USD’s focus areas in health care, business and education are aligned with the growing demand for prepared professionals in these sectors, said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. The programs, which range from associate degrees to doctorate degrees, will be housed at USD’s campus located on North Career Avenue, now known as USD – Sioux Falls.

Several USD health sciences courses, programs and centers are relocating from its Sioux Falls medical campus to the USD – Sioux Falls campus, allowing these programs the space necessary to grow, Gestring said.

“USD’s Sioux Falls location offers an exciting opportunity to create a health sciences hub by relocating several courses and programs – including all Sioux Falls-based nursing classes, a nursing skills lab, the Master of Public Health, the Master of Social Work and USD’s new CRNA program,” she said. “Two statewide, federally funded programs – the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and the Center for Rural Health Improvement – will also move to our Sioux Falls site, allowing for program expansion as demand for these services increases.”

This health sciences hub will provide students opportunities to learn in an interprofessional, team-based environment, replicating modern hospitals and clinics. It will also allow for USD’s partnerships with Sanford Health and Avera to continue to grow, providing students with unique clinical experiences and opportunities for future careers, filling gaps in the health care workforce.

“We are pleased to partner with USD and support this important effort to meet the growing health care needs of the communities we serve across our region,” said Bill Gassen ’04, ’08, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “It reflects our commitment to investing in the next generation of our health care workforce to ensure every family has access to exceptional care no matter where they live.”

“USD’s expansion in Sioux Falls will serve all employers well as we face workforce challenges,” said Bob Sutton ’90, ’95, president and CEO of Avera. “This is especially the case in health care where demand remains high for compassionate and well-prepared graduates.”

The university will also continue to offer programs like its Associate of Arts in general studies degree and its business curriculum and is exploring new opportunities in other academic areas such as education.

Offering these programs in Sioux Falls will be key in helping retain a number of South Dakota students and put them on an educational pathway they might have otherwise missed, said Jay Perry, Ph.D., vice president of USD - Sioux Falls.

Perry said South Dakota projects 20% growth in high school graduates over the next 10 years, mostly in Sioux Falls.

“Many of those students will want to stay close to home while pursuing their studies, and USD-Sioux Falls offers them the opportunity to do just that,” Perry said.

Sioux Falls also provides the state’s greatest number and broadest variety of experiential learning opportunities for students, such as internships and practicums, he said. The campus’ proximity to the USD Discovery District will be key in providing students with valuable research opportunities, access to jobs after graduation and exposure to cutting-edge businesses.

“Students will see cutting-edge businesses being built and technology being developed, and they will be exposed to ideas and processes that can’t be replicated anywhere in the state but at the Discovery District in Sioux Falls,” said Perry. “These businesses will then have a pool of students from USD – Sioux Falls who can apply for internships or part-time jobs, preparing them for the workforce and creating a pipeline for the growing economy.”

As South Dakota’s population grows, there is a greater need for an experienced and prepared workforce, said Gestring.

“One of South Dakota’s most pressing needs is a skilled workforce, particularly in health care, education and business. USD is prepared to answer this call,” Gestring said. “USD is poised for tremendous growth in Sioux Falls, and we are excited to build upon the success we've already experienced by offering students educational opportunities that will help them advance their careers while remaining close to home.”

Learn more about USD - Sioux Falls, visit

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