cutting back on waste, and you won't have any worries about what kind of toxins you may be spraying around your kids and pets.

3. Aim for a no-waste clean
Trade paper towels for reusable microfiber cloths or sponges, and ditch the Swiffer sweeper for a broom or the disposable mop for a reusable one.

4. Go paperless
Your annual spring cleaning is a perfect reminder to make sure you aren't overwhelmed by junk mail. Using a service like GreenDimes or 41 pounds, stem the tide of incoming junk mail; then set up your bank account for online billing and payments to cut back on waste. As your magazine subscriptions expire, see if you can read online instead to keep your living space even more clutter-free.
(To read the entire article, visit 'How to Go Green: Spring Cleaning')

5 Ergonomic Resolutions

Ergonomics focuses on improving performance, safety and employee morale by finding the balance between our personal capabilities and our job demands.

Follow these resolutions and see improvement in your overall job performance:
1. I will take five minutes to adjust my chair properly.
2. I will keep my wrists straight/neutral while typing.
3. I will have my eyes examined this year.
4. I will maintain the three curves in my back whether sitting, standing or sleeping.
5. I will stretch prior to and after lifting.

For more information visit ERGOWORKS Consulting

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
The Viking softball team had a very successful weekend as they swept Dakota State University by a combined score of 37-6. This brings their record to 10-9 overall and 4-0 in the DAC.

The Viking baseball team also played very well as they swept Dakota State by a combined score of 50-18. The Vikings stand at 10-7 overall and 4-0 in DAC play.

The Track and Field team was unable to compete due to weather.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, April 4

Tuesday, April 5

Fall Semester 2011 registration begins for currently enrolled students.
4:00 pm Viking Baseball @ Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile & Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym
4:30-7:00 pm Lions Club Ham & Beef Dinner, VFW Club
7:00 pm VCSU Gallery Reception, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Wednesday, April 6

Region 2 Instrumental Contest, Foss Music Hall
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activity Center
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile, St. Catherine Gym

Thursday, April 7

Fall Semester 2011 registration begins for returning and new students.
Region 5 Vocal Contest, Foss Music Hall
2:00 & 4:00 pm Viking Softball @ Minot State University
7:00 pm Valley Children's Choir presents Oliver, VCSU Theatre 320

Friday, April 8

12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Open Door Center

Saturday, April 9

9:00 am District 24 Legislative Forum, Ransom County Courthouse
1:00 & 3:00 pm Viking Softball vs Dickinson State University

2:00 & 4:30 pm Viking Baseball @ Dickinson State University

Sunday, April 10

Viking Track & Field @ University of Mary, Bismarck, ND
Viking Men's & Women's Golf @South Dakota Mines Invitational, Rapid City, SD
1:00 & 3:00 pm Viking Softball vs Dickinson State University
2:00 & 4:30 pm Viking Baseball @ Dickinson State University