Regulations and Policies

Academic Appeals and Freedom in Learning

Administrative officers of the University have the responsibility and authority to make decisions within their respective areas of jurisdiction. As in the case of a concern or complaint regarding an academic matter a student should first discuss a concern with the official directly responsible for the area involved (see Appealing Academic or Administrative Decisions policy and/or the Academic Integrity policy).

Students are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled. Under Board of Regents and University policy, student academic performance shall be evaluated solely on an academic basis and students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study. Students who believe that an academic evaluation is unrelated to academic standards but is related instead to judgment of their personal opinion or conduct should contact the dean of the college which offers the class to initiate a review of the evaluation. (See Appealing Academic or Administrative Decisions policy).

Academic Integrity

Dakota State University is committed to providing students with a quality education. The faculty of DSU will not tolerate academic dishonesty in any form. The Academic Integrity Board policy clarifies the definition of academic dishonesty, the student's rights, and the faculty rights and responsibilities to prohibit, limit, and censure instances of academic dishonesty. View the Academic Integrity policy.

Alcohol and Other Drugs


This statement is provided to students, faculty and staff of Dakota State University in compliance with the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101-226. The enclosed information reviews standards of conduct established by the South Dakota Board of Regents and the University regarding the unlawful manufacture, possession, use or distribution of alcohol, controlled substances or marijuana. Legal sanctions under local, state and federal law for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of these substances are described, as are institutional sanctions. Information regarding health risks and treatment or rehabilitation services is also provided. All members of the campus community are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this material.

The South Dakota Board of Regents strictly prohibits the unlawful manufacture, possession, use or distribution of alcohol, marijuana or controlled substances by its students or employees while on property controlled by the Board or while participating in any capacity in activities or employments sponsored by it. Possession of alcohol, is permitted on the campuses where specifically authorized by Board policy.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Sanctions for an initial infraction involving possession or use of alcohol, absent any other infraction of the Student Conduct Code, will result in a Letter of Reprimand, which may be accompanied by a fine and discretionary sanctions. A second such offense will result in not less than Disciplinary Probation and a $100 monetary penalty and may mandate a substance abuse assessment at the students' expense. A third offense will result in Disciplinary Suspension for not less than one semester or, in compelling circumstances, Disciplinary Probation for not less than one year and required participation in an approved substance abuse treatment program at the student's expense. Sanctions for an initial infraction involving possession or use of marijuana or controlled substances will result in not less than Disciplinary Probation and a monetary penalty. Violations involving manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute marijuana or controlled substances will result in Disciplinary Suspension for not less than one year.

The foregoing sanctions are minimum sanctions, and reference to them does not preclude more severe sanctions, including Expulsion, where the circumstances warrant such actions. Violations of DSU alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances policies on campus may be referred to local law enforcement authorities, and will be so referred when the facts suggest a felony offense. Referral of a matter to local authorities does not relieve the University of the responsibility to pursue disciplinary action. Students found guilty in a court of law or declining to contest charges regarding the unlawful possession, use or distribution of alcohol, marijuana or controlled substances stemming from any incident occurring off-campus will likewise receive disciplinary action.

Criminal and civil penalties are clearly established in local ordinances, state statutes and federal laws for violations involving unlawful use, possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances. These violations are often considered to be serious crimes, and penalties can include fines, loss of driving privileges and incarceration. In addition, criminal proceedings and sanctions interrupt normal educational or employment activities and may create a permanent criminal record.

The city of Madison has established ordinances regarding alcoholic beverages. Violations covered include: maintaining a common nuisance (buildings, structures, homes, etc where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, sold, consumed or used in violation of state law or city ordinances); drinking or possession of alcoholic beverages in a public place and driving under the influence of alcohol. These violations are classified as petty offenses and entail a maximum penalty of up to a one hundred dollar fine.

Appendix A (Pages 53-55) portrays state criminal and civil penalties for unauthorized possession or distribution of marijuana and alcoholic beverages, as well as penalties for unauthorized manufacture, distribution, counterfeiting or possession of a controlled substance. Federal sanctions for trafficking and possession of controlled substances and marijuana are also included.

Alcohol Dangers

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and Resources

Counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol abuse are available in the Madison area. Students may contact the Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs at 256-5121 for information, appointments with a counselor, and /or referral to treatment agencies. Employees may also contact the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug for referral information. Some of the additional resources available to students and staff are listed below:

The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Charter Hospital of Sioux Falls Community Counseling Services
Unit of Community Counseling Services 2812 South Louise Avenue Huron Office
914 Northeast 3rd St., Madison, SD 57042 Sioux Falls, SD 57106 1552 Dakota South, Huron, SD 57350
256-9656 (On Call #256-6551) 361-8111 352-8596
Madison Alcoholics Anonymous Emergency Medical Services Avera McKennan Hospital
Open Meetings Madison Community Hospital Behavioral Health Services
Sat. 10:00 pm • Sun. 11:00 am • Wed. 8:00 pm 917 N. Washington Ave., Madison, SD 57042 800 East 21st St., Sioux Falls, SD 57117
(Old Morrell Bldg. S. Highland) 256-6551 339-8041

Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (Heston Hall 310, 256-5101)

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (OIEA) provides services to prospective and current students, supports the academic and administrative units in developing and assessing their institutional effectiveness plans, and assists the Assessment Coordinating Committee in evaluating DSU's Academic Assessment Program. The OIEA supports student success and learning by assisting in test preparation and by providing services and information to students in a timely, efficient manner. The staff administers the following standardized exams: ACT Residual, CLEP, DANTES, Placement (COMPASS), Praxis, Proficiency, and Major-Field tests. The office provides assistance to the academic and administrative units in a broad range of activities including support for regional and program accreditation, conducting and analyzing surveys, and ensuring compliance with Board of Regents policies. Please contact the OIEA at 605-256-5101 or by e-mail at for additional information.

