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BHSU consolidates programs

Black Hills State University is consolidating degree programs as a part of the South Dakota Board of Regents initiative.

“It’s important to note that Black Hills State University still offers degrees in all of these academic disciplines,” BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp. “I regret that the headline in the Rapid City Journal created distress for our students and people in the community.”

Following a five-month review process, 14 bachelor degrees were modified according to Dr. Dean Myers, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at BHSU. He explained that majors are sometimes offered as either a bachelor of arts (BA) and a bachelor of science (BS) option. The primary difference in those two programs is the foreign language component required for BA degrees.

“Program review is an on-going process. Universities do periodic program reviews to ensure programs are still viable. That’s being good a steward of resources,” Myers says. “These reviews give us the opportunity to make modifications. This year the program reviews were part of a system-wide initiative. We have not eliminated any bachelor degree programs. All of the academic areas are still available as a major.”

Students already enrolled in these programs will have the opportunity to finish their degrees as the programs are phased out.

Programs affected:

  • BA in American Indian Studies no longer offered, BS in American Indian Studies remains;
  • BA in Mass Communications no longer offered, BS in Mass Communication remains;
  • BS in Spanish no longer offered, BA in Spanish remains;
  • BA in Composite Communication English no longer offered. The following English degrees remain: BA in English, BS in English, BS in Composite Communication/English, BSEd in English; and BSEd in Composite Communication/English.
  • BA and BSED in Composite Communication/Speech is no longer offered, a BS in Speech Communication remains;
  • BS in Composite Social Science being consolidated with BS non-composite major;
  • BA in Social Science no longer offered, BS in Social Science remains;
  • BA in Sociology no longer offered, BS in Sociology remains;
  • BA in Communication Arts no longer offered, BS in Communication Arts remains;
  • BA in Composite Music and Composite Vocal Music no longer offered, BS in Composite Music and BSEd in Composite Music remains;
  • BS in Composite Science/Physical being consolidated with Dakota State University.

“The bottom line is that we must ensure a quality curriculum delivered cost effectively,” Regents President Terry Baloun said. “We very much understand the state’s fiscal problems and the impacts on our system. This process closely engaged faculty and administrators in a campus-level review, and it should position our public universities to become more dynamic, responsive, and efficient with limited resources.”

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