A partnership between Williston State College (WSC), Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB), and Lake Region State College (LRSC), known as the North Dakota Agriculture Consortium (NDAC), will bring a new Associate in Applied Science Agriculture degree to WSC students.

Instead of campuses competing, NDAC will meet the needs of individual students and those of the agricultural industry in the state and regionwide.

The idea for NDAC grew out of initial discussion between all three colleges and what each could offer, as well as input from students on their interests and desired pathways.

“For WSC students, the NDAC definitely has added value to our agriculture program as they can take a larger variety of agriculture courses than what was originally offered,” explained Jessalyn Bachler, WSC’s Agriculture Instructor. “All three colleges blend together really well, as each has a distinct agricultural focus.”

WSC will offer animal and range science courses, DCB will offer plant science and horticulture courses, and LRSC will offer soil and crop science courses.

Choose your format

Courses will be offered through several delivery formats that include on-campus instruction and distance education (i.e. online and Interactive Video Network).

Starting Fall 2019, students now choose to specialize in one of the following career-oriented options: Agribusiness Management, Equine Management, Farm Management, Ranch Management, and Agriculture Education and Extension.

According to Bachler, these options will help students prepare for the direct areas of the agriculture industry that they plan on entering into after graduation.

This two-year AAS degree can also be a starting point to continue studies at a four-year institution.

“I am excited that our students will have options when pursuing agriculture and can choose a pathway that fits their interests,” explained Kim Wray, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Partnering with other colleges also allows our instructor, Jessalyn to focus on her area of strength and offer more specialized classes.”

In addition to agriculture, WSC is involved in similar state-wide consortiums for the Dakota Nursing Program and Information Technology.

For more information on this story, please contact Jessalyn Bachler, WSC’s Agriculture Instructor, at 701.744.4539 or jessalyn.bachler@willistonstate.edu.

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