For Release June 26

Sioux Falls Center Presents Annual Report to the Board of Regents

 MADISON—The South Dakota Board of Regents heard the annual report for the Center for Public Higher Education in Sioux Falls at its regular business meeting today. The meeting was held on the campus of Dakota State University. Dr. Judy Nissen, Director of the Center, presented the report.

Nissen stated, "The 1997-1998 academic and fiscal year included many changes and improvements for the Center for Public Higher Education."

One of the most significant administrative changes was the move of Dakota State University into the Bergeland Center resulting in a single location for all three universities and Center offices. "The presence of all three universities in a single site reinforced the center concept and facilitated providing better services to faculty and students," said Dr. Judy Nissen, Center Director.

Nissen reported that enrollment was up at the Center for Public Higher Education. The fall1997 term showed an enrollment of 1,000 students, an eight percent increase from the 930 students enrolled during the 1996 fall term. Nissen commented, "I am pleased with the continual growth in enrollments at the Center. Our students have told us they are taking our classes because they are receiving quality instruction, the classes are affordable, and the classes are scheduled for evenings and weekends, which are times that work best for them. Earning a college degree in Sioux Falls from a South Dakota public university has great appeal to our students."

Regarding the enrollment numbers Regent’s President James O. Hansen said, "I believe the increase is evidence that we are accomplishing our goal of offering place-bound students the opportunity to pursue higher education."

During the 1997-98 academic year the CPHE also experienced an increase in courses available to students, registrations in classes, and credit hours, Nissen reported.

Nissen reported, "The CPHE focused on the needs of its students during the 1997-1998 year." Students benefited from two non-credit courses that were developed at the Center to help students in reviewing math and learning basic computer skills.

Addressing the need for more computers, an eight station open computer lab was established at the Center in September of 1997. Students use the lab for research projects and class assignments. There is access to the lab 80 hours per week, or whenever the Center is open. The CHPE also contracted for security services for evening sessions. The security will check the facility, secure it after classes are completed, and accompany students, staff, and faculty to cars

"The CPHE has done a terrific job of accessing the needs of its students and implementing changes to meet those needs," said Regent’s Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "We look forward to acquiring a new facility in Sioux Falls so that we can meet the needs of these students. The CPHE is an excellent example of what can be done when the universities collaborate on bringing public higher education to the people of this state. The need is there and we are responsible for meeting it," Perry said.

Extending its service to the community, the Center for Public Higher Education acted as a resource for businesses and organizations in FY98. The Center provided meeting places and services for selected professional groups, non-profit organizations and businesses for continuing education and education. Twenty Sioux Falls employees used the Center for their management/supervisor training. The Business Education Institute from Dakota State University took advantage of the 30 station computer lab at the Bergeland Center for business training. Other programs facilitated through the Center included a research project conducted by the business school for Rotary International and First National Bank in Sioux Falls and continuing education courses delivered to local pharmacists through the College of Pharmacy.

Nissen concluded, "At the close of the 1997-1998 year the center continues to explore ways to better meet the needs of faculty, students, and staff."


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