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Tri-College University Course Exchange and Cooperative Agreement

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I. Definitions

A. “Tri-College Institutions” (TCU) are Concordia College (CC) of Moorhead, Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) of Moorhead, Minnesota and North Dakota State University (NDSU) of Fargo, North Dakota.
B. “Student” shall mean any person enrolled at either Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead or North Dakota State University.
C. “Home Institution/Campus” shall mean the institution (CC, MSUM, or NDSU), which regards the student as properly enrolled in their institution.
D. “Tri-College Organization” is a student organization that has been recognized by all of the Tri-College University (TCU) institutions.
E. “Dual-College Organization” is a student organization that has been recognized by no more, or no less than two of the Tri-College institutions.
F. “Tri-College Commissioners” are the Provosts/Vice-Presidents of Academic Affairs (VPAA) or their equivalent at each of the three campuses.
G. The “Board of Directors” is comprised of the Presidents from each of the three campuses and citizen board members as detailed in the Tri-College University By-Laws.
H. The “Provost” for Tri-College University is the chief executive who is hired by the Board to lead and carry out the functions of Tri-College.
I. The term “Institutions” shall be synonymous with campuses and schools.
J. “Partner Institution(s)” is one or both of the institutions that is not the student’s home campus. A “partner institution” is one, other than the home campus, where a student is taking a class.

II. Student Course Exchange Program

A. The purpose of the course exchange agreement is to allow a properly enrolled student at any of the Tri-College institutions to utilize the Tri-College University course exchange program as a means of supplementing the preparation and completion of a degreed program or the transfer to a partner institution.

B. The intention and guidelines of the Course Exchange Program for undergraduate students are as follows:

  1. The Course Exchange agreement allows a student to register for a TCU class at their home campus, to be taken at a partner institution, without going through separate admission procedures.
  2. A student may be restricted from the course exchange based on the host campuses’ policy on criminal history.
  3. No additional tuition may be charged for participation in the course exchange program. Program, differential tuition, and/or course fees may be charged to supplement costs for specialized programs, laboratory, studio, materials, or supply fees.
  4. A student is required to meet residency requirements at the degree granting institution before a degree may be earned.  Individual programs or departments may set their own requirements for the length of time that a student is required to be enrolled in their program or at their degree granting institution, such as with professional programs.
  5. A student may be granted a minor from a partner institution only if their home campus does not offer an equivalent minor.
  6. Only courses not offered at the student’s home campus in a given term or semester are allowed.
  7. Course exchange is limited to one course, per student, per semester, per campus . Exceptions which do not require written permission to the one-course per term or semester limit among campuses are as follows:
    a) A student who has declared a recognized Tri-College minor (eg., Vaccinology) or a minor not offered by their home campus. The minor must be declared and on file with the home institution, and will be confirmed by the home campus at the point of registration. The partner campus will verify that the courses being requested are required for the minor.  In addition, students enrolled in a Vaccinology seminar course are permitted to enroll in one additional class via the Tri-College consortium in the same term (even if that course is not required for the Vaccinology minor) as long as it is within the guidelines;
    b) A student who requests enrollment in either the Aerospace Studies/Air Force ROTC (AS) or Military Science/Army ROTC (MS) courses at NDSU (regardless of declaring the Aerospace Studies or Military Science minors);
    c) A student who requests enrollment in a course/lab pairing (if the lecture and corresponding lab are considered two separate courses);
    d) Other requests for exceptions may be reviewed on an individual basis.
  8. An MSUM or NDSU student is required to take at least one course at their home campus (excluding summer session) when participating in the Course Exchange Program.
  9. Concordia does not participate in the course exchange during the summer semester and limits course exchange to full-time students.
  10. A student from a partner institution will be processed during the partner institution’s open enrollment and registered if space allows. Early submission of the Tri-College registration form does not guarantee enrollment in the class.
  11. If permission is required for the course, the students must contact the instructor for written authorization or permit, which then must be submitted to the home campus Registrar’s Office.
  12. The student is responsible for completing and passing any prerequisites necessary prior to registering for a course at a partner institution and should refer to the course description for the required prerequisites.
  13. A student may register to audit a class via Tri-College on a space available basis. The auditor must comply with the audit regulations related to registration and payment at the home campus and follow the rules of an auditing student at the receiving campus. Restrictions may apply regarding which classes may be audited. Instructor permission is required.
  14. Grades received in courses taken through the TCU course exchange are calculated in the home institution’s grade point average and count toward graduation requirements.
  15. Official grades are recorded on the student’s home campus transcript.
  16. The student is responsible for knowing and adhering to the class schedule of both institutions. This includes holidays, semester breaks, and finals week.
  17. Drop/add, pass/fail requests or withdrawals follow the student’s home campus deadlines. Variable length courses’ deadlines may vary.
  18. Grade appeals need to be filed and action will be taken at the campus where the course in question was offered. Home campuses will be notified and record the grade determined by the partner institution offering the course.
  19. A student enrolled in course exchange at a partner institution is subject to disciplinary action for social or academic integrity violations by the receiving institution. The home campus will be notified and comply with the actions taken and may take additional action.
  20. Campuses will provide a mechanism for a smooth registration process for courses taken through the TCU course exchange.  No additional registration fee will be charged to the student.
  21. Campuses will actively publicize the availability of courses at all three campuses to insure that students and academic advisors are aware of the existing options.
  22. Campuses will monitor the level and pattern of registrations under the Student Course Exchange and keep Tri-College related officials informed of such figures in a timely manner.

