Changing lives: Articulation agreement between DSU and MCC allows coach to continue education at home in Montana

Changing lives: Articulation agreement between DSU and MCC allows coach to continue education at home in Montana

Dickinson State University’s (DSU) School of Education and Miles Community College (MCC) signed an articulation agreement in 2020, allowing students to complete a bachelor’s degree in elementary education through DSU without having to leave Miles City, Montana. This agreement aligns with DSU’s commitment to expand the reach of its educational programming to include students who cannot travel to Dickinson to attend class in-person.

This new structure has had a direct impact on Miles City resident Kyle Stanton, who chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree after hearing about the partnership between the two institutions. Stanton last attended DSU in 2013, returning to the University in the spring of 2021 to finish his degree in elementary education.

Stanton heard about the collaboration between the two institutions from his mother, who had seen an ad in their local newspaper. He had wanted to finish his teaching degree for some time but hadn’t found an option that worked for his schedule, as he coaches football at the high school in Miles City, Montana. “I have been hesitant to move from Miles City and take time away from coaching and my life in Eastern Montana,” he said. “Up until this year, I had not found an accessible way for me to stay in the area and complete a degree. When I was informed of the new program, I knew I had to take the opportunity.”

Stanton pulled the trigger and contacted MCC, receiving a response the very same day. He worked with representatives from both institutions as he filled out paperwork and registered for classes. “Both staffs were extremely helpful and accommodating of my schedule,” Stanton commented. “As someone who has been out of the college system for a few years, I was nervous about jumping back in. MCC and DSU both went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and guided me along every step of the way. I was signed up and registered for my classes within the week, and it was all an incredibly smooth process.”

Stanton is just about finished with his first semester back and is eager for more; he has already enrolled in a number of summer and fall classes which he will continue to participate in remotely. “The new teacher education program through the two schools has given me a chance to stay in the Eastern Montana community which I love and continue to pursue my passion for coaching,” Stanton continued. “Anyone in the area who is interested or ever thought of teaching should take this opportunity. I hope this program can grow in Eastern Montana, and I am excited to continue down my path of becoming a teacher through MCC and DSU.”

“Kyle is a wonderful representative of the benefits of forming academic relationships with our Montana neighbors,” said Dr. Joan Aus, chair of the School of Education and associate professor/director of graduate studies at DSU. “The fact that he can pursue elementary education while remaining in his community of Miles City benefits both Dickinson and Miles City. I’m very excited about our new partnership with Miles Community College.”

Like Stanton, Blue Hawks now have the opportunity to enroll in DSUlive™ classes. Students enrolled in this section are able to choose to attend class synchronously via a live video session or asynchronously by watching recorded lecture videos at a later time with instructor permission. Learn more about this opportunity at

PHOTO CAPTION: Kyle (top left) Stanton with his father, Dan (top right), his brother, Kasey (bottom left), and his mother, Kim (bottom right).