Assessment Policies

English and Math Course Placement Process

The South Dakota Board of Regents has developed a standardized placement process to ensure that entering students are placed into math, English, and reading courses most appropriate for their ability and background. Entering students must show evidence of their level of academic preparation prior to enrollment into their initial math and English courses.

Degree-Seeking Students

All degree-seeking students must provide ACT or SAT scores that were earned by the student within five years of the date of initial enrollment within the Regental system. If students have multiple ACT scores, the highest scores are used for placement purposes. Students who do not have ACT scores must take the COMPASS examination in the areas of writing skills, mathematics, and reading.


All non-degree seeking students enrolling in English or math courses must provide ACT scores or take the necessary COMPASS exams.

Students with an ACT score of 25 or higher who wish to enroll directly into Calculus must sit for the COMPASS math placement exam. The required ACT and COMPASS scores for the math, English, and reading courses are set by the South Dakota Board of Regents and can be found on the web at the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (OIEA) website.

ACT Residual: The ACT Residual is available for students who have applied to DSU. The scores are only valid at the six public institutions in South Dakota. Your unofficial results will be available in 2 to 3 days. ACT will send DSU your official results in 4 to 7 weeks; you will not receive your results directly from ACT. If you wish to schedule an ACT Residual test appointment, please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at 605-256-5101 or by e-mail at

COMPASS: The COMPASS is a computer-based placement test developed by ACT. There is no time limit on the COMPASS exams, the scores do not affect admission to DSU, and there is no pass or fail score. Students do not receive course credit for the COMPASS test. Students can complete the COMPASS test during a regularly scheduled registration session at DSU, or individual appointments can be scheduled by contacting the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Students can also schedule a test at University Center in Sioux Falls by calling 605-367-5989 or by e-mailing There is no fee for COMPASS if the testing is required by the Board of Regents. Testing is required for initial placement into Calculus or if a student does not have ACT scores. Students who challenge their initial placement must pay a $17.00 challenge fee. Sample questions are available on the ACT-COMPASS website. Students can use a calculator on the math exam; acceptable calculators are listed on the ACT-COMPASS website. Students are allowed one challenge using the COMPASS test.

Proficiency Testing: Satisfactory performance on the proficiency exams is required for all students seeking an associate or baccalaureate degree from one of South Dakota's regental institutions. 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.

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

  • 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

Information Literacy: DSU students complete a locally-developed, multiple-choice exam covering topics related to information literacy. The exam is completed during one of the general education courses.

Information Technology (online exam): DSU students will complete a locally-developed, multiple-choice exam to demonstrate knowledge of the general education curriculum related to information technology skills. The exam will take 90 minutes to complete and will cover computer applications, programming, and computer concepts.

Proficiency Testing at a Distance: Distance education students residing out of state will be provided with instructions for completing the proctor agreement form, and may test in the city where they are taking classes. Once the proctor information has been received and verified by OIEA, the test materials will be sent.


A restriction is an administrative hold placed on your student record that could prevent you from receiving transcripts, registering, or changing your class schedule. The hold is the result of a financial or administrative obligation to the university and will remain in place until the obligation is met. Holds will be released once restitution or compliance has been met at the appropriate office. Additional information can be found online at

Major Field Assessment

All graduates of associate-and baccalaureate-degree programs will be assessed prior to graduation. Assessment activities will vary depending on the student's major. Any student who does not participate in the major-field assessment activities will be prevented from graduating.

Additional Assessment Activities

Students evaluate the University's programs and services using the Student Satisfaction Inventory every other year. The results of this survey are published in the University's newspaper. University alumni are surveyed one and three years after graduation to evaluate their DSU education and experiences in preparation for employment. Employers of DSU alumni are also surveyed on an annual basis. Group results are published on the OIEA website.

Communicable Disease

The University is committed to keeping its students and its employees informed regarding the current state of medical knowledge regarding communicable diseases, including AIDS, AIDS-related complex (ARC) and HIV positive antibody. No otherwise qualified individual, because of the presence of any communicable disease, will be denied admission to the University or access to any of its programs or services. However, the institution may impose certain requirements or restrictions in order to protect student health and safety. Special precautions to prevent contagious diseases (e.g. chicken pox and measles) will be taken when deemed necessary.

Public health reporting requirements to local and public health authorities will be observed by the University. Medical information regarding individuals with AIDS, ARC or HIV positive status will not be provided to any person, group, agency, insurer, etc. without the written permission of the student, with the exception that such permission is not required for public health reporting purposes.

Safety guidelines consistent with public health recommendations will be adopted for the handling of blood and bodily fluids of all individuals. Individuals or organizations that attempt to impose restrictions on HIV carriers, other than those authorized by the Board of Regents, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Computing Privileges

(*This policy is under revision to accommodate changes to the DSU computing associated with the tablet initiative. The revised policy will be available on the DSU website.)

Scope – Provide direction for the use of computing resources, associated with or accessible from Dakota State University, by faculty, students, staff, and others.

Policy – The use of computers and related technologies, including hardware, software, and courseware, is a privilege. The Director of Computing Services is authorized to extend the privilege of using appropriate computing and related hardware, software, and courseware to persons who are either: members of the faculty, members of the student body, members of the staff, participants in workshops, short courses and similar approved activities and projects, members of an entity that has contracted for the use of computing resources, or teachers, administrators, or students of a K-12 school that has a working agreement with DSU for such services.