C.  Course Exchange as it applies to Faculty and Staff who wish to take classes:

  1. 1. Tuition waivers are permitted through the Tri-College course exchange.
  2. 2. Faculty or staff members, who are eligible to audit a course on their home campus, may audit a class through Tri-College University at one of the partner institutions and are subject to the home school audit fees. Restrictions may apply regarding which classes may be audited. Instructor permission is required.
  3. 3. MSUM and NDSU faculty or staff may enroll in a graduate level course via the Tri-College course exchange agreement. Graduate students should consult with their advisor for plan of study applicability.
  4. 4. Concordia College allows tuition waiver course exchange for faculty and staff for undergraduate level courses only.
  5. 5.The course exchange agreement is extended to Tri-College University administrative office staff. TCU administrative office staff may qualify for the tuition waiver program as employees of NDSU.

D.  It is the intent of this agreement that there be an approximately equal number of students and/or credits to be exchanged between each pair of institutions covered herein.

  1. If the difference in the number of credits exchanged between two institutions exceeds a total of 900 credits for the annual reporting period, then it is considered a gross inequity and will trigger the following:

         a) Annual course exchange data will be comprised of end of term figures and shall account for withdrawals.
         b) The annual reporting period will begin with the Summer term and end with the Spring term of the following year.
         c) The Commissioners of the institutions involved in the inequities will determine how much, if any money should be paid out to compensate the receiving institution with the gross inequity.
         d) The amount of payment may not exceed the average cost per credit of the two institutions in question.
         e) The Commissioners shall consider in their deliberations, if this is an isolated event or if it is part of an ongoing pattern.
         f) Payments may not be made for gross inequities that are more than two years old.

E.  Offerings not eligible under the exchange program may include:

  1. Courses offered through NDSU’s Distance and Continuing Education or Summer self support courses.
  2. International Travel Programs, independent studies and private music instruction.
  3. Other programs or offerings as determined in writing by agreement of the Provost/VPAA of the campus in which the course or program is offered.

III. General Duties

A. Tri-College University (TCU) administrative offices and campus consortium members will provide academic leadership in the development of possible new cooperative programs/activities that benefit students, faculty, staff and the community.

B. TCU administrative offices and campus consortium members will analyze programs/activities to insure that they are relevant and make the best use of time for those involved. TCU and its partners may terminate programs/activities as they see fit.

C. Consortium members will use TCU to help conserve campus resources where appropriate.

D. TCU may be used as a vehicle to acquire outside funding for cooperative academic or pre-school through higher education based community enhancement programs. TCU may assist organizations or programs by acting as a custodial agent for their funds.

E. Campuses will publicize the various TCU programs and services available to them.

F. Each institution is encouraged to promote the value that TCU provides to their campus and the community.

G. TCU and campus partners should strive to interact with a high level of communication and collaboration on the promotion of shared efforts or areas of interest.

