For Release January 22

Regents hear annual report on Sioux Falls Center, EPSCoR

VERMILLION—Meeting today on the campus of the University of South Dakota, the Board of Regents heard the annual report on the Sioux Falls Center for Public Higher Education and the EPSCoR Program.

The Sioux Falls Center (CPHE) is a collaborative effort of Dakota State University, South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota. Each university delivers courses and degree programs in Sioux Falls through the Center. Primarily to adult students in the area, 75% of the students are from the Sioux Falls metro area. The Center is in its fifth year as an inter-institutional cooperative effort.

Judy Nissen, CPHE Director said, "The Center’s mission is to serve adult students in the Sioux Falls area that due to job and family commitments are unable to attend a traditional campus. We are filling a need too, our registrations are growing substantially."

Courses Offered and Registrations at the Sioux Falls Center for Public Higher Education: FY94-97





Courses Offered










The annual report by Nissen did cite a continuing need for a facility to hold courses. "We are growing and the only way to serve students in the future, as well as improve service to current students is to have a central facility for CPHE," said Nissen. Currently courses are offered at several locations, not designed for classroom instruction, throughout the city with minimal parking. Nissen added, "One of the things that our students want the most is a central place to take courses and use a computer lab."

Regents’ Vice President James Hansen said, "The CPHE report has some good news showing registration growth. This is a certification that we are filling an important need in Sioux Falls. A need that adult learners have to continue their education, and further their careers and earning power."

Hansen continued, "A facility for the Center is still a priority. We can not keep going on, providing a valuable service, without even a building. It is a sign of the commitment to education that current students show that they continue to endure the lack of an appropriate, convenient facility."

Today, Regents also heard the annual report on EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) from Royce Engstrom, project director. Engstrom, who also is a faculty member at USD and is director of research, said, "EPSCoR in South Dakota has been a tremendous success for students, the universities, and the state."

There are approximately 150 students involved in EPSCoR research projects that help the state in various ways. Engstrom explained, "Students get hands-on educational opportunities not available at many universities, that is exciting for both faculty and students. In addition, EPSCoR projects are designed to have an impact in South Dakota." For example, some of the research done through EPSCoR has focused on crop and livestock resistance to stress, helping industry develop better products and building materials, research into environmental quality issues, and research into predicting the onset of heart disease.

Engstrom also commented on the improvement South Dakota has shown. "We were just one of two states chosen to go to Washington to show NSF [National Science Foundation] how well we are doing. When we started EPSCoR in 1989, South Dakota was at the bottom, now we have passed 20 other states in the amount of NSF funding per capita."

EPSCoR is a federally administered program to states that have historically received few federal research dollars. Three of South Dakota’s universities are involved in EPSCoR: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota. Participating universities at times work on cooperative projects within South Dakota or with participating universities in other states.

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