Students’ Association suggests new programs to administration

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The South Dakota State University Students’ Association Board of Directors has suggested new programs for SDSU. The programs include undergraduate, master, doctoral and professional programs. SA Vice President Tim Wrenn initiated the idea for the Senate to come up with idea for new programs.

“I thought had the students ever presented what they want to see on campus,” said Wrenn.

Wrenn had the senators of each college ask students what new programs they would like to see. The Board of Directors then compiled the list and presented it to Mary Kay Helling, associate vice president for academic affairs.

The undergraduate programs are accounting, architecture, meteorology and rural planning. The master programs include accounting, rursing anesthesiology, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Doctoral programs include human development/early childhood education and nutrition and food sciences. Professional programs are dentistry and veterinary school. Some of these programs, like accounting and pre-veterinary science, are already offered at SDSU as minors or as pre-professional programs.

Presently, these proposed programs are in the discussion stage and no time frame is set for when any or all of the programs will actually come to fruition. Helling said right now, she is sharing the proposed programs with various planning groups.

Helling said when considering the creation of new programs, various factors must be considered. The first factor is the potential job market. It is important that the students have opportunities to find jobs after graduation.

The second factor is whether or not the program is available somewhere else in South Dakota. Programs offered at one or more of the other Board of Regents schools are less likely to be added to SDSU.

The third factor is what resources are available at SDSU. Resources include personnel, equipment, materials and facilities. How many of the necessary resources SDSU already has, or could easily acquire, matters when considering the program.

Helling said it is possible for some of the new programs to not start out at the major level, but maybe at the minor level. She said if the programs do not come to SDSU, creative alternatives would be explored. Cooperative programs with other schools, or distance-learning programs, are both options. Presently, SDSU has a cooperative agreement with USD for social work. The agreement has been in place since the 1970s, and is currently being updated.

Another possibility, according to Helling, is to meld some of the proposed programs into existing programs. Nutrition and food science, one of the proposed doctoral programs, is presently offered as a specialization under the biological sciences doctoral program.

Helling said the next step is to keep the new proposed programs in mind while continuing to look at new programs in the next five years. The student input is helpful.

“I really appreciate this input from the students. It is a positive step on their (SA’s) part,” said Helling.

If any students have ideas for additional programs, they can stop in the SA office located in the Union, or e-mail Wrenn at [email protected].