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South Dakota Board of Regents and Board of Technical Education Focus on Workforce Needs Today and Beyond

The state’s leading voices in education gathered in Pierre for a joint meeting. The Board of Education Standards (BOES), the Board of Regents (BOR), and the Board of Technical Education (BOTE) were all represented in discussions focusing on the workforce needs of today and beyond.

“It is essential to have members from all of these boards seated at the table,” said BOR Executive Director Dr. Brian Maher. “The discussions held this week were extremely valuable for the future of higher education and the future of our state.”

Conversations concentrated on the efforts of each organization to prepare South Dakota students for post-secondary education and careers. This included a soon-to-be-launched K-12 online tutoring program created in partnership with the Department of Education, Northern State University, and Black Hills State University. Presentations also highlighted the Career Exploration Summer Camps established this year for 7th and 8th-grade students and ongoing programs such as the Free College Application period.

“Preparation for college and careers starts well before high school graduation,” said the Department of Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson. “We are happy to have the resources to offer these touchpoints for elementary, middle, and high school students to allow them to explore opportunities in South Dakota and build their academic foundations.”

The meeting concluded with discussions regarding the ease of transition between two and four-year colleges. College accessibility is a priority of BOR and BOTE, and the ease of transfer is crucial for success. Transfer pathways are currently in process for various majors, particularly the general education and nursing programs. “Our technical colleges offer a strong workforce foundation,” said BOTE Executive Director Nick Wendell. “And when we work directly with the Department of Education and the Board of Regents, students are given opportunities to learn, work, and stay in South Dakota.”

Monday, July 18, served as the annual joint meeting for the BOES, BOR, and BOTE. This education collaborative meets publicly every year to showcase the partnerships happening within the organizations and discuss ways to improve students’ educational experiences. For more information on the programs supported by this group, visit OurDakotaDreams.com.

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