News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Carol Stonefield, Director of Information

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320



For Immediate Release 24 January 2000


Board of Regents to Develop New Degree for
Technical Institute Graduates

Bachelor of Applied Technical Science to Accept Transfer Credits

PIERRE—Students, who have completed an Associate of Applied Science degree at one of South Dakota’s technical institutes, will soon be able to earn a Bachelor of Applied Technical Science (BATS) degree at two of the state public universities, according to action taken today by the South Dakota Board of Regents at its regular business meeting in Pierre.

"Make no mistake. By the action we are taking here today, we may be setting in motion a major change in postsecondary education in this state. In this proposal lies the foundation for four locally controlled state funded community colleges," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, of Aberdeen. "I don’t know of any other way to say it. If it’s a duck, let’s call it a duck."

Regent Jack Rentschler of Sioux Falls commented, prior to the vote, "Of all the decisions that I have made during the time that I have served on the Board of Regents, this may be the most important for the structure of higher education in this state. It may have the most far-reaching impact."

Nationally, the traditional degrees that allow course credit to be transferred to a four-year college or university to apply toward a baccalaureate degree are the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) has been considered a non-transferable degree, but coursework may be transferable through an articulation agreement or a review of course materials.

Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry said, "Review of individual courses is time consuming for students and institutions, often controversial with the public, and confusing for students who are not certain of what will transfer. So, a number of states and institutions are developing new transfer degrees appropriate for the AAS. The Regents will offer the BATS at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and at Black Hills State University (BHSU)."

Regent James Hansen of Pierre said, "The BATS will respond to employer demands for employees with both technical and organizational skills. Technical institute graduates will be able to transfer into this degree. This may bolster enrollments at both the technical institutes and at the two universities which will offer the BATS."

The new degree will not affect the system-to-system general education articulation agreements currently in place between the technical institutes and the universities. It will not affect four program-to-program agreements that have been approved between SDSU and Southeast Technical Institute and between the University of South Dakota and Lake Area Technical Institute. It will nullify any course agreements that have not been acted upon since July 1, 1998, when the Legislature mandated the articulation of general education courses between the technical institutes and the universities.

"The practical effect of this move is that any technical institute graduate holding an AAS degree from one of South Dakota’s technical institutes can transfer the credits to a BATS degree at either SDSU or BHSU. These students will have to meet Regental requirements such as passing the proficiency exam and other Board of Regents policies that apply to transfer students," said Perry.

The Regents will act on implementation of the degree at their March meeting in Aberdeen.

For more information contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, (605) 773-3455.


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