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BSC hires polytechnic director as focus on expanded mission ramps up

Published: Nov 10 2020
Bismarck State College has named Alicia Uhde as Polytechnic Program Outreach Director. Uhde is responsible for expanding BSC’s public and private partnerships, experiential learning opportunities for students and outreach as Bismarck State College solidifies its polytechnic offerings. Uhde was previously a program manager in the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence. She has been with BSC for 16 years.

“Alicia is the right person to lead BSC as we move forward as a polytechnic,” says BSC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Leingang. “Her energy background, work with our Energy Management BAS and her leadership in pursuing and strengthening industry partnerships are the strengths we need to build our polytechnic mission.”
BSC is North Dakota’s only polytechnic institution and one of very few institutions in the nation to hold the polytechnic designation. Others include Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rensselaer Institute of Technology, New York Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Cal Poly.
In 2018, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education directed BSC to “develop the structures necessary to respond to workforce needs with a new mission as a polytechnic.” Since then, the college has been working to expand its career-focused curriculum in all disciplines adding greater emphasis to blending theory and practice in hands-on learning environments, according to Leingang who led the mission exploration process.
The college will continue to offer all of the technical and transfer program degrees and certificates it has offered historically, including its two current four-year BAS degrees, Energy Management and Cybersecurity. As a polytechnic institution, the college will offer additional certificates, two-year degrees, and more four-year BAS degrees. BSC will be integrating experiential learning and industry collaboration across many of its programs.
BSC President Doug Jensen says that as a polytechnic, BSC is building upon what the college has done so well historically.
“BSC has always helped students onto career pathways that make them more successful – whether they earn their general eds and transfer on or pursue technical degrees with us. As a polytechnic, BSC now fills an existing gap in the higher ed landscape. We develop the highly skilled technical talent that a growing and expanding economy needs. We can leverage our existing programs to create integrated technical degrees that cross disciplines and ready our students for industry 4.0 jobs,” Jensen says.
“Moving forward, we’ll really be working to build new opportunities, grow our public/private partnerships and create collaborations that not only benefit students, but also create better careers for our citizens, better skilled talent for our businesses and better economic development opportunities for North Dakota.”