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South Dakota State University    
 
    
 
  Aug 18, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Policies & General Academic Information


This section outlines academic policies as well as general information related to academics at South Dakota State University. For additional information, the South Dakota State University Policy and Procedure Manual may be viewed online at:  www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures.  That website is the definitive source for the most current South Dakota State University policies.  Policies duplicated on other websites or in print may not be the most current version.  All policies documented on the site are official and supersede policies located elsewhere.  South Dakota State University is governed by state and federal law, administrative regulations, and policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) and the State of South Dakota.  South Dakota Board of Regents policies may be viewed online at: https://www.sdbor.edu/policy/Pages/Policy-Manual.aspx


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Academic Advising


The overall educational objective at South Dakota State University (SDSU) is to guide each student toward intellectual and professional competence, promote personal development, foster a sense of social and civic responsibility, and instill skills to develop satisfactory human relationships. Quality advising is integral to this educational objective and the overall success of SDSU students. To achieve these goals, SDSU offers students a comprehensive advising model grounded in collaboration between professional academic advisors, retention advisors and faculty advisors in academic departments. Each student is assigned an academic advisor and is asked to meet with this advisor at least twice during the academic year to plan for future course enrollment. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor frequently to review degree progress, discuss professional and personal goals, ask questions and express concerns.

Purpose of Academic Advising

Academic advising is formal and informal guidance intended to help students explore, identify, and accomplish personal and professional goals. The advising process at SDSU is a shared responsibility between the student and the advisor.

Goals of Academic Advising

  1. Assist students in the exploration and definition of immediate and lifelong goals.
  2. Encourage students to explore and become involved in beneficial experiences that contribute to a complete university experience.
  3. Inspire students to understand their freedom of choice and accept their responsibility for academic progress and planning.

Role of the Advisee

The advisee role in academic planning is to be involved, responsible, and committed to understanding academic requirements. Advisees also should develop academic, career and personal goals and implement related action steps.

Rights of the Advisee

  1. The right to an advisor who fulfills the SDSU advising goals, role, and responsibilities.
  2. The right to know and have timely access to an assigned advisor.
  3. The right to protection and review of academic advising-related files and materials in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  4. The right to receive pertinent and accurate information as needed for career, academic, and employment planning.
  5. The right to request a change of academic advisor assignment.
  6. The right to clear procedures for conveying concerns relative to the quality of academic advising.

Responsibilities of the Advisee

  1. Initiate regular progress appointments and seek advisor assistance when concerns or questions arise.
  2. Initiate and make timely progress on academic and career plans.
  3. Understand and meet university, college, and departmental graduation requirements.
  4. Follow through on activities, tasks, or requirements as discussed with advisor.
  5. Recognize that the ultimate responsibility for timely completion of degree and academic requirements rests with the advisee.

Role of the Academic Advisor

The academic advisor’s role is to promote student growth and development while assisting with degree completion. Advisors should be knowledgeable in academic programs and university requirements and should assist student with setting and achieving academic and career goals.

Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor

  1. Be Available to Students.  Provide opportunities for students to discuss progress on academic and career goals and to express questions or concerns in a confidential setting.
  2. Enhance Advising through Use of Technology. Utilize advising technologies including Student Success Collaborative-Campus (SSC-Campus) as the primary advising tool, WebAdvisor, SDSUAdvisor, and WebNow to provide targeted advising support for students.
  3. Furnish Accurate Information. Provide students with accurate information about university, college, and departmental graduation requirements, and assist them with selecting and registering for appropriate courses that meet those requirements.
  4. Refer to Campus and Community Resources. Provide students with accurate information about campus and community resources, and encourage them to use these resources as appropriate.
  5. Maintain Advisee Records. Keep current advisee records and personal information in accordance with confidentiality requirements, using SSC-Campus as the primary tool for documenting advising interactions.
  6. Encourage Timely Progress Toward Degree. Advocate timely planning and progress toward educational goals. Communicate regularly with advisees regarding university policies, procedures, and deadlines that impact progress toward degree.
  7. Encourage Advisee Growth. Encourage students to engage in university experiences and opportunities that help them become self-directed and self-sufficient learners.
  8. Support Student Success and Retention. Respond to students’ academic challenges as identified through early alert, midterm deficiencies, and other communication to help students achieve academic success. Engage students in conversations and activities to increase the probability of degree completion.
  9. Develop Advising Knowledge and Skills. Participate in professional development activities that will enhance advising knowledge and skills.

Academic Amnesty


(SDSU Policy 2:9, SDBOR Policy 2.10.6)

This policy and its procedures implement SDBOR Policy 2:10. The goal of academic amnesty is to respond to the academic needs of matured individuals as they develop newly identified potential. Through the application of academic amnesty, the student’s prior academic record can be excluded from current work under certain conditions.

Policy

  1. To be eligible, the student must:
    1. be an undergraduate, full-time or part-time, degree-seeking student at the University;
    2. not have been enrolled in any postsecondary institution for a minimum of three (3) consecutive terms (including only fall and/or spring terms) prior to the most recent admission to the home institution. Exceptions may be granted in rare cases only by the SDBOR Vice President for Academic Affairs upon recommendation by the University Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs;
    3. have completed a minimum of 24 graded credit hours taken at any Regental university with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for the 24 credit hours after the most recent admission to the home institution;
    4. not have earned a baccalaureate degree from any university;
    5. not have been granted any prior academic amnesty at any Regental university;
    6. submit the Academic Amnesty Petition Form to the Records and Registration Office following the procedures established by the University.
  2. Conditions:
    1. Academic amnesty does not apply to individual courses.
    2. Academic amnesty may be requested for either (a) all previous post-secondary education courses, or (b) all previous post-secondary education courses at a specific post-secondary institution, or (c) a specified time period not to exceed one (1) academic year (Fall/Spring) completed at any postsecondary institution(s).
    3. Academic amnesty, if granted, shall not be rescinded.
    4. Courses for which academic amnesty is granted will:
      1. Remain on the student’s permanent record;
      2. Be recorded on the student’s undergraduate transcript with the original grade followed by an asterisk (*);
      3. Not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average because no credit is given;
      4. Not be used to satisfy any of the graduation requirements of the current degree program.
    5. Academic amnesty decisions will be made the student’s home institution, will be honored by all programs within the home institution, and will be honored by all other institutions within the South Dakota Regental system.
    6. Universities outside of the South Dakota Regental system are not bound by the academic amnesty decisions made by the South Dakota Regental system.
    7. Regental undergraduate programs and graduate professional schools may consider all previous undergraduate course work when making admission decisions.

Procedures

  1. The student completes the Academic Amnesty Petition Form. Attach any letters, transcripts or documentation that would be pertinent to the petition.
  2. Student returns completed petition to the University’s Records and Registration Office for review.
  3. If the student meets all of the requirements for academic amnesty the completed and reviewed petition will be forwarded to the student’s Academic Advisor for review and signature. The advisor will forward to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee for review and approval.
  4. Once all approvals/signatures are secured, it will be returned to the Records and Registration office by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  5. A letter will be sent to the student notifying of approval.
  6. If the student does not meet the requirements for academic amnesty, the student will be contacted by the Records and Registration Office and notified of which requirements were not met.
  7. If a student is determined to not be eligible for academic amnesty due to not meeting requirement 2.a.ii
    1. If the student would like to request an exception due to not meeting requirement 2.a.ii, resubmit the completed petition and any supporting documentation to the Office of Academic Affairs for consideration.
    2. The Office of Academic Affairs will notify the student of the decision.
    3. Exceptions are considered when the student does not meet requirement 2.a.ii. If other requirements are not met, exceptions are not considered.

