For Release 18 March

Board Approves Master’s in Information Systems for Dakota State University

MADISON--The Board of Regents, at its regular business meeting today on the campus of Dakota State University, approved the request by Dakota State University for a Master of Science in Information Systems degree. The request was approved upon the results of an external review of the proposed program that concluded that there is a statewide need for graduates in the program area.

Dakota State University President Jerald Tunheim said, "We are very excited about the new program. It is the first graduate program offered at Dakota State University. The Master of Science in Information Systems degree is an important step for us in meeting our legislative mission in information management and will help Dakota State build closer ties to the information industries in South Dakota."

The Master’s in Information Systems degree will offer a combination of both the technical foundations of computer science along with vital business applications. The program will focus on the analysis, design, program development, and implementation of business problems through the use of information technology.

"When approving a new program the most important consideration is how well it will serve South Dakota. There is a definite need for graduates in this area. Growth in information technology continues to lead all other fields, a trend that is expected to continue. By offering this program we are creating the opportunity for organizations within our state to hire qualified professional graduates from here in South Dakota instead of recruiting them from other parts of the country," said Regents President James O. Hansen.

Board of Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry added, "The new program is good for South Dakota. It will not only fulfill the current statewide need for highly skilled information systems professionals, its development will also serve as a significant attraction for new businesses seeking to locate near available systems workers."

The masters program is to be offered on the Dakota State campus next fall. The first few classes will be offered onsite with plans to implement distance education formats in the future.

"Our goal is to make this program accessible statewide. We propose to deliver the master’s degree courses using a combination of on-campus instruction and distance learning formats, including Internet and telecommunications-based (RDTN) instruction, in cooperation with other Regental institutions to provide efficient access and delivery of the program. By using this format our hope is to offer the degree within the workplace," said President Tunheim.

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