University of Mary and Dickinson State Collaborate to Meet the Growing Needs of Western North Dakota
Left to right: North Dakota University System Chancellor H. A. Shirvani; University of Mary President Father James Shea; Dickinson State University President D. C. Coston.
DICKINSON, ND - The University of Mary, a private, Catholic university, is partnering with Dickinson State University, a public university, to offer master's-level degrees in education, business, nursing and counseling in Dickinson starting March 2013. The two universities made the announcement together with the North Dakota University System at a press conference at DSU today, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.
Under the agreement, anyone in western North Dakota looking to further their education in any of the fields previously mentioned can earn their master's degree from the University of Mary at Dickinson State.
Additionally, DSU and the University of Mary have agreed to explore the possibility of a 4+1 accelerated module in which new DSU students would be able to finish their undergraduate degree at DSU in four years and immediately enter into a fifth year with the University of Mary to complete their master's degree.
The University of Mary will have a presence on the DSU campus and plans to hire new faculty and staff to coordinate and administer the courses.
"We are pleased to be part of this wonderful new public and private partnership that will benefit students throughout the area," said H. A. Shirvani, Chancellor of the North Dakota University System. "Our Pathways to Student Success plan is focused on ensuring that all of our institutions make students' goals their highest priority. We are particularly interested in serving the adult learner population, giving them more opportunities to complete an education that may have been interrupted by other commitments or to change careers based on the employment opportunities available in North Dakota today. This partnership is a giant step forward in fulfilling that mission. I commend Dr. Coston and Fr. Shea for their foresight and innovation in creating this program."
The DSU collaboration is the University of Mary's fourth collaborative initiative with a public university within the past 12 months. In November 2012, Mary articulated a course transfer agreement with Bismarck State College (Bismarck, ND). In March, an agreement was announced wherein the University of Mary offers degrees in Catholic studies and theological studies at the largest public research university in the United States -Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ). In April, U-Mary partnered with Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATTC) to offer undergraduate degree programs so students can complete their four-year degree without leaving town, with the year being capped by a joint venture with DSU.
"For almost 100 years DSU has successfully served Western North Dakota by continually adapting to meet the needs of this region's citizens. As we look to the future, we see an opportunity to expand upon the programs offered by DSU through partnering with others to bring educational opportunities to this area. The alliance being announced today is a major, initial step in that direction," said Dr. D.C. Coston, president at Dickinson State University.
As a member of the North Dakota University system, DSU places emphasis on educating a diverse and international population of students through innovative teaching, learning, and scholarship. DSU offers over 60 undergraduate degree programs on its main campus and through its extended learning programs DSU offers undergraduate degrees in Bismarck, Williston and online in 4 states. DSU is the home of the Theodore Roosevelt digital presidential library.
"We're excited about this partnership with DSU for several reasons, but foremost it's about serving the people in western North Dakota who have a tremendous need for these successful and popular programs," stated University of Mary President, Father James Shea. "With this region's growth and prosperity come growing pains and a workforce that becomes underserved. I have seen it first-hand in my service as a priest in Dickinson and the Killdeer area. We're here to serve just as our founders and sponsors, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, did when they helped pioneer this territory in 1878 and continue to do to this day with great success, devotion and humility. It's a privilege to carry forward their spirit and vision to the people of western North Dakota."
The University of Mary is recognized nationally as one of the most affordable private universities in the country. It was founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery and is North Dakota's only Catholic university. With this new partnership with DSU, Mary will offer programs at 20 sites in seven states, through the University of Mary Centers for Accelerated and Distance Education, as well as its campus in Rome, Italy. U-Mary offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees, 10 master's degrees, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, as well as 16 NCAA Division II varsity sports to its students.
For more information, please contact Marie Moe, Dickinson State University, (701) 483-2175, C# (701) 300-0031, firstname.lastname@example.org; Linda Donlin, North Dakota University System, (701) 328-2962, C# (507) 261-2812, email@example.com; Tom Ackerman, University of Mary, (701) 355-8002, C# (701) 471-5698, firstname.lastname@example.org.