H. Programs may be assessed in accordance with guidelines established by the TCU Commissioners.

I. Campuses will assist TCU in completing reports, studies, surveys, etc. by providing appropriate data and documentation for TCU activities (direct or related).

IV. Pre-Professional Programs and Second Degree at a Partner Institution

A. In programs that have a professional component or a selective a selective admission process, a Tri-College student may typically be permitted to enroll in pre-professional coursework only. Professional-level courses are restricted to students fully admitted to the professional program. Requests for exception must be presented to and approved by the course instructor or respective department chair/head.

B. A student seeking a second degree from a partner institution may initially enroll in Tri-College coursework, but must be fully admitted and satisfy all graduation and residency requirements according to each institution's academic policies. Students will be assigned an adviser at each campus in which they are enrolled in a degree program of study.

V. Campus Events

A. Students are invited to attend campus events at any of the three partnering campuses. The host campus will set rates for all activities.

B. Campuses are encouraged to inform and make activities open to students, faculty and staff from partner institutions.

C. Some campus events and student support services may not be available to Tri-College students at partner campuses.

VI. Official TCU Campus organizations

A. CC, MSUM and NDSU individually and collectively will encourage students to voluntarily form and participate in organizations for the promotion of common interests.

B. Organizations wishing to include membership from more than one Tri-College institution must complete the Dual-College/Tri-College University Student Organization Registration Form and follow the registration guidelines established on each campus before they are officially designated and recognized as a Tri-College University or Dual College organization.

C. Guidelines for TCU campus organizations:

  1. After a student organization has registered and is properly recognized as a Dual-College or Tri-College organization, the organization may advertise, recruit students, and share campus resources for the benefit of the organization’s mission.
  2. Membership in Tri-College organizations is open to full or part-time currently enrolled MSUM and NDSU students, full-time CC students, and faculty/staff of CC, MSUM and NDSU. Membership in Dual-College and Tri-College organizations must comply with membership guidelines at the respective institutions.
  3. There must be at least one officer or contact person from each member campus. Officers must meet eligibility requirements of their respective institutions.
  4. One faculty or staff member from each member institution must be selected by the organization to serve as an advisor.
  5. If recognition is obtained at all three institutions, “Tri-College” may be included in the organization’s proposed name. If recognition is obtained at two institutions, the names of the two institutions or “Dual-College” may be included in the proposed name.
  6. No campus will allow an official campus organization to use Tri-College or Tri- College University in their name unless they have met the criterion set forth in this agreement.
  7. If an organization uses the Tri-College or Tri-College University name without meeting the proper qualifications, they may be restricted from receiving funds including funds from student government or campus wide student fees.
  8. The organization’s mission must be consistent with each participating institution’s educational mission.
  9. Upon recognition, all Tri-College/Dual-College organizations assume responsibility for being familiar with and adhering to all organization regulations and policies of member campuses. Copies of responsibilities and policies related to student organizations and codes of conduct must be readily available at each campus.
  10. Officers and members will be held responsible for individual and group actions. Alleged policy or code violations will be subject to behavior conflict action according to each institution’s established procedures.
  11. Social Fraternities and Sororities are chartered with a single institution and therefore are ineligible for Tri-College or Dual-College recognition.
  12. NCAA sanctioned sports are ineligible for Tri-College or Dual College recognition.
  13. Tri-College or Dual-College organizations are responsible for adhering to funding policies at each member campus.
  14. New organizations must initiate the recognition process at each institution. Groups seeking continued Tri-College/Dual-College recognition must complete the required registration form on an annual basis. Organization records and a current copy of the organization’s by-laws must be maintained at each institution.
  15. For approval, the organization’s by-laws must be consistent with guidelines at each campus where recognition is sought, and be formally approved at each participating institution. By-laws must be updated and resubmitted every three years.
  16. The Provost of TCU in consultation with the Commissioners may suspend the active status of a TCU organization by written notice.

VII. Tri-College University Library and Film Library Cooperation.

A. The Libraries at CC, MSUM and NDSU will make their holdings of available library materials at each campus accessible via their online library catalogs.

B. Faculty, staff, or students from any of the three partnering institutions have privileges at all three campus libraries.

