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South Dakota’s higher education system is made up of 19 four-year colleges and universities, and 12 two-year technical and community colleges. Its 12 public two- and four-year universities and colleges are managed by the South Dakota University System Board of Regents (SDBOR). This board is also responsible for monitoring online education, including setting regulations on what determines online education and what it must include. Online education has increased in popularity in recent years due to the utter convenience and flexibility it provides students, especially those who work full-time, travel for work, or simply have very busy lives.
Online education in South Dakota is a particularly popular education choice. According to the SDBOR, “Growth in online learning at South Dakota public universities outpaces the national trend line.” As a matter of fact, South Dakota’s growth is substantially higher; for instance, in the 2008-2009 academic year, 17% of South Dakota students were enrolled in a given distance education course, while the same was true of 12.9% of students nationally. This difference is most likely the result of South Dakota’s Electronic University Consortium implementation in 2000. This online tool represents six public universities and serves as a resource for students interested in online education in South Dakota. If you’re one of those learners who is interested in online education in South Dakota, below are some of the state’s top online colleges accredited regionally or nationally.
South Dakota State University (SDSU) is one of the state’s top colleges with online degrees. Founded in 1881, SDSU is the state’s largest public university and land-grant educational institution. It offers its 13,000 students the choice of 200 undergraduate paths, as well 38 graduate and doctoral programs. SDSU also offers a robust selection of online/distance programs. These programs include bachelor’s, master’s, and one associate degree options in disciplines like nursing, education, journalism, and medical laboratory science. As a matter of fact, SDSU may even be considered a forerunner in the distance education revolution, as it has offered distance programs for more than 80 years. Unlike many other colleges that offer online options, SDSU makes it easy to not only navigate their website, but to learn and enroll in their online programs as well.
The University of South Dakota (USD) is one of the state’s accredited online colleges. It was founded in 1862 and is not only the oldest public university in South Dakota, but also the only public liberal arts higher education institution. USD runs about 130 undergraduate and 65 graduate programs that it offers its 10,000 students. Additionally, it offers several fully online programs and online college courses. Its online programs include associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in subjects like general studies, administration, health sciences, and education. These programs are not only offered through USD’s main campus, but through its various branch campuses. Most programs are fully online, though some are offered in hybrid form, such as the Master of Business Administration and Master of Professional Accountancy programs.
Globe University is yet another of South Dakota’s top colleges with online programs. It was established in 1885 and was one of the first business schools in Minnesota. The university has grown substantially and today serves a huge group of students throughout the country at its many campuses and online. It offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates in subjects beyond purely business ones, such as those in communications, technology, law, and health care and veterinary technology. Many of its students utilize Globe University’s online division, which offers many fully online degrees at the associate through the doctoral levels. Many of Globe’s online programs are offered at varying levels in business disciplines, including accounting, business administration, and management with several specialization options. However, subjects like paralegal, criminal justice, and information technology are also offered. Globe offers an online assessment tool for those students considering an online education, as well as library, career services, CampusConnect, and several other tools for enrolled distance learners.