2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 20, 2020  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic General Information

The South Dakota State University Policy and Procedure Manual may be viewed online at:  www.sdstate.edu/policies.   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 supercede 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:  www.sdbor.edu/policy/policymanual

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

Academic Advising Role Statements

The overall educational objective of South Dakota State University is to guide each student in the attainment of intellectual and professional competence, 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. 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 developing and implementing a future career, academic, and employment plan.

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 and the right to clear procedures for conveying concerns relative to quality of advising help.

 Responsibilities of the Advisee

  1. Initiate and advance timely career and academic related plans and discussions with advisor.
  2. Initiate regular progress appointments and seek advisor assistance when problems arise.
  3. Fulfill additional requirements as agreed upon during discussions with advisor.
  4. Recognize that the ultimate responsibility for timely completion of academic requirements rests with the advisee.

Role of the Academic Advisor

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

Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor

  1. Furnish Accurate Academic Information. Provide advisees with correct and relevant information about university, college, and departmental graduation requirements.
  2. Know Advisees. Know assigned advisees and their individual educational and career goals.
  3. Guide Major Program Planning. Recommend courses which correspond with advisees’ academic background and educational goals.
  4. Maintain Advisee Records. Keep current advisee records and personal information in accordance with confidentiality requirements.
  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.
  10. Develop Advising Knowledge and Skill. Participate in professional development activities that will enhance advising knowledge and skills.

Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy/Title IX

South Dakota State University Non-Discrimination Policy

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

It is the policy of SDSU not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, transgender status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all benefits, services, and educational and employment opportunities.

As part of this policy, SDSU has designated a Title IX/EEO Coordinator to assist individuals with any concerns about discrimination or harassment in education programs or activities.

Concerns should be reported directly to the Title IX/EEO Coordinator. 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 polices can be found at http://www.sdstate.edu/policies/.


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 investigation 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

  • 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/EEO Coordinator.

Reporting Concerns

To report your concerns, you are welcome to speak directly to the Title IX Coordinator.

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

SDSU has recently 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 may 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 faculty, staff and students.

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.

For More Information

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


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. 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

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 Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

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 International Affairs and Outreach - Continuing and Extended Education, Briggs Library Room 119, Box: 2115 Brookings, SD 57007; 605-688-4154.  E-mail: distance@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 prohibited.

  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 designee or successor, Vice President for Academic Affairs, designee or successor, Vice President for Student Affairs, designee or successor. 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. Students 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 student behavior, 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 on the SDSU web site by searching 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 approval for the trip. The authorized request form is available via the Academics site on Inside State. The Authorization Request form must be signed by the faculty sponsor and approved by the department head or his/her designate. This must be forwarded and must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs one week prior to the trip.
  2. State-owned vehicles may be utilized if criteria established in the policy regulating use of state owned vehicles are met.
  3. Students are eligible for trips if the trip sponsor affirms the following on the official “Student Activities/Trips Authorized Request Form for University-Sponsored/Recognized Trip” form:
    • He/she believes that the trip if of greater importance to the student than the classes and other work that the student will miss;
    • He/she has advised each student that, before taking the trip, each student must make arrangements for any work which will be missed because of the trip and has given each student a “trip absence card” to facilitate these requirements;
    • The trip will not cause the student to miss more than five class days or to be absent during finals week;
    • He/she has attained and has in their possession for the trip a signed Release and Waiver of Liability; Assumption of Risk Agreement; Indemnity Agreement; and Consent to Medical Treatment and Emergency Contact Form on each student; and an itinerary of the trip is in their possession
  4. 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 Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in that order.
  5. Trip Absence Card for each student involved in the trip will be issued by the Office of Academic Affairs and given to the faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor will provide these 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. All intradepartmental trips (i.e., laboratory field trips, clinical experiences, etc.) that do not involve students missing classes shall also be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs office for approval via the authorized request form by the date of the trip.

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.