Bismarck State College is continuing its move toward becoming a “polytechnic” school.
BSC will be offering four-year bachelor degrees in certain technical fields. BSC president Larry Skogen said the college already offers two such degrees – in energy management and cyber security. Now he said the college is having discussions with representatives of those technical fields, to see where there are needs for people with those four year degrees.
"In other words, industry will hire students with a four-year degree," Skogen said. "That takes them another step higher as a technician, and also exposes them to management, accounting and the sorts of things they will need as they move into supervisory positions."
Skogen said that process will take a little time.
"If we added two degrees per year, that would probably be the right pace," Skogen said. "We're not going to add 25 degrees next year."
Skogen said BSC will continue to do the things it has been doing. He says adding four-year bachelor of applied science degrees is a response to industry demands.
As BSC moves toward becoming a “polytechnic” institute, a survey was done on campus to see if the college should consider changing its name.
Skogen said 212 employees responded.
"One hundred six said change the name, and 106 said don't change the name," Skogen said. "I couldn't have made that one up."
Skogen said there is a lot of loyalty to the current name.
"In the energy field, we're well-recognized nationally as Bismarck State College," Skogen said. "There is some concern about changing the name and losing that recognition."
Skogen said if there is a name change, “Bismarck” and “College” need to be in the name.
"So you end up with Bismarck State College - Polytechnic, or something like that," Skogen said. "It sets us apart, lets people know we are a four-year institution, but insures we stay connected to our heritage and to our spirit.
"What we have said is we'll be a four-year college with the spirit of a community college," Skogen said. "We'll keep the closeness to our community and to our students."