2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 16, 2021  
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic General Information

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Academic Advising Role Statements


The overall educational objective at South Dakota State University is to guide each student in the attainment of intellectual and professional competency, growth of personal development, a sense of social and civic responsibility, and satisfactory adjustments in human relationships. Individualized attention to this objective is delivered through academic advising. Each student is assigned an academic adviser and is encouraged to meet with that adviser at least twice each semester to review plans/progress and to schedule classes. Academic advising, formal or informal, is provided by teaching, research, administrative, or service appointed faculty and staff. Academic advising is included in faculty workload assignments.

Purpose of Academic Advising:

Academic advising is formal and informal guidance intended to help students investigate, identify, and accomplish individual academic and career plans.

Goals of Academic Advising:

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

Role of the Advisee:

The advisee role in academic planning is to be involved, responsible, and committed to developing and implementing a future career, academic, and employment plan.

Rights of the the Advisee:

  1. The right to an adviser who fulfills the SDSU advising goals, role, and responsibilities.
  2. The right to know and have timely access to an assigned adviser.
  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 adviser assignment and the right to clear procedures for conveying concerns relative to quality of advising help.

Responsibilities of the Advisee:

  1. Responsible for initiating and advancing timely career and academic related plans and discussions with adviser.
  2. Responsible for initiating regular progress appointments and seeking adviser assistance when problems arise.
  3. Responsible for fulfilling additional requirements as agreed upon during discussions with adviser.
  4. Responsible for recognizing that the ultimate responsibility for timely completion of academic requirements rests with the advisee.

Role of the Academic Adviser:

The academic adviser role is to be a sensitive, knowledgeable, and skilled link that enhances the advisee’s relationship with the University. The academic adviser assists the student in achieving educational goals.

Responsibilities of the Academic Adviser:

  1. Maintain Advisee Records. Keep current advisee records and personal information in accordance with confidentiality requirements.
  2. Furnish Accurate Academic Information. Provide advisees with correct and relevant information about university, college, and departmental graduation requirements.
  3. Know Advisees. Know assigned advisees and their individual educational and career goals.
  4. Guide Major Program Planning. Recommend courses which correspond with advisees’ academic background and educational goals.
  5. Monitor Academic Decision-Making. Inform advisees about relevant alternatives, limitations, and possible consequences of academic decisions, including information on academic standards, appeals, and charges of academic dishonesty.
  6. Refer to Campus and Community Resources. Encourage and guide advisees to utilize available campus and community student help and student development resources.
  7. Encourage Timely Progress Toward Degree. Advocate timely planning and progress toward educational goals with prompt attention to problems.
  8. Advocate Professional Responsibilities. Help advisees recognize relevant institutional and / or professional responsibilities. Make recommendations to appropriate university officials when advisee behavior compromises professional and/or institutional standards to such an extent that professional disclosure is necessary.
  9. Retention. Support student through advising to increase probability of degree completion.

Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy/Title IX


In recognition of its legal and moral responsibilities, South Dakota State University reaffirms its commitment to provide equal opportunity for the education and employment of all persons, without regard for age, race, color, creed, ancestry, religion, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or veteran’s status through a continuing policy of Affirmative Action and non-discrimination. Positive efforts to further equality of opportunity in education and employment will be: 1) vigorously pursued; 2) conform to current legal requirements; and 3) be consistent with university standards of excellence and quality.

The “affirmative action” required to meet our responsibilities will include the statement and continual review of university policies relating to equal opportunity and non-discrimination, the collection and analysis of data, the formulation and implementation of procedure to ensure compliance with stated policy, and the continual monitoring of all administrative practices relating to these procedures.

It is recognized that the real success of an affirmative action program is measured more by good faith efforts in achieving compliance, and not solely in the accumulation of data, analyses, and reports. Analyses, planning, and programming help bring about desired results, identify problem areas, and permit rational scheduling of corrective action. Moreover, these activities give new insights into the dynamics of the university community and help sensitize all of us to the goal of equal opportunity.

