Academic

General Information

The University Catalog contains information on such matters as admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and all academically related policies and procedures and should be referred to as a primary resource when dealing with such matters.

Academic Year/Fiscal Year

The academic year is divided into three terms, including Fall and Spring terms of 16 weeks each, and a Summer term consisting of 12 weeks. A student may begin study at the beginning of the Fall, Spring, or Summer term. Continuing Education courses and workshops are offered at various times throughout the year. The academic calendar approved by the Board of Regents and the Faculty Duty Days Calendar appear in Appendix C. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Fiscal year 2014 (FY14) includes the period of July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

Academic Advising

Each student is assigned an academic advisor by the Dean of the college under which their declared major falls. Students who have not declared a major are assigned an advisor who has been specifically designated to assist such students. When a student's academic program changes, the student may be assigned a new advisor. Students have the option of requesting a specific advisor, with approval of the dean. Specific information on procedures related to advising is contained in the Online Advising Handbook for Faculty. See DSU Policy #03-21-00.

Academic Grievance Procedure

Each instructor is responsible at the beginning of each course for providing a written outline of the course which includes such information as material to be studied, tests (type, frequency, what tests will cover), and grade criteria. (Please refer to information on course syllabi found later in this chapter for details) If students believe that their final grade in any course is inappropriate, they may follow the formal grievance procedure outlined in the DSU Catalog. The levels of mediation are as follows:

  1. between student and instructor;
  2. among student, instructor, and Dean;
  3. committee of three faculty and two students appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs who make a recommendation to Vice President for Academic Affairs;
  4. final decision rests with Vice President for Academic Affairs.

This same method of mediation should be followed for other academic or administrative complaints by students. See DSU Policy 03-30-00 .

Cancellation of Classes

The Board of Regents has set minimum enrollment guidelines of 4 students in a 700-800 level graduate course, 7 students in an entry graduate-level course and 10 students for an undergraduate-level course (known as the 4/7/10 rule). The administration may cancel classes that have low enrollments and/or do not meet the 4/7/10 guideline.

Centers - Academic and Research

Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems

The Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems includes faculty, staff, and students who have a very high level of information systems skills together with knowledge in a traditional discipline. This combination of expertise allows them not only to utilize information systems technology in their discipline but also to develop a systems approach to applications of information technology. The primary goal of this Center is to provide graduates who can take the lead both in development and application of information technology tools for a wide variety of uses in business, industry, government, and education. Students from any program can be admitted into the Center of Excellence if they meet the Center's admission standards. Admitted students then complete an 18 credit hour minor coursework, which could include an internship experience, a thesis, and other mandatory professional activities. Students who satisfactorily complete all of the requirements will be designated as graduates of the Center of Excellence.

A secondary purpose of the Center is to provide expert delivery programs related to computer and information management technology. The Center hosts annual conferences each fall and spring to assist in the dissemination of results of the latest innovations in the discipline. More information can be found on the Center's website at www.excellence.dsu.edu. Dr. Wayne Pauli, Associate Professor, serves as Center Director.

Center of Excellence Honors Program

The Dakota State University Center of Excellence Honors Program targets high achieving students, and successful completion of the program requirements by the student will result in the student being designated "Center of Excellence Honors Graduate". This designation will appear on the student's transcripts, diplomas, and the commencement program. The full honors program can be found in the Interdisciplinary Studies section of the DSU Catalog. Further information on the Honors Program is available in the University Catalog or DSU Policy #03-06-00.

Center for Advancement of Health Information Technology (CAHIT)

The Center for Advancement of Health Information Technology works to improve the access, quality and efficiency of healthcare for both patients and providers throughout South Dakota. With technology as a driving force in today's healthcare industry, CAHIT assists providers in adoption, implementation and upgrade of systems as well as helps them understand the relevance and use of the data produced from technology to enhance the quality of care they provide to their patients. Security of the healthcare systems is also offered through the department. Another element of CAHIT is healthcare education. The department provides various levels of education and training ranging from K-12 students to professionals. Through training programs at CAHIT, individuals can receive certification in healthcare information technology or view on-demand webinars as a refresher course. Health information and educational materials for children are included in the services of this department.

