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Montana State University Billings forms partnership with Tribal Colleges to ease student transfer process



Montana – Last month, Montana State University Billings created alliances with Chief Dull Knife College and Fort Peck Community College that enable their graduates with specific associate degrees to transfer smoothly to MSU Billings to finish a bachelor’s degree.

In order to complete a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a general business, accounting, finance, management, or marketing option, Fort Peck Community College graduates with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration can transfer smoothly to MSU Billings. Graduates of Chief Dull Knife College who have earned an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education are eligible to transfer smoothly to MSUB to finish their Bachelor of Science in Education.

This indicates that these graduates are eligible to continue their studies at MSUB because they have previously met the general education requirements. As many students do not have a schedule that allows them to regularly travel to the MSUB campus—or they live far away—MSUB provides numerous programs available online, making it more convenient for them to earn their degree.

“Online programs are an attractive option to many current and prospective students,” said MSUB Provost Sep Eskandari. “Creating these seamless transfer partnerships with some of our programs makes it convenient for anyone—near and far—to take advantage of these opportunities.”

“Fort Peck Community College is excited enter into this articulation with MSU Billings as this is an exciting opportunity for Fort Peck Community College students to continue pursuing their goal of attaining a higher degree in business from the comfort of their own home and community,” said Fort Peck Community College President Haven Gourneau. “Family input and support are so important to student success whether they are fresh out of high school or returning after a hiatus. Maintaining that close connection through distance learning is what is so awesome about this articulation. FPCC and MSU Billings have a shared mission to support Fort Peck student success.”

Bill Briggs, dean of academic affairs at Chief Dull Knife College, emphasized his eagerness to collaborate with MSUB once more because the two universities already have articulation agreements in biology and business.

“We are excited to once again be partnering with MSUB to provide opportunities for our students in education. The chance for our students to complete a degree in education while remaining close to home and community is invaluable. We, at Chief Dull Knife College, believe in the importance of building a well-educated cadre of home-grown teachers for the children of our community and this partnership will help bring that vision to fruition.”

With the establishment of a transfer partnership between MSU Billings and Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, last year, graduates of NWC with an Associate of Science degree now have the option of smoothly transferring to MSU Billings for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a general business, accounting, finance, marketing, or marketing degree option. Other collaborations that were started last year included those with Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Casper College in Casper, Wyoming, Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana, and Great Falls College at Montana State University in Great Falls, Mont.

“These agreements will allow students to obtain their business degree at MSU Billings while receiving full credit for the classes they have already taken at their community college,” said College of Business Interim Dean Ed Garding. “Once they are enrolled here, they can decide which of the five business options are best for them. Our recent graduates are in high demand, with the proof of that being nearly 100 percent job placement last year. “

The public universities and colleges in Montana are a part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program, an arrangement between the 16 states and territories that make up the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that allows western students to significantly reduce their nonresident tuition costs at 160+ participating public colleges and universities. Through WUE, qualified students can select from hundreds of undergraduate programs offered outside of their home state while paying no more than 150% of the resident tuition rate at those institutions. Due to the possibility that full nonresident college tuition rates could be 300 percent or more than resident rates, WUE broadens the range of accessible higher education options for students and reduces the negative effects of student loan debt.

The WICHE’s Interstate Passport Network, which MSU Billings is a part of, enables students to easily transfer credits and lower-division general education courses between participating institutions.

MSU Billings collaborates with other universities both domestically and abroad.

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