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University of Mary in Bismarck begins new academic partnership with ATCC

The University of Mary, America's Leadership University, is partnering with the two-year Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) to offer undergraduate degree programs.

Starting this fall, ATCC students will be able to complete their four-year degrees without leaving Alexandria. Students can pursue degrees through the University of Mary in business management, criminal justice, human resources and applied sciences on-site at the Alexandria campus.

The University of Mary plans to lease an undetermined amount of on-site space from ATCC and hire new faculty and staff to coordinate and administer the courses. Both institutions of higher education are entertaining the possibility of Mary offering even more programs in the near future.

ATCC, with an enrollment of approximately 4,000 students, has a stellar reputation among two-year schools. ATCC was recently ranked eighth by Washington Monthly as a Top Community College. The college has been recognized in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Minnesota Measures Report for three years. For public two-year colleges in Minnesota, ATCC has the highest student retention, student graduation and transfer rate. And, its college foundation awards more than $150,000 in student support and scholarships.

"We are grateful for being welcomed with open arms by such a highly regarded and quality institution such as Alexandria Technical and Community College," commented University of Mary president, Father James Shea. "When our founders and sponsors, the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation, came to North Dakota from Minnesota in 1879, it was their intent to serve the needs of the people in the region. And they've done so ever since with great success, devotion and humility. That same pioneering spirit continues today at Mary. Providentially, our Catholic university returns to the Land of 10,0000 Lakes where it all began more than 130 years ago. We return to Minnesota to fulfill a need and to most importantly serve students."

Mary is recognized nationally as one of the most affordable private universities in the country. It was founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation and is North Dakota's only Catholic university. With this new partnership in Alexandria, Mary will offer programs at 19 sites in seven states, through the University of Mary Centers for Accelerated and Distance Education, as well as the new campus in Rome, Italy.

U-Mary offers undergraduate degrees in 58 majors, 10 master's degrees, and a doctor of physical therapy degree, as well as 16 varsity sports to its students.