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Regents Approve Academic Program Requests to Develop Workforce




News Release

Contacts: Janelle Toman, Director of Communications


Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Regents Approve Academic Program Requests to Develop Workforce


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Regents this week approved academic program requests from Dakota State and Northern State universities to meet emerging workforce and economic development trends statewide. 


The following actions, sorted by the university making the request, were approved:


Dakota State University

  • A minor in finance technology will provide Dakota State graduates a new skill set in innovative technologies for the financial services industry, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data mining. Students seeking careers in banking and financial services will benefit from this new knowledge base in data science and cyber technology. The minor will be available to DSU students both at the Madison campus and online.
  • A new graduate certificate in cyber security will be available online to prepare more computer scientists, software engineers, and programmers. The certificate offers DSU students hands-on and practical experience in the theory and application of cyber security. This certificate, designed to meet a growing need in today’s workforce, is intended for working professionals who already have undergraduate degrees in security-related technology fields.


Northern State University

  • A graduate certificate in behavioral and justice studies offers enhanced preparation for professionals working in counseling, police or law enforcement, social work, psychology, and related fields. This certificate is intended as a stand-alone credential option for students who either do not seek a master’s degree or already have an advanced degree. The 12 graduate hours earned for the certificate is stackable to other degrees, however, and may be applied to the new forensic counseling emphasis in Northern State’s clinical mental health counseling program.


  • A new specialization in forensic counseling is now part of Northern State University’s existing master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling. This specialization, consisting of 12 credit hours, enhances counseling students’ abilities to work with the legal system in settings such as prisons, domestic violence shelters, and juvenile detention centers. All of these locations have significant demand for specialized counseling services. Students completing a degree in mental health counseling with this specialization are eligible for national certification from the National Association of Forensic Counselors, after two years of professional practice serving forensic populations. They will also be eligible for optional certifications from the National Board of Forensic Evaluators.