2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 23, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Counseling & Human Development

Jay Trenhaile, Department Head
Department of Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 109/ Wagner Hall 369
605-688-4190 or 605-688-4321



Alan Davis, Jay Trenhaile

Associate Professors

Hande Briddick, William Briddick, Ann Michelle Daniels, Amber Letcher

Assistant Professors

Staci Born, Andrea Bjornestad, Christin Carotta, Aileen Garcia, Erin Lavender-Stott, Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, Katelyn Romsa


Gregory Howard, Lisbeth Leagjeld, Teri Johnson, Amy Pedersen


Valerie Albert, Melissa Granum, Amy Holm, Natalie Mook, Bonnie Shinn


Keith Corbett, Ruth Harper, Marla Muxen, Cindi Penor-Ceglian, Howard Smith


The mission of the Counseling and Human Development department is to provide high quality educational programs to learners who will work in human science fields, and to generate knowledge of human behavior, cognition, and interaction.

Students will participate in practical experiences designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for careers in individual and family service settings; child/adult focused human services, and/or continued coursework in graduate school.

For those students who are uncertain about a major, the Counseling and Human Development Department is home to the designated program for South Dakota State University with the Exploratory Studies program.  This selection of courses provides students an opportunity to explore a variety of academic areas prior to selecting a field of study.  The Exploratory Studies program is closely supported by university academic advisors, who help identify courses and experiences based on majors and career areas of interest.  Many of these courses are designated with the ACS prefix, which stands for Academic and Career Success.

The Department of Counseling and Human Development is one of the few public university departments in South Dakota that delivers programs at the main campus in Brookings, Community College for Sioux Falls, BHSU - Rapid City, and online.




Graduate Programs*

  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.Ed.) - Administration of Student Affairs Specialization
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - College Counseling Specialization
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Marriage and Family Counseling Specialization
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Specialization
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - School Counseling Specialization
  • Human Sciences (M.S.) - Developmental Sciences Specialization
  • Human Sciences (M.S.) - Family and Community Services Specialization

* Graduate degrees are offered in collaboration with the Graduate School. For details, see the Graduate Catalog.

Exploratory Studies Program for Undeclared Majors

SDSU allows students without declared majors to begin college work through its program for undeclared/deciding students. Deciding students are assisted in planning their college program and encouraged to explore various fields of study. Deciding student enrollment is normally for the freshman year as they are encouraged to choose a major within two semesters. Students are expected to be in good academic standing as they explore academic options and declare majors. SDSU has identified five (5) tracks of introductory coursework that will help students explore degrees within the major fields of study offered at our institution. When students apply to SDSU, they select a track of their choice during the application process. Each track exposes them to specific insights about careers and opportunities within specific fields of study.

Academic advisors assist first year students in the process of identifying their interests, aptitudes and abilities. Students work with advisors to plan out a program that will meet their interests and needs. The Department of Counseling and Human Development offers a two-credit course entitled ACS 102 - Exploratory Studies  which assists with career decision making strategies. First year students at SDSU also enroll in a two-credit ACS 119 - First Year Seminar , which helps them acclimate to college life and learn about SDSU resources. Transfer and non-traditional students enroll in ACS 219 - Transition Year Seminar .  A suggested first year schedule follows:

Freshman Year Fall   Spring
ACS 119 - First Year Seminar    2    
ACS 102 - Exploratory Studies   2 or 2
ENGL 101 - Composition I (COM) [SGR #1]   3 or 3
MATH 114 - College Algebra (COM) [SGR #5]  (or prescribed MATH course) 3 or 3
SPCM 101 - Fundamentals of Speech (COM) [SGR #2]   3 or 3
ACS 143 - Mastering Lifetime Learning Skills   3 or 3
Humanities Core Courses 3 or 3
Social Sciences Core Courses 3 or 3
Biological or Physical Science Core Courses 3-4 or 3-4
Interest Area Courses 3 or 3