Campus News


MSUM Earns HLC Accreditation

President Anne Blackhurst announced in September that our institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) was formally and officially reaffirmed. HLC accreditation is the most important accreditation at MSUM, affirming the quality and integrity of our programs and operations. The HLC also approved our Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (pictured is the first Ed.D. cohort), making it MSUM’s first independent doctoral program.

“MSUM begins a new chapter in its evolution from a tiny normal school serving rural Minnesota to a comprehensive university offering the full range of degree programs,” Blackhurst said.

Minnesota Remembers
MSUM receives $17,000 grant, named host community

The war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia left an indelible mark on millions of people. In order to collect and preserve the stories of those affected by the war and its aftermath, the Minnesota Humanities Center has chosen six host communities to convene gatherings to honor the stories and experiences around the Vietnam War, including Minnesota State University Moorhead.

As a recipient of a $17,000 Minnesota Humanities Center grant, MSUM will begin hosting events and activities in March, each intended to remember and recognize all affected by the war in Southeast Asia.

“It is an honor to be working with the Minnesota Humanities Center on this project over the next 18 months,” said Shireen Alemadi, project lead and assistant director for MSUM Community Outreach and Engagement. “The impact of the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia continues to be felt, and we look forward to creating opportunities for our greater community to share their stories and experiences.”

MSUM host site events will include story gathering sessions, panel discussions and screenings, community meals, art creation and exhibitions, and musical and theatre productions—all focused on documenting the memories, stories and reflections of the millions affected by the war.

“It is important to gather stories and narratives of people and events surrounding the war to get a complete picture,” Alemadi said. “There continues to be many experiences and stories untold. We will now connect with different communities around the northwest Minnesota region to gather those stories.”

MSUM’s community partners for the project include: Moorhead – Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group, Hjemkomst Center, Heritage Education Commission, City of Moorhead and others.

If you’d like more information on how to volunteer or become a community partner, contact Shireen Alemadi at, or visit

Learn more about the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative at


Minnesota Impact
MSUM’s 18 Online extends statewide

MSUM’s 18 Online program, launched last spring, is making an impact. More than 356 teachers are taking online classes through the university, representing 90 school districts in the Lakes Country and Northwest regions.

The university created 18 Online in response to the Higher Learning Commission’s requirement that high school teachers teaching dual-credit courses, along with all instructional college faculty, must have a master’s degree in the discipline they’re teaching, or they need at least 18 graduate-level credit hours within that discipline. The deadline to receive the additional training for dual-credit instructors is September 2022.

Dual-credit or dual-enrollment courses allow high school students to take college courses and earn credits before graduation. The courses are frequently taught by high school teachers.

18 Online, which received $3 million from the Legislature, helps dual-enrollment instructors reach their 18 graduate credits in content areas. The program is tuition-free to high school teachers, including free textbooks. They can also move up in salary at their high schools for participating.

High school teachers in eight content areas are able to take classes at MSUM to fulfill this requirement: biology/anatomy/physiology; business; chemistry; communications; English; history; math; and political science.

“18 Online offers a great opportunity for concurrent enrollment instructors in Minnesota who currently don’t meet the HLC faculty qualifications to take necessary graduate courses completely online, tuition free, throughout the year, including the summer, and be HLC qualified,” said Ok-Hee Lee, dean of MSUM’s College of Education and Human Services. “I strongly encourage them to take advantage of our high quality courses to advance their education and to continue serving their high school students who want to earn college credits through their concurrent enrollment courses during high school.”

For more information about 18 Online, visit


NEW Leadership, New Name
Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute has a new name: NEW Leadership™ Northern Lights.

The National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Development Institute remains an award-winning women’s leadership development program hosted by MSUM and organized by NEW Leadership™ Northern Lights, a partner in the national NEW Leadership™ National Network.

NEW Leadership Development Institute is a five-day residential program for college and community women, age 18 and over, who reside in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Each year approximately 40 women are invited to participate.

“We strongly encourage women from communities that are underrepresented in public leadership to apply,” said Deborah White, NEW Leadership Program director and MSUM sociology professor.

There is no cost to participate; food, accommodations and materials are paid for by institute sponsors and donors.

“The program has taught me how to take action and has motivated me not to be afraid to enter the political world and continuously give back to my community,” said Marilyn Bernabe, a former NEW Leadership participant.

The first program was held in 2004. To date, more than 500 women have participated.

“We intentionally work at getting a diverse mix of women so that every year there are women from all over the region representing different ages, backgrounds and experiences, and I think they learn a lot from each other,” White said.

For more information on the NEW Leadership Development Institute, visit


Graduate Programs Nationally Ranked

Several of MSUM’s graduate programs were nationally ranked in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs list announced Jan. 9. U.S. News ranks schools based on five general categories, with each program evaluated based on varying weights in the rankings formula.

All programs are evaluated in the following categories: faculty credentials and training, student engagement, peer reputation, admissions selectivity, and student services and technology.

MSUM online graduate programs earning this national U.S. News distinction:
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The complete rankings information and accompanying profile data can be found at


Health Services Accredited

MSUM’s Health Services Administration (HSAD) program has received accreditation/approval from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association. The HSAD program is also accredited from the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators - Minnesota, and is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). 

Learn more about the HSAD at