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 March 2000


Board of Regents Approves New Degree for Technical Institute Graduates

Bachelor of Applied Technical Science to Accept Transfer Credits


ABERDEEN—In response to a growing demand for employees with both technical and organizational skills, the South Dakota Board of Regents today approved a new degree, the bachelor of applied technical science (BATS). The new degree, not offered anywhere else in South Dakota, will permit graduates of technical institutes to transfer to either South Dakota State University (SDSU) or Black Hills State University (BHSU) a total of 64 credit hours toward the completion of a baccalaureate degree.


Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, said, "This degree is designed for technical institute graduates with an earned associate of applied science degree. As long as students hold an AAS degree from an accredited technical institute, they can apply for admission to one of the BATS options available at SDSU or BHSU. If they meet university admission requirements, take a full load, and stay on task, they should get this bachelor’s degree completed in two years."


The BATS degree will be offered beginning in Fall 2000. Program options at Black Hills State University are general supervision and general technology. At South Dakota State University, program options are industrial sales, industrial supervision, general supervision, general technology, and applied agriculture. "The BATS will be offered only at BHSU and SDSU because both institutions currently offer technology programs," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.


Perry added, "Typically students have been able to transfer whole two-year degree programs to universities if they have earned associate of arts or associate of science degrees, which are usually earned at community and junior colleges. The associate of applied science degree is awarded by technical institutes and is considered a nontransferable degree. Because the marketplace is changing, adult learners want the chance to build on their technical skill training to advance their careers. Employers expect employees to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving that can be acquired through upper level college courses."


Jewett said, "The Regents believe that this degree will meet a need in developing South Dakota’s workforce." Jewett added that all technical institute transfers will have to achieve a satisfactory score on the proficiency exam, instituted by the Regents in 1998 as a requirement to progress from the sophomore to junior status.


In a related matter, Jewett on behalf of the Board of Regents signed a memorandum of understanding between the Regents and the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education approved the memorandum at its meeting on March 20. The memorandum sets out the following:

  • recognition of the purpose and design of the BATS,
  • acknowledgement of the existing agreement to articulate general education courses between the two systems,
  • agreement to follow accrediting agency guidelines for articulation of courses in specialized health care fields,
  • acknowledgement that evaluating course credit for transfer to any program other than the BATS is strictly a function of the receiving university, and
  • collaboration between the two systems in curriculum reviews.


Technical institute graduates will be eligible to transfer AAS credits to the BATS only. Any other transfer of credit to another Regental university degree program will be subject to individual evaluation of course credits made by the public university to which the technical institute student wishes to transfer. The BATS replaces any articulation agreements between institutions that had not been reviewed and approved since July 1998, but it will not affect the agreement to transfer general education courses from the technical institutes to the universities.


The Board of Regents is holding a regular business meeting on the campus of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Aberdeen from March 22 through 24. The Regents will meet for their next business meeting on May 4 and 5 in Vermillion on the campus of the University of South Dakota.


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



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