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 05 May 2000

Enrollment up at Sioux Falls Center for Public Higher Education

VERMILLION—More students enrolled in courses offered at the Center for Public Higher Education in Sioux Falls in the 1999-2000 academic year than at any other time in its eight year history. Most of the students were older than the typical college student. Twice as many women as men enrolled at the Sioux Falls facility operated by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

The Regents received the FY2000 annual report of the Center for Public Higher Education (CPHE) today at its regular business meeting on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Details of enrollment and course offerings were provided in the report. In addition, the CPHE director, Dr. Judy Nissen, updated the Regents on the construction of a new building that will house the CPHE later this year.

"The Regents started the Center for Public Higher Education to provide opportunities to nontraditional students who are, for all practical purposes, place-bound," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, of Aberdeen. "This report confirms that we were right to do that. We are serving the people that we had hoped to reach."

Nissen reported that the 1999 fall semester unduplicated headcount at the CPHE was 1118 students, an 11.8 percent increase over the fall 1998 headcount. "Unduplicated means that, even if a student is taking courses from any one or all three universities offering courses through the center, that student is counted only once," said Nissen. The CPHE was established by the Regents in 1992 as a collaborative effort of Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of South.

One-third of the students attending classes at the center were 23 years of age or younger, while 62 percent were between the ages of 24 and 49 years. Of the total headcount enrollment, 756 women and 362 men enrolled. "Past surveys of CPHE students have shown that both non-traditional students and women see themselves as unable to move to one of the communities with a university. Many indicated that, without affordable public higher education, they would not be able to continue their education," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "Scheduling classes in the evenings and on weekends offers them the opportunity to continue in their jobs and work on their degrees at the same time. The center provides consumer-oriented education."

In addition, the Regents were told that:

  • 68 percent of the course registrations were at the undergraduate level, while 32 percent were at the graduate level
  • 29 programs were offered at the center, including certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, and master’s degree programs
  • of those 29 programs, 12 degree and 3 certificate programs are unique to the CPHE and are unavailable at other postsecondary institutions in Sioux Falls
  • of the 1118 students enrolled in the fall semester, 820 students took one or two classes, while 209 took four or more, classifying them as full-time
  • 14 courses were delivered using distance education technology
  • the center was open 84 hours per week

Nissen reported that completion of the new building is projected for the end of 2000. "We hope to be offering the spring 2001 classes in the new facility," she said. The building will provide 18 classrooms, two distance education classrooms, a Governor’s Electronic Classroom, five computer labs, labs for biology, chemistry, physics, and nursing, and an electronic library.

The Regents will rent lease space from the Sioux Falls School Board, which is constructing the building on the campus of Southeast Technical Institute.

For more information, contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, South Dakota Board of Regents, (605) 773-3455, or Dr. Judy Nissen, Director, Center for Public Higher Education, (605) 367-5640.


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