Augustana prepares to launch new Fintech program

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:29 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - There have been many big changes at Augustana University lately. This includes a new hockey arena, a new residence hall, and a new esports team. Continuing that trend of growth, just last week Augie announced the launch of a new program.

Financial technology, or “Fintech” is one of the newest degree programs in the country. Fintech combines the skills of finance and computer science to provide financial services electronically. Last week, Augustana announced that they would be launching a new Fintech program.

The field is quickly growing and Augustana is only the fourth institution in the United States to offer it. It’s the first of its kind in the region and program director, Raymond Leach, is excited to get started.

“I think that this is a huge step for Augustana, you know, we’re going through a lot of exciting changes right now in terms of growth with the university and this fintech program is just another step in that,” Leach expressed.

Leach was tasked to build a brand new program from the ground up over the last six months. He says it was a huge responsibility and something he’s thankful for.

“I think that it was a lot of, you know, pressure to do that,” explained Leach. “But it was also something that I felt I could accomplish and so I’m pretty stoked that the university was able to put that trust in me and, you know, give me this opportunity to grow with them.”

The program is set to collaborate with businesses in Sioux Falls, especially their main partner, Pathward. Students would have the opportunity for internships, class lectures from guest business-owners and relevant case-studies.

“The local community, the finance community is just very excited about it. We all see it as a net positive, right? We can produce some excellent graduates who are going to stay in Sioux Falls and we can just see the finance community just keep growing here,” said Leach.

The program has had a positive response from students, especially prospective students.

“Students are really excited. I’ve got a lot of students here currently that are asking how they can switch over to a fintech major now. I’m already talking to prospective students that are saying ‘how do I apply to this thing?’”

The countdown is officially on for the program’s start date. The first students of the program will graduate in 2027 and applications are currently open for the fall of 2023.