Goals:

  1. Enhance Dakota State University's degree programs in Health Informatics and Health Information Management through industry, government, and academic partnerships that will support internship programs for students in health information technology.
  2. Work collaboratively with industry, government, and academic partners to carry out research and develop solutions that can be used to resolve issues in the adoption of health information technology.
  3. Increase industry and public awareness of health information technology issues, promote adoption of standards, and identify trends in regulations that affect the adoption of health information technology.

College Level Examination Program & Advanced Placement

DSU participates in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) as part of its overall Credit by Examination policy. CLEP tests are administered by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (OIEA). Individuals can contact the OIEA at 256-5101 to schedule a test appointment. The CLEP test requirements for specific courses are available in the DSU Catalog. More information on the CLEP tests, including fees and study material, is available on the OIEA website. Students may also earn college credit for work accomplished while in high school if they participated in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Examination Board. Information on DSU Advanced Placement tests is available in the DSU Catalog.

Copyright Act

DSU endorses and supports the United States Copyright Act of 1976. As such, DSU Policy 01-70-00 addresses a local campus policy and procedure which is in compliance with the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act. General guidelines are listed below:

Single Copies: A single copy may be made of portions of copyrighted materials for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class when time does not allow formal written permission to be sought.

Multiple Copies: Multiple copies not to exceed more than one copy per student may be made for classroom use or discussion providing that specific guidelines are followed and each copy includes a notice of copyright.

Computer Programs: Reproduction of computer programs in their entirety is not permitted without written approval of the copyright owner except as outlined in Public Law 96-517, December 1980 which states "it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

  1. that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
  2. that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful."

More information about copyright is available from the Library. On the tutorial page, select "Copyright Basics for Educators", which provides tools to help educators, contains information about copyright, and includes links to other copyright information sources.

Course Syllabi

It is the obligation of each higher education institution to inform students at the beginning of each course of the objectives, requirements, performance standards and evaluation procedures of the course. The course syllabus is an appropriate vehicle for conveying this information.

A copy of the current syllabus for every course offered by DSU must be filed in the college office and with the Academic Affairs Office at the start of each semester.

The responsibility for filing the syllabus rests with the faculty member teaching the course and also with the college dean. (This is true for both new courses and existing courses; undergraduate and graduate courses; and for regular courses, as well as independent study courses, special topics courses and seminars.) New faculty should refer to syllabi from previous years in planning their courses.

The syllabus must be accessible to students and must be explained to them at the beginning of the course. Specific requirements and sample statements for syllabi are provided to faculty at the beginning of each academic year.

Course Syllabus Outline

Curriculum Change Process

Any faculty member can suggest a curriculum change to the academic college responsible for a program area. The usual procedure for proposals is outlined below. However, should an accrediting agency, the Board of Regents, or General Faculty of DSU recommend a major program review, or other circumstances warrant a special review, procedures and timetables will be arranged by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Common and Unique Courses: All courses within the Board of Regents System are determined to be either unique or common. Courses are common if a course offered by one institution has essentially the same content (subject/breadth) and level of instruction (depth) as a course offered by another institution. Common courses shall have the same CIP codes, prefixes, course numbers, course titles, course descriptions and prerequisites requirements. Courses that are considered to be unique shall not have the same course number and/or title as courses that are considered to be either common or unique at another university. A course may be unique due to differences in level of instruction, accreditation standards, or level of the degree program. Common courses need not be offered at all universities.

The following types of curriculum actions are available:

Deleted Course Request: (Deletion of an existing course.) The decision to delete a unique course rests with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The decision to delete a common course rests with the Academic Affairs Council (AAC).

Existing Common Course Request: (Authority to offer an existing common course.) The Board of Regents (BOR) Senior Administrator will make a recommendation to the BOR Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the Board of Regents of the decision as part of the Executive Director's Interim Actions report.

Experimental Course Notifications: Universities have the authority to offer unique courses experimentally. Experimental courses shall be reported on the Experimental Course Notification Form and included in the annual summary to the BOR Senior Administrator. An experimental course can be offered no more than twice within two academic years before it must be submitted as a New Course Request.

Minor Course Modifications:

Unique course – Minor course modifications of existing unique courses include a change in course number, title, course prerequisite or co-requisite, course description, course credit hours, cross-listing, dual listing, enrollment limitation, university department code, repeatable for additional credits, prefix, grading, add to x9x series.

Common course – Minor course modifications of existing common courses include a change in credit hours within the approved variable credit guidelines, course co-requisites, cross-listing and dual listing.

