News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320



For Immediate Release 29 June 2000


Development Proceeds on Electronic University Consortium

BROOKINGS-Today on the South Dakota State University campus, the South Dakota Board of Regents received a demonstration on the development of the South Dakota Electronic University Consortium (EUC).

South Dakotans are closer to the reality of taking courses from South Dakota's Electronic University Consortium according to the update. The report given to the Regents outlined the work on organization and structuring of the EUC.

Dr. Janet Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of the EUC, reported that this fall eleven entire academic programs will be available on-line through the EUC. The programs range from associate degrees to a master of science degree in nursing. "We will have 187 courses available, most of which are Internet courses. There will be enough programming available for the equivalent of an entire university semester curriculum," said Lewis.

"The mission of the EUC, to better serve the people of South Dakota by coordinating off-campus distance education across South Dakota's system of public higher education, is well established and clear. The goals of how the EUC is to serve South Dakota are also well defined. What we are working on now are the details of how the EUC is going to meet its mission," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

Lewis told the Regents that South Dakota is a leader in distance education. "You should be very proud of the programs you have made available to the people of this state."

The goals of the EUC are to:

  1. Create a convenient, integrated "one-stop" statewide student services web-site and single point of contact for electronic information and access to statewide distance education from the six universities.
  2. Provide statewide distance education information to the citizens of South Dakota and beyond.
  3. Manage distance education curriculum investment and development across institutions, maximizing resources while eliminating duplication costs.
  4. Coordinate delivery of statewide distance education courses, programs and certificates.
  5. Ensure statewide distance education quality through course and program review and assessment.
  6. Facilitate identification of courses and programs needed for state economic development and job skills for the citizens of South Dakota.

"It has been exciting to take the initial idea of the EUC and build it into a functioning system. Issues concerning the EUC currently being addressed are: course coordination, library service, student services coordination, single bill processing, technology integration, and web presence. Committees comprised of representatives from each of the campuses help further develop the EUC," said Lewis.

She reported that students will be able to apply for financial aid, scholarships, and admissions at this site, as well as register for courses.

A Course Coordination committee has been formed for the purpose of managing curriculum and assuring quality. The membership consists of Ben Dar (BHSU), Deb Gearhart (DSU), John Meyer (NSU), Gail Tidemann (SDSU), Karen Whitehead (SDSMT), and Diane Hoadley (USD), with Lewis as chair.

"It is clear that a period of transition will occur during this first year as faculty work to collaborate on developing new courses," said Lewis.

A System Library Committee has also been established. One of its first responsibilities will be to focus on how to provide library resources to distance students, plus to examine how system licensure may save on the cost of digitized library databases. The committee consists of the dean or directors of each campus' main library.

"The EUC will open a lot of doors for education in rural areas and for place-bound people," said Perry.


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