Academic Integrity & Academic Appeals


(SDSU Policy 2:4, SDSU Policy 3:1, SDBOR Policy 3:4)

South Dakota State University has taken a strong and clear stand regarding academic dishonesty. Academic integrity embodies ethical principles to act responsibly and take responsibility for one’s actions. Integrity and honor function as forms of a “social contract” where individuals have a duty to follow the rules and norms of academia as well as a duty to ensure their peers also follow such rules and norms. Undergraduate and graduate students at the University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct; if violated, the University takes a strong and clear stand regarding academic dishonesty. The consequence of academic dishonesty ranges from disciplinary probation to expulsion. For additional information on the academic dishonesty and academic appeals process and procedure reference SDSU Policy 2:4, SDSU Policy 3:1 and BOR Policy 3:4.

Academic Performance & Progression


Each student is responsible for satisfying requirements for graduation as listed under overall university, college, and major field requirements. If a student has questions concerning the proper satisfaction of specific requirements, he/she should consult with the dean, major adviser, or the Registrar.

Class Standing Definitions and Progression Standards

(SDBOR Policy 2:10.3)

Class Credit Hour Range GPA Standard
Freshman 0-29.99 2.0
Sophomore 30-59.99 2.0
Junior 60-89.99 2.0
Senior 90+ 2.0

Minimum progression standards and related actions are based on the student’s cumulative grade point average and system term grade point average.

  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 (i.e. fall, spring, summer), the student is placed on academic probation 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.
  6. Students on academic suspension will not be allowed to enroll for any coursework at any Regental university except when an appeal has been approved by the Regental university from which the student is pursuing a degree. An approved appeal granted by one Regental university will be honored by all Regental universities. Also refer to policy 2:3.3.G Probation/Suspension of Students.
  7. Only Academic Suspension will be entered on the student’s transcript. Academic probation will be noted in the internal academic record only.

Rate of Progress

Each student is advised by a member of the faculty or professional staff. Classes consistent with your plan of study and properly adjusted as to the amount of work are arranged by the adviser and subject to approval by the dean.

The normal rate of progress for a student classified as an undergraduate is 15 semester credits and 30 grade points each semester. To be a full-time student, undergraduates must carry 12 semester credits. Undergraduates are not permitted to register in 19 or more semester credits the first term. Registration in 19 or more semester credits in subsequent terms is permitted only when the previous semester’s work shows high achievement.

All overloads of 19 or more credit hours must be approved by the dean or designee of the student’s college. Factors to consider when requesting a credit overload include: grade point average (minimum 2.70 cumulative grade point average), total credits attempted and completed, specific courses, and time to graduation.

Withdrawal

Those finding it necessary to withdraw from the University are urged to consult with a faculty advisor to work out the best plan possible and then contact the Registrar’s Office, Enrollment Services Center to process a withdrawal. Those who leave the University without processing an official withdrawal will be reported as having failed the semester’s work. Grades transcripted are based on the date of application for withdrawal. A student may withdraw from the University until 70% of instruction has been completed (Contact the Registrar’s office for date information). After that date, if extenuating circumstances (i.e., illness) have prevented class participation, a petition for withdrawal may be filed through the Office of Academic Affairs.

A student is considered withdrawn during a term if classes have begun and:

  1. The student has registered for at least one course and the student has initiated withdrawal from all state-support and self-support courses at all Regental universities in which the student was actively enrolled at the time of withdrawal, including courses in progress as well as those that have not yet begun, or;
  2. The Regental home university has completed withdrawal procedures for administrative reasons including, without limitation, non-payment of tuition and fees or disciplinary sanctions.
  3. Students enrolled in two or more Regental universities pursuant to financial aid consortia will be eligible for refunds as set forth herein only if they withdraw, drop out or are expelled from all classes at all Regental universities for which they have enrolled.

Students who withdraw or are expelled from the Regental system within the drop/add period receive a 100 percent refund of tuition and per credit hour fees. Students who withdraw or are expelled from the Regental system after the date the first 10 percent of the term ends for the period of enrollment for which they are assessed may be entitled to a prorated refund.

Academic Recognition


Dean’s List Designation

(SDBOR Policy 2.10.7)

Undergraduate, full-time students may be designated for the Dean’s List at the end of the fall and spring terms. The Dean’s List designation is determined by the home university and is based on a student’s total course registrations for academic credit for the term from any Regental university. The Dean’s List designation does not appear on the transcript.

To be awarded Dean’s List designation, students must meet the following guidelines.

  1. Students must have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours in courses numbered 100-699 during the term.
  2. Students must achieve a System Term GPA of at least 3.50.
  3. Students with F, I, U, RI, or RU grades are not eligible regardless of System Term GPA attained.

Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students

(SDBOR Policy 2.10.8)

Undergraduate, part-time students taking fewer than 12 credits per term may be designated for Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students at the end of the fall and spring terms. The Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation is determined by the home university. The Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation does not appear on the transcript. To be awarded the Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation, students must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Students must have completed at least 12 credit hours prior to the current semester at one or more Regental institutions.
  2. The student must have earned at least 3 and up to 11 credit hours of 100-699 level courses during the term.
  3. Students must achieve a System Term GPA of at least 3.50.
  4. Students with F, I, U, RI, or RU grades are not eligible regardless of System Term GPA attained.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Policy/Title IX


(SDSU Policy 4:3, SDSU Policy 4:4, SDSU Policy 4:5, SDSU Policy 4:6)

South Dakota State University has a well-established commitment to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination and harassment, as articulated by federal and state law, and University policy.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University offers equal opportunities in employment and for access to and participation in education, extension, and other services at the University to all persons qualified by academic preparation, experience, and ability for the various levels of employment or academic program or other University service, without discrimination based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination.

The University, in conjunction with state and federal law and applicable SDBOR and University policies, is committed to the objectives of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and affirmative action. Redress for alleged violations of those laws may be pursued at law, or through the procedures established in University Policy 4:6 through the University Title IX/EO Coordinator.

Michelle Johnson, Ed.D., Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator/Affirmative Action Officer
Human Resources, Morrill Hall Room 100
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-4128

Harassment including Sexual Harassment Policy

Harassment is a particularly harmful and illegal form of discrimination that breaks down trust within the SDSU community and impedes the ability of students, employees, and others to participate in an environment that allows them to achieve their fullest potential. Furthermore, harassment is a violation of the expectation that every individual at SDSU deserves to be treated fairly, with respect for his/her dignity as a person.

Prevention of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policy

State and federal laws and policies strictly prohibit sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, often treating such actions as criminal offenses. Such misconduct is not permitted or tolerated at the University. SDSU Policy 4:5 and its procedures set forth standards regarding reports of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and the consequences of engaging in such misconduct at the University.

Non-Retaliation/Privacy

Complainants, respondents, witnesses, and other persons who have assisted, testified, or participated in any manner in any phase of a harassment or discrimination investigation will be protected against retaliation. SDSU’s policy and applicable Board of Regents, state and federal regulations prohibit retaliation, coercion, interference and/or intimidation, or any other adverse action taken as a direct result of a complaint being brought forth.

All concerns are responded to and/or investigated in a highly sensitive manner.  The privacy of the parties involved is protected.  The process is neutral, impartial and fair.

