Students are the Focus of Partnerships

July 30, 2015

Joint academic programs save time, money while pursuing degrees

As Northwestern Health Sciences University prepares to open its 2015-2016 academic year, it has developed strategic partnerships with other colleges and universities to help students complete degrees and move into professions quicker and for less tuition.

“Our partnerships are about helping students accomplish their academic and career goals while saving time and money,” said Kim Tamble, Executive Director of Partnerships at Northwestern Health Sciences University. “It’s about maximizing educational credits for students so they can get where they want to go faster.”

As a South Dakota State University student, Nathan Jung learned that he could move immediately to Northwestern Health Sciences University, finishing his Bachelor’s Degree and beginning studies for his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. The 3-plus-3 partnership lets students earn both degrees in six years instead of seven.

“Knowing I could finish my undergrad a year earlier and pursue chiropractic, it was a no-brainer,” Jung said.

Tamble said partnerships also reflect a desire to make college and graduate school more cost-effective, helping students with their educational expenses.

“This is one way we can accommodate those needs while enhancing academic outcomes,” she said.

An important consideration is creating partnerships that are educational and cultural fits for students.

“Both of our schools are committed to small class sizes, and we both believe in hands-on learning,” said Ann Parsons, a Professor and Director of the Applied Sciences Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, which recently began a 3-plus-3 program with Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Colleges and universities must create unique value to be attractive, said Kristin Vogel, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Concordia University St. Paul, another academic partner.

“A big part of the future of higher education is partnerships,” she said. “When we partner, we’re looking for schools that have a similar mission and ethos and offer an education with solid career options. On all of those fronts, we have so much confidence in our partners at Northwestern.”

About Northwestern Health Sciences University

For more than 75 years, Northwestern Health Sciences University, based in Bloomington, Minn., has provided world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, Chinese medicine, nutrition and other health treatments. Northwestern has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries. For more information, please visit

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