For Release May 07

Board of Regents Hears Report for Delivery of Off-Campus Instruction

BROOKINGS—The South Dakota Board of Regents, at its regular business meeting on the campus of South Dakota State University, heard a report for delivery of college courses at off-campus sites around the state. Currently, the six state universities offer a total of 49 programs at various degree levels ranging from the associate to the masters. Some of the courses are offered for dual credit to high school students.

The report was developed by the Off-Campus Council, a system-wide group that coordinates the course offerings. " We want to be sure that we are using our resources wisely," said Regent Pat Lebrun, chair of the subcommittee that heard the report. "The Regents want to encourage the universities to develop courses but we also want them to coordinate the scheduling of classes, restrict duplication, and use technology as much as possible, wherever it is appropriate."

The greatest number of off-campus degree programs is available in Sioux Falls. Courses there are offered through the Center for Public Higher Education by Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota. Both SDSU and USD offer degree programs in the Rapid City area. Black Hills State University supports associate and baccalaureate degrees at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology also offers technology and science courses at Ellsworth. Northern State University maintains a graduate program in education in Mitchell, Pierre, and Watertown, and an associate degree in business in Pierre. Courses in Pierre are coordinated through the Capital University Center.

"South Dakota residents have many convenient opportunities to pursue higher education," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "High school students have a wide range of opportunities to earn university credit, too. This summer we are offering on our college campuses four institutes to train high school teachers to teach Advanced Placement courses. High school students and their parents should look into AP courses during the school year. It is a great way for high school kids to earn college credit and save money."

Perry added, "The university offerings are now available throughout South Dakota through technology. We are not limited to the off-campus sites." He noted that this year, for example, USD began to deliver the masters degree in business administration across the state via satellite. One or more degrees are now available in 64 communities with over 30 of these connecting to local cable companies for in-home delivery.

"Satellites are also being used to deliver dual credit courses into South Dakota high schools. The universities are taking teacher in-services directly to the elementary and secondary schools through satellite," said Perry.

"Access to education is a significant consideration in a rural state like ours. People will need to upgrade their skills throughout their lives. Yet many are place-bound and long distances are prohibitive. We need to turn more and more to technology to keep our people competitive and our economy strong," said Regents President James O. Hansen. "Our universities understand that. Few adults have the luxury to be able to drop everything and move to a university town to take another degree. We have to try to reach them where they are."

A tentative schedule for delivery of courses through the spring of 2003 was submitted to the subcommittee. Courses delivered using the Internet, South Dakota Public Television, correspondence, satellite, and videotape were included. A subcommittee report to the full Board of Regents will be made on Friday, May 8.

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