  1. All persons who wish to use a computing service provided through Dakota State must agree to comply with the following rules:
    1. Users will not use another's user code or password.
    2. Users will not access the files of any other user without the prior consent of the other user. Authority to access, create, modify, or delete information contained in machine files must be granted explicitly. The capability to access does not imply the authority to access. Any willful unauthorized access of information is a violation of the ethical standards of Dakota State University and may also be a violation of certain state or federal statutes.
    3. Users will comply with all provisions of software or courseware copyrights unless a specific waiver is authorized by the President.
    4. Users will utilize computing resources only for authorized administrative, educational, research or other scholarly activity, or a project approved by the Director of Computing Services.
    5. Users will comply with all applicable laws.
    6. Users will abide by the Educom "Ethical Use of Computing Resources" statement which has been adopted by Dakota State University.
    7. Users will abide by the Acceptable Use Policy of any network accessed through the University's computing and communications environment.
    8. Users will exhibit appropriate behavior. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:
      • excessive playing of computer games; game players who are heavily utilizing computing resources during high usage times will be asked to cease using the computing resource.
      • attempting to modify or remove computer equipment, software or peripherals without proper authorization.
      • accessing computers, computer software, computer data or information, or networks without proper authorization, regardless of whether the computer used for access or the computer accessed is owned by the University.
      • circumventing or attempting to circumvent normal resource limits, login procedures, and security regulations.
      • using computing facilities, computer accounts or data, for purposes other than those for which they were intended or authorized.
      • sending fraudulent computer mail, breaking into another user's electronic mailbox, or reading another user's electronic mail without permission.
      • sending any fraudulent electronic transmission, included but not limited to fraudulent requests for confidential information, fraudulent submission of electronic purchase requisitions or journal vouchers, and fraudulent electronic authorization of purchase requisition or journal vouchers.
      • violating any software license agreement or copyright, including copying or redistributing copyrighted computer software, data or reports without proper, recorded authorization.
      • using the University's computing resources to harass or threaten others.
      • taking advantage of another user's naiveté or negligence to gain access to any computer account, data, software, or file.
      • physically interfering with another user's authorized access to the University's computing facilities.
      • encroaching on another user's ability to make authorized use of University computing resources, including but not limited to:
        • sending excessive messages, including electronic chain letters - printing excessive copies of documents, files, data, or programs
        • modifying system facilities, operating systems, disk sub-directories, or operating environment
        • damaging or vandalizing University computing facilities, equipment, software or computer files.
      • disclosing or removing proprietary information, software, printed output or magnetic media without the explicit permission of the owner.
      • reading another user's data, information, files, or programs on a display screen, as printed output, or via electronic means, without the owner's explicit permission.
  2. Charges for the use of computing services may be assessed by the Director of Computing Services with the approval of the President. Computing services supporting student instruction, faculty development, and DSU administration will normally be provided without charge. However, charges may be assessed for computing services in support of sponsored research; non-academic, personal, or consulting projects; and, contract or off-campus projects. Charges may include the costs associated with issuing the user a University Card. The President may waive any charge for a particular individual or group of users.
  3. Software available at Dakota State University includes copyrighted programs developed by Dakota State staff and programs licensed from a variety of vendors. It is expected that all faculty, staff, students and campus guests will use any software — whether or not supplied by Dakota State University — only in accordance with license agreements and copyright provisions applicable to the specific software package.
  4. Dakota State faculty, staff and students who knowingly violate any software license agreement or copyright provision will be disciplined as described in #5 below. Such discipline shall not exempt the individual from applicable civil or criminal remedies available through federal or state judicial proceedings.
  5. Dakota State faculty, staff and students learning of any misuse of software or related documentation, unauthorized information access, or inappropriate behavior should immediately notify the Director of Computing Services, or a College Dean, or the Vice President of Student Affairs. Upon receiving a report of the misuse of the computing privilege, the member of the administration will:
    1. Take immediate steps to verify if there is misuse and ascertain the circumstances of the reported or observed incident.
      1. If the misuse or suspected misuse involves students, then the Director of Computing Services and the Vice President for Student Affairs should be notified immediately.
      2. If the misuse or suspected misuse involves faculty, staff, or off-campus personnel, then the Director of Computing Services and the Vice President of Academic Affairs should be notified immediately.
    2. Assist the Director of Computing Services in preparing a report of the misuse or suspected misuse to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and President within five (5) working days.
    3. The Director of Computing Services may immediately suspend the computing privileges of any person who makes inappropriate use of the computing resources of Dakota State University. A report of all actions associated with the suspension of computing privileges will be provided to the Vice President for Student Affairs in the case of student violations, and to the appropriate Executive Council member in the case of faculty or staff violations within two (2) working days of the suspension action. Within seven (7) working days the Vice President for Student Affairs or the appropriate Executive Council member must either initiate formal disciplinary proceedings or reinstate the computing privileges. To appeal a decision, students should refer to Policy 03-30-00, Appealing Academic and Administrative Decisions, and faculty/staff should refer to the Board of Regents Policy Manual 4:7(faculty), 4:8 (exempt) or 4:9 (CSA).
  6. While use of the facilities is not restricted solely to faculty, staff, and students, the priority of user access varies depending on class schedules, user status and other factors. The following sections define those priorities and factors. Facility Status – DSU Computing facilities are divided into two classes — General Access Computing Facilities and Limited Access Computing Facilities. General Access Computing Facilities are available for use by all authorized users except when reserved for class usage. Limited Access Facilities are available to a specific subset of authorized users. A list of General Access and Limited Access Facilities is provided separately. This listing will be updated by Computing Services as changes occur.

    Scheduled Classes – Classes scheduled through the Enrollment Services Office take priority over all other usage of general access computing facilities. Regular class schedules will be listed on the boards outside each computing lab at the beginning of each semester. It will be the user's responsibility to check the scheduled class hours and vacate the lab prior to the time class is scheduled. One-time use and special classes are scheduled through the College office. Whenever possible, such usage will be posted in advance. In all cases, non-participating users may be asked to vacate the lab when activities scheduled through the Enrollment Services Office or the College office are in progress.

