Dual Mission Colleges and Universities

Dual mission institutions proudly offer an intentional blend of liberal arts programs and hands-on career skills training under one roof, generally through a mix of undergraduate offerings ranging from bachelor’s and associate degrees to specialized certificates.

These institutions may be either public or private, but are generally open access and significantly more affordable than other colleges and universities. Dual mission institutions typically offer streamlined pathways for students, nimble operational structures, and close-knit community and workforce partnerships. Because of their “hybrid” nature, they may also not “fit” well in traditional Carnegie or other post-secondary classification systems.

There are an estimated 400 colleges and universities that qualify or operate as dual mission institutions in the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and beyond.

  Read the November 2, 2023 Dual Mission Summit & ACE Collaboration Update

Fifth-Annual National Dual Mission Summit

Details are still pending for the fifth-annual National Dual Mission Summit. Please check back later this summer for information on this important gathering of higher education leaders to discuss the future of the Dual Mission movement.

2022 National Dual Mission Summit Schedule / Agenda

See what was discussed at the 2022 National Dual Mission Summit.

Schedule / Agenda

Recent media coverage about dual mission institutions

The dual mission model has been featured in several leading publications and conference panels examining the future of higher education:






In a recent Inside Higher Ed guest column, Jamie Merisotis, president of Lumina Foundation and Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president & CEO of Colorado Mountain College succinctly framed the role that dual mission institutions fulfill:

“...a key strength in the dual mission approach [is] meeting today’s increasingly diverse students where they are. That’s especially important right now because these students – adults, parents, workers, people of color and those from lower-income households – rarely earn a ‘two-year’ degree in two years or a ‘four-year’ degree in four years – underscoring dated nomenclature and structures designed decades ago for an entirely different student profile.”

Past Conferences

2020 Dual Mission Virtual Summit

Dixie State University / November 16 – 17, 2020

2020 Dual Mission Virtual Summit Website

Keynote Presentation & Presidential Panel featuring Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of Lumina Foundation. Following Merisotis’s presentation, hear from Presidents Hauser, Mortensen, Tuminez, Williams and Dr. Hanna on the role and importance of the dual-mission model in higher education.

Dual Mission Summit 2019

Weber State University / October 7, 2019

2019 Dual Mission Summit Resources
2019 Dual Mission Summit Featured Guests
Recording of the 2019 Dual-Mission Summit; Luncheon Keynote: 2:31; Dinner Keynote Panel: 5:50.

2018 National Summit on Dual Mission Institutions in Higher Education

Utah Valley University / May 16 – 17, 2018

2022 Annual National Dual Mission Summit Sponsors

Dual Mission Summit sponsor logos: Lumina Foundation, American Council on Education, Whiteboard Advisors, Ad Astra, Anthology, Albany State University, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Office of Educational Equity, Dickinson State University, Utah Tech University, Utah Valley University, Weber State University