What You Can Do To Address Harassment or Discrimination

  • If safe, approach the person you feel has discriminated against or has harassed you and communicate your concern directly, in person or in writing. Ask them to stop the concerning behavior or comments immediately.
  • Report harassment or discrimination to the Title IX/EO Coordinator (605-688-4128).

Reporting Complaints

Concerns should be reported directly to the Title IX/EO Coordinator.

Michelle Johnson, Ed.D., Title IX/EO Coordinator & Affirmative Action Officer
Human Resources, Morrill Hall Room 100
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-4128
Email 1: Michelle.Johnson@sdstate.edu
Email 2: Equal.Opportunity@sdstate.edu

SDSU has adopted a Compliance Hotline that offers two additional ways to report concerns, including the option to report anonymously, if you choose: 

Toll-Free Reporting: 1-844-880-0004
Web Reporting:  https://www.lighthouse-services.com/sdstate

If a student or employee confides in you their concern, please encourage them to report the issue or you are required to report on their behalf.  The University has a legal obligation to respond to issues, big and small, so SDSU requests that all concerns be brought forth.  The University has many resources and wants to support the entire campus community.

The complaint process is subject to the South Dakota Board of Regents policies, and will follow the institutional policies listed below:

Policy 4:3 Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action
Policy 4:4 Harassment including Sexual Harassment
Policy 4:5 Prevention of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Stalking
Policy 4:6 Human Rights Complaints

These policies can be found at www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures.

What happens if a violation of the policy occurs?

The University will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation that violates SDBOR or University policy.  Where such violations are investigated and found to have indeed occurred, the University will take steps to end it immediately.  An individual found to have engaged in discrimination, harassment or retaliation will be subject to appropriate discipline, depending on the severity of the misconduct. Sanctions for employees include formal reprimands, suspensions without pay, reductions in responsibilities, and termination. Sanctions for students include disciplinary probation, suspension, and expulsion. SDSU will provide the victim with remedies to alleviate the negative effects of the harassment or discrimination. Such remedies may be regarding academic, residential, employment, financial and transportation accommodations.

For More Information

For more information on the policies established to promote equal opportunity and eliminate discrimination and harassment at SDSU visit: www.sdstate.edu/hr/equal-opportunity/index.cfm.

Attendance Policy


(SDSU Policy 2:5)

Policy

  1. Teaching and learning is a reciprocal process involving faculty and students. Faculty members have an obligation of holding classes on a regular basis and students have an expectation to attend and participate in classes on a regular basis. Faculty members determine the specific attendance policy for courses under their direct supervision and instruction. Attendance procedures must be stated in written form, in the course syllabus, and distributed or posted electronically to students at the beginning of each course. If attendance is required and will impact grading, this expectation shall be included in the syllabus.
  2. Any exceptions to the faculty member’s written attendance policy due to verified medical reasons, death of a family member or significant other, or verified extenuating circumstances judged acceptable by the instructor or the Office of Academic Affairs, will be honored. Absences for vacations, breaks, or personal interviews do not constitute a valid reason for absence.
  3. Faculty and administration will honor officially approved absences where individuals are absent in the interest of officially representing the University. Appropriate sanctioned activities include: Collegiate club sports and competitions; Conferences and workshops recognized by the University not related to academics; Commitments on behalf of the University (Students’ Association, Band, Choir, etc.); Intercollegiate athletics; and Professional activities recognized by the University related to academics (professional conference attendance, etc.)
  4. Students with official excused absences: Students with excused absences will be given appropriate make up work or instructor-determined equivalent opportunities for obtaining grades as students who were in attendance. Students with official excused absences are not to be penalized in course progress or evaluation. However, should excused absences be excessive, the faculty member may recommend withdrawal from the course(s) or award an incomplete grade.
  5. Attendance policies apply in the online classroom. Faculty members determine the specific attendance policy for courses under their direct supervision and instruction. Attendance procedures must be stated in written form and made available to students on the first day of the course. Common strategies for demonstrating “attendance” in an online course include login requirements per week, an identified number of discussion postings per week, consistent contact with peers and instructor, and/or other assignments as determined by the instructor. Also, students are expected to login to their class on the first day of the semester.
  6. Student-Athlete Class Attendance
    1. No student-athlete may be absent from more than ten (10) class sessions (including required laboratory sessions) of a given course in a semester.
    2. Athletic excused absences will not be approved during final examination period with the exception of required conference or NCAA activities.
    3. In the interest of safety for student-athletes and staff, missed class-time resulting from travel delays associated with inclement weather will be excused.

Procedures

  1. If a student has an accident, falls ill, or suffers some other emergency over which they have no control, the student needs to gather whatever documentation is available (e.g., copies of repair or towing bills, accident reports, or statements from health care provider) to show the instructor. Such exceptions must be communicated and negotiated between the student and faculty member prior to the absence whenever possible.
  2. Requests for excused absences due to approved university-sponsored/recognized trips must be submitted one week prior to the trip or event. Students must present the completed approved trip absence card to the faculty member prior to the trip or event to have an official excused absence. Faculty members are not required to honor incomplete or late cards. Absences for trips or activities will not be approved during finals week.
  3. Arrangements regarding attendance should be negotiated with faculty members. If this is not possible, the students should go first to the department head, and if necessary, next to the dean. The student may contact the Office of Academic Affairs if conflict cannot be resolved at these levels.
  4. Waivers to the above rules, as they pertain to student athletes, require the approval of the Intercollegiate Athletics Board or its designee at the time of scheduling or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible (if circumstances dictate the need for finalizing a contract or schedule prior to gaining Intercollegiate Athletics Board approval).

Courses/Credits


Add/Drop Procedure

  1. Dropping or adding courses should be discussed with one’s academic advisor. Courses can be dropped on WebAdvisor or in the Registrar’s Office.
  2. The drop/add period is the time period during which students may adjust their academic schedule for the term without financial or academic consequences. The last day of the drop/add period for a course is designated as the census date for that course and is the official date for enrollment reporting. The end of the drop and add period for standard and non-standard courses offered in a semester shall be the date the first 10 percent of the term ends or the day following the first class meeting, whichever is later. When calculating 10% of the term, breaks of five or more days are not included when counting the total number of days but Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are. Student registrations can only be added to courses after the end of the drop and add period by approval of the chief academic officer (or designee) of the university.
  3. Do not discontinue enrollment in a class without processing discontinuance via the official drop procedure. An “F” will be recorded for an unofficial drop. 

Grades for Dropped Courses

Undergraduate and graduate students who drop a course shall receive a withdrawal grade if that action occurs anytime between the day after the census day for that course and the day that corresponds with the completion of 70 percent of the class days for that course.  

Beginning with the Fall 2015 term, a grade of withdrawal (WD) may be assigned only six times during a student’s undergraduate career. If the student drops additional classes, a grade of WFL will be assigned. Withdrawal grades assigned to continuously enrolled students prior to this term will not count against the limit. Additionally, those withdrawal grades assigned at a non-Regental institution prior to entry as a transfer student will not be counted against the six course limits. This limit does not include W grades assigned if a student withdraws from all classes in a given term, which will be assigned a WW grade. The campus chief academic officer may make exceptions to this requirement in those cases where there are unique factors. (See SDBOR Policy 2:10)

Grades for Withdrawals from the Regental System (see “Withdrawals” for additional information)

Students who completely withdraw from the Regental system from the first day of a class(es) through census date of the class(es) will have a pseudo course of WD 101 (Undergraduate) or WD 801 (graduate) with a “WW” grade entered on their Transcript.  Undergraduate and graduate students who withdraw from the System shall receive a grade of “WW” if that action occurs anytime between the day after the census day for that course and the day that corresponds with the completion of 70 percent of the class days for that course.

