South Dakota universities prepare to open Opportunity Centers

South Dakota public universities are preparing to make a change on campus.
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 5:54 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota public universities are preparing to make a change on campus. The South Dakota Board of Regents has directed the universities to open Opportunity Centers, moving away from Diversity Centers to include all students.

The Opportunity Centers must include services that cater to all students, something Northern State University already has in place.

”We’re very fortunate because we have a lot of the elements that are going to be included in that and they’re very wide elements when it comes to serving all of the different types of students that we have on campus,” said NSU Vice President of Enrollment, Communications and Marketing Justin Fraase.

NSU is approaching the Opportunity Center as a chance to consolidate services for students under one roof.

”Some of those offices are spread out across campus and we are moving everything toward one centralized location so that there would be an opportunity for an individual kind of regardless of what they’re looking for,” said Fraase.

South Dakota State University is taking a similar approach by moving student service offices of all kinds to the new Wintrode Student Success and Opportunity Center.

”Our comprehensive student services here at SDSU really remain in tact. No matter what those unique barriers might be to students finding success in their academic programs of study, we’ll have a network that’ll make sure we have efficient baton transfers from one service unit to another service unit,” said SDSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Hedge.

The students of the universities wanted to ensure that they would still have the same academic success.

”Students were primarily interested in ensuring that those services would remain so that we could continue to offer the assistance that would enable their success,” said Hedge.

According the South Dakota Board of Regents, the Opportunity Centers must be open by the time students return to campus in January.

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