New major, minor available this year

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

SDSU recently added a new major and a new minor, which are meant to give students more flexibility in choosing careers.

The entrepreneurship program began last year with only 13 students, and is now up to 52. The global studies major is just getting its feet on the ground and expects up to 10 students by next spring.

Global Studies

The flexibility of the program is a unique and important part of its future success, said Harriet Swedlund, the former Director of International Programs,

“I think the fact that it’s interdisciplinary and that it will give students a wide variety of classes and background (is the most exciting part of the program),” Swedlund said.

She added, “I think it will be attractive to students; the requirements are quite broad and there are choices within the requirements, so switching into this major will be easier because of the flexibility.”

The goal of the new global studies program is to allow students to double major, said Nels Granholm, who coordinates the program.

By promoting this flexibility, Granholm hopes to garner the attention of students majoring in any number of related fields like economics, journalism or nursing, among others. Granholm does recommend, however, that students have a more specific goal in mind when choosing global studies as a major.

“Within that broad umbrella of global studies, it’s good to have a defined (career goal),” Granholm said.

In anticipation for the start of the program, Granholm is hoping for anywhere between five and 10 students to enlist in a global studies major by semester’s end.

Swedlund also believes that the program will be successful.

“It’s a perspective on the world as a whole that has not been concisely put into one major in the past,” Swedlund said. “It will give students a strong foundation of varied coursework, which is good preparation for a lot of different directions they may want to go following graduation.”


In addition to global studies, an entrepreneurship minor is also new to SDSU’s 2004-2005 catalog.

Barb Heller, coordinator of the entrepreneurship program, views the addition of this program as a great opportunity for many students.

“It’s great for the economical development of South Dakota,” Heller said. “It will give students the opportunity to see what other options are available than just going to work for somebody else.”

Pilot courses began last year with 13 students involved in the program. Currently, 52 students are involved.

Senior Jon Coudron is one of those 52 students and will be the first to graduate this December with a minor in entrepreneurship.

“It’s a great opportunity for SDSU,” Coudron said. “It’s definitely something that, as it grows, it will change the way South Dakota runs. This is something to build upon.”

Although many may assume that the entrepreneurship minor is beneficial strictly for those who want to start a business, Coudron attests that the minor could be useful for anyone.

“Entrepreneurship is not just about purchasing your own business,” Coudron said. “You can be working for a different company and put a new marketing plan in place because you thought differently than what the company’s philosophy was.”

Coudron said his favorite part of the classes is the fact that he had the opportunity to learn from local business owners.

Coudron said the first entrepreneurship class he took was one of the most interesting.

“I would say half the class is spent listening to others talk about their experiences – how they were successful, life lessons they’ve learned, how important different aspects are of their business and just daily operations. That’s invaluable knowledge.”

Straying from conventional teaching methods, the entrepreneurship classes offer a hands-on learning experience, providing students with an up-close look at what the business world will be like.

“It’s just networking and learning,” Coudron said. “It’s much more interesting to hear real life stories from someone than to sit in class and ‘here’s a textbook and we’re going to test you over this.’ With entrepreneurship, it’s not something you can sit there and teach out of a textbook. Entrepreneurship is hands-on.”

Even though both programs are new to the university, there has already been a lot of interest expressed among the students. Mary Kay Helling, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, hopes to see that trend continue.

“It’s exciting. Hopefully we’ll have students interested in both programs,” Helling said. “I think they’re both excellent opportunities for SDSU students and I encourage people to look into them.”