A notation of the date of withdrawal will be included on the student’s transcript if he/she withdraws from the system. (Refer to SDBOR Policy 5:7.2)

Last Day to Drop

For standard classes, the last day to receive a grade of “W” is determined by calculating 70 percent of the class meeting days in the term, counting from the first day of classes in the term and rounding up if the calculation produces a fractional value greater than or equal to 0.5.

For any non-standard course, the last day to receive a grade of “W” is based on the number of class meeting days for the course, using the method described above.

Similar proportional dates would be established by the Registrar’s Office for summer, interim and other courses taught outside of the normal nine-month academic year.

Students may not drop a course or withdraw from the System after the time period specified above. (Refer to SDBOR Policy 5:7.2)

If extenuating circumstances (i.e., illness) have prevented class participation, a petition for an individual drop may be filed.

Auditing a Course

Registration as an auditor in a course may be permitted. No credit is given. The audit fee is the established tuition and fee rate. Registration for audit may be accomplished only after registration day by presenting an Audit/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory form to the Registrar’s Office, Enrollment Services Center.

Auditing courses by graduate and undergraduate students will be a matter of record (recorded on their academic transcript). An AU grade is given for Audit. This grade does not calculate into the semester or cumulative grade point average. Audit courses are counted as part of the 19 hour rule for overloads. Audit courses are not counted in calculating undergraduate or graduate full-time student status.

Course Exemption

Students may be awarded an exemption from taking a course but not receive college credit. This may result from the SDSU policy related to a specific test or credit received by examination from another institution.

Credits

Semester credit hours (“credits”) are the numerical values by which course work is measured. The credit hour value for a course is determined primarily by the amount of time, the intensity of the educational experience, and the amount of outside preparation required by the student. For example, a lecture course with readings or other out-of-class preparation would result in one credit for each class hour scheduled per week for a semester while a laboratory experience with little out-of-class preparation may equal one credit for three hours scheduled per week of a semester.

Independent courses vary in credit according to the nature of the work involved.

Electives

Electives are offered so students may develop special talents or interests. The choice of subjects is left to the student, provided the selections made are consistent with the academic standards of the University. Electives used to meet the general education core degree requirements must be chosen from the approved list.

The dean of the college (or designee) in which the degree is sought must approve registration in an elective if the course is to be counted toward the degree.

Non-Credit Courses

In addition to courses leading to degrees, the University offers professional development and personal enrichment activities throughout the year. Continuing and Distance Education approves a number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs), offers tax update workshops, can develop customized professional development opportunities and workshops, assist with event planning and registration, and partners with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). For more information contact the Professional and Special Programs Coordinator - Continuing and Distance Education at 605-688-4154 or E-mail: sdsu.seminars@sdstate.edu

Repeated Courses

(SDBOR Policy 2:8:3D)

All courses taken appear on the student’s academic record, but when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade is calculated into the cumulative GPA. This policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate coursework. Relative to number of repeats allowed:

  1. A student may enroll in an undergraduate course (for which credit is granted only once) no more than three times without permission of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  2. A student may enroll in a graduate course (for which credit is granted only once) no more than two times without permission of the Dean of the Graduate School.
  3. A student will be allowed unlimited enrollments in an undergraduate or graduate course for which credit toward graduation may be received more than once. An institution may limit the number of credit hours for courses that may be taken more than once that apply toward the requirements for a major.

Please notify the Registrar’s Office, Enrollment Services Center, when a course, whether failed or passed, is repeated.

Undergraduate Students Taking Graduate Courses

(SDSU Policy 2:22, SDBOR Policy 2:8.3C, SDBOR Policy 2:10)

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours may request to enroll in 500/600 level. Students will pay graduate tuition and the courses will be recorded on a graduate transcript. A maximum of 12 graduate credits may apply to an undergraduate degree.  SDSU Policy 2:22 Use of Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Degree Requirements designates standards concerning the use of graduate credit to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements as allowed by SDBOR Policy 2:8.

Credit for Prior Learning


Students who have studied a subject independently or have completed college level coursework for which they are unable to get a transcript acceptable to this institution may receive credit through a variety of evaluation processes. For information about credit through any of these processes contact the Testing Center.

Credits obtained through validation methods other than nationally recognized examinations are limited to 30 hours of credit for baccalaureate degrees and 15 hours of credit for associate degrees. There is no limit on the number of credits earned through nationally recognized examinations.

South Dakota State University cannot guarantee that credit earned via validation at SDSU will transfer to other institutions. Even though SDSU has made an effort to set cut off scores at appropriate levels, each institution develops its own procedures for accepting credit by validation. In some cases, a certain test or score level acceptable at SDSU may not qualify a student for credit at another institution.

Credit by Exam

If credit by examination is accepted, the permanent record will show the course name and a grade of EX for the specified number of credits. If credit is accepted by another form of validation, the grade will be CR for the specified number of credits. No entry will be made on the record if the examination is failed. The examination results will not be included in calculation of either the semester or the cumulative grade point averages.

Students and former students who were previously in good standing may acquire credit by examination provided they meet the conditions outlined below.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is given at the high school level.  Usually a student completes an AP course in high school then takes the AP test at the end of the course.  Students receiving an AP examination score that meets the Board of Regents guidelines may apply for credit to be transcripted.

All South Dakota state institutions are required to accept the same examinations and scores set by the South Dakota Board of Regents.  The South Dakota public university system will only accept Advanced Placement scores recorded by an institution within five years from the time the student took the exam.

A student’s AP score reports are sent to SDSU when the student places SDSU’s school code (6653) on their test registration application.  Once the AP score report is received, the student is notified of the allowable credit based on the AP test and the SDBOR score guidelines.

To have the credits placed on a transcript, the student must complete an Application for Placement Credit form in the Testing Center office.  There is no transcripting fee for this service. If the student successfully completes the examination, the permanent record will show “Credit by Examination” with a grade of “EX”. No entry will be made on a permanent record if the examination is failed.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) provides an opportunity to earn college credit for college level achievements without the benefit of transcripted college credit or to validate coursework or experience otherwise not acceptable as transfer. College credit is awarded for satisfactory performance on the CLEP subject examinations per the South Dakota Board of Regents policy. CLEP tests may be retaken only following a lapse of six months. CLEP examinations do not meet the globalization or writing intensive requirements. South Dakota Board of Regents policy on specific courses for which credit is given and other requirements are found at CLEP guidelines. If the student successfully completes the examination, the permanent record will show “Credit by Examination” with a grade of “EX”. No entry will be made on a permanent record if the examination is failed.

CLEP exams may be taken to repeat an F grade, but F will still count in gpa.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) program is an extensive series of examinations in college subject areas that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate courses. DANTES funds paper-based DSST testing for eligible Service members and civilian examinees at DANTES Test Centers and at national test centers (colleges and universities) offering the Internet-based (iBT) DSSTs. South Dakota Board of Regents policy on specific courses for which credit is given and other requirements are found at DANTES testing guidelines. If the student successfully completes the examination, the permanent record will show “Credit by Examination” with a grade of “EX”. No entry will be made on a permanent record if the examination is failed.

