News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Janelle Toman, Director of Information

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320


For Immediate Release 27 June 2002

USDSU Gains Unprecedented Growth

(ABERDEEN, SD) – Executive Dean Mark Lee presented the USDSU Sioux Falls Annual Report to the South Dakota Board of Regents on June 27, during its meeting on the Northern State University campus in Aberdeen.  The report summarizes accomplishments and progress for the last fiscal year.

USDSU is a partnership between the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State University and is located in a new state-of-the-art building on the Southeast Technical Institute Campus.

The annual report  presented to the Regents highlighted the explosive enrollment growth USDSU experienced this past year.  Fall headcount increased by 22 percent and credit hours by 35 percent over the prior fall.  The spring semester showed additional growth by increasing another 12 percent over the fall term.  The spring 2002 enrollment includes 1,579 students attending at USDSU in Sioux Falls.

"The growth of USDSU is impressive.  It is obvious from the climbing enrollment numbers that USDSU is fulfilling a great need for public higher education in Sioux Falls.  The Regents are pleased with the leadership provided by Mark Lee and the cooperation and commitment of the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State University to offer quality programs and courses to the people of the Sioux Falls area," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett.

The report also included information regarding student demographics such as:

  • 73 percent of students were from the immediate Sioux Falls area;
  • 59 percent of students were over 23 years of age; and
  • 25 percent of students were in graduate programs.

Lee noted, “The reason USDSU is having such great success is our focus on the adult and working student and our focus on degree programs important to the economic development of the Sioux Falls community.  Our students are in programs that provide them access to great careers in Sioux Falls today and in the future as the local economy develops.” 

"When the Regents created USDSU (formerly the Center for Public Higher Education), the vision was to serve those adult and non-traditional students who live in the Sioux Falls area.  The enrollment demographics show those are exactly the students we are serving," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

The report noted that USDSU students prefer class-meeting times that are distinctly different than a residential campus.  Students prefer late afternoon or evening classes that generally only meet one time a week.

“We make every effort to schedule classes when students want them,” Lee continued.  “We respect their busy lives as well as their desire to improve their lot in life.”

The new USDSU facility is filling quickly with added classes, faculty, and staff.  “We are seeing term-over-term growth in enrollment in our new facility,” Lee added.

“The quality of the partner universities, the advantages of a college degree, the types of programs we offer, the convenience of our Sioux Falls location, and our attractive overall cost is making USDSU the location of choice for more and more students,” Lee concluded.  “While we still have a long way to go, we have been very pleased with the reception received from the local community and we look forward to additional success.”


Return to Press Releases