    General Access

    Any General Access Computing Facility that is not scheduled for a class is available for general access during regular posted hours of operation. During periods of general access, the following rules and priorities apply.

    • Registered Students and Workshop Attendees
      Persons registered/enrolled in a class/workshop scheduled by the University have priority over other users. In the event that all computers are occupied, any user that cannot display a valid University Card may be asked to move or cease using the computing facilities at the request of a user with a valid student ID. Normally the group sponsoring the workshop is expected to schedule sufficient computing time to meet the needs of enrollees.
  7. All users of the computing facilities must comply with all pertinent DSU policies, including the Computing Privileges policy (#03-61-00) and the Use of University Facilities policy (#01-75-00). Of particular importance are those policies concerning copyright and smoking. The use of DSU computing facilities by any individual whose sole purpose is to make a profit is prohibited—except for those exceptions outlined in the Use of University Facilities policy (#01-75-00).

Confidentiality of Student Records

(see Privacy of Student Records)

Dakota State University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, regarding student records. All educational records maintained by the University identifiable with an individual student (or former student) will be made available to the student for inspection upon request except for the following: 1) financial records of parents (required for financial aid purposes), 2) letters of recommendation submitted prior to January 1, 1975, and 3) letters of recommendation concerning admission to an educational institution, application for employment, or receipt of an honor, where the student has signed a waiver of access. Not considered as educational records (and therefore not accessible to the student) are personal notes of faculty and staff (provided they are also not available to other persons) and records of physicians used in treatment of the student (provided they are not available to anyone except those providing the treatment).

When students (or former students) appear at an office requesting access to any of their educational records, they must be able to verify their identity. A member of the office staff must supervise the review of the contents of the records which will be accomplished at the time of initial inquiry or no more than 45 days from the initial inquiry. Students may make notes regarding the contents, but no materials may be removed from the records nor may the records be taken from the office. A copy of the material can usually be arranged if requested. Documents submitted by or for students in support of their application for admission or for transfer credit may not be returned to the students nor sent elsewhere.

The University is required to maintain a record (kept with each student's educational records) which indicates all individuals and agencies (other than those specified as having access without the student's written consent) having obtained access to the student's records.

Persons with access to confidential student information on the campus include those designated as appropriate by the administration and may include, but is not limited to a student's academic advisor, the Dean of the college, the Academic Vice President, the Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Services staff.

The University may release information without the student's consent - 1) in connection with an emergency, if necessary, to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. 2) disclosure of information from a student's educational record to officials of other institutions at which the student seeks or intends to enroll. 3) in response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, but generally must notify the student before complying. Some exceptions exist.

FERPA permits, but does not require, disclosure of educational record information to parents or legal guardians in 2 instances -a.)The student is their dependent for federal tax purposes. The institution must verify the student's dependent status before releasing information. b.) Information regarding any violation of law or an institutional rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the institution has determined the student committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession and the student is under the age of 21 at the time the violation or possession occurred.

DSU has two levels of directory information. 1) Publicly available directory information shall include a student's name, grade level or academic status (undergraduate, graduate or professional school), graduation date, diploma or degree, major field of study, and dates of attendance. 2) Institutions may identify additional information as nonpublic directory information may not be distributed to public at large without specific written permission of each individual student. Distribution through password-protected electronic means shall be permitted so long as passwords are issued solely to students or institutional employees. a) At the university-level, nonpublic directory information may include publicly available directory information plus the student's official, university electronic mail address.

A student who believes that information contained in their educational records is inaccurate, misleading, or violates their rights may request the institution to amend the records. Should the institution not agree, the student shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing to review the question. Should the hearing decide against amending the record, the student may place a statement in his records commenting on the information in question.

Disability Services

To receive accommodations for a disability at DSU students must:

  1. Contact the Disability Services Office in the TC lower level by:
  2. Provide documentation of the disability. Mail or fax the information to Disability Services, 820 N. Washington Ave., Madison, SD 57042 or 605-256-5854. Here's the kind of documentation we need. Students wishing accommodations need to have their schools (or the qualified professional who tested them) forward copies of the student's testing/diagnosis records. These records should include:
    • a specific diagnosis (with evidence of the current level of impairment);
    • the scores ( and subtest scores) the student received on the academic achievement tests, aptitude/cognitive ability tests, and information processing;
    • a copy of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) with the accommodations the student is used to receiving (this document alone is not sufficient to receive accommodations).

It is very important that students request accommodations and submit their documentation as soon as possible. Each student may be required to submit medical or other diagnostic documentation of her/his disability and limitations and/or to participate in additional evaluation prior to receiving accommodations. Each student will be responsible for making timely and appropriate disclosures and requests to Disability Services for accommodations. Each student will also be responsible for actively participating in the securing of his or her accommodations and auxiliary aids. Students must follow the University's procedures in applying for academic accommodations. Accommodations are not retroactive; if a student waits until the middle of the semester to request accommodations, any assignments turned in before the student is approved for accommodations are not covered. The University has no obligation to provide academic adjustments until receipt of sufficient specific information to enable it to evaluate a student's needs and its ability to provide the needed adjustments. Requests for accommodations must be made every semester the student registers for classes.

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are very clear in stating that disability related information is to be treated with strict confidentiality. This is extremely important to individuals who may wish to access their right to accommodation while minimizing the risk of stigma sometimes associated with disability.

DSU Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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 chosen degree. Federal student aid includes Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), TEACH Grants, Work Study, Perkins Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans. Other Federal agencies may require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress for their aid programs as well. The academic record of all students will be monitored to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. The academic record of those who have not received Federal student aid in the past may impact future eligibility. Failure to meet the following standards will result in suspension of eligibility for all types of Federal student aid.

An academic review takes place at the end of every spring semester, or the last semester attended. A student may be academically suspended as well as being suspended from receiving financial aid. Being reinstated academically does not guarantee financial aid reinstatement. The student must separately appeal the financial aid suspension as outlined in this policy.

