Polytechnic Advantage

Bismarck State College
North Dakota's Polytechnic Institution

At North Dakota’s Polytechnic Institution, learning is hands-on and grounded in the principles of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics). The programs are designed in collaboration with business and industry partners focusing on high-priority occupations. Students learn during internships, through cooperative projects, and in state-of-the-art classrooms. Whether studying arts and sciences or pursuing highly technical programming, North Dakota's Polytechnic prepares students to be workforce ready and succeed wherever their educational journey takes them. 

Career Pathways

Programs offered by North Dakota's Polytechnic Institution are developed in partnership with employers, alumni, and other working professionals, along with many business leaders included on BSC's Business Industry Leadership Teams (BILTs). These groups provide strategic advice, feedback to our faculty, and leadership on industry trends directly impacting the curriculum for programs and courses. This direct access to industry leaders and employers is a primary reason why polytechnic students have such a high placement rate after graduation.

Experiential Learning 

Students learn through a hands-on approach that combines in-depth study with practical, technology-based skills training. This applied learning approach is a unique characteristic of polytechnics — it’s intense and highly technical, but also incredibly rewarding. As students pursue a degree or certificate, they will engage in hands-on learning grounded in the principles of STEAM readying students to solve complex social, economic, and community problems and achieve success in the real world. The education students receive with BSC gives them a distinct edge in an Industry 4.0 driven world.


STEAM education is an integrated approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics to guide students and open their minds to the world around them. Advancing on the foundation of STEM, which embraces creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, STEAM complements by further embracing curiosity and connection.

Hands-on education and experiential learning afford students a unique opportunity to gain an understanding and awareness for how they learn. Through this awareness, relevant and purposeful learning occurs. BSC endeavors to weave the principles of STEAM throughout programs aligning with business and industry needs. Students learn and develop employable skills that are job specific: leadership, initiative, entrepreneurship, reliability, planning and organizing, critical thinking, problem solving, communications, teamwork.