Minot State announces inaugural Aspire Scholars program class

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University is pleased to announce 20 area students have been selected to participate in the Aspire Scholars program.

The selected students were nominated by their school administrators, submitted essays, and have met the requirements to take college-level coursework.

“In communicating with regional high schools and learning more about their teacher shortage issues, we heard time and again about a strategic interest in trying to ‘grow their own’ teachers,” said Minot State President Steven Shirley. “The Aspire program provides exactly that kind of an approach, and so we are especially excited to welcome this first class of scholar students to Minot State.”

Minot State designed the Aspire program to partner with North Dakota K-12 districts in identifying and training high school students who aspire to be educators. This collaborative effort aims to address shortages in teaching fields in North Dakota.

The program is possible through Minot State’s partnership with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the Bush Foundation PIPELINE (Planning Initiative to Prepare Educators for Licensure in ND {Special} Education) grant. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Bush Foundation supports organizations and people who think bigger and think differently about what is possible in their communities.

“We are excited to launch this new opportunity to help these students explore careers in teaching and learn about options to find the pathway that benefits them,” said Holly Pedersen, chair, special education. “This is just one effort we are making to help fill the teacher PIPELINE.”

Aspire Scholars program components include:

  • Dual credit SPED 110 Introduction to Exceptional Children delivered online with tuition and materials paid. This class is required for all education and communication sciences and disorders majors at MSU.
  • Peer mentors
  • One-day immersive experience on campus
  • Individualized pathway development leading to a career in education

The inaugural Aspire Scholars program includes:

  • Lily Agotness, Grafton High School
  • Kyra Bakken, Burke Central High School
  • Katelynn Berg, Des Lacs-Burlington High School
  • Marah Betterley, Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood High School
  • Brenna Dutenhafer, Minot High School
  • Karsyn Haman, Velva High School
  • Karesse Heinz, Rolette High School
  • Gwen Jarvis, Minot High School
  • Emily Jeglum, Divide County High School
  • Gwyndolyn Johnson, Bishop Ryan Catholic School
  • Maddy Johnson, Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood High School
  • Julia Kraft, Minot High School
  • Kayla Morten, Lakota High School
  • Kendall Nordgaard, Nedrose High School
  • Chloe Pasterz, Des Lacs-Burlington High School
  • Maddie Rayhorn, New England High School
  • Magee Rovig, Bishop Ryan Catholic School
  • Kyle Sandy, Velva High School
  • Piper Stein, Nedrose High School
  • Valerie Stevens, Glenburn High School

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: 01/09/23   

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