Financial aid eligible certificate programs will be reviewed at the end of each semester since these are one-year programs.

Qualitative Measures

(cumulative grade point average)

Undergraduate Students:

An undergraduate student must meet minimum academic progression standards as established by the South Dakota Board of Regents. These standards are based on the student's cumulative grade point average and system term grade point average. The system term grade point average is based on credits earned from the six Board of Regents universities during a given term. The cumulative grade point average includes all credits earned (transfer plus system credit) and recorded on a student's academic record. All remedial and audited coursework is excluded from this calculation. Making satisfactory academic progression is as follows:

  1. A student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better is considered to be in good academic standing.
  2. If a student's cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 in any academic term (summer, fall, and spring), the student is placed on academic probation for the following term.
  3. While on academic probation, the student must earn a system term grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  4. When a student on academic probation achieves a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better, the student is returned to good academic standing.
  5. A student on academic probation who fails to maintain a system term grade point average of 2.0 or better is placed on academic suspension for a minimum period of two academic terms.

Graduate Students:

A graduate student must meet all requirements listed above with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and no grade lower than a C.

Quantitative Measures

(completed credits versus attempted credits)

In order to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of their chosen degree, all students must successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted credit hours. Attempted credit hours include all hours that would appear on a student's academic transcript at the end of any given term, including withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, remedial coursework, transfer hours and hours attempted at any time when not receiving Federal student aid. Audited coursework is not included. Hours that may have been part of a successful academic amnesty appeal will still be included as attempted but not completed. Successfully completed hours for both graduate and undergraduate students include grades of A, B, C, D and RS. A grade of EX for undergraduate students is also considered successful completion. All other grades would not be considered successful completion. Evaluation of this quantitative standard will be measured once per year, generally at the end of the spring term for students in good standing. Students on financial aid probation will be evaluated after each semester while on probation.

Maximum Attempted Credit Hours

The U.S. Department of Education has established a limit on the number of credit hours a student can attempt and still remain eligible for Federal Student Aid. This limit is 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree for which the student is pursuing. The following certificate programs are not eligible for Federal financial aid: Digital Photography, Multimedia, Multimedia Design & Production, Website Design & Development, and Information Technology Entrepreneurship, Information Technology Management, Network & Telecommunications Administration, Object Oriented Programming, Technology Database Management Systems, Web Application Development, Website Administration.

Type of Degree Hours to AttemptMaximum Credit
Certificate – Health Care Coding (34-hour program) 51
Teacher Certification (38-hour program) 57
Associate of Arts in General Studies (64-hour program) 96
Associate of Science (64-hour program) 96
Associate of Science in Health Information Technology (67-hour program) 101
Associate of Science in Respiratory Care (73-hour program) 110
Bachelor of Science in Computer & Network Security (120-hour program) 180
Bachelor of Science in Information Systems (120-hour program) 180
Bachelor of Science in Professional & Technical Communication (120-hour program) 180
Bachelor of Business Administration (128-hour program) 192
Bachelor of General Studies (128-hour program) 192
Bachelor of Science (128-hour program) 192
Bachelor of Science in Education (128-hour program) 192
Bachelor of Science in Education in Physical Education (130-hour program) 195
Bachelor of Science in Education, Elem Education/Special Education (143-hour program) 214
Bachelor of Science in Professional Accountancy (150-hour program) 225
Master of Science in Information Systems (30-hour program) 45
Master of Science in Health Informatics (33-hour program) 50
Master of Science in Information Assurance & Computer Security (30-hour program) 45
Master of Science in Education in Educational Technology (36-hour program) 54
Master of Business Administration in General Management (36-hour program) 54
Doctor of Science in Information Systems (88-hour program) 132

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

Students who have had their eligibility for Federal student aid suspended may complete an appeal form to explain mitigating circumstances. There is no guarantee of approval of a financial aid appeal. Such appeals will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is available in the DSU Financial Aid Office or online at To ensure a timely review, students must have submitted an appeal prior to the census date of the term for which they wish to receive aid. Based upon the circumstances of an approved appeal, the Appeal Committee reserves the right to place conditions which the student must meet in order to be considered for financial aid on a probationary basis for subsequent semesters.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who have lost their Federal Aid eligibility, but have subsequently met the qualitative and/or quantitative standards as stated above, will have their aid eligibility reinstated. Reinstatement will be considered effective with the next term of attendance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Non-Federal Aid

There are also non-federal sources of financial assistance (institutional, local, private, state), which may require students to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students who apply for non-federal forms of aid are advised to review their academic standards in order to determine or ensure continued eligibility.

Financial Obligations

Students are expected to make payment (or to gain approval of a payment schedule) during the Payment process in the first week of each semester. Persons failing to do so by the announced deadline will have their registration cancelled. Students are also expected to promptly pay all University charges, including fines , incurred during a semester or summer term. Students failing to do so cannot be issued a transcript nor receive a degree and are subject to disciplinary action. Delinquent accounts are subject to late fees and interest and will ultimately be placed with a collection agency.

Immunization Requirements

All new incoming freshmen, newly admitted graduate students, transfers, special students who reside on campus and returning former students born after 1956, and who receive instruction on one of the residential campuses, and students admitted after May 1993 who are attending USDSU in Sioux Falls must document their immune status for measles, mumps and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of the presence of immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella shall be required. Immunization for tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis are recommended, as is a tuberculin test.

The meningitis vaccination is also strongly recommended by the SD Board of Regents. This documentation may be accomplished by either a State Health Department certificate or it may be included as a part of the institution's immunization form. A student who fails to provide satisfactory documentation of their immune status shall not be permitted to register for or attend classes.

