The South Dakota Board of Regents approved new academic programs, a master’s degree in strategic leadership at BHSU to be delivered over the Internet, at their meeting last week.

The M.S. degree in strategic leadership at Black Hills State University will support students’ career advancement in government, business, and non-profit organizations. It will also be an attractive option for individuals serving in the military who wish to advance to a higher rank. “We recognize that graduate students, many of whom work full time, desire a convenient way to access courses and earn their advanced degree,” said President Kay Schallenkamp. “The plan is to make our master’s degree in strategic leadership available online by this coming fall.”

Students will complete 33 credit hours online over six semesters. The coursework is grounded in an understanding of leadership theory and the critical strategies necessary to impact change, with required courses in leadership, ethics and social change, forecasting techniques, strategic planning, and mentoring. Students will also earn credits for field experiences and a capstone research project. Black Hills State officials estimate that enrollment in the program will grow to a total of 40 students within three years.

Rajeev Bukralia, dean of educational outreach at BHSU, says the new BHSU master’s degree will provide a educational opportunities in an area with a growing need.

“The emergence of global knowledge economy has created a strong need for leaders and strategists in corporate, non-profit, military, and governmental organizations. This master’s degree will provide an opportunity for people who want to deepen their leadership skills at both personal and professional levels. The online delivery of the program will allow students to complete the program from anywhere in the world,” Bukralia says.

The regents also approved a new minor in outdoor education at Black Hills State. Many career opportunities exist for outdoor education students, including work at parks, natural resources management agencies, outdoor-related businesses, nature centers and zoos, youth organizations, and guide services. The 18 credit-hour minor will be available to students this fall.

No new state resources or additional student fees were requested to implement any of these new programs, regents’ officials said.