For Immediate Release 24 January 2000
Board of Regents Develops Internet University
PIERRE-The South Dakota Board of Regents took another step today in creating an electronic university to offer higher education academic credit courses on the Internet. At its regular business meeting held in Pierre, the Board of Regents received a status report on the progress of the South Dakota Electronic University Consortium (EUC). The Regents intend to launch the EUC for Fall 2000 classes.
"The astonishing growth of the Internet has created possibilities that simply did not exist a few years ago. The Regents want to ensure that we take advantage of these opportunities, while maintaining quality and efficiency. These on-line courses will be a part of our universities' curricula," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, of Aberdeen. "Taking a course on-line may be the first experience a student has with our system. We want the process to work smoothly and the quality of the courses to be equivalent to any courses offered on campus."
The EUC will establish a web-based single point of contact for electronic information and access to campus-free education from the six South Dakota public universities. "We envision a one-stop statewide student service system for admissions, registration to multiple institutions, single billing and payment, student technical support, library access, and automatic credit transfer among the universities," said Janet Lewis, Regents Fellow, who is chairing the system-wide effort to develop the EUC. "On the Internet, a student will be able to apply for admission and financial aid, select a course, take the course, use the library, and receive a grade. All of this will happen from the convenience of home. This is an exciting prospect for people who cannot conveniently go to a university campus to take a course."
"The EUC will manage curriculum review and delivery across the institutions," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "It will also identify new programs for development. The Regents operate South Dakota public higher education as efficiently as any multi-campus system in the country. Through the electronic university consortium only one university will make available a freshmen composition course, for example. Creation of general education courses will be shared among the six universities. Each will also develop and deliver courses that reflect its own unique mission. That way we don't have three or four of them putting resources into delivering the same course, while missing other important courses altogether."
The Regents were told that in various stages of progress were the EUC slogan and the computer programming needed to support the course offerings. In addition, planning for start-up in Fall 2000 includes identification of necessary student services. Not all services will be technologically available and automatically supported and processed by then.
"We expect that we will phase in services and courses over time," said Perry.
For more information contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, or Dr. Janet Lewis, Regents Fellow, (605) 773-3455.
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