Parking and Traffic Regulations

Dakota State University extends the privilege of parking on the campus to those persons who abide by these regulations. For a complete listing of regulations see Parking Regulations policy at:

The President may rescind the parking privilege at any time to those who fail to comply with these regulations.

In general, parking is prohibited: without a valid permit, in reserved spaces without an appropriate permit; in "No Parking" areas; in handicapped spaces without a proper University permit; blocking fire lanes or fire exits (noted with yellow-painted curb); blocking doorways; in loading zones unless actually loading (flashers must be on and vehicle should be moved within a 15-minute time period). No overnight parking is allowed in the Library lot or in designated green areas (look for signage).

All Dakota State faculty, staff, and students must register all vehicles used on the campus whether or not they purchase a parking tag. Tags are purchased through the Physical Plant Office.

A faculty/staff red tag ($70 year) permits parking in a specific assigned red space. A residential student blue tag ($45 year) permits parking in blue zones around the dorm areas with overflow into green parking zones. A commuter/residential green tag ($28 year) permits parking in green parking zones. A handicapped tag ($45 or $28 year) permits parking in a handicapped space only. Visitor parking is provided in designated areas and is limited to 30 minutes. A visitor pass is available for a limited period and enables the holder to park in a designated blue or green area to the extent that space is available. Tags may be transferred to another vehicle that a person drives but are not transferable to another individual. Tags must be displayed on the front windshield driver's side lower corner with the tag number facing to the outside. Parking regulations are in effect five days a week, Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. There will be open parking at all other times including all official non-working holidays as defined by the Board of Regents. Parking regulations for red reserved and visitor areas remain in effect on weekdays during Spring Break, Christmas Break, Easter Break and other non-class days on which twelve-month staff are required to work.

Drivers are responsible for finding authorized parking space. Lack of parking space, mechanical problems, inclement weather or other disabilities do not justify parking violations.

Fines are $20 for improper display of permit, $40 for illegal parking in student or visitor parking area, $60 for illegal parking in red reserved parking area, $250 for parking in handicap area, $75 for illegal parking in fire lane or loading area, $20 for improperly parking between curb markings, $100 for parking on the lawn/driving on campus and $50 for no overnight parking.

All fines are due within five working days of the date of the ticket and are financial obligations due to DSU (payable at the Cashier's Office at Heston Hall). Failure to pay fines will result in disciplinary action. A parking ticket may be appealed by submitting an online appeal form available on the Physical Plant website within 48 hours of the date of the ticket. If requested, the person can appear before the Parking Appeals Committee. The Parking Appeals Committee may direct that 1) the ticket be withdrawn from the record, 2) the ticket remain on the record but the fine be dismissed, or 3) the ticket remain on the record and the fine be paid. Habitual student offenders will be referred for disciplinary action.

The campus is subject to all the laws of the City of Madison and the State of South Dakota. Maximum speed on campus is 15 MPH. Speeding, driving recklessly, or driving on any part of the campus other than in parking lots (without expressed administrative approval) will result in disciplinary action.

Management of the DSU Parking Program is the responsibility of the Director of Physical Plant. Questions, suggestions, or requests for any extraordinary parking privileges should be directed to the Physical Plant office. To learn more about parking and traffic regulations please visit

Refund and Return of Federal Funds Policy

Refund for Dropped Course - A student receives a 100% refund of tuition and fees for dropped courses within the drop/add period as outlined in the university class schedule per term. Any course meeting during a standard semester which meets for less time than the standard semester shall be treated as a non-standard semester course for refund purposes. No refund shall be provided for courses dropped after that time by other than administrative action. Courses offered during summer school session are considered non-standard courses. The refund schedule for non-standard terms of enrollment is outlined in the class schedule of that term.

Refund for Complete Withdrawal from the University or SD Board of Regents University Consortium Enrollment

  • The South Dakota Board of Regents Refund Policy determines the refund calculation used for any student withdrawing from the university or (SD Board of Regents Consortium Enrollment) during the first sixty percent of the term.
  • Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled from the institution within the drop/add period of the term, first through the seventh day of the enrollment period, receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees. Exception: Students with a room contract and/or a food service meal plan who withdraw from the institution will receive a proportional refund at the time of withdrawal up to the 60% point after which no refund is available.
  • Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled from the institution after the seventh day of a standard enrollment term for which they are assessed, may be entitled to a refund as set forth in the University Catalog. Also see the exception noted above.
  • Students who withdraw after sixty percent of the term has been completed receive no refunds.

See the current University catalog for complete Refund and Return of Federal Funds Policy.

Safety and Security

The safety of its students, employees and visitors is a matter of highest priority for the University. The goal of achieving maximum safety requires the continuous efforts of all persons within the campus community. Part of that effort includes being fully aware of institutional policies and procedures related to safety and security.

Access - Campus academic buildings (including the Library and general-access computer labs in Beadle Hall, East Hall, Habegar Science Center and Kennedy Center) are open for use according to the schedule published for each academic term. The facilities of the Fieldhouse and Trojan Center are also open for use according to a published schedule. Use of computing facilities within these labs requires the completion of a DSU Computing Privileges form. Administrative buildings such as Heston Hall and the Physical Plant are usually open only during the announced working hours of the institution.

Access to the four residence halls is restricted to the occupants and their immediate guests. The main door of each residence hall is locked 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Residents use their University Card to gain access to their hall. In so doing, they may permit no other person to enter other than a person they know to be also a resident of the hall. The side doors of each hall are to be used only in case of fire or other emergencies. Persons other than residence hall students are to be escorted by their host during the period of time they are in the hall. A phone in the hall vestibule (between the outer and inner sets of doors) is available for the visitor to contact the host upon arrival. Residents are asked to challenge all unescorted strangers and/or report them to hall staff.

