SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – For the first time, graduates of the state’s technical schools will be able to apply their credits toward a bachelor’s degree in technical leadership from a state university under a new program offered by the University of South Dakota and the University Center, Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls business leaders and educators will outline how the plan responds to workforce needs on Thursday, July 6, at a 10 a.m. news conference at Southeast Technical Institute.
“This program is for people who have graduated with any associate of applied science (AAS) degree and are looking to advance themselves with either an additional certification or a full bachelor’s degree,” said USD Provost Jim Moran, who developed the plan.
The new certificate and bachelor’s degree offerings will start in August and will be offered at the University Center in Sioux Falls. There’s no time limit on when the credits must be earned. A person could begin by completing a certificate and return later to complete the bachelor’s degree.
USD will offer a variety of certificates that were developed in response to workforce needs identified by businesses in the region: management, small business entrepreneurship, healthcare leadership, personnel supervision, and communication and leadership. USD already offers certificates in regulatory affairs and laboratory safety along with graphic design and web design.
“Most of the courses are already offered at the Sioux Falls University Center,” Moran said. “We’re going to schedule the USD courses to recognize that we are serving a group of working professionals.”
USD’s new bachelor degree will increase the number of South Dakotans holding four-year degrees at the same time it qualifies more people to move into higher level jobs, a critical workforce need.
“If you’ve started a technical career path you still have the chance to get your bachelor’s degree – without starting over and without losing the money you spent on technical school,” Moran said.