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BSC maintains strong enrollment, sees significant enrollment growth in several programs | Bismarck State College

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BSC maintains strong enrollment, sees significant enrollment growth in several programs

Published: Sep 22 2020
Bismarck State College released its official Fall 2020 census data today by reporting an enrollment of 3,716 students, the third largest enrollment in the ND University System. Overall, a very small enrollment decline of less than one percent (.6%) was mostly offset by significant growth in a number of BSC’s high-demand technical programs.
“We firmly believe that offering our students the in-person experience they told us they prefer and expect, was a significant factor in countering the negative effects COVID might have had on our enrollment,” says BSC President Doug Jensen. “I am certain that by providing face-to-face and hybrid classes in a safe environment this fall we not only served our students well we minimized the impact COVID had on our enrollment.” 
While the college was down 23 students from 2019, significant growth occurred in a number of programs that feed North Dakota’s high priority occupations and feed directly into BSC’s expanded mission as North Dakota’s first and only polytechnic.
  • Nursing increased 23% from 201 to 248 students
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) increased 50% from 16 to 24 students
  • Cybersecurity and Information Technology increased 63% from 16 to 26 
  • Criminal Justice increased 58% from 24 to 38 students
  • Instrumentation and Control was up 11% from 91 to 101 students
“Offering programs that fill in-demand roles in high priority occupations is vital in this economy. By installing technology in our classrooms and establishing a multilayered COVID-19 mitigation strategy we helped our students see a way to move forward with us rather than stopping out or seeking degrees elsewhere,” Jensen says.
In an effort to serve students who may have stopped out of another college or delayed enrolling due to COVID-19, BSC launched a FlexStart initiative this week, offering dozens of eight-week general education classes that run from Oct. 19 to Dec. 14. 
“Our Flex Start classes are a great way to get started or back into pursuing a degree. BSC tuition is one of the lowest in the state at $160.54/credit so it’s affordable, applying is easy, and a number of delivery methods are offered including online, hybrid and in-person,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Leingang. 
BSC offers a number of scholarships and other supports to assist students who might be facing financial hardship. More information about the Fall Flex Start classes can be found at