Reporting - Each member of the campus community has the responsibility to report actions on the part of any person(s) taking place on campus which violate either University regulations or local, state or federal law. Dakota State does not have security (law enforcement) officers. Situations involving crimes which pose an immediate threat to any person should be immediately reported to the Madison Police Department by calling 911 or 9-911, if utilizing a landline phone located on the DSU campus. All other forms of criminal activity taking place within a residence hall should be reported immediately to the Resident Director (or Duty RA). For all other portions of the campus, the matter should be reported directly to the Student Services Center (256-5146).

If a student or employee discovers an apparently unsafe condition on campus, other than in a residence hall, they should immediately report it to the Physical Plant Office (256-5222) during regular working hours. Information can also be reported to the Night Watchman by calling 480-3348 between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. Unsafe conditions discovered within a residence hall should be reported to the Resident Director (or Duty RA).

Actions - Any person encountering an immediate, life-threatening situation on campus should call 911 or 9-911 if utilizing a longline phone located on the DSU campus and request appropriate assistance. The Lake County dispatcher has direct access to fire, police and emergency medical personnel. It is essential that the caller provide adequate detail regarding the situation and, if possible, remain on the phone until help arrives. The general-access computer labs on campus are either equipped with a telephone or there is a telephone at the Help Desk in the immediate vicinity of the lab.

In the event of a fire or bomb-threat alarm, all persons should immediately cease their activity and vacate the building via the nearest exit quickly, but without running. During inclement weather and if the situation permits, it is advisable to take along proper clothing as there may be a sizable time interval before re-entry to the building will be authorized. In the case of a bomb threat, the Dakota Prairie Playhouse and Conference Center will be swept first in order to provide students and employees an on-campus facility for temporary shelter. The "all clear" announcement may only be given by the appropriate University official. In the event of a bomb threat, the time of re-opening of the institution will be carried on KJAM radio and posted at the Playhouse/Conference Center. Each residence hall conducts a fire drill early in each semester.

When a tornado is reported within the Madison area, the city will sound an alarm (a constant "wail" with a rising and falling intensity). All persons should go immediately to the basement of their building or to an interior room, avoiding windows and exterior above-ground walls, and remain until the "all clear" announcement is given.

Taking simple precautions with regard to personal property is strongly advised. Theft does occur on campus and in the Madison community. Door(s) should be locked each time a person is away from their room/home and when sleeping. Persons should lock their car at night and never leave valuable items visible inside the vehicle. Keys should be kept in one's possession at all times. Books and related materials should be safeguarded during each class day. Persons should engrave their name on their valuable items of property and record the serial number of each item. Insurance for damaged or stolen items of personal property is not provided by the University. By keeping a list of credit cards, checking account numbers, etc., a person can quickly notify these entities if a purse or wallet is lost or stolen.

Communication - New students receive information regarding safeguarding themselves and their property during New Student Orientation. Articles on the subject are carried throughout each semester in the bi-weekly student newspaper, and at least one campus-wide event/activity each semester is directed toward the topic of personal safety. Each of these efforts stresses the necessity for each person to take responsibility for their own safety and that of the campus community.

A survey of student opinion regarding campus programs, policies, services, etc., including safety and security, is conducted each fall semester and the results reported in the campus newspaper. Ratings of student satisfaction, together with individual written concerns and suggestions, are used by campus administrators in the planning of improvements.

In the event a violent crime occurs on campus which is judged by the University to pose a threat to members of the campus community, the Student Affairs Office has the responsibility to alert all students and employees in as timely a manner as possible. Means available to the institution to provide such an alert include the Dakota State University campus alert system. This system provides students the opportunity to establish a priority of methods to contact them. These include; mobile phone, second phone, home phone, business phone, campus assigned e-mail, secondary e-mail, text message sent to mobile phone and instant messaging. The action taken will depend upon the particular circumstances of the crime.

Registered Sex Offenders - Federal law requires persons convicted of sex offenses to register with the appropriate law enforcement agency in their locale. For Lake County, the agency is the Madison Police Department. Any person can view the current list of registered sex offenders by going to the Department, 116 W. Center Street, and asking to view the list or via the web at Select City Departments, then Police.

Sales and Solicitation

Persons or organizations wishing to sell any goods or services to members of the general campus population or to solicit in behalf of any firm, group, cause or candidate may do so in no campus building other than the Trojan Center. Prior arrangement for space in the Trojan Center must be made with the Activities Office, and the person(s) involved in such sales or solicitation must agree to limit their activity to their assigned location. In the assignment of space, priority will be given to campus organizations. Non-campus entities may be charged a fee for their use of assigned space. Products may be sold only when those products meet a need not presently being filled by University services. Student organizations wishing to invite sales representatives to campus to inspect merchandise must arrange to meet the representative in the Trojan Center. Persons may hand out promotional material out-of-doors on the campus, however such activity may not impede pedestrian traffic on any walkway or access to any building.

Campus and non-campus entities may leave a supply of informational materials at designated locations in the Trojan Center upon approval of the student union director or his representative and at the reception desks in the residence halls upon approval of the Director of Residence Life or his representative. Signs/posters not larger than 11"x17" may be placed on appropriate bulletin board(s) in any campus building upon permission of the administrator of that building. Priority for space will be given to campus organizations. Signs/posters may not be placed upon the exterior of any campus building nor upon any exterior object except upon approval of the student union director or his representative. All materials and posters must identify sponsorship, must be appropriate for public areas and may not include pictures and language that is offensive. Signs/posters promoting the sale, use, or advertisement of alcoholic beverages are not permitted. The University reserves the right to refuse approval where any materials or posters violate institutional policies or are deemed to be in poor taste.

Sexual Assault Policy

Sexual assault is physical contact of a sexual nature that is against one's will and without one's consent. It is also an act of violence and a crime. Regardless of whether physical force, mental coercion or other means are involved or whether the victim is incapable of giving consent, sex without consent is considered rape. Programs are scheduled each academic year to promote an awareness on the part of students and employees of the seriousness of sex offenses, including date/acquaintance rape. Prevention of sex offenses is a campus-wide responsibility.

