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Mayville State, Tribal College Considering Agreement


Officials at Mayville State University and Cankdeska Cikana tribal college on the Spirit Lake Sioux reservation are considering a range of possible cooperative agreements.

They include delivering four-year degree courses to Spirit Lake graduates on the tribal campus, through the Internet, interactive video and visiting professors, said Keith Stenehjem, Mayville’s vice president for academic affairs.

The schools also are discussing increasing the number of Spirit Lake graduates who go on to attend Mayville on campus, Stenehjem said.

“We’ll be meeting their needs by offering a small campus environment, and they’ll be sharing their culture with our campus,” he said.

Both agreements likely would focus on degrees in early childhood education, elementary education and business administration, Stenehjem said, skills that are needed on the reservation and in which Mayville has a strong history and focus.

Cynthia Lindquist Mala, president of the two-year tribal college, said officials also are discussing how some Spirit Lake residents who are less than a semester away from a bachelor’s degree can obtain the degree.

“This is a group who dropped out or quit for whatever reason, and some of them have 100, 120 or 90 credits,” Mala said. Most universities require about 120 credits in specified categories for graduation.

Stenehjem said the cooperative agreements likely will be finalized within the next few months.

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