Defiance College partners with the University of North Dakota to offer a new dual degree

June 22, 2022

Thanks to a new dual-degree partnership, students at Defiance College can earn both a math degree at Defiance and a civil or electrical engineering degree from the University of North Dakota (UND).

from left, they are Brian Tande, dean, UND College of Engineering & Mines; President Armacost; President Mankey; Agnes Caldwell, academic dean and VP for academic affairs at Defiance; and Eric Link, provost and vice-president for academic affairs at UNDThe project takes advantage of UND’s long history of offering fully accredited online engineering degrees. Defiance is the tenth campus with which UND’s College of Engineering & Mines now partners with in dual-degree programs.

“The College of Engineering and Mines has been a pioneer in distance engineering education for over three decades,” said the UND’s dean, Brian Tande. “The capabilities we have developed allow us to deliver our programs in innovative ways in order to reach students for whom an engineering degree would not otherwise be accessible.

“We’re very excited to be able to add Defiance College to our list of partners,” Tande said. “This agreement will allow students to study engineering and prepare themselves for a wealth of career opportunities while also benefiting from Defiance’s very student-focused learning environment.”

Filling a need

For Defiance, the new partnership offers a new opportunity that the College can provide for its students, said Richanne C. Mankey, Defiance College president.

“When I arrived at Defiance College, I did a listening tour,” Mankey said. “I spoke with people on campus, of course, but also with community leaders and business owners. I asked them, ‘What do you need from Defiance College?’”

“The answer was engineers and welders,” Mankey said. “I then said, ‘Well, we probably can't do welding, but let me see what we can do about engineering.’”

Today, that dream is being fulfilled, as Defiance College students who study for a math degree on campus can simultaneously take online courses to earn a UND engineering degree. DC students will travel to Grand Forks over the summer to experience labs in the University’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Agnes Caldwell, academic dean at Defiance College and vice president of academic affairs, celebrated the new partnership and the opportunities it offers. “We’ve had a large number of prospective students who’ve been interested in engineering over the years, and we’re thrilled to be able to meet that need,” she said.

“We have already started talking about the partnership with our new students at their recent orientation, and a number of our current students also have asked about it. Defiance is adding faculty in both math and physics, with the goal of making sure students who take the dual-degree track have all the support on campus that they need,” Caldwell said.

The agreement calls for Defiance students to take a total of five years to complete their two degrees.

‘A winning formula’

On June 20, President Mankey and Dean Caldwell from Defiance visited UND to tour the campus and sign the new agreement in person with UND President Andy Armacost.

Said Armacost, “This partnership promises to be a great way for UND to deliver high-quality engineering programs for Defiance College students. Through this collaboration, UND and Defiance both can strengthen their enrollments, while enabling Defiance students to not only earn engineering and math degrees, but also keep attending the Ohio college they love. We’re proud to be a leader in this innovative and cost-effective educational model.”

The new arrangement stems partly from UND and Defiance’s work with the Lower Cost Models Consortium, a coalition of private colleges and universities committed to making higher education more accessible for students and sustainable for the long term. The consortium specializes in helping its institutions collaborate to offer more academic programs, especially in fields that are in high demand in the marketplace.

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio, offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. DC has created a unique career readiness program called Jacket Journey to help students learn career skills in and out of the classroom. The four pillars of its mission guide the College: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve.