BHSU-RC will offer more daytime classes, enhance labs for science and photography classes

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, April 14, 2017/Categories: 2016

Black Hill State University-Rapid City will offer additional daytime course offerings this fall, including Saturday morning classes. BHSU-RC is updating its science lab space to provide more course options for students pursuing degrees in the sciences. A state-of-the-art darkroom will also be added for high-demand photography courses.

Pam Arenson, science instructor at Black Hills State University-Rapid City, assists students with an in-class project. Science labs at BHSU-RC are being updated to provide additional course options. BHSU-RC will also offer additional daytime course offerings this fall.

Black Hills State University-Rapid City (BHSU-RC) will offer more classes, enhance science and photography laboratory facilities, and begin offering classes at alternate time frames - including more daytime classes and Saturday morning classes - in its ongoing effort to meet the needs of students in the state's second largest city.

In the year since BHSU-RC, the former University Center, was renamed and placed under the leadership of BHSU, the rebranding has increased the awareness of the university courses and responded to students' suggestions for changes.

Gene Bilodeau, executive director at BHSU-RC, said the University is committed to making additional learning opportunities available and to becoming an integral part of the greater Rapid City community.

"We're seeing an increase in the number of students who want to take daytime classes in addition to the evening classes we already offer," said Bilodeau. "BHSU-RC offers more than 50 programs including associate, bachelor, and master degrees along with credit and non-credit professional certificates."

Bilodeau noted that the daytime classes create an opportunity for high school students to take Dual Credit classes (which allow students to save money by earning high school and university credit concurrently while completing general education courses).

This fall, BHSU-RC has added two additional faculty members to offer additional daytime courses in the areas of chemistry and biology. General education courses in other disciplines (i.e. English, humanities, history, math, sociology, psychology, mass communication) are also on the daytime and evening schedule. When the building originally opened in 2011, nearly all of the classes were offered in the evening, typically at 4 or 7 p.m. on weekdays. When BHSU took an increased leadership role last year, administrators committed to ensuring courses would be made available to meet students' needs.

BHSU-RC is updating facilities this summer so additional science laboratory courses and a photography course that includes darkroom lab time can be offered. Steve Babbitt, longtime photography professor at BHSU, notes that students have consistently requested photography classes in Rapid City. This fall, BHSU-RC will offer a photography course and has dedicated space in the building for a state-of-the-art darkroom.

The basic photography class, which is tentatively scheduled to meet on Saturday mornings, will cover film and darkroom use, digital camera use, and contemporary trends in photography, and it will touch on a few historic aspects of photography and digital printing. Babbitt anticipates the class will fill quickly and drive demand for additional photography classes at BHSU-RC. He added that as BHSU continues to finalize plans for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree option (pending Board of Regents approval this summer) intermediate and advanced photography classes may be offered at BHSU-RC.

The enhanced science laboratories will create additional opportunities for students pursuing pre-nursing, biology, and other natural science degrees.

The two new non-credit programs are computer networking (Microsoft Certified Solutions) and advanced project management.  BHSU-RC offers eight (for credit) certificates.

BHSU-RC, located near exit 61 off I-90, also hosts a growing number of public presentations, speakers and workshops. A speaker series this semester has included presentations on gun control, legalization of marijuana, memoir writing, how pine beetle may affect tourism, Islam's image, and other topics.

As the state's only comprehensive university in western South Dakota, Black Hills State University has a unique role in the Rapid City region. In April 2015, the former University Center was renamed BHSU-RC after BHSU received approval from the South Dakota Board of Regents to assume leadership for the facility. Since that change, enrollment at BHSU-RC has increased. Other South Dakota Regental universities continue to offer courses and programs in Rapid City through collaborative efforts with BHSU.

For details on course offerings and schedules call 718-4194 or see

Learn more about BHSU-RC from BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., during his KDSJ Radio interview.

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