The university VPAA has authority to approve all minor course modifications and will provide an annual summary to the BOR Senior Administrator.

New Course Request: (Request to offer a new course unique to the university system.) The AAC will be notified of any new course request. Following AAC discussion, the BOR Senior Administrator will make a recommendation to the BOR Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the Board of Regents of the decisions as part of the Executive Director's Interim Actions report.

Revised Course Request – Common: Revisions of existing common courses include changes to prefix, course number, course title, credit hours, course description, prerequisites, co-requisites, CIP codes, Instructional Method, Equate codes and registration restrictions. To request a substantive change in a common course the VPAA notifies the BOR Senior Administrator and other AAC members of the requested change. The Senior Administrator will request that each of the universities involved review the proposed change either through the VPAA or another university representative (example: discipline councils). Representatives from all institutions offering the common course must participate in developing the proposed revisions to a common course. A recommendation is then given to the AAC. Following AAC discussion, the BOR Senior Administrator will make a recommendation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the BOR of the decision as part of the Executive Director's Interim Actions report.

Revised Course Request – Unique: Revisions of unique courses include substantive changes in the subject matter content, CIP code, instructional methods, move from unique to common, move from common to unique, course number change to a number that is the same as a unique course number at another university. The VPAA will notify the AAC and BOR Senior Administrator of the change. Following AAC discussion, the BOR Senior Administrator will make a recommendation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the BOR of the decision as part of the Executive Director's Interim Actions report.

Programs – Emphasis in an Existing Major: Adding an emphasis in already existing majors is approved by the VPAA and reported to the BOR Senior Administrator. An emphasis is a concentration within a major and is accomplished by individual student choices within a plan of study. An emphasis is not regarded as a separate program. It may be described in the catalog, but not detailed as a specific plan of study. An emphasis is not specified on a student transcript.

Existing Program Changes – Minor: Minor program modifications to an existing program include course deletions, additions or revised courses to the program that do not change the nature of the program, distribution of courses in the program, or change of total credit hours required. The VPAA has authority to approve these changes and report them annually to the BOR Senior Administrator.

Existing Program Changes – Substantive: This form is used to request substantive changes in already existing programs (majors, minors, specializations). The VPAA reviews modifications with the BOR Senior Administrator. If approved, the curricular item is discussed with AAC. Following AAC discussion, the BOR Senior Administrator will make a recommendation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the BOR of the decision as part of the Executive Director's Interim Actions report.

Placement of Program on Inactive Status: Programs placed on inactive status are reported to the BOR office. These programs shall be reviewed periodically and can only remain inactive for five years. If the university does not request activation of an inactive program within five years of being placed on inactive status, the program is automatically terminated. Students cannot be admitted to a program on inactive status. If determined after review that a program should be reactivated, the institution will submit a letter of notification to the BOR office.

Termination of Programs: Campuses may propose termination of a program to the BOR office at any time. Campuses proposing the termination of a program with actively enrolled students need to provide a detailed phase-out plan including the academic year and term the termination is effective.

New Undergraduate / Graduate Programs: When proposing a new program, an Intent to Plan must be approved by the AAC, BOR Senior Administrator, Executive Director and the Board of Regents. This Intent to Plan authorizes the university to continue planning the program using the New Program Request form. The New Program Request is approved by the AAC, Senior Administrator, Executive Director and Board of Regents. All majors are established by the Board of Regents.

New Minor / Certificate Programs: When proposing a new minor or certificate program, the New Program Request is approved by the AAC, Senior Administrator, Executive Director and Board of Regents. All minors and certificates are established by the Board of Regents.

New Site Requests: Universities must request authorization to deliver an existing degree program at a new site or by distance delivery. The Executive Director or the Board may request additional information.

Summarized below is the current order of review for curriculum action: (Reference: Academic Affairs Council system guidelines)

  1. The College usually originates curriculum action
  2. Dean forwards request to the Deans' Council and then to Academic Council for review. It is then forwarded to Curriculum Committee for action. (If a graduate course, action is by Graduate Council rather than Curriculum Committee.)The Curriculum Committee and Graduate Council will consider only curriculum requests that have received endorsement by the college which submitted the request. For those requests that have a substantial effect on another college, the Committee or Council requires endorsement by the affected college(s) to indicate relevant discussion and consensus between the colleges on the proposed action or progress toward resolution of any outstanding issues.
  3. Action approved by Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council is forwarded to General Faculty for review of process. A curriculum request that is not recommended or recommended with clarifications will be returned to the requesting unit for modification or other action.
  4. Action reviewed by General Faculty and forwarded to Vice President for Academic Affairs
  5. Vice President for Academic Affairs recommends appropriate actions to President and forwards to state level.

