The best of six universities, all in one place.
Officially called South Dakota Public Universities and Research Center, University Center is a face-to-face course delivery site where students can earn degree programs from six South Dakota universities in Sioux Falls (learn more about the partner universities). University Center facilities are multi-use/multi-format and state-of-the-art with the express goal of building upon South Dakota's human potential and capital. Created to provide access to a quality public education, with a special emphasis on providing opportunities for non-traditional and adult learners, the focus is on academics: offering some of the same aspects as campus locations: challenging curriculum, college scholarships, respected faculty, and a variety of student services.
Created to serve our community as a unique state entity, UC works with the Sioux Falls community toward economic development and formed several partnerships with local businesses and organizations to meet their human capital needs. We also support and develop research facilities and partnerships to promote growth in commercialized research. And for the entire community, we offer programs for lifelong learning and professional development. In its essence, UC is growth. Growth for our community, growth for our local economy and growth for our students in their careers and personal lives.
Our Mission Statement
Provide local access to the state’s public university system, with an emphasis on career-focused education at the certificate to doctoral program levels.
A student-centered and community-facing organization achived by these attributes:
ACCESS: UC-Sioux Falls provides access to an affordable, high-quality public education.
DIVERSITY: UC-Sioux Falls respects the identities and needs of all people.
STUDENT SUCCESS: UC-Sioux Falls provides support services to help individuals achieve their highest potential in their life and career.
PARTNERSHIP: UC-Sioux Falls develops community partnerships based on active collaboration to achieve common goals.
WORKFORCE: UC-Sioux Falls focuses on academic programs that respond to regional workforce needs and prepare students for career success.
TRANSFERABILITY: UC-Sioux Falls strives to provide courses and programs with seamless articulation between educational institutions in the state’s regental and technical systems.
EFFICIENCY: UC-Sioux Falls is dedicated to the efficient and effective use of its resources.
Following is a brief timeline of the major changes and events that have demonstrated a drive to meet the educational needs of Sioux Falls and our local community.
University Center, then titled "The Center for Public Higher Education (CPHE)," was located downtown Sioux Falls in what was then called the Bergeland Center for Seniors and the Bergeland Apartments named in honor of Ida and Oliver for their services to the Sioux Falls community (Click Here to Read More about Ida/Oliver).
In January, University Center, then called "USD.SDSU.DSU at Sioux Falls," and then "USDSU," moved to the Southeast Technical Institute campus in north Sioux Falls allowing for greater face-to-face course offerings at 50,000 square feet of space.
The SDBOR established University Center.
On March 9th, Gov. Mike Rounds signed House Bill 1238 and House Bill 1244. One of the bills, HB 1238, authorized the South Dakota Board of Regents to accept a $5.8 million grant from the GreatPlains Education Foundation for the purpose of acquiring 263 acres of land from the state Department of Transportation. The other, HB 1244, provided $8 million in state funds for the construction of a classroom building on the site. Immediate plans in Sioux Falls call for construction of two buildings—the $8 million classroom building authorized by the 2006 Legislature and a $6. 3 million center for graduate education and applied research, which has come to be known as the GEAR Center. The GEAR Center is funded by $4.3 million in federal earmarks and $2 million from the state’s Higher Education Facilities Fund (HEFF). In 2005, the Legislature authorized the GEAR center and a classroom building in Sioux Falls as part of the Regents’ 10-year capital plan. A second phase of classroom construction, part of the 2005 capital plan, will occur when finances and student demand permit. See also, SB 106.
In January, near the I-29 and 60th Street North intersection, the first building (FADM) was built at Career Avenue in Sioux Falls housing administration and classrooms. Additionally, These are the Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center was built to the east of Career Avenue. In August 2011 a third facility on the new campus opened – The Science and Technology Classroom Building. Most classes are held either in UC Main or the Science and Technology Classroom building. However, some nursing classes meet in The Health Science Center (HSC), which is located at 2300 Career Avenue, two miles south on the Southeast Tech campus.
- Moved into classroom building in January 2009 and officially began classes on January 20, 2009. FADM Specs:
- 55,100 square feet for classroom and office space
- 3,200 square feet for a 125 seat lecture hall
- 2,300 square feet for an overhead link between classroom and GEAR
- A large scale data center complete with back-up generator power
- Moved into Graduated Education and Applied Research Center (GEAR) beginning in April 2009. GEAR Specs:
- 21,000 square feet of laboratory, support and administrative space
The University of South Dakota became the lead institution for the University Center in Sioux Falls. USD's leadership is just one aspect of a redesign plan for the center that was approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents Thursday, 3/31/16, afternoon. Director Craig Johnson hopes USD's leadership will allow the center to be more decisive. "We should be better positioned for (the University Center) to grow and to expand and to redesign itself to better meet community needs and interests," Executive Director Craig Johnson said. The redesign also aims to create a "community college model" at the University Center, with an increased emphasis on associate degrees and certifications. "We hope to work in partnership with the Sioux Falls business community in developing these programs and the larger community," said Michael Card, Associate Provost for distance education at USD. The academic offerings and the long-standing multi-institutional relationships remain a part of who we are; with a fresh focus on two-year associate degrees, workforce development, and educational needs of our local community--this change allows us to become more nimble in the ever-changing landscape of higher education.
In July 2017, as a result of a group of internal and external stakeholder's efforts, a renewed Vision, Views, Values, and Mission statement was produced. This group worked with University Center and USD over four months (January 2017 to April 2017) along with FutureWorks, a planning consultant, to produce a market and needs assessment and a strategic business plan with recommendations for changes to consider for University Center-Sioux Falls. To read the results of this planning effort, see UC-SF Strategic Planning Report and UC-SF Executive Summary Report
The former mission statement: "To meet the developing human capital needs of the changing local economy, the South Dakota Public Universities and Research Center provides the greater Sioux Falls area convenient local access to quality academic programs, lifelong learning opportunities and student services from the six universities in the South Dakota Regental System. The University Center organizes facilities and support for university research and appropriate public/private research and innovation partnerships" was revised to "University Center-Sioux Falls provides local access to the state’s public university system, with an emphasis on career-focused education at the certificate to doctoral program levels."
Posted: April 18, 2019
Carmen Simone has 700 reasons behind her decision to become the leader of the University Center in Sioux Falls: That’s how many area students she estimates don’t go on to any post-secondary education after high school.Read More