South Dakota: SDSU to offer introductory courses in Rapid City this fall |

South Dakota: SDSU to offer introductory courses in Rapid City this fall

BROOKINGS, SD – South Dakota State University’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences will offer introductory agricultural courses in 2011 at the new University Center in Rapid City.

The South Dakota Board of Regents is constructing the new center in Rapid City to meet growing demand for higher education for those who cannot attend one of the existing university campuses in the state. Gail Dobbs Tidemann, Dean of SDSU’s Continuing and Extended Education program, said students who enroll in the courses can get most of their first-year, and possibly more, course work completed in Rapid City.

“Our plan is to provide an opportunity for students in the West River area to take some introductory agriculture courses, along with general education courses, that will be available at the University Center, Rapid City,” Tidemann said. “For many, it’ll help them get their educational directions mapped out, and they then can continue a degree on campus.”

When completed, the Center’s 20 classrooms, labs and facilities, all located just off Interstate 90 on the east side of Rapid City, will provide a convenient, accessible site in the city for higher education.

Course offerings will include introductory courses in plant science, range science, and others as demands dictate. SDSU Department of Plant Science Head Sue Blodgett said the new offerings can help people considering higher education to make more informed decisions.

“We are happy to offer introductory courses in plant science at this new educational facility as we know it can help individuals discern ideas they may have about continuing their education,” said Blodgett. “By offering the classes locally, we hope we can help those in the region to start their educational journey with SDSU.

Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, said the new classes should give more people opportunities to further their education.

“With this addition, we will see new faces who before felt careers in agriculture were geographically too far away for them to attain,” Dunn said. “Now, individuals can get their introductory work started and see how SDSU educators bring to life the lessons many freshman receive in Brookings or on other South Dakota campuses.”

Clint Rusk, head of the Animal and Range Sciences Department at SDSU, said he is excited about the opportunity for West River students to enroll in introductory classes at the new University Center in Rapid City.

“Students interested in range science will be able to learn from qualified instructors who are very enthusiastic about teaching introduction to range science and range plant identification courses,” said Rusk. “Those students living in the western part of South Dakota will be able to start their college education closer to home before making a commitment to move to Brookings.”

Don Marshall, director of academic programs for SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, said that the new center can help SDSU continue its ongoing service to the agricultural industry in South Dakota.

“I am very optimistic that career opportunities related to agriculture will continue to grow in the future due to expected dramatic increases in global demand for food, fiber, and fuel,” said Marshall. “The new University Center in Rapid City will provide a convenient way for students to begin their educational careers closer to home and provide additional educational options for working adults.”

For more information on the courses, call Marshall at 605-688-5133.

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