In specific terms, this commitment to provide equal opportunity for all persons requires:

  1. The eradication of the effects of any past discrimination; and,
  2. The prevention of any present or future discrimination, including any potential discrimination which may arise as a result of the improper implementation of affirmative action practices.

In the final analysis, “affirmative action” is focusing of the University’s creative energies on the task of developing processes that enhance human development and institutional effectiveness.

Equal Opportunity questions and concerns regarding discrimination/ harassment prevention information, reporting discrimination, discrimination in education programs or activities, or complaint procedures can be directed to the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator in Human Resources (SAD 324; telephone 605-688-4128; Fax 605-688-5822).

Disability Policy Statement


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.

The Coordinator will also be responsible for the effective integration of ADA procedures, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Coordinator also serves as the personal contact for students, and visitors 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; TTD 605-688-4394. E-mail: sdsu.disability@sdstate.edu

Email Policy Statement


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.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (also known as the Buckley Amendment) is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s personal education records kept at the University. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of each student’s education records and covers matters relating to access to student records and the disclosure of such records. For complete information about these policies, please refer to the SDSU Student Policies Manual and the Records and Registration website.

Graduation Policies and Procedures

  1. Graduation Application - Date Due in Dean’s Office.
    Check the University Calendar in the Catalog or the Fall, Spring, and Summer Course Schedules for dates.
  2. Incomplete grades in courses required for graduation.
    Graduating Seniors and Graduating Graduate Students
    1. Any graduating senior or graduating graduate student
      1. who receives an Incomplete or IP grade in the final semester in a course required for graduation will not be permitted to graduate that semester but will be required to apply for graduation for a subsequent semester,
      2. who has not removed an outstanding Incomplete 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 but will be required to apply for graduation for a subsequent semester.
    2. Emergency situations require the filing of a petition by the student to the Dean for approval prior to the final grading deadline for the final semester.
  3. Incomplete grades in courses not required for graduation.
    1. The student’s record, up to the date of graduation, for that degree, is considered closed when the Registrar records the verified degree on the student’s record (3 weeks after grades are due for the final semester prior to graduation).
    2. After that date, removals of Incompletes for courses not required for the degree are no longer permitted. This policy also applies to grade changes or any other academic change to the student’s record.
    3. This policy has always been in effect but is reinforced in this policy statement.
  4. Graduation List.
    Submission by the Deans of the final verified graduation list to the Registrar’s Office.
    1. Deadline for verification of degrees to the Registrar by the Deans will be 3 weeks after grades are due for the semester.
    2. Prior to verification of the degree - all undergraduate transfer work in progress, or completed by the student, up to the date of graduation (whether required for graduation or not) must be evaluated by the Dean and recorded on the student’s academic transcript.
    3. It is the Dean’s responsibility to ensure all requirements are met prior to entering the student’s name on the final verified list.
  5. Notification to the student of above policies and procedures.
    1. Every student will receive an information letter and will sign off on these policies and procedures at the time the graduation application is filed with the Dean.
    2. The Registrar will include this policy and procedures statement with the graduation information sent to all graduating students each semester.

Non-Degree Courses


In addition to courses leading to degrees, the University offers special and outreach courses in several areas of interest. Some of these may be given for academic credit; others may be offered for Continuing Education Units. Consult the department head involved or the Office of Continuing and Extended Education, SWC 223 SDSU, Box 506, Brookings, SD 57007; 605-688-4154. E-mail: gail.tidemann@sdstate.edu

Policy on Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Harassment



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.

For these reasons, it is this institution’s policy that no form of harassment of employees, students, and others associated with SDSU is permitted under any circumstances. All reported incidents will be investigated promptly and acts of prohibited behavior will result in corrective action, including disciplinary action pursuant to the South Dakota Board of Regents Human Rights Complaint Procedures. Sanctions for employees include formal reprimands, suspensions without pay, reductions in responsibilities, and termination. Sanctions for students include disciplinary probation, suspension, and expulsion.

