The South Dakota Board of Regents recently approved a master’s degree in secondary education at Black Hills State University.

The new graduate program provides the opportunity for a student who has a bachelor’s degree in a content teaching field to certify as a high school and middle school teacher while completing a master’s degree, according to Dr. Pat Simpson, dean of the College of Education & Behavioral Sciences at BHSU.

“This new opportunity makes two already successful undergraduate certification programs available at the graduate level,” Simpsonsaid.

The first undergraduate certification program, Project SELECT, has been offered for six years in partnership with the Rapid City and Douglas school districts. The model has been used nationally, and the program was featured as an exemplary program at “Day on the Hill” in Washington, D.C. Under Project SELECT, students complete certification requirements within 10 months while working in the schools.

Project SECOND provides another route to high school and middle school certification, Simpson said. The program allows students living in rural areas to complete coursework online with internships arranged near their homes, she said.

With the BOR approval, the two programs are now available at the graduate level, making the new master’s degree available face-to-face and online.

BHSU now has seven graduate degree programs. In other action, the BOR also approved a master of science in sustainability. Graduates of the sustainability program will be prepared for a variety of “green” careers including natural resource management, renewable energy, and community planning in such South Dakota-specific industries as wind energy, hydroelectric power, geothermal energy, green construction techniques, and bio-fuels.