Dakota College Celebrates 115 Years

Sandy Hageness
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

BOTTINEAU – Dakota College at Bottineau has been around almost as long as North Dakota itself. The state constitution, ratified in 1889, provided for a forestry school to help promote the growth of trees on the prairies. January, 2022 marks the 115th year of Dakota College’s existence.

In 1889, the state’s constitution included an article that would provide North Dakota with a school of forestry. It wasn’t until new immigrants to the state of North Dakota voted in 1894 to have the city of Bottineau as the state’s official site for the North Dakota School of Forestry. 

Dakota College at Bottineau has been around almost as long as North Dakota itself. The state constitution, ratified in 1889, provided for a forestry school to help promote the growth of trees on the prairies.

By 1906, twelve years after the 1894 election, residents of Bottineau decided to take the matter of the school into their own hands.  Local businessmen of Bottineau raised $8,000 and built a two-story wooden frame building on 15 acres of land that was donated by the Bottineau Turf Club.  In January of 1907, the North Dakota School of Forestry opened its doors with 30 students and curricula in a four-year forestry program, and a one-year business program. The School of Forestry also offered preparatory courses for students that completed the seventh grade. 

North Dakota's landscape has changed a lot since 1889, both physically and culturally. The School of Forestry has progressed over the years, establishing new buildings on campus to support evolving programs. 

In January of 1907, the North Dakota School of Forestry opened its doors with 30 students and curricula in a four-year forestry program, and a one-year business program. The School of Forestry also offered preparatory courses for students that completed the seventh grade.

The college has had seven official names during the past 115 years, which include:

1907    North Dakota School of Forestry

1917    ND State School of Agriculture and Forestry

1918    Forestry State Normal School

1923-1925       Closed due to Governor Nestos vetoing the Forestry’s appropriations bill.

1925    North Dakota State School of Forestry

1968    North Dakota State University-Bottineau

1996    Minot State University-Bottineau

2009    Dakota College at Bottineau

Since 1996, Dakota College at Bottineau has been an affiliate campus with Minot State University (MSU). As such, it is administratively attached to its parent institution. The University President oversees operations at both sites and is located in Minot, ND. The Chief Executive Officer at DCB is the Campus Dean.

Dakota College at Bottineau provides students with a quality education in a caring environment. The institution values diversity and personal enrichment by promoting engaged learning for employment and university transfer. Dakota College emphasizes nature and technology to accomplish its mission through an array of curricula, programs, and services.

Even though a lot has changed since then, including the school name and mission Dakota College is here to cultivate student growth. Growth doesn't mean exactly the same thing in the 21st century that it did in the 19th. While natural resource programs remain among the best in the upper Midwest, Dakota College offers degrees in fields such as health care, web design, photography and information technology along with a strong liberal arts program along with one of the most robust distance-learning programs in the State.

Dakota College at Bottineau has changed to prepare today's students to build the landscapes of the future.