CROOKSTON-University of Minnesota Crookston and Red Lake Nation College announced a new comprehensive dual admissions agreement this past week.

The agreement establishes a cooperative academic relationship between the two institutions. Red Lake College President Dan King and UMC Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause signed the new memorandum of agreement on Tuesday, Aug. 7, according to a release from the schools.

The agreement offers academically qualified tribal college students dual admission to Crookston with the goal of working toward a bachelor's degree through the UMC. The agreement establishes this as the "Azhoogan Program," incorporating the Ojibwe word for "bridge," the release said. The agreement also will enable UMC students to transfer credits back to Red Lake to use a reverse transfer program allowing them to combine credits previously earned at RLNC with those earned at the UMC and apply them toward an AA or AAS degree from RLNC.

"This dual admission partnership provides a real benefit to students and allows opportunities for program development. It also encourages greater collaboration between faculty from both Red Lake Nation College and the U of M Crookston," Holz-Clause said in the release.

Selected courses at the tribal college will be a part of the Azhoogan Program and related transfer agreement with UMC. Among the bachelor's degree programs at UMC that best match the priorities and coursework at RLNC are Horticulture, Natural Resources, Business and Agricultural Business, but RLNC students may choose to pursue their academic interests in any academic program, the release said.

Programs offered as dual admission options will be pre-approved by program faculty and possess specific credit-hour and course requirements.