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BHSU-WDT Agreement Helps Student Complete Degrees
South Dakota Ag Connection - 12/05/2019

An agreement between Black Hills State University and Western Dakota Technical Institute is helping students successfully complete their bachelor's degrees in human services.

Brent Moe of Rapid City will graduate from BHSU Dec. 14 as a result of the agreement between the two schools. Moe works as a community services officer at the Rapid City Police Department.

After completing his associate's degree at WDT, Moe more than 40 credits into the human services major at BHSU. He has taken classes onsite at BHSU-Rapid City and online to complete his bachelor's degree.

"I believe earning a bachelor's degree will help me be more promotable in my career. Earning my bachelor's degree means a lot to me because I'm a big believer in higher education," says Moe.

Thirteen different programs at WDT transfer directly into the bachelor's of human services degree at BHSU including criminal justice, surgical technology, registered nursing, business and technology, and allied health.

Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services, says employment opportunities with a BHSU Human Services degree include law enforcement, correctional case managers, probation and parole officers, child and family services caseworkers, juvenile court liaisons, victim advocates, non-profit organization professionals, and community programming and outreach specialists. BHSU Human Services majors also pursue graduate training in social work, counseling, public health, and many other fields.

Moe plans to apply to become a ranking law enforcement officer at his department during the next round of open applications. He joined the Rapid City Police Department Cadet Program while he was still in high school, and was hired as a community services officer when he completed the Cadet Program. As a community services officer, Moe responds to vehicle, business, and residential burglaries, scams, check forgery and fraud, vehicle accidents, and is on the Department's graffiti strike team.

"The classes at BHSU have helped me in my job. Looking at huge charts on vehicle burglaries, for example, I can better understand the data and the fluctuations thanks to my Research Methods class with Dr. Trenton Ellis," says Moe.

Moe also said his Psychology of Trauma and Psychology of Abnormal Behavior courses have helped him with processing trauma and understanding the effects of mental health on the brain and behavior.

At both BHSU at WDT, Moe utilized tutoring services in math and English when needed. He met with a math tutor at BHSU-Rapid City who was flexible in meeting with Moe on his schedule. He also tapped into English tutors based in Spearfish to review his writing assignments.

Just a few weeks away from earning his bachelor's degree, Moe is looking forward to continuing his career in public service.

"I get to see unique things," says Moe. "I've had my fair share of moments when I've helped someone and felt like I made a difference in someone's life."

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