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DSU and NSA education partnership offers opportunities

January 10, 2023

Dakota State University is now in partnership with the National Security Agency through an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA). This agreement was approved at the December Board of Regents meeting.

“This will be an exciting new way to expand educational, research, and career opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Rebecca Hoey, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Pat Engebretson, Dean of The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences, explained that “an EPA is an agreement between NSA and an education institution to transfer or enhance technology and provide technical assistance to the institution.”

The purpose of the EPA is to improve STEM education, so through this agreement, NSA innovators can provide training and mentoring to personnel in the science and technology fields. NSA may also transfer or donate laboratory equipment to public and private schools.

“In short, the EPA can allow for several activities between the NSA and DSU, including curriculum development assistance, guest lectures, prize competition engagement, etc.,” he stated.

“This agreement is inclusive for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and any program pertaining to STEM,” stated Hoey. “Students may be able to receive academic credit for work on NSA research projects.”

This means there could be numerous possibilities with this agreement. A faculty member could work with a small group of students on specific research of interest to the NSA. The NSA could send researchers to work at DSU on a potential project with the Applied Research Lab or one of the MadLabs®.  A Ph.D. student may partner with the NSA on their dissertation work.

“We’ve already been able to leverage this agreement by having a team from NSA come to campus and visit with our students about career opportunities,” Engebretson said.

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