Community College of Sioux Falls ‘transformed’ into the University of South Dakota

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Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 1:29 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The University of South Dakota will be transforming and absorbing the Community College of Sioux Falls, turning it into USD’s Sioux Falls location.

This has been in development for nearly a year, according to a press release from the BOR. The plan builds upon the University of South Dakota’s (USD) strong presence in Sioux Falls, where the campus continues to serve as a local option for health sciences, business, and education.

With this move, several USD health sciences courses, programs, and centers will be relocating from its Sioux Falls medical campus to the USD – Sioux Falls campus. USD President Sheila K. Gestring said this will allow these programs the space necessary to grow.

“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,” said Gestring.

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, and filling gaps in the healthcare workforce, according to a press release from USD.

This migration will allow USD to consolidate academic paths for health sciences careers while continuing to focus on additional programs like business, general studies, and education. The established Teacher Pathway program currently seeks to recruit and place teachers in Sioux Falls schools. The campus will also continue its mission of providing opportunities for a four-year degree through programs like the Associate of Arts in General Studies.

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

Through Board approval, the USD-SF rollout establishes USD as the primary provider for academic offerings at the site moving forward. The South Dakota State University (SDSU) pharmacy program will continue to operate out of its current space on the USD-SF campus.

Comments from the Vice President of USD

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.”

Comments from local hospital representatives

“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.”

For more information on the approved transition, visit USD.Edu/Academics/USD-Sioux-Falls.

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