Institutional Challenge by Examination

If a nationally recognized examination is not available to award credit for a course, a special examination may be established. This process is initiated by obtaining a “Challenge By Examination” form at the Testing Center and completing the prescribed steps:

  1. Consult the head of the department in which the course is offered. This person will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the student’s background in the subject area to determine if an examination is warranted.
  2. Consult your advisor.
  3. Consult the dean of the college in which a degree is expected to determine whether credits earned by examination in the proposed subject will be accepted.
  4. Pay the examination fee before taking the examination. Specific details are on the application form which is available at the Testing Center 605-688-6460.

Policy for Repeating Local Challenge Examinations
If a student does not pass the local challenge examination, he or she may use the SDSU petition procedure to request one more opportunity to take a challenge examination for the same course. The guidelines for the retesting process are as follows:

  1. Only one retest is allowed.
  2. There will be a waiting period of one academic term before retesting may be done.
  3. The department will administer a test that is completely different from the examination used in the original challenge attempt.
  4. The petition must be approved by the department head, dean, and Testing Center.
  5. If the petition is approved, the student must complete a new “Challenge by Examination” form and pay the examination fee before retesting may be done.

Credit by Portfolio

A “portfolio” may be used to document competencies learned through non-transferable courses at Technical Institutes or other institutions if a grade of C or better was earned. A portfolio may also be used to verify skills learned through prior work experiences. A portfolio is a detailed, written document prepared by a student to demonstrate knowledge and skills. A portfolio may contain both prior coursework and employment experiences relevant to the course being challenged. Review the guidelines and obtain “A Challenge by Portfolio” application through the Testing Center. Students will need to receive departmental approval and pay a fee prior to portfolio review.

If credit is to be awarded, one of the faculty portfolio reviewers returns the portfolio along with the Faculty Review forms to the Testing Center.  Testing Center staff then forward appropriate documentation to the Records Office where the credits will be officially recorded on the student’s electronic record. The designation on the academic record shall be EX-P to signify credit by examination of portfolio.

Modern Language Credit

There are several options for students to earn credit for prior language study. They are as follows:

WebCape Placement Exam

Students with prior knowledge of a modern language must take courses commensurate with their abilities. If you have studied French, German, or Spanish in high school or at another college/university and wish to continue your language studies at SDSU, you can save yourself time and money by starting with a higher-level course. To determine your placement, the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies administers the WebCape placement exam in French, German, and Spanish. The exam is free to SDSU students.

Once you have received your placement score, you can register for the appropriate course, pass it with a grade of “C” or better, and purchase credit for the prior courses (maximum total of 14 credits). For example, a student who tests into GER 310 would be able to purchase GER 101 (4 cr.), 102 (4 cr.), 201 (3 cr.) and 202 (3 cr.) for a $7.50 per credit recording fee. That is a total of 14 language credits in exchange for taking GER 310.

Please note, the intermediate conversation courses in Spanish (SPAN 211, 212, and 250) cannot be used to obtain credit for previous study. You must take a lower-level grammar course (102, 201, 202) or an appropriate 300- or 400-level content course in order to purchase 101-202 credits.

All language students must pass the course with a grade of “C” or higher in order to receive credit for general education courses up to 202. A maximum of 14 credits may be earned in this fashion. Students must apply for this credit at the Testing Center. A recording fee is charged for each lower level credit hour.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is given at the high school level. Usually a student completes an AP course in high school, and then takes the AP test at the end of the course. Students receiving an AP examination score that meets the Board of Regents guidelines in French, German, or Spanish may apply for credit to be transcripted.

All South Dakota state institutions are required to accept the same examinations and scores set by the South Dakota Board of Regents. The South Dakota public university system will only accept Advanced Placement scores recorded by an institution with five years from the time the student took the exam. As per SDBOR policy, the maximum credit hours allowable for FREN, GER, and SPAN 202 equivalency are 4 credits for French, 3 credits for German, and 3 credits for Spanish.

A student’s AP score reports are sent to SDSU when the student places SDSU’s school code (6653) on their test registration application. Once the AP score report is received, the student is notified of the allowable credit based on the AP test and the SD BOR score guidelines.

To have the credits placed on a transcript, the student must complete an Application for Placement Credit form in the Testing Center office. There is no transcripting fee for this service.

Alternatively, if students have prior knowledge and would like to receive the full credit hours for FREN, GER, or SPAN 101, 102, 201, and/or 202, they can take a course appropriate to their level, pass it with a grade of “C” or better, and purchase credit for the prior courses (maximum total of 14 credits). In order to have the credits placed on their academic transcript, the student must pay a per credit recording fee and complete an Application for Placement Credit form at the Testing Center. Reference the WebCape Placement Exam for additional information on this process.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP exams are national tests that can be taken at any national testing center. SDSU has been designated as a national testing center for CLEP. SDSU will only receive a copy of a student’s CLEP scores if South Dakota State University #6653 is chosen as a score recipient.

Currently, SDSU offers the CLEP exam in French, German, and Spanish. Any student who speaks or has studied these languages is eligible to CLEP. As per SD BOR policy, the maximum credit hours allowable for FREN, GER, and SPAN 202 equivalency are 9 credits for in each language. Scores are shown on the computer screen after the completion of the exam. If a passing score is achieved, the student must pay a per credit recording fee and complete an Application for Placement Credit form at the Testing Center in order to have the credits placed on their academic transcript.

Alternatively, if students have prior knowledge and would like to receive the full credit hours for FREN, GER, or SPAN 101, 102, 201, and/or 202, they can take a course appropriate to their level, pass it with a grade of “C” or better, and purchase credit for the prior courses (maximum total of 14 credits). Reference the WebCape Placement Exam for additional information on this process.

Language Testing International Exams (LTI)

LTI testing is available in a larger number of languages than CLEP offers. Students who speak or have studied a modern language other than French, German, or Spanish may take the LTI written and oral examinations, and then petition to have that study satisfy both the modern language requirement for the B.A. degree and the SGR #4 (Humanities and Arts/Diversity).

The Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies administers Language Testing International (LTI) written and oral examinations to current SDSU students. LTI is exclusively licensed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). Credit may be earned through LTI testing for 101, 102, 201, and 202.

The exams, which test your skills on the coursework for which you would like to gain credit, are computer-based and telephone-based where applicable. The following exams are offered:

  1. Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc)
    The OPIc is a 20-40 minute interview-like, computer based assessment. The exam is designed to elicit a sample of speech via recorded, computer-adapted voice prompts customized to the individual test taker.
  2. Internet Writing Proficiency Test (iWPT®)
    The iWPT is an 80 minute standardized exam for the global assessment of functional writing ability in a language. The exam measures how well a person spontaneously writes in a language (without access to dictionaries or grammar references). The exam consists of four requests for written responses that deal with practical, social, and professional topics encountered in informal and formal contexts.

Languages Available: Arabic, Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese.

If a passing score is achieved, the student pays a per credit recording fee and completes an Application for Placement Credit form at the Testing Center in order to have the credits placed on their academic transcript.

Study Abroad Transfer Credits

Students who plan to study abroad with the intent of transferring the credits earned to SDSU must receive written permission to do so from the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies before undertaking such study. Approved language courses transferred from foreign institutions will be accepted as credits without a grade, unless it is otherwise agreed with the student prior to departure. The University does not accept credit from all foreign institutes. Students who take courses abroad without prior permission from the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies may not receive SDSU credit for these courses.

Please contact the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies (SWG 121, 605-688-5101, Amy.Kor@sdstate.edu) for additional information regarding placement and credit for prior learning.

