South Dakota State University (SDSU) is in the process of developing the state's first accredited program in architecture and will begin accepting students in fall 2010, according to the Sioux Falls newspaper the Argus Leader.

The SDSU Foundation has committed to raising a quarter of the estimated $2.68 million startup funds required for equipment and staff salaries. The rest of the money will come from a group of program founders, including practicing architects and other SDSU alumni.

The new program should help replenish the ranks of architects in South Dakota: A study revealed that of the 85 to 90 practicing architects within the state, 18 percent will reach retirement age in the next 10 years, and 43 percent in the next 20 years.