All of North Dakota’s educational governing bodies met this week in Bismarck to discuss changing times and changing strategies.
The Joint Boards meeting takes place once per year and brings together the State Board of Higher Education, State Board for Career and Technical Education, State Board of Public Education and the Education Standards and Practices Board, along with their respective organizational heads and others.
This week, the group met at Bismarck State College, where the overall themes of the meeting could be described as collaboration and strategizing. Don Morton, SBHE chair, kicked off the meeting with opening remarks that helped set the tone and pace of the meeting.
“Education is all about the future,” Morton noted. “We want to put our focus on a couple of things: Human Capital and Innovation. In those areas we will make our future stronger and offer more opportunity for student success.”
What that opportunity could be took shape in different ways, thanks to details provided by those present. North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott touched on a consensus-building strategic effort underway for two years called Envision 2030; Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Kirsten Baesler spoke about the strategic vision for K-12 in the state; representatives from NDCTE provided in-depth guidance on career pathways using the framework of “Six Essential Strategies for Creating Effective State Career Pathway Systems”; Dickinson State University President Thomas Mitzel provided an update on the topic of dual mission education; Bismarck State College President Larry C. Skogen gave a detailed presentation on how his campus could become the first polytechnic in the state; First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum talked about how Recovery Reinvented campaign affected the state’s schools; NDUS Director of Student Affairs Katie Fitzsimmons talked about challenges, trends and opportunities in the realm of student mental health; N.D. Educational Technology Council Director Rosi Kloberdanz gave an overview on the K-20 Workforce Cyber Education initiative; and DPI Director of Adult Education and Safe Health Schools Val Fischer spoke about safe and healthy schools.