Degree Planning


Certificates

A certificate can be earned independently or in conjunction with a degree.  Certificates awarded in conjunction with a degree must be completed under the same catalog as the degree requirements.  Non-degree seeking students can apply for admission under a certificate program.  Degree seeking students can declare a certificate by contacting the college offering the certificate.

Changing a Major

Students who wish to change their major should consider meeting with an academic advisor prior to initiating the change to ensure the proposed major meets the students’ academic and professional goals.  Major changes can be initiated at the college Dean’s Office. 

Declaring a Minor

Undergraduate minor requirements typically consist of 18 semester credit hours with a minimum of 50% of the credit hours completed at the institution granting the minor.  Degree seeking students may complete requirements for a minor at any Regental university that has been approved to grant that minor.  The Regental university offering the minor approves completion of minor requirements.  The requirements for the minor must be completed under the same catalog as the degree requirements.  Students declare their SDSU minor on MyState (https://mystate.sdstate.edu).  Students declaring a minor at another Regental university should contact the Registrar’s Office at the university offering the minor.

Registration

Students are assigned a registration priority date and time.  Students can register any time after their priority date and time but not before. 

Students should attend an advising session prior to registering for classes.  A registration restriction is placed on students which the advisor will remove after the advising session.

Students register for classes on WebAdvisor at http://webadvisor.sdstate.edu.  SDSU offers multi-term registration where students can register for classes a full year in advance.  Students who register and subsequently decide not to attend should notify the Registrar’s Office so the classes will be dropped and the student will not be billed for the courses.

Financial obligations, minimum academic requirements, immunization requirements or other conditions may result in a restriction that prohibits a student from registering for classes.  Students should refer to MyState (https://mystate.sdstate.edu) or WebAdvisor (http://webadvisor.sdstate.edu) to determine if they have a restriction which will prohibit registration. To determine if a course requires instructor permission or if other minimum requirements must be met, consult WebAdvisor’s Section Information. 

Family Education Rights & Privacy Act of 1974


FERPA Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.  A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing re­garding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law en­forcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent.  A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Available for download at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html.

Directory Information

The Federal Privacy Act (FERPA) defines some information as Directory Information.  SDSU allows the release of the following Directory Information concerning a student upon request, without the consent of the student.

  • student’s name
  • student class level
  • major program of study
  • minor program of study
  • dates of attendance
  • degrees and awards received
  • full-time/part-time status
  • photographic material (not including student ID photo)
  • hometown

Final Examinations


(SDSU Policy 2:1)

Policy

  1. Among the tasks of instruction is that of evaluation of a student’s performance. Each course has its own particular parameters, and the evaluation procedure in any one course is not necessarily the same as that in another course. However, the most commonly used evaluation technique is that of written examinations or papers periodically due during the course, and a final examination at the end of the course. The final examination procedure has become so universal and accepted that a final examination period is set aside at the end of the semester in most colleges and universities. The Carnegie credit hour is calculated by contact hours with 15 contacts hours equating to 1 credit hour. Finals week is considered an integral part of the 17-week academic semester and critical to the credit hour calculation.
  2. It is the policy of South Dakota State University to adhere to the following:
    1. The final examination schedule will be published in the fall or spring course schedules. Courses offered for 2 or more credits will have an examination time determined by the final examination schedule published in the schedule book.
    2. Multiple section final examinations will be scheduled at 7:00 a.m. as published in the schedule book through a request process from the instructor to the Registrar’s office.
    3. Final exams for evening courses (any course that begins at 5:00 p.m. or later) must be scheduled at the regularly scheduled time (of the course) during finals week.
    4. Courses of 1 credit or laboratory only will have the final examination or alternative learning experience during the last week of regular classes before final examination week.
    5. Every course except as noted in #2, #3, and #4 above is required to follow the final examination schedule.
    6. Five days are to be scheduled for final examinations at the end of each semester, fall and spring. Due to the variety of summer sessions and other accelerated course formats, the final day of the term will be reserved for the final examination.
    7. A block of 2 hours will be available for administering individual final examinations. Within the final examination time period, instructors may reduce the time limit of an examination by prior announcement.
    8. Final examinations are an integral part of the instructional program and should be given in all courses except in some cases such as laboratory, studio, capstone courses, seminars, colloquia and other independent learning credits, where a final examination may not be appropriate. Any instructor wishing to waive the right to a final examination must do so by submitting a request as outlined under Procedures. The right to waive the final examination does not, however, preclude the requirement to hold class during final examination week for an alternative learning experience. The discipline is responsible for defining appropriate alternative learning experiences.
    9. Take home final examinations are permissible but the course must still meet during final examination week for alternative learning experience.
    10. Online and hybrid courses must be held to the same standard for final examinations and can only be administered during final examination week.
    11. If a final examination is used, it should not be given early. The published final examination schedule must be followed and the final examination in a course should be given as scheduled and not at other times, even if the faculty member and all students in a course agree to such a change. This is true even if the final examination is an alternative learning experience. It is understood that some culminating learning assessment may be administered during the last week of classes. This does not preclude the requirement however, for these classes to meet during finals week.
    12. The week of classes preceding the scheduled final examination period should be used primarily for continued instruction and may include the introduction of new material. No final examinations are to be given during the seven days preceding the start of the examination period (excluding 1 credit courses). However, laboratory practicums, seminar presentations, etc. may be scheduled in that week.
    13. Individual students may petition in writing for a variance from these policies, provided the instructor is satisfied that the exception is based on good and sufficient reasons, and that such an exception for an early or late examination will not prejudice the interests of other students in the course. Reasons for individual students missing a scheduled examination will be handled by the department. Each department will decide what will, or will not, be an acceptable excuse and deal with individual hardship cases. Note that the SDSU Attendance Policy should be consulted for excused absences. In the event of a department approved excuse, the instructor will decide the procedure necessary to complete the course requirement. Instructors must have the consent of the department head in excusing the student.
    14. When students have more than three final examinations on the same day, they are entitled to arrange an alternative examination time for an examination or examinations scheduled on that day. Such arrangements must be made no later than the end of the 12th week of the semester. Students are expected to provide evidence to the Registrar’s Office that they have more than three examinations to qualify for exceptions.
  3. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate students, including seniors. Graduating seniors are not exempted from final examinations.

Procedure

  1. Each instructor, department head and dean is responsible for enforcing the above policies. The SDSU Attendance Policy will be used to establish acceptable excuses for missing and retaking a final examination.
  2. Any instructor wishing to request a waiver from administering a final examination must do so by submitting a request to the department head for approval. The department head will then forward such requests to the college dean. A course need only be approved once; however, if substantive modifications are made to a course, it should be resubmitted for approval.

Grades


(SDBOR Policy 2:10.1)

The grading system is based on achievement of expectations in a class.  Undergraduate grades will be assigned to the undergraduate academic level and to all courses and sections with course numbers ranging from 001 to 499. Plus and minus grades are not used. A grade report is available for each registered student on WebAdvisor at http://webadvisor.sdstate.edu or by requesting an unofficial transcript from the Registrar’s Office.

Grade Point Averages

(SDBOR Policy 2:10.2)

The following grade point averages are calculated each academic term (Fall, Spring, Summer):

  • Institutional GPA—based on credits earned at a specific Regental university. Utilized to determine if degree requirements have been met and to determine Honors Designation at graduation.
  • System Term GPA— based on credits earned at any of the six Regental universities within a given academic term (Fall, Spring, Summer). Utilized to determine minimum progression status.
  • Transfer GPA— based on credits earned and officially transferred from an accredited college or university outside the Regental system. When a letter grade that normally calculates into the grade point average exists for a non-academic course (e.g., credit earned via examination), it will be included in the transfer GPA.
  • Cumulative GPA— based on all credits earned by the student (transfer credit plus system credit). Utilized to determine minimum progression status and to determine if degree requirements have been met and to determine Honors Designation at graduation.