C. Faculty, staff and students may request materials from a participating library, to be delivered to the home campus library of the person making the request, at no charge to the individual.

VIII. Transportation and Parking Cooperation.

A. Institutions will work with bus or shuttle services to provide for free transportation among campuses. The service provider will determine routes, schedule and times of operation.

B. Bus or shuttle service route information will be provided at each of the campuses and will be posted on the TCU web site or by similar means.

C. Each campus will provide designated parking facilities to students, faculty, and staff with a valid parking pass from their home institution and are subject to availability. Parking will be designated and published at the start of the academic year and is subject to change.

IX. Tri-College University Degreed/Non-Degreed Program Approval Process and Program Governance

A. A program may be a co-operation between two, or all three of the TCU partners. Each program is independent of each other (unless otherwise specified) and the policies governing a program may not be applicable to another TCU approved program. Each program is under the auspice of TCU and under the governance of the Board of Directors. The Provost, along with the program coordinators will serve as program managers. The Provost will report directly to the TCU Commissioners regarding the program implementation, budget, and all other operational information deemed essential.

B. New program proposals seeking approval must adhere to the following application and approval process as determined by the TCU Commissioners and Board of Directors and subject to standard institution and state system approval process: 

  1. Before submission, determine if the proposed program meets the following criteria:
    • The proposed program is a partnership between at least two of the TCU partnering institutions.
    • The proposed program is consistent with the mission of TCU with a defined purpose to work cooperatively in an effort to enrich the academic environment for the benefit of students, faculty, and the community.
  2. Submit a Request for Approval to the Tri-College University Provost that includes the following information:
         a) A detailed narrative of the purpose and history (if applicable) of the proposed program.
         b) A justification regarding the need for cooperation and why it is not a viable stand-alone program for one campus.
         c) A description of community involvement or contributions to the campus community and/or community at large.
         d) A detailed operating budget that includes an administrative overhead cost line item, with the amount to be determined (Please contact TCU to discuss).
         e) A plan to deal with potential budget shortfalls.
         f) An operational plan or agreement to address the following, but not limited to:
    •  Definition of the program – How is this a collaborative program? Will it seek accreditation and from whom?
    • Mission, philosophy, goals/objectives, outcomes, and governance of the program
    • Action steps for implementation
    • Define how resources from individual campuses will be utilized and share
    • Evaluation plan
         g) An organizational chart to propose administrative reporting and accountability; listing steering committee, campus representatives, the TCU Board of Directors and Provost, program coordinator, etc.  (Examples supplied upon request)
         h) An exit strategy and process to dissolve the program. The exit strategy will include conditions and reasons that would trigger dissolution of the program (i.e., budget shortfalls, or inactivity for 3 or more consecutive years, etc.) 

      3.  Meet with TCU Provost with preliminary proposal ideas reviewing the need and purpose of the proposed program.  Revise the proposal as advised by the TCU Provost and staff if necessary.
      4.  Attend a TCU Commissioners (Vice Presidents/Provosts of Academic Affairs) meeting to present proposal and answer questions. The commissioners will then:  

  • Vote to approve and forward proposal to the TCU Board.
  • Vote to deny, with recommendation to revise.
  • Vote to deny and not forward to the Board if program does not fall within the mission, criteria, and perimeters of Tri-College University.

C. Current Tri-College University programs
The TCU Commissioners and Board of Directors have approved the following list of programs as collaborations between partnering institutions:

     Tri-College University Educational Leadership program – limited to MSUM and NDSU.