Policy Statement: Harassment on any grounds, directed against individuals, is proscribed.

  1. Sexual harassment in either of its recognized forms is proscribed:
    1. Sexual harassment may be established by showing that an individual has been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:
      1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or a condition of an individual’s participation or use of an institutionally sponsored or approved activity, employment, or resource; or
      2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational, employment, or similar decisions affecting an individual’s ability to participate in or use an institutionally sponsored or approved activity, employment, or resource.
    2. Sexual harassment may also be established by showing participation in the creation of an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment established under Section II below.
  2. Harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or harassment on any grounds, directed against individuals, may be established by showing:
    1. Conduct toward another person that has the purpose of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment and that interferes with his/her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.
    2. Conduct toward another person that has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment that adversely interferes with his/her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.
      1. Harassment consists, in most cases, of more than casual or isolated incidents.
      2. Consideration should be given to the context, nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incidents, whether they are physically threatening or humiliating as opposed to merely offensive utterances, as well as to the identity, number, and relationships of the persons involved.
      3. Harassment shall be found where, in aggregate, the incidents are sufficiently pervasive or persistent or severe that a reasonable person with the same characteristics of the victim of the harassing conduct would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with his/her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.
        1. The reasonable person standard includes consideration of the perspective of persons of the alleged victim’s race, gender, or other circumstances that relate to the purpose for which he/she has become the object of allegedly harassing conduct.
        2. If the victim does not subjectively perceive the environment to be hostile, the conduct has not actually altered the conditions of participation and there will be no violation of this policy.
          1. It is not necessary to show psychological harm to the victim to establish that the conduct would interfere with the person’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.
    3. Other conduct that is extreme and outrageous exceeding all bounds usually tolerated by polite society and that has the purpose or the substantial likelihood of interfering with another person’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.

Reporting Complaints/Grievance Procedure

University employees are required to refer all harassment complaints they receive (formal or informal, resolved or not) to SDSU’s Equal Opportunity Officer (Phone: 605-688-4128, SAD 324). Confidentiality will be maintained to the maximum extent possible in resolving the problem. If a complainant chooses to exercise his/her right to file a formal complaint, the South Dakota Board of Regents Human Rights Complaint Procedure will be used in the investigation and resolution.


Complainants, witnesses, and other persons who have assisted, testified, or participated in any manner in any phase of an investigation will be protected. This policy and applicable Board of Regents, State, and Federal regulations prohibit retaliation, coercion, interference and/or intimidation, or any other adverse act. Persons committing such adverse actions will be subject to disciplinary actions.

Policy on Institutional Record of Student Complaints


North Central Association (NCA) Policy

To comply with federal regulations, the Higher Learning Commission of NCA expects an affiliated institution to maintain records of formal, written student complaints filed with the offices of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Academic Officer, or Chief Student Affairs Officer. The records should include information about the disposition of the complaints, including those referred to external agencies for final resolution. These records will be available to the next NCA comprehensive evaluation team for review.

Purpose of These Guidelines

To comply with NCA policy IV. B.4 Institutional Records of Student Complaints adopted by the NCA, February 1998. The NCA has established this policy to comply with federal regulations for the maintenance of records of formal, written student complaints. SDSU, in turn, needs to be in compliance with the NCA policy.

Definition of a Complaint

This policy applies to complaints that are made formally, in writing, signed by the student and addressed to and submitted to an institutional officer with the responsibility to handle the complaint. Formal written complaints shall mean hand-delivered, mailed, or faxed written complaint. At SDSU, email complaints do not meet the definition of a formally submitted written complaint. (This process will not duplicate efforts of Human Resources on human rights complaints, Student Affairs on judiciary issues, or Academic Affairs or academic appeals.)

Responsible Institutional Officers or Their Representatives

For the purposes of this policy, these are the President or his/her Administrative Assistant, Vice President for Academic Affairs or Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs or Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs. Also key in recording these complaints are the Program Assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs and the Senior Secretary in the Office of Student Affairs.

