Our Mission

“The mission of the Dakota Digital Academy is to provide access to digital-cyber oriented education, training, certificates, and knowledge produced by the collaborative North Dakota University System of eleven campuses, in partnership with select business and corporate partners”

Mark Hagerott, Chancellor, North Dakota University System

Accessible computing and cyber science education in North Dakota

The Dakota Digital Academy was formed to provide access to quality education and training to assist citizens, businesses and government agencies in North Dakota engage with and adapt to the changing demands and opportunities associated with the rapid digitization of our economy and society.

structure

As a unit of the North Dakota University System (NDUS), DDA is organized to provide motivated learners with access to quality digital-cyber education, training, certificates and knowledge, which are available through the collaboration of the 11 institutions in the state system. Partnerships with government organizations and select business and corporate entities are included. Educational opportunities will be offered via distance education, face-to-face on a campus, and through special traveling courses, workshops, boot camps and seminars throughout the state. Prior learning through on-the-job training or professional development programs may count for credits toward DDA certificates or degrees.

DEMAND

Successful enterprises in North Dakota and nationwide rely upon digitization. Employees in government, business and industry—in sectors such as energy, agriculture, health and medical enterprises, services, technology and manufacturing—must acquire skills and education in computing and the cyber sciences. This training and upskilling are highly important, not just for students but also for broad swaths of the workforce. Cybersecurity, information technology and software development are especially pressing workforce needs. Artificial intelligence and data science are rapidly increasing in significance.

activities

Under DDA sponsorship, faculty members at NDUS institutions are designing and developing 25 courses related to digital enterprises. A new web portal will enable learners to access these and related courses, which will fulfill valuable learning objectives and complete requirements towards certificates in cybersecurity and software development. The courses and certificates will appeal to college students majoring or minoring in digital sciences, such as computer science, information technology, information systems and software engineering. The courses will also appeal to students in other disciplines who will be profoundly affected in their personal and professional lives by the ongoing digital transformation. Learners who are unemployed, wish to upgrade skills while on the job, reinvent their careers or begin a technology career will be well accommodated. The courses and certificates will be stackable, leading to more advanced credentials and degrees. Importantly, the courses and certificates will be integrated across multiple campuses and fully transferable, greatly leveraging the capacities of each institution. We are also planning to offer dual credit for K-12 cyber-education courses for both instructors and students.

DDA will also offer courses in the profound social, ethical, legal and policy implications of digitization. As well, DDA will publish an online and print magazine, Dakota Digital Review, covering developments in the cyber sciences and their implications, as described above and on the arts and humanities.

Links to job openings and apprenticeships will be available on the web portal. Virtual career fairs geared to workforce development are also being planned.

“North Dakota is a large state with a highly dispersed population. Due to the large footprint and dispersed population, there is no cost-effective means of meeting the educational-training needs of the state of North Dakota without a highly collaborative approach.”

Mark Hagerott, Chancellor, North Dakota University System

Collaboration

The Dakota Digital Academy connects and acts as a resource for campuses

Continued institutional autonomy in the courses and programs offered creates diverse offerings

Courses developed at one institution can be leveraged across the system using existing protocols

Incentives for faculty collaboration

Shared collaboration virtual spaces

Course Development

Remote Delivery Course Development program launched in the fall of 2020

Support for both synchronous and asynchronous courses that can be delivered online or under a hybrid/HyFlex model

Supporting development of professional development courses

Supporting a ‘design once, deploy everywhere’ model for courses

Cross campus offerings under development include undergraduate certificates in cyber security and software development

Partner with Us

Dakota Digital Academy seeks to partner with North Dakota and upper Midwest employers to help campuses deliver the skills your organization needs

Opportunities for recruiting of students and graduates throughout the North Dakota University System

Opportunities for qualified staff to deliver courses or portions of courses through NDUS institutions

Helping employers, workforce development agencies and others achieve their goals through increased access to and capabilities for education

Vision for Supporting Higher Education

The Dakota Digital Academy will support NDUS institutions with funding, technology, coordination and other resources

The Dakota Digital Academy will help coordinate between institutions that want to make their courses available via other NDUS institutions

Employer contact and workforce needs assessment

Outreach and other support

Multiple and flexible entry points to support students at varied levels of readiness

Stackable credentials to provide opportunities for students to reach higher and higher education levels

Innovation

College courses anytime, anywhere: synchronous and asynchronous

Combine courses from all North Dakota Colleges and Universities to meet educational goals

All content delivered through the existing NDUS-wide Blackboard platform for a seamless experience

Programs are tailored to provide skills identified as valued by employers

Programs can be completed at a single campus or by taking courses from multiple participating campuses

Planned Resources

All content delivered through the existing NDUS-wide Blackboard platform for a seamless experience

Programs are tailored to provide skills identified as valued by employers

Programs can be completed at a single campus or by taking courses from multiple participating campuses

Bring the Dakota Digital Academy to You

NDUS institution courses are available, as part of the Dakota Digital Academy, throughout North Dakota

Many are available for asynchronous participation – any place / any time completion

Outreach activities can be held for any North Dakota city, town or county that would like to hold one – both online and in person outreach is planned

Many courses can be taken at low cost or for free by those over 65 years of age

Vision for High School Collaboration

The Dakota Digital Academy will promote and help coordinate dual-credit course availability from NDUS institutions for high school students

Dual credit courses from NDUS members ensure that credits can be applied to degrees at local schools

Through common course numbering and common curricular standards, many dual-credit courses will be guaranteed to be accepted and apply to degrees throughout the NDUS

NDUS institution courses will be available to high schools everywhere in North Dakota through the Dakota Digital Academy