Important Advising Information

Dangers of dropping below 12 credits

Before dropping a course, students should consider the following:

  • In order to receive Federal Student Aid, the U.S. Department of Education requires that students maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree. Students who are considering dropping a course that would take them below a 12 credit, full-time status load should check with the financial aid office before executing the drop. For more information on financial aid policies, visit http://www.dsu.edu/financial-aid/
  • Students need at least 128 credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree, and so must complete an average of 32 credits per year in order to earn their degree in four years.
  • If the course that the student is considering dropping is required for his or her major, the student should check to see whether it is a prerequisite for other courses in the major. If so, the students should make sure that they can complete their degree in a timely fashion if the course is taken at a later date.
  • Student athletes must maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree to be eligible to practice and compete under NAIA/DAC-10 rules. It is a good idea for athletes to consult with the athletic department and their advisor prior to dropping a course.
  • Many academic scholarship awards require that students be enrolled full time in order to remain eligible. Dropping below 12 credits may affect a student's financial aid and scholarship eligibility.
  • Pre-general education courses must be completed within the first 30 credits attempted to avoid a CPG1 hold (explained below) or within 42 credits attempted to avoid a CPG2 hold.

Completion of Pre-General Education Courses

For new full-time, degree-seeking students:

  • Per BOR policy 2:7, students who need MATH 021, MATH 101 and ENGL 033 must successfully complete these courses within the first 30 credit hours attempted. At DSU, students who do not complete these pre-general education courses within the first 30 credit hours attempted have a CPG1 registration hold (essentially a yellow warning light) placed on their academic record. Among other things, this means they cannot register using WebAdvisor.
  • Students who do not complete MATH 021, MATH 101 and ENGL 033 within the first 30 credit hours attempted are monitored very carefully by the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Office. These students have essentially one more semester (12 additional hours) to complete these courses. If these courses are not successfully completed within the first 42 credit hours attempted, a CPG2 registration hold is placed on the student's record (essentially a red stop light). This means that the ONLY course(s) in which the student may enroll in subsequent semesters is/are the required pre-general education course(s), and the student is moved from degree-seeking to non-degree seeking (special) student status. As a consequence, the student is NOT eligible for financial aid and is NOT eligible to participate in athletics.

BOR policy 2:7 also applies to full-time, degree-seeking students who transfer credits to DSU. Therefore, these students are also held to this same standard.

  • Transfer students who need MATH 021 and MATH 101 must enroll in MATH 021 the first semester they're on campus and they must successfully complete it. They must enroll in MATH 101 in the second semester and successfully complete it in the second semester.
  • Transfer students who need MATH 021, MATH 101 and ENGL 033 must enroll in MATH 021 and successfully complete it in the first semester. They must enroll in ENGL 033 and MATH 101 in the second semester and successfully complete those courses in the second semester.
  • Transfer students who need only MATH 101 must enroll in MATH 101 the first semester they're on campus and successfully complete it.
  • Transfer students who need only ENGL 033 must enroll in ENGL 033 the first semester they're on campus and successfully complete it.

**To ensure that students and their advisors clearly understand the policy implications, all pre-general education students and their advisors received an e-mail on Sept. 8, 2005 that directed them to a web-based explanation and form (http://www.departments.dsu.edu/assessment/forms/pregeneral_ed.htm). This form must be completed and submitted electronically by the students. Students who fail to complete the form will not be allowed to register for the second semester until the form is submitted.

Placement Policy for Math and English

Entering students who have not taken the ACT assessment test in the past five years must take placement examinations to determine mathematics and English courses appropriate for their skill level. Transferring students who have not completed a college-level math or English course will be placed into the appropriate level of DSU math and English courses through one of two means:

  1. ACT sub-scores if taken within the past five years OR
  2. ACT COMPASS computer-based writing skills, math, and reading assessment.

