More students graduating with degrees in SDSIOUX FALLS (AP) — The number of students earning degrees is outpacing enrollment at South Dakota's six public colleges and universities, according to the Board of Regents.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The number of students earning degrees is outpacing enrollment at South Dakota's six public colleges and universities, according to the Board of Regents.
Associate and bachelor's degree graduates have increased by 21 percent since 2005, while enrollment has risen about 17 percent during that time, the media reported.
"I think university attitudes nationally and in South Dakota have changed somewhat from, 'We are here. You may come here, and if you are able to succeed, good for you,' to 'We have an important role in society to educate the public, and we need to be ensuring they are educated,'" said University of South Dakota Provost Chuck Staben.
"We produce a lot of the state's professionals," he said. "Lawyers, doctors, health professionals, teachers, businesspeople, accountants, scientists."
Higher education institutions are working with South Dakota high schools to ensure students come to college better-prepared, and that accounts for part of the increase in graduates, said Jack Warner, executive director of the regents.
Colleges and universities also are increasing academic support such as tutoring and relying more on self-paced learning, said Staben and Dakota State University spokesman Erica Clements. Schools also are making an effort to personally connect with students who are considering leaving before graduation.
"When we have students who do not measure in our data in the semester after they have registered, we call them, each one, and ask them why they have not re-registered and how we can facilitate their continued success in college," Staben said.
"We actually have seven programs we have initiated this year for new freshmen and transfers to keep them focused on academics and integrate them into all areas of student success, in the classroom and out of the classroom," Clements said.