(Source: Calvin Men American News, Aberdeen, S.D. (MCT) — Northern State University is ready to offer an online master’s degree in banking and finance, pending an approval this week by the South Dakota Board of Regents.
The curriculum has been two years in the making, said Willard Broucek, dean of Northern’s School of Business.
“We believe there’s a need in the banking industry for further undergraduate and graduate training of their employees,” he said. “As the new generation comes up and the baby boomers start to retire, there’s a need for trained people to work in the banks in this state and this region.”
While Northern’s current banking program is only five years old, offering a graduate degree was the next natural step, Broucek said.
“So because we did the only banking program in the state at the undergraduate level, it was just a natural extension to offer it at a master’s level,” he said.
Northern is one of the few institutions in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree that focuses purely on banking, Broucek said. In addition, it would be the first graduate degree in business offered by Northern, he said.
Now, the university offers six different graduate degrees – five in education and one in e-learning development.
In addition to the new graduate program, Northern is also lobbying to offer four graduate degrees and a bachelor’s degree online.
Funding for the program would come from tuition revenue and redirection of existing faculty, but would not require financial support from the state or an increase in student fees, according to the regents’ agenda.
In addition, another master’s program could help the university receive more state funding, said regents member Harvey Jewett.
“There’s a pie fight every year on the state funding, which has been static. So there’s a pie fight on where the money should go in that static funding environment,” he said, adding that universities with graduate programs tend to receive more funding.
“In the old days, you had to have a high school degree to have your head stick out of the ground. And then kind of after World War II, you had to have a college degree to have your head stick out of the crowd,” Jewett said. “Now maybe you have to have a master’s degree to stick out of the ground. That may be an overstatement right now, but it’s growing.”
What to know
What: South Dakota Board of Regents meeting.
When: Today and Thursday.
Where: South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Room 269.
To note: Regents will debate approval of several master degree programs and discuss budget for the fiscal year 2013.
©2012 the American News (Aberdeen, S.D.)
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