Regents approve new minors and certificate programs

Students attending South Dakota's public universities now have additional pathways to develop new workplace skills or specializations with five new minors and five certificate programs approved last week by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

In addition, the regents gave approval for three universities to begin planning new undergraduate degrees in science fields. BHSU is exploring an associate degree in applied health sciences, SDSMT a bachelor's degree in applied biological sciences and USD a bachelor's degree in medical biology.

Once plans are finalized, the universities must return to the board for final approval of these programs, which would likely be available starting this fall.

The new minors, requiring at least 18 credit hours of study, are:

  •  Audio production at Dakota State University. This minor provides skills necessary to produce professional quality audio for digital and other media.
  •  Environmental engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. SDSMT is phasing out its bachelor's degree in this field and redirecting students to a minor, which offers fundamental preparation in environmental engineering concepts and prepares students for specific employment opportunities.
  •  Sustainability engineering at SDSMT, a developing field that seeks to move traditional engineering practice toward new ways of solving complex social problems.
  • Accounting at the University of South Dakota. This minor prepares students majoring in other business fields with additional expertise in accounting principles.
  • International business at USD, a minor designed to prepare business graduates to operate in the global marketplace.

Certificate programs usually require fewer credit hours to complete than a minor. They are developed by packaging a small set of courses that allow students to develop expertise within a focused area of study, addressing identified market and workforce development needs. The five new certificate programs are:

  •  Industrial leadership and management at Black Hills State University.
  •  Advanced computer-aided manufacturing at BHSU.
  •  Mechanical computer-aid drafting at BHSU.
  •  Swine science at South Dakota State University.
  •  Agricultural and environmental law at SDSU.
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