Minot State President visits Briercrest

Posted: December 1, 2014

This past month, the president of Minot State University (MSU), Dr. Steven Shirley, was in Caronport to visit with Briercrest faculty and meet with our president, Dr. Michael B. Pawelke. Shirley was once again discussing the importance and the incredibly great opportunity that Briercrest students have with Minot State University.

Briercrest College has a partnership agreement with Minot State University to offer students a chance to get two degrees in five years between the two schools. Shirley sees this as the perfect learning experience.

“You can do three years in one country, at Briercrest, you can cross the border and come to Minot State University and do two more years,”stated Shirley. “You end up with two degrees from two different universities in two different countries. That’s a unique opportunity!”

Shirley sees this international education as something that will help students down the road, and not just in their education.

“As we think about preparing students for the future, those are the kinds of things that employers are looking forexperiences that students have had where they can adapt and work and learn in two different societies, cultures and countries. That’s a tremendous opportunity for young people. That gets me excited!” 

Both Briercrest and Minot State University are schools with substantial history in their respective countries, something that Shirley counts as another positive in the partnership.

“Seeing that Minot State has a program like this with Briercrest, a school with 70 plus years of tradition, is great,”said Shirley. “Minot State just celebrated its 100th anniversary so we have two schools with great histories committed to education and that have been serving their communities well. You’ve got two great traditions that you’re bringing together.”

Along with education, Shirley counts employment training as the main focus of these two schools. He wishes to see the two schools work together to bolster the communities and economies that they exist in.

“What are we doing to make sure that we are preparing people to respond to those changing areas [of the economy]?”asks Shirley. “That might be filling the needs in social work, or filling the demand for more teachers, or more nurses, or people in law enforcement, or in business, and so on to help foster and grow the economy and diversify those economies.”

Briercrest and Minot State University offer four different degrees available to students between the two schools: Education, Communication Disorders, Addiction Studies, and Social Work.

Only a few years old, Shirley sees good things from this international partnership.

“We’re just a couple of years into this partnership, but the early signs are that there is tremendous potential here.… we are in discussions about adding other opportunities down the road as well …so we are excited about that.”