Record of Student Complaints

The format established is a spreadsheet maintained in each of the three major offices to which a complaint can be submitted. It includes: the date the complaint was first formally submitted to an appropriate officer, the nature of the complaint (e.g., dispute about a grade, complaint about unfair class schedule, etc.), the steps taken by the institution to resolve the complaint, the institution’s final decision regarding the complaint including referrals to outside agencies, any other external actions initiated by the student to resolve the complaint if known to the institution (e.g., lawsuit, EEOC investigation, etc.).


The policy is effective beginning with September 1, 1998. Data will be merged from the three offices on an annual basis. The institution will provide evidence of tracking for a two-year period, at which time, the records will be kept, but will be placed in dormant status. (Office of Student Affairs will merge data annually and file it.)

Method of Notification to Students

This policy will be included in the student policy manual, which is a responsibility of the Vice President for Student Affairs. It will be addressed in the University catalog, which is a responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. It shall be regularly posted in residence halls, (responsibility of Office of Student Affairs). It will be distributed to the Students’ Association, (responsibility of Office of Student Affairs). It will be published in the Collegian, (responsibility of Office of Student Affairs).

Developed by Vice President Carol J. Peterson, Dean Robert Tomlinson, Ms. Linda Schumacher 10/98, Finalized 12/98. Updated 9/01 by Vice President Peterson and Dean Marysz Rames.

Student Code of Freedom and Responsibility


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. You are expected to exercise this freedom with responsibility.

The Student Code, which appears in the Student Policies Manual, is the basic guideline reflecting university-student relations. The Code defines your behavior, your expectations and related university conduct and judicial procedures.

Complete details concerning disciplinary procedures and regulations pertaining to residence halls, parking and traffic, student organizations and activities will be found in the Student Policies Manual.

Copies of the manual are available at the President’s Office, each Dean’s office, the Student Union, the Residence Halls, and the Student Affairs Office, and on the SDSU web site by clicking on Student Life, Judicial Affairs, and then Student Code.

Trip Regulations

  1. Students involved in trips related to university-sponsored activities as defined in the catalog under Purposes of the University or university-affiliated activities as scheduled by the Director of Student Activities or the Director of Residential Life must receive clearance for the trip. Permit forms are available from most departmental offices (ordered from Stores). The Application For Trip Permit form must be signed by the faculty sponsor and approved by the dean of the college or his/her designate, or the Director of Student Activities or his/her designate, and must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to the trip.
  2. Students on university-approved trips (excluding a ski trip, a rodeo club trip, or interscholastic athletics) are covered by a secondary accident-medical insurance policy. State-owned vehicles may be utilized if criteria established in the policy regulating use of state owned vehicles are met. Drivers of personal vehicles should have liability insurance.
  3. Students are eligible for trips if 1) activities of the student have not been curtailed by action of an authorized university judicial body; 2) no single trip shall keep students away from classes more than 5 consecutive class days.
  4. The faculty will honor trip absences approved by university officials where individuals or groups are absent in the interest of the University. Differences encountered between student and instructor will be arbitrated by the department head, dean, or Vice President for Academic Affairs, in that order.
  5. A Trip Absence Card for each student involved in the trip will be issued to the faculty sponsor upon approval of the trip permit. The Trip Absence Cards must be filled in and signed by the faculty sponsor and given to each student. Other faculty members are not required to honor incomplete cards. The student should show the card to his/her instructors in making arrangements to make up any work missed because of a trip, previous to going on the trip. The student should retain the Trip Absence Card until after final grades are received by the student.
  6. For insurance purposes, all intradepartmental trips (i.e., laboratory field trips, clinical experiences, etc.) that do not involve the missing of classes by the participating students shall be cleared through the department office or the college dean’s office, and a record kept of the number of students going and the dates of the trips. This record shall be summarized by each college dean and reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the end of each academic term.

University-Sponsored Student Athletic Trip Regulations

  1. A written notification of all athletes participating in any off-campus event must be submitted to the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) 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 HPER Office before the trip.