Curriculum Approval Deadlines

The following schedule has been established to facilitate the curriculum review and approval process on the DSU campus. (Dates are approximate.)

AC End Date*Curriculum Committee/Graduate
Council End Date**
For Regents
Consideration***
Mar 15 Apr 15 April 30

* Last date for receipt in Vice President for Academic Affairs' Office of ALL college curriculum requests to be considered in this approval cycle.

** Academic Council to have forwarded ALL curriculum requests to Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council by this date.

*** Curriculum Committee and Graduate Council to have considered all curriculum items requiring Regent's approval and forward to the Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to this date.

Curriculum Committee Operating Procedure

Curricular Review and Approval Process

· Curricular items must be accepted by the Curriculum Committee and distributed by e-mail to the faculty at large before final action can be taken. See Step 2 above. Only after the Curriculum Committee has considered any comments, concerns or corrections received from the campus or brought by members of the Curriculum Committee may the Curriculum Committee take final action to approve a curricular request.

· Committee actions will be by majority vote.

Curriculum Committee Meetings

The chair will normally preside at all meetings. In those instances when the chair is unable to attend a meeting, an acting chair will be elected to preside at that meeting.

Graduate Council Operating Procedure

Curricular Review and Approval Process

  1. Most curriculum action originates with faculty teaching graduate level courses or with the dean of the college in which the courses are taught.
  2. Any action regarding graduate degree program curriculum is forwarded to the college graduate committee for discussion and action. Changes to individual graduate courses that are not part of a graduate degree program are forwarded to the dean of that college who is responsible for presenting the action to Graduate Council.
  3. The Chair (coordinator) of the college graduate committee or the dean of the college will forward requests for curricular action to the Graduate Council.
  4. Graduate Council will review the requests and take one of four actions: recommend; request clarification; recommend with minor modification; or not recommend.
  5. Graduate Council will forward recommended actions to Graduate Faculty via e-mail for review and comment. Curriculum requests that are not recommended or recommended with clarifications are returned to the requesting unit for modification or other action.
  6. Graduate Faculty will have one week to respond to the curricular items.
  7. Graduate Council will review all comments, concerns, or corrections received from the Graduate Faculty.
  8. Graduate Council will then vote on the curricular request. The council can again take one of four actions: recommend; request clarification; recommend with minor clarification; or not recommend. Council action will be by majority vote.
  9. Once a curricular action has been approved, Graduate Council will forward it to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  10. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will recommend appropriate actions to the President and forward the curricular action to the state level.

Graduate Council Meetings

The chair will normally preside at all meetings. In those instances when the chair is unable to attend a meeting, an acting chair will be appointed by the chair.

Finals Activity

All courses must have a final evaluative activity. The Vice President for Academic Affairs prepares the fall and spring final week schedule. Any changes or deviations in the schedule must have the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students are not required to take more than three finals activities in one day. Should this occur, students may petition to reschedule an activity by completing the "Request to Change Final Week Schedule" form available online or in the college office. The deans will coordinate and approve the necessary rescheduling. (See DSU Policy #03-32-00.)

Recording of Non-Traditional Credit

Students are provided an opportunity to record non-traditional learning experiences equivalent to coursework provided at DSU. Credit may be evaluated and recorded only for degree-seeking students currently enrolled at DSU or graduates of DSU seeking enhanced certification, licensure or employment opportunities. Non-traditional credit may include Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Department Credit-By-Examination, prior learning/work experience, or military credit. Military credits are evaluated according to guidelines set forth by the American Council on Education. Further details are available in the University Catalog and DSU Policy #03-51-00.

Returning Students Who Did Not Graduate

Returning students, who did not graduate from DSU during their previous enrollment and who have interrupted their enrollment at any Regental university for more than two consecutive semesters, are assigned the catalog in effect at the time of their re-enrollment as their catalog of graduation. (See BOR Policy 2:17.)


Last Updated: 8/5/14