A victim of a sex offense is urged to report the matter as soon as possible to a Student Services officer. Where the offense is of felony nature, the University will seek to have the victim also report the matter to the Madison Police Department, but will respect the wishes of any victim who elects not to do so. University staff will assist the victim in notifying local authorities if the student so wishes. The University will investigate all sexual offenses alleged to have occurred on its premises and will cooperate fully with any such investigation by local authorities.

Sanctions for sex offenses will be determined according to University Student Conduct Policy on a case by case basis. Such policy does provide for expulsion of the perpetrator on the first occasion if considered warranted. Every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of the accused and accuser. Both parties are provided the right to have witnesses and an advisor present during the campus disciplinary proceeding and to be informed of the finding and sanction(s).

Each student is urged to take those steps which contribute to the prevention of a sexual assault. These include:

  • Trust your feelings. If you feel you are being pressured into unwanted sex, you are probably right.
  • Set the limits. Decide for yourself the level of intimacy with which you are comfortable, and clearly communicate it.
  • Be prepared to defend yourself. Learn those actions which will cause the other person to not persist.
  • Stay in control. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so responsibly.
  • Avoid or leave risky situations.

If you should become a victim of sexual assault, take the following steps:

  • If you are alone, call a friend to help you collect your thoughts and focus on your immediate needs.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. Do not bathe, douche, or change clothes before the medical examination. Treatment for sexual assault should include testing for sexually transmitted disease and provide documentation in the event you later choose to prosecute.
  • Seek the assistance of a trained counselor. Realize that you will need help in working through the emotions which result from such a traumatic situation. Student Development Office staff are prepared to provide this assistance, or you may wish to utilize community counseling resources at your own expense.

If you are a residential student and wish to change rooms or halls, notify your Resident Director. University staff will assist you in every possible way, including your right to confidentiality and privacy.

Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of Dakota State University that harassing conduct is prohibited and will not be tolerated in the University setting. Such conduct is described in Part II.B.6 of the regental system Student Conduct Policy, found on Page 36 of this Handbook. The University policy regarding Sexual Harassment may be found at All members of the campus community are responsible for maintaining an environment free from harassment. Therefore, each member must be fully aware of the provisions of this policy and prepared to report to proper campus authority any apparent policy violation.

Students who feel they have been subjected to sexual harassment on campus should report the incident to the Director of Human Resources, Dean of Student Affairs, a faculty member or their academic advisor. If the advisor is involved in the activity, the incident should be reported to the dean of the college of which the advisor is a member. Students as employees, should report the incident to their immediate supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources. Reports may be verbal, though written statements may later be taken. Documentation of the incident as provided by witnesses is also appropriate.

Any University employee to whom harassment is reported or who becomes aware of or suspects harassment of a student by any member of the University community is responsible for taking immediate steps to end the discriminatory practice and/or for reporting the harassment to administrators with authority to take such action. An employee or student determined to have indulged in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination (employee) or suspension (student). The person to whom the complaint is brought will counsel the complainant as to the options available under this policy. At the complainant's request, this person may help resolve the complaint informally.

All students and employees whose assistance is needed in the investigation of a complaint or in the course of disciplinary action shall be required to cooperate with the Title IX/EEO Coordinator and other parties who are duly authorized to investigate or to discipline. No person may be subject to restraint, retaliation, interference, coercion or reprisal for action taken in good faith to seek advice concerning a harassment matter, to file a harassment complaint, or to serve as a witness or a panel member in the investigation of a harassment complaint. Persons committing such adverse actions will be subject to disciplinary action. A complainant whose allegations are found to be both false and brought with malicious intent will be subject to disciplinary action which may include, but is not limited to, written warning, demotion, transfer, suspension, or dismissal.

Reasonable effort shall be made to maintain the confidentiality of the complaints. Complainants and witnesses must understand that it may be necessary to disclose their identities, either directly or indirectly, in the course of investigation. Where formal disciplinary proceedings are instituted, the party alleged to have engaged in discriminatory conduct shall be given the names of the complaining party and the witnesses whose testimony shall be used to support the complaint, together the substance of their allegations. The formal proceedings themselves need not be open to the public.

Tobacco Use

There shall be no smoking nor use of any tobacco products in any campus building at any time by any student, faculty, staff member or visitor. Violation of this restriction will be cause for disciplinary action.

Withdrawal from the University

When a student withdraws from all their courses in any academic term, they also withdraw from the University. If a student enrolled at more than one Board of Regents institution, the student must withdraw from all courses at all institutions.

In order to initiate a student's withdrawal from the University and to notify all appropriate University offices of that withdrawal, student contact one of the following offices-

  • DSU main campus: Contact the Student Success and Retention Coordinator at (605) 256-5900 or toll-free 1-888-378-9988 or email
  • University Center students seeking a DSU major: Contact the University Center at (605) 367-5640 or toll-free 1-866-220-7085
  • Distance students seeking a DSU major: Contact Extended Programs at (605) 256-5049 or toll-free 1-800-641-4309 or email
  • Graduate students: Contact DSU Graduate Office at (605) 256-5799, or toll-free 1-888-378-9988 or email

The effective date of withdrawal is the date the student initiates the withdrawal process officially, either verbally or in writing, with the appropriate office. Failure to officially withdraw will result in failing grades in all courses, forfeiture of any possible refund of charges, and will impact Federal financial aid eligibility. Additionally, a student is withdrawn from the University if classes have begun and the University has administratively suspended a student for reasons such as non-payment of tuition and fees, disciplinary sanctions, etc.

For more information on Refund Eligibility Following Withdrawal From School, see the Refund and Return of Federal Funds Section of this document or the University Catalog.

Last Updated: 1/30/13