  1. Students will still have the option to take Educational Leadership courses at the partner campus (either MSUM or NDSU).  They will need to obtain written approval by their home campus adviser to ensure the course meets program requirements.  Students will need to apply to the Graduate School as a non-degree (NDSU) or a graduate special student (MSUM).  They will need to enroll and pay appropriate tuition/fees at the partner campus.
    a)  MSUM students who take a course at NDSU will need to complete a Request for Graduate Course Substitution form (or their successors) and attach an unopened NDSU official transcript.
    b) NDSU students who take a course at MSUM will need to complete a Request for Change to Plan of Study/Supervisory Committee (or their successors) form and attach an unopened MSUM official transcript.
  2. Each campus will make every effort as a receiving campus to accept the student providing there is adequate class capacity.
  3. Electronic and paper copies of information for current and past students will be housed at their home campus.
  4. Students who obtained a degree/credential from Tri-College University will have their electronic records available at Tri-College, MSUM and NDSU.  Tri-College will retain their physical records.
  5. TCU will direct prospective student requests to the appropriate campus.
  6. Faculty members are encouraged to continue to work together and seek out joint opportunities in order to deliver high quality education in a fiscally efficient manner.
  7. Tri-College will provide campus links to Educational Leadership programs.
  8. Historical TCU materials will be stored at the TCU office.

     NEW (National Education for Women's) Leadership program - is a Tri-College collaboration that allows participants to receive academic credit for their participation. Those seeking credit must contact their home campus registrar for information regarding the process to obtain credits. This program is a five-day residential leadership development institute designed to provide leadership training for campus and community women. 

     1. Governance and financial issues – NEW Leadership
              a) Faculty and staff from the three partnering campuses, along with community representatives, serve on a steering committee overseeing the program planning, fundraising and implementation. Subcommittees formed from the steering committee to initiate and implement individual functions of the institute will also be recognized as part of the Tri-College collaboration.
              b) The TCU Board of Directors has authority in overseeing the operational and budgetary matters of the program. Complete fiscal oversight and responsibility is that of the Tri-College University Board of Directors, and is administered by the TCU Provost. The program coordinators also agree to attend commissioner and/or board meetings to explain and/or justify budget proposals as the TCU Commissioners and Board of Directors must approve all budgets annually.
              c) TCU Commissioner and Board policy for the NEW Leadership program’s operational expenses will determine the campus assessments. The NEW Leadership steering committee will continue to fundraise, apply for grants, or if need be, impose fees to meet the operating budget required for the program. The Provost and Commissioners shall maintain space allocations sufficient to operate this program at the TCU offices and/or campuses.        
     2. Program Coordinators from the three partnering institutions will utilize the resources from the universities to offer the best possible academic and skill building institute for students and community women.  This means that each institution has agreed to host the NEW Leadership Development Institute on a yearly rotation basis.  Deans and chairs at the three institutions shall recognize these activities as part of their departmental cooperative endeavors.
     3. The campus coordinators will schedule the Program Steering Committee meetings, and the TCU Provost may also call a steering committee meeting when requested by the Commissioners.
     4. Program Coordinators and campus representatives agree the identification of the program will be branded as Tri-College University (TCU) – and name of program. Such as Tri-College University NEW Leadership Institute. The program will not be branded without the Tri-College University prefix.
     5. It is the responsibility of the Program Coordinators to meet with TCU staff to go over procedures for purchasing supplies, setting up meetings, understanding financial reports, and whatever else is deemed appropriate.

