Board of Regents Studies South Dakota Workforce Needs
SIOUX FALLSSouth Dakotas workforce development needs in health care professions, social work and public administration were reviewed by the Board of Regents today at its regular business meeting on the campus of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. The Regents also approved two existing programs for delivery in Sioux Falls and one for delivery via the Internet. The Board also directed two universities to conduct further study as a result of reports received today.
"As South Dakotas population ages and concentrates in our urban centers, we are going to experience increasing demands for services. Many of these services must be provided by people with college education," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, Aberdeen.
Although 7911 registered nurses worked in the state in 1998, the number needed in 2008 will increase by 22% to 9656, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor. "Both the University of South Dakota (USD) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) offer nursing programs. They regularly receive requests from hospitals and long-term care facilities around the state to increase the number of enrollments, especially at satellite sites. Even if the universities propose to increase enrollments in their programs, a nursing faculty shortage nationwide and the availability of clinical sites will impact their plans," said Robert T. Tad Perry, Regents Executive Director. "We as a state may need to address more issues than that of simply producing more graduates."
Another workforce issue related to population shifts is the projected need for pharmacists. In written comments to the Regents Danny Lattin, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University, stated, "The number of requests sent to the College of Pharmacy seeking to employ pharmacists in South Dakota has increased dramatically since 1997." The Pharmacy Manpower Project, a collaborative effort of national pharmacy organizations and the Bureau of Health Professions reports that the demand for pharmacists has greatly outstripped the supply. "At SDSU we have increased the number of students admitted into the pharmacy program. Since all of these students must have clinical sites available for the practical experience component of their education, however, we are still faced with limits on the number of pharmacists we graduate every year," said Perry.
The Regents directed SDSU to study workforce needs in nursing and pharmacy and report to them at a future meeting.
The Regents also directed USD to investigate the expansion of its social work program into Sioux Falls, following the announcement of the discontinuation of Augustana Colleges participation in the program it operated jointly with the University of South Dakota. "If the people of Sioux Falls are projected to have an unmet need for social workers, it might be more feasible for USD to move to meet that need, since it already operates a social work program on its main campus," said Jewett. "We will know more about the situation after we review USDs report."
The Regents also authorized USD to offer its Master of Public Administration degree at the USD/SDSU/DSU in Sioux Falls site. "Many of the courses needed for completion of the degree are already offered in Sioux Falls," said Perry. "By adding the other courses, the Regents will make completing the degree much more convenient for public sector professionals."
Dakota State University was authorized to offer an associate degree in respiratory care in Sioux Falls. It currently operates the academic portion of the degree program on its main campus in Madison. The clinical courses are now completed in Sioux Falls. "Offering the academic courses in Sioux Falls will enable students who are place-bound and who cannot conveniently drive to Madison to pursue this degree," said Jewett. Nontraditional students in the Sioux Falls area have expressed an interest in the respiratory care program. "DSU offers the only respiratory care program in South Dakota. As the enrollments in Sioux Falls increase, we anticipate that DSU will add the necessary courses and training so that it can expand the program to the baccalaureate level," Jewett said.
In a final action, the Regents authorized Black Hills State University to offer its master of science degree in curriculum and instruction via the Internet. The degree will be geared toward practicing educators. The coursework will concentrate on the South Dakota preschool through grade 12 standards. It will also coordinate graduate work with the Technology for Teaching and Learning program that has been sponsored by Governor Bill Janklow for the past several years. "Although the program will be available to anyone who accesses the Internet, we expect that the greatest enrollment will come from western South Dakota, where the distances prohibit many teachers from pursuing masters degrees," said Perry.
"The Regents are looking ahead to the states needs, both in terms of the kinds of programs offered by the state universities and the locations where those programs are offered. It may be that South Dakotans will have to be innovative in finding solutions to providing some of these services," said Jewett.
For more information about these programs, contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, or Dr. Paul Gough, Director of Planning and Policy, (605) 773-3455.
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