Regents approve technology degrees; USD degrees result from the decision

Regents approve technology degrees; USD degrees result from the decision South Dakotans will have two new career technology options available following action by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Meeting at the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls, the Regents approved new graduate degree programs in technology as it applies to education, business, the military, health care and social services.

The Regents authorized The University of South Dakota (USD) to offer a master of science degree and an education specialist in technology for education and training degree. The master's degree will be offered in cooperation with Dakota State University (DSU), which has been authorized to offer a master of science in education in computer education and technology. DSU's new master's degree will articulate with USD's specialist degree.

"The programs from the two universities will share common core courses, delivering them through distance learning technology," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewitt, IV. "This is very important to the Regents. We have required the universities to collaborate in instructional delivery and to share resources. No new state resources will be directed to these programs. When we gave the universities the authority to proceed with these degrees, we told them they had to fund them through redirection and realignment. We are satisfied that they met that directive."

DSU President Jerald Tunheim said, "The DSU degree is designed for K-12 classroom teachers. Both programs are very important to the future of South Dakota. They are key vehicles in moving Gov. Janklow's technology agenda for South Dakota. Graduates of both these programs will provide the leadership in utilization of technology."

"South Dakota businesses as diverse as Citibank, Gateway, and Sioux Valley Hospital have contacted USD's School of Education, seeking graduates with more training and skills in technology. The demand is there," said USD President James Abbott. "We think these programs complement each other. All segments of the economy need technology specialists. This move by the Regents is an economic development tool. USD is ready to do its part."

Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry noted that there are no master's or specialist programs in technology for education or training within the state public higher education system.

"The universities project about 25 graduates per year at the master's level by 2002. South Dakota schools and businesses are rapidly outpacing the skills offered by computer technicians. These graduates will be trained to design multi-media learning system, assess and analyze uses of technology and recommend technology systems. Essentially they will be able to assess an organization's needs and recommend strategies for the future."

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