NDSU Transform initiative aims to boost enrollment and student retention
Faculty do not consider the initiative to be a result of ongoing budget cuts at NDSU, but rather a "reinvestment" at a time when enrollment is down nationwide.
FARGO — North Dakota State University is introducing a few new programs which they hope will help attract more students and keep them at the university.
It is all part of their NDSU Transform initiative, which amps up professional advising for first and second-year students, opening up around eight new faculty positions to fill these roles.
"(W)e know there's lots of challenges in going to college, lots of things to learn, so if we can make something simpler, we want to do that," said Becky Bahe, director of NDSU's Career and Advising Center.
The school is also set to offer a few degrees this fall that students can complete entirely online, including Cybersecurity and Software Engineering. Those online programs use in-state tuition no matter how far away the student lives.
"They like the flexibility of having that online option and it provides an opportunity for people around the state who may be not able to come in person to complete a degree," said Jessie Bauer, assistant director of Student Success Initiatives at NDSU's Career and Advising Center.
These changes come amidst budget cuts at the university, but the faculty WDAY News spoke with said these changes are unrelated, and have been in the works for years.
"(I)t's about enrollment and providing more access to students, either across the state or across the country, and looking at what are the needs of the state," Bauer said.
NDSU is also introducing the Bison Bridge Program with the intent to support diversity.