MSU, ND Department of Human Services formalize agreement

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University Special Education and the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) have formalized a longstanding partnership to implement a career ladder model for workforce development in developmental disabilities.

The agreement adds to an existing contract between DHS and the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD), a University Center of Excellence on developmental disabilities, education, research, and service housed at Minot State.

“Our model is quite unique in the country and internationally,” said MSU Special Education Chair Holly Pedersen. “The partnership with DHS involves two MSU programs, the CSTP Program at NDCPD and the special education department’s associate and bachelor degrees in Human Services.”

It will allow for a seamless transition for students seeking to utilize state required Community Staff Training Program (CSTP) modules to complete a Certificate of Completion in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, an Associate of Science in Human Services with a major in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, or a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a major in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.

“If an individual decides to make this their field and climb the career ladder, our department and DHS can come together and leverage the NDUS credit by exam process,” Pedersen said. “With this agreement, all training modules through the CSTP, if the individual lives in North Dakota, can be used for credit by exam. All of the major course work required for the associate degree can be taken through credit by exam for those modules. If you get an 85% or better on the exam, you can earn the degree and pay half the price of tuition.”

The agreement with DHS formalizes the credit by exam process and how credit hours will be applied to the three levels at MSU.

“We are thrilled to formalize the means by which human services professionals can earn credit towards their certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree from Minot State University,” said Minot State Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Erik Kana. “We’ve been assisting personnel in this field in continuing their education for a long time, but now both entities have agreed to formal parameters, providing a clear path forward for those who choose to earn a degree.”

While Minot State’s Special Education Department has supported both NDCPD and DHS on this project for years, Pedersen is happy to finalize the contract.

“Ultimately, this is for the benefit of the student,” she said. “This formalizes a partnership that has been in place for a long time, but didn’t have a contract in place. The contract will help keep any confusion or problems arising for students as they go along their career path.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 11/26/19   

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