When a course has been repeated for credit, all attempts will be entered on the transcript but the last grade earned will be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (See also SDBOR Policy 2:5.11).

The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is obtained by dividing grade points by the number of all hours attempted. In computing grade point averages all hours attempted (graded A, B, C, D, F) are included.

Repeating a Course to Raise the Grade. All courses taken appear on the student’s academic record, but when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade is calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Students should notify the Registrar’s Office, when a course, whether failed or passed, is repeated.

Grading Rubric

The rubric below is designed to help faculty clearly articulate the standards by which they will assess student work. The rubric reflects broad consensus regarding the chief components of such work—its content, form, and style—and regarding the qualities that mark each grade level. No single rubric, however, applies to every assignment. What follows, then, is a guideline to help foster discussion—and understanding—between faculty and students about performance expectations and about assessment. Faculty may use the rubric as is or adapt it as they see fit.

Letter Grade Descriptor Grade Point Value
A The grade of “A” (“exceptional”) designates:
  • fulfillment of the requirements and objectives of the assignment
  • an excellent, impressive command of content
  • a clear explanation, development, and application of ideas
  • independent thought and analysis
  • thorough and persuasive substantiation of claims
  • clear and effective organization
  • precise, fluent, and distinctive expression—written or oral
  • correct grammar, punctuation, documentation, and format
4.00 grade points per semester hour
B The grade of “B” (“above average”) designates:
  • fulfillment of most of the requirements and objectives of the assignment
  • a competent command of content
  • mostly clear explanation, development, and application of ideas
  • a capacity for independent thought and analysis, though it is not fully realized
  • sufficient and mostly persuasive substantiation of claims
  • mostly clear and effective organization
  • mostly precise, fluent, and clear expression—written or oral
  • mostly correct grammar, punctuation, documentation, and format
3.00 grade points per semester hour
C The grade of “C” (“average”) designates:
  • fulfillment of the major requirements and objectives of the assignment, though minor ones are only partially fulfilled or unfulfilled
  • an adequate command of subject matter
  • adequate explanation, development, and application of ideas, though lack of depth is evident
  • lack of independent thought or sustained analysis
  • inconsistent substantiation of claims
  • adequate organization, though lapses are evident
  • adequate expression—written or oral—though lapses in precision, fluency, and clarity are evident
  • adequate grammar, punctuation, documentation, and format, though errors are evident
2.00 grade points per semester hour
D The grade of “D” (“lowest passing grade”) designates:
  • insufficient fulfillment of the requirements and objectives of the assignment
  • an inadequate command of content
  • insufficient explanation, development, and application of ideas
  • unexamined, clichéd thinking and little analysis
  • inadequate substantiation of claims
  • inadequate organization, making the text hard to follow
  • inadequate expression—written or oral—with significant lapses in precision, fluency, and clarity
  • numerous and significant errors in grammar, punctuation, documentation, and format
1.00 grade points per semester hour
F The grade of “F” (“failure”) designates:
  • a failure to follow or complete the assignment
  • a failure to control or comprehend the content
  • a failure to sufficiently explain, develop, or apply ideas
  • a failure to analyze
  • a failure to sufficiently substantiate claims
  • a failure to organize the content, making the text or oral presentation largely incoherent
  • a failure to write or speak with any degree of precision, fluency or clarity
  • a failure to abide by the conventions of grammar, punctuation, documentation or format
0.0 grade points per semester hour
S Satisfactory Does not calculate into any gpa
U Unsatisfactory Does not calculate into any gpa
RI Incomplete (Remedial) Does not calculate into any gpa
RS Satisfactory (Remedial) Does not calculate into any gpa
RU Unsatisfactory (Remedial) Does not calculate into any gpa
W Withdrawal Does not calculate into any gpa, no credit granted
WD Withdrawal (First 6 Courses) Does not calculate into gpa, no credit granted
WW Withdrawal (All Courses) Does not calculate into gpa, no credit granted
WFL Withdrawal (7th Course or higher) 0.0 grade points per semester
AU Audit Does not calculate into any gpa
I Incomplete Does not calculate into any gpa
IP In Progress Does not calculate into any gpa
SP Satisfactory Progress Does not calculate into any gpa
EX Credit by Exam Does not calculate into any gpa
CR Credit Does not calculate into any gpa
TR Note for NSE/MLS Does not calculate into any gpa
LR Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade Does not calculate into any gpa
NG No Grade Does not calculate into any gpa
NR Grade not Reported by Instructor Does not calculate into any gpa
Grade* Academic Amnesty Does not calculate into any gpa

An Audit (AU) grade may be granted only when the student has elected the AU option on or prior to the census date of the term.

A Credit (CR) grade may be granted only for non-course credit that is not related to an examination or to equating transfer grades to the BOR grading system. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

An Examination for Credit (EX) grade may be granted only for non-course credit validation obtained through a validation process. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

An Incomplete (I) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.
  2. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is necessitated. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an incomplete.
  3. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.
  4. The instructor must agree to grant an incomplete grade.
  5. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.
  6. The coursework must be completed within one semester; extensions may be granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  7. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, RS, RU, or U.
  8. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time, the grade assigned will be F (Failure) or U (Unsatisfactory) or RU (Remedial Unsatisfactory) if the student had requested S/U within the time specified in SDBOR policy 2:6.9.

An In Progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.
  2. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before the class begins.
  3. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from their Department Head and Dean, and then approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus.

With the exception of an “I” that has not been completed within the specified time, any grade reported to the Registrar may be changed by recommendation of the instructor and college dean with approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Any graduating senior or graduating graduate student who receives an Incomplete or In Progress grade in the final semester in a course required for graduation, or who has not removed an outstanding incomplete or in progress from a previous semester in a course required for graduation by the date grades are due for the semester, will not be permitted to graduate that semester. He or she will be required to apply for graduation for a subsequent semester. Emergency situations require the filing of a petition by the student to his/her Academic Dean for approval prior to the final grading deadline for the final semester.

When the student has graduated and the degree has been recorded, the record is considered officially closed, and an instructor can no longer change a grade, including the “I” and “IP” grades.

A grade of NG will be used only with those course sections that are designated as Tracking/Program Sustaining (Q) and those that are assigned the code for Master’s Research Problems/Projects Sustaining, Thesis Sustaining, or Dissertation Sustaining (U).

Remedial grades (RI, RS, RU) may be granted only for courses numbered 001 to 099.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory System. The primary objective of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory System is to encourage students to attempt courses in areas they would normally avoid because of lack of background.

  • A student may enroll in up to 20 credits using the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory System.
  • These credits must be outside the student’s major and may not serve to satisfy university, college, or departmental specific requirements, unless program exceptions exist.
  • Colleges may further restrict the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit option.
  • A “D” letter grade or better is considered to be a passing grade in a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory elective.
  • Registration for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory electives will be accomplished only after registration day by Audit/Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory Form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option should be known only to the academic adviser, instructor, the student and the registrar.
  • Students may request to change from satisfactory/unsatisfactory elective to graded credit or vice versa only during the add period.
  • The grade (S or U) will be recorded on a student’s permanent record. A grade of S or U will not count in the computation of the semester or the cumulative grade point average. If the course is passed (grade of “D” or better), the credits will be counted towards graduation.