      Vaccinology program

     1. Course delivery:
          a) An Introductory seminar for Vaccinology will be offered each fall and a Senior Seminar will offered in the spring via the Tri-College University collaboration
          b) The seminar will rotate by campus on an annual basis with the host campus providing a professor/instructor.  
               1) Minor course plans at each campus will have equivalent course options at partner campuses to meet the requirements of a Vaccinology minor. Each student must take the introductory and senior seminar to be eligible for the minor.  Waivers to this rule may take place through June 2013, provided the student has taken the senior or both required seminars. Waivers must be reviewed and approved by the student’s home campus Vaccinology Co-Coordinator.
               2) This program will include faculty from the three partnering campuses who will serve as coordinators to develop and maintain a schedule of courses and set requirements recognized by the university catalogues showing coordination of common curriculum options.      
     2. Faculty:
          a) Each campus will have a Co-Coordinator who will be responsible for his/her campus program collaboration, including: 
               1) Promoting the program (including student recruitment) at their campus.
               2) Overseeing the Tri-College Vaccinology scholarship criteria and awards for their campus.
               3) Attending meetings and providing reports/information on the status and benefits of the program at their campus. 
               4) Participating as needed in the development of relevant budgets, short and long-term range planning, and implementation of the program.  
               5) Providing information required for grant fund reporting. 
          b) Verifying that the Seminar host campus pays for release time for the faculty member who teaches the course. The host campus will bill TCU for reimbursement of the release time.
          c) Ensuring that faculty will work in a highly cooperative manner to provide internships that enrich the overall vaccinology program and not favor one campus over the others.
          d) Scheduling meetings as deemed necessary and which meet at least one time per year for planning. The TCU Provost may also call a meeting of the campus coordinators when deemed necessary.          
          e) Utilizing resources from the universities to offer the best possible academic program in vaccinology.
          f) Each campus Co-coordinator has the primary responsibility to insure the academic quality of the program on their campuses and to insure that graduates are work-ready or ready for postgraduate degree work. Accreditation requirements and ongoing program approval will be considered part of the university’s commitment to the program.       
     3. Students:
          a) Students register at their home campus for the Intro or Senior seminars via Tri-College with their campus vaccinology coordinator’s approval.
          b) An equal number of “seats” will be reserved for each campus (example eight per campus). Beginning spring term 2012, seats not filled one month after registration closes by each home campus’ may be allocated to partnering campuses that have a waitlist. Campus Coordinators with seminar waitlists will review and discuss seminar enrollment distribution on a semester basis to assure equal representation from campuses.
          c) The Introduction and senior seminar classes are not included in the course exchange limitations between campuses.
          d) Student grade appeals for the vaccinology program will be conducted at the campus and within the rules of where the appealed class was taken.            
     4. Role of the TCU Commissioners, Board, TCU Provost and Office Staff:
          a) The TCU Board of Directors has authority in overseeing the operational and budgetary matters of the program. Complete fiscal oversight and responsibility is that of the Tri-College University Board of Directors, and is administered by the TCU Provost. The program coordinators also agree to attend commissioner and/or board meetings if requested, to present/explain budget proposals. 
          b) The Board of Directors will determine the appropriate investment strategy and use of funds for the Sanford Tri-College University Vaccinology Endowment.
          c) TCU Commissioner and Board policy for the vaccinology program’s operational expenses will determine the campus assessments.  
          d) TCU office staff will assist in record keeping necessary to successfully run the program. 
          e) The TCU Provost will help provide leadership and program support and the TCU office staff will provide program support.      
     5. Renewal:
         This Vaccinology agreement will automatically renew annually and shall be in force unless an institution (Concordia, MSUM or NDSU) notifies the other two campuses and the TCU office in writing of its intent to modify or cancel the agreement.  Notice to modify or cancel this agreement for the next school year must be made no later than November 15th of the current school year.  Cancellation of the vaccinology program requires a two-year phase out with no reductions in staffing/offerings during that phase out period.

X. Protections

A. In any amendment, the rights of students already enrolled in a program shall be protected, and they shall be allowed to finish their degree program under participation plan originally approved for them.

B. Should it be necessary to limit the number of new Tri-College students enrolled in a class or program; a good faith effort between the schools shall be made to agree upon a quota of students that may register for the course.

XI. Restrictions

A. Use of the term/title “Tri-College University,” must be approved in writing by the TCU
Provost or the Provost’s designee(s).

XII. Assessments

A. The TCU office upon the recommendation by the Commissioners will prepare assessments. Commissioners will forward their recommendation to the Board of Directors for their approval.

B. In that all campuses do not participate to the same extent in all activities, assessments may be based on a partner share, actual enrollment/usage, or combinations thereof.

XIII. Tri-College University is an equal opportunity institution.

A. Tri-College is committed to providing equal opportunities to any group or class which discrimination is prohibited by prevailing state or federal law.

This Tri-College University collaborative agreement takes precedence over all previous agreements written or other and is effective for Fall 2013 registration. 

 


_________________________ Date __________________, 2013
Dr. Dean Bresciani
President
North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota


__________________________ Date _________________, 2013
Dr. William Craft
President
Concordia College
Moorhead, MN

 

__________________________ Date _________________, 2013
Dr. Edna Szymanski
President
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Moorhead, Minnesota 


____________________________ Date _______________, 2013
Tim Flakoll
Provost
Tri-College University

Original signed copy of this document is on file at the TCU office located at 650 NP Avenue, Suite #110, Fargo, North Dakota 58102.