Cal Poly Pomona and University of North Dakota Establish Bridge

Cal Poly Pomona and University of North Dakota Establish Bridge
The two universities are partnering to help students pursue advanced degrees.

Cal Poly Pomona and the University of North Dakota (UND) are creating a partnership to help undergraduate students pursue advanced degrees in business, biology, chemistry and chemical engineering. Donald Hoyt, associate vice president for Research & Graduate Studies at Cal Poly Pomona, and Joseph Benoit, dean of the Graduate School at UND, signed a memorandum of understanding on Feb. 27 to establish the Bridge to the Master's Degree.

The Bridge partnership would not only guide Cal Poly Pomona students who are in their final year through the application process to UND, but it would also allow students to take courses that count toward their bachelor's and master's degrees. Undergraduate students can enroll in up to nine quarter credits (or six semester credits) of online graduate coursework through UND and apply it toward their Cal Poly Pomona degree. Once they graduate from Cal Poly Pomona, students may be able to complete a master's degree at UND in 12 to 18 months.

“This collaboration will provide a unique opportunity for Cal Poly Pomona students to experience the educational diversity our country has to offer. I look forward to working with the University of North Dakota in providing more funded research opportunities for our undergraduate students,” Hoyt says.

Benoit adds: “We're excited to be partnering with Cal Poly Pomona on this innovative program. This new agreement will help to build a pipeline of students from the West Coast to the Upper Midwest.”

The partnership is part of the UND-California nondoctoral student program, an outreach program conceived by Dr. Winny Dong, chair of the Chemical & Materials Engineering Department at Cal Poly Pomona, and Dr. Wayne Seames, chemical engineering professor at UND and director of the North Dakota Sustainable Energy Research Initiative and Supporting Education (SUNRISE) group. In addition to the Bridge program, this collaboration includes joint research projects and participation of Cal Poly Pomona undergraduates in UND summer research experiences.

“Cal Poly Pomona students are very concerned about our ability to provide for future energy needs without adverse impacts on the environment. The SUNRISE research in renewable fuels and the sustainable use of coal is very exciting and attractive to our students. We have a strong interest from our students in this research collaboration,” says College of Engineering Dean Ed Hohmann.