Note: Some courses are taught only on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis. Consult the specific department for more information.

A Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade may be granted only when the entire course requires the S/U grade or the student has elected the S/U option on or prior to the census date of the term.

A Satisfactory Progress (SP) grade may be granted only for students enrolled in MATH 095. If the grade of SP is awarded the following conditions apply:

  1. The grade is an alternative to RS and RU.
  2. The student must have made satisfactory progress during the course but the student did not develop mastery of all the required content. If the student successfully mastered the materials, the grade of RS should be assigned. If progress was not made, the grade of RU should be assigned.

Beginning with the Fall 2015 term, a grade of withdrawal (WD) may be assigned only six times during a student’s undergraduate career. If the student drops additional classes, a grade of WFL will be assigned. Withdrawal grades assigned to continuously enrolled students prior to this term will not count against the limit. Additionally, those withdrawal grades assigned at a non-Regental institution prior to entry as a transfer student will not be counted against the six course limits. This limit does not include W grades assigned if a student withdraws from all classes in a given term, which will be assigned a WW grade The campus chief academic officer may make exceptions to this requirement in those cases where there are unique factors.

Home Institution


Effective since fall 2003, all the universities governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents are in a merged environment in which credit earned by a student at any regental university, as well as all transfer work received and recorded from outside the regental system, is recorded on one “system” transcript. In this environment, students designate as their “home institution” the institution from which they seek their degree, and the home institution governs the policies affecting its students.

Institutional Research & Assessment


As part of SDSU’s commitment to academic excellence and providing quality programs, SDSU values the assessment and evaluation of its educational programs and services. These assessment and evaluation efforts are designed to measure the effectiveness of the general education curriculum, the knowledge and skills acquired in the major program of study, and students’ perceptions of their education.

To effectively assess and evaluate programs, the University assesses students at various stages of their educational program. Students are required to participate in assessment activities when requested.  Examples of assessment activities include standardized tests, surveys, focus groups, etc. Assessment information is collected upon entrance into SDSU and additional assessments occur throughout students’ academic careers, as part of graduation requirements. For further information contact the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Students Called to Active Military Service


(SDBOR Policy 2:30, SDBOR Policy 5:7)

Students who belong to a military unit called for duty or who are drafted and not eligible for deferment and who are required to withdraw from state supported institutions before completing an academic program to which they have been duly admitted will be eligible to resume work on the program after their release from active duty.  SDBOR Policy 5:7 (6) sets forth Board policies concerning special tuition refunds and related policies that take effect when students are required to report for active duty part-way through an academic term.

Student Code of Conduct


(SDSU Policy 3:1)

South Dakota State University has established standards for expected and acceptable behavior for members of its campus community. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards and related policies so that they know their responsibilities (what they may be held accountable for) and to protect their rights (what they may hold others accountable for).

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general support for the well-being of society. Free inquiry and expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on campus and in the community. Students are expected to exercise this freedom with responsibility. 

The Student Conduct Code is the basic guideline reflecting university-student relations. The Code defines student behavior, expectations and related university conduct procedures. Refer to SDSU Policy 3:1 (www.sdstate.edu/studentcode) for the Student Conduct Code policies and procedures.

Student Complaints - Institutional Record


To comply with federal regulations, the Higher Learning Commission expects SDSU and affiliated institutions to make available an account of the student complaints it has received, its processing of those complaints, and how that processing comports with the institution’s policies and procedures on the handling of grievances or complaints. (HLC Policy Number: FDCR.A.10.030)  Records will be kept with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Human Resources and departments responsible for student support and accountability. 

The complaint process is subject to the South Dakota Board of Regents policies, and will follow the institutional policies listed below:

Policy 2:4 Student Academic Misconduct and Academic Appeals
Policy 3:1 Student Code of Conduct
Policy 4:3 Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action
Policy 4:4 Harassment including Sexual Harassment
Policy 4:5 Prevention of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
Policy 4:6 Human Rights Complaints

These policies can be found at www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures.

Student Email


Email messages sent by SDSU to students through university-assigned, jacks email addresses will constitute an official means of communication. It is the student’s responsibility and obligation to access official university email messages in a timely manner. As other email accounts may be blocked by the SDSU firewall, SDSU is only able to monitor student emails coming from university-assigned email accounts.

Student Recording of Classroom Lectures & Distribution of Course Materials


(SDSU Policy 2:16)

Recording of Classroom Lectures and Distribution of Course Materials policy prohibits or restricts the recording of classroom lectures or redistribution of classroom materials in order to respect the integrity and effectiveness of the classroom experience, protect students’ and faculty members’ privacy, respect faculty and University rights in instructional materials, and to comply with copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”).  Refer to SDSU Policy 2:16 (www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures/section-2-academics) for the Recording of Classroom Lectures and Distribution of Course Materials policy.

Student Travel & Field Trips


Student Organization Travel and Field Trips

(SDSU Policy 2:12)
 
SDSU strives to promote safe travel by University students and members of the University’s recognized student organizations for certain student activities or trips, as well as set forth the University protocols for the certain activities or trips.  Refer to SDSU Policy 2:12 (www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures/section-2-academics) for the Student Organization Travel and Field Trips policy and procedure.

University-Sponsored Student Athletic Trip Regulations

  1. A written notification of all athletes participating in any off-campus event must be submitted to the Compliance Office prior to leaving for the off-campus athletic event. This notification must include the names of all students, mode of transportation, date and time of departure and return, and number of class days that will be missed due to the event.
  2. Athletes on university-approved athletic trips should have their own primary insurance coverage. The University provides secondary coverage for costs over primary limits or for athletes who do not have primary insurance. State-owned vehicles may be utilized if criteria established in the policy regulating use of state-owned vehicles are met. Drivers of personal vehicles must have liability insurance.
  3. Students are eligible for trips if 1) activities of the student have not been curtailed by actions of an authorized University judicial body; 2) no single trip shall keep students away from classes more than five (5) consecutive class days.
  4. If there are any changes in personnel going on a trip or changes in trip dates, these changes must be registered with the Compliance Office before the trip.

Students with Disabilities


South Dakota State University (SDSU) reaffirms that it is committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability/impairment in the offering of all benefits, services, educational and employment opportunities. The Coordinator for Disability Services has been designated the SDSU “Responsible Employee” to coordinate institutional compliance with the non-discrimination requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. In that capacity, the Coordinator is committed to ensuring that SDSU provides an inclusive learning environment.

The Coordinator will also be responsible for the effective integration of ADA procedures, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Coordinator serves as the personal contact for students seeking information concerning the provisions of the ADA and their respective duties and rights provided therein. The phone number for the Office of Disability Services is 605-688-4504; E-mail: sdsu.disability@sdstate.edu

Study Abroad & U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings


(SDSU Policy 2:11)

Study Abroad and U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings policy addresses the procedures to be followed when the U.S. Department of State issues a Travel Warning for a country in which University undergraduate or graduate students are studying or are planning to study. Refer to SDSU Policy 2:11 (www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures/section-2-academics) for the Study Abroad and U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings policy and procedure.

Textbook Policy


(SDSU Policy 2:10)

The SDSU Textbook policy and related procedures set forth the requirements for selecting and ordering textbooks and course materials and for making all materials available to students in a timely manner.  Refer to SDSU Policy 2:10 (www.sdstate.edu/policies-and-procedures/section-2-academics) for the Textbook policy and procedure.



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