There is no fee for COMPASS if the testing is a requirement for the Board of Regents. This includes placement into higher-level math courses with an ACT Math sub-score of 25 or higher or old, invalid or no ACT scores. The COMPASS test may be used to challenge placement based on ACT scores; however, there is a $16.45 challenge fee that must be paid prior to testing.

For more information on the placement process for entering students, see http://www.dsu.edu/academics/assessment/testing-services/placement-process-faq.aspx.

Three Strikes Policy

According to South Dakota Board of Regents policy number 2:4:

  • Students will be allowed a total of three takes for undergraduate courses (course numbers 001-499) for which credit is only counted toward graduation once. The student must petition the Vice President for Academic Affairs for permission to take an undergraduate course more than three times.
  • Students will be allowed a total of two takes for graduate courses (course numbers 500 and above) for which credit is only counted toward graduation once. The student must petition the Graduate Dean for permission to take a graduate course more than two times.
  • Students will be allowed unlimited takes for an undergraduate or graduate course for which credit toward graduation may be received more than once (e.g., Independent Study, Thesis). All takes will count in grade point average calculations. Individual departments/majors may limit the number of credits allowed toward graduation in certain courses.
  • The Audit (AU) grade is the only grade that will not be counted as a take of a course. All other grades, including a Withdraw (W) grade, will count as a take of a course.
  • Transfer courses and non-courses (e.g. CLEP, credit by exam) will count as a take of a course.
  • The count for retakes will begin with courses in which students are enrolled Fall 2003. Takes of a course prior to Fall 2003 will not be counted.

New General Education Requirements

According to South Dakota Board of Regents policy number 2:7, the General Education component of all baccalaureate programs shall consist of the System General Education Requirements, Institutional Graduation Requirements, Globalization/Global Issues Requirement, and Writing Intensive Requirement. These requirements are effective for students entering Fall 2005.

For a complete description of DSU's Globalization/Global Issues Requirement and Writing Intensive Requirement, see http://www.dsu.edu/academics/general-ed/.

Proficiency (CAAP) Test

The proficiency tests, produced by ACT, consist of four separate multiple-choice exams in science reasoning, math, reading, and writing skills. Each of the exams is 40 minutes long and is designed to test general education skills acquired during the first two years of college. Satisfactory performance on the proficiency exam is required for all students seeking an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree from one of South Dakota's regental institutions.

Students who meet the following criteria will sit for the exams:

  • Degree-seeking students registered for credit
  • Associate degree-seeking- Completion of 32 passed credit hours at or above the 100 level
  • Baccalaureate degree-seeking- Completion of at least 48 passed credit hours at or above the 100 level

To ensure that students are prepared for the exams, incoming freshmen must complete college algebra (or an equivalent higher level math course), composition, and one general education course in natural sciences, socials sciences, and humanities/ fine arts in their first 48 credit hours. Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours of the system-wide general education core in their first 64 credit hours.

For more information on proficiency exams, visit http://www.dsu.edu/academics/assessment/testing-services/proficiency-testing.aspx .

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides $5,000 over four years to a qualifying student who attends an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota:

  • $1,000 - 1st year of attendance
  • $1,000 - 2nd year of attendance
  • $1,000 - 3rd year of attendance
  • $2,000 - 4th year of attendance

One-half of the annual scholarship award will be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester and the other half distributed at the beginning of the spring semester.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements for Scholarship Recipients

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, calculated after the second semester and every semester thereafter.
  • Complete consecutive spring and fall academic terms in order to remain eligible for continuation of scholarship from term to term. The scholarship does not apply to summer terms.
  • Complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of instruction per semester. (Remedial courses do NOT count toward the 15-hour requirement).
  • Sit for and meet, on the first attempt, the minimum passing scores established by the Board of Regents on all sections of the BOR college proficiency examination. The proficiency examination is required in the Fall or Spring term after which the baccalaureate degree-seeking student has completed 48 credit hours.

For more information on the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship, see http://www.sdbor.edu/OpportunityScholarship/sdos.htmSite opens in new window.


Last Updated: 7/31/12