A landmark agreement signed by Sisseton Wahpeton College and North Dakota State University will support the academic needs of Indian students attending both institutions, especially in STEM fields, tribal and state education leaders recently announced.
A memorandum of understanding, signed January 16, provides for more support services for Sisseton Wahpeton College students who continue their studies at the state university. It will also promote faculty exchange programs, collaborative research, and the development of articulation agreements to assure smooth transfer of credits earned at the tribally controlled college.
NDSU also will help Sisseton Wahpeton College establish an associate of arts degree in the behavioral sciences, according to an NDSU press release. The new initiative is funded through a National Science Foundation grant.
North Dakota State University, located in Fargo, is the state’s largest research institution with a total enrollment of over 14,000 students. Sisseton Wahpeton College, located in Sisseton, South Dakota, was founded in 1979 and typically serves 200 to 250 students, mostly enrolled members of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.
College and university leaders believe the agreement will strengthen both institutions. “We’re very excited about this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Sisseton Wahpeton College, particularly by collaborating with them in establishing a program that will meet the needs of Native American students and help them to prepare for important leadership roles in tribal communities,” said Kent Sandstrom, dean of the NDSU College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Sisseton Wahpeton College President Harvey Dumarce agreed. “This memorandum of understanding will open up more educational opportunities for both of our institutions.”