Feb 04, 2023  
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

State Authorization


Dakota State University (DSU) is an approved SARA institution. SARA provides standard expectations for institutional conduct and ensuring consumer protection. DSU is committed to complying with other states’ authorization regulations. 

South Dakota State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SD-SARA)

The South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR), on behalf of the State of South Dakota, has entered into an agreement to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). South Dakota’s agreement is through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which is one of the four regional education compacts who administer SARA. SDBOR has been designated by the state as the portal agency for SD-SARA and will administer SARA within South Dakota. SDBOR’s responsibilities as a portal agency include: accepting, reviewing, and submitting applications from South Dakota institutions wishing to participate in SARA, reviewing compliance, serving as liaison with SARA administrators from other states, and accepting and investigating student complaints.

NC-SARA establishes a state-level reciprocity process that supports the nation in its efforts to increase the educational attainment of its people by making state authorization more efficient, effective, and uniform. Membership in NC-SARA is voluntary for both states and institutions. Once a state becomes a member of NC-SARA, all degree-granting post-secondary institutions from all sectors (public colleges & universities; independent institutions, both non-profit and for-profit) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education are eligible to participate in SARA. Institutions that participate in SARA are authorized in all states who are Members of NC-SARA. Membership is voluntary for both states and institutions.

SD-SARA Policy

Federal Register Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, Vol. 81 No. 243 34 CFR Parts 600 and 668 Program Integrity and Improvement; Proposed Rules outlines new rules requiring educational institutions to disclose specific information related to distance education and correspondence programs.

State Authorization §668.50(b)(1)

Dakota State University (DSU) is committed to complying with other states’ authorization regulations. Please visit the DSU Online Degree site for locations where programs may be completed online or contact onlilne@dsu.edu for information.  If a student moves to or resides in a different state after admission to the program, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student resides. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the institution of a change in their state of residence. DSU does not provide all online programs in all states or countries. Please check to ensure the program you are interested in is offered in your state or country. While DSU does monitor laws in each state, authorization of distance education is a dynamic environment and you should check this site often for updates. Federal financial aid cannot be disbursed to a student if the student resides in, or changes his or her state of residence to a state where DSU does not meet state authorization requirements or, in the case of a program that may lead to professional licensure or certification, where the DSU program does not meet educational prerequisites for licensure or certification requirements in the state where the student resides.  Contact the DSU Office of Online Education online@dsu.edu for more information.

Related Information

DSU Accreditor Higher Learning Commission  

Programmatic/specialized accreditation information.

Undergraduate and Graduate, tuition information and fee schedules.

General information about DSU Financial Aid office and services.

NC-SARA Member State - Dakota State University (DSU) is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). As an institutional member of NC-SARA, DSU is authorized to deliver online programs in other NC-SARA member states.

Exempt by State Statute -Dakota State University (DSU) has received specific authorization from applicable state agency or DSU may be exempt from seeking specific authorization. Please visit the DSU Online Degree site for locations where a program may be completed online or contact onlilne@dsu.edu for information.

Not Authorized to Deliver Online Programs in the State/Country - Dakota State University (DSU) does not have authorization or may have chosen not to seek authorization to offer online degree programs in some states, U.S. territories, or countries. Please visit the DSU Online Degree site for locations where program may be completed online or contact onlilne@dsu.edu for information.

Complaint Procedures §668.50(b)(2)

Enrolled students can submit non-academic complaints. Individual complaints can be submitted electronically using the Concerns and Feedback form. The submission will be processed and reviewed.  The complaint procedures for SD-SARA can be found in Section 7 of SDBOR SARA Policy 1:29. Complaints must first be processed through the institution’s own procedures for resolution of complaints.

SARA Complaint Procedures

The complaint procedures for SD-SARA can be found in Section 7 of SDBOR SARA Policy 1:29.

SARA Complaint Procedures Flow Chart

SARA Complaint Resolution Form

The SD-SARA administrator will verify that all complaints have been received and processed by the institution and will not consider complaints that have not gone through the institutional complaint process. Complainants who processed their complaints through institutional complaint procedures but remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the institutional process may request that the SARA administrator review the institutional resolution of the complaint.

Complaints to the SARA administrator must specify:

The basis for believing that the institutional action is inconsistent with the accreditation or SARA requirements. The harm caused to the complainant by virtue of the inconsistency, and the corrective action that the complainant seeks. If the complainant alleges that institutional documents were misleading, the request should contain the portions of the catalog, letters or email exchanged between the complainant and the institution and should identify with specific statements that the complainant found to be misleading and what the complainant understood the statements to mean.

Notification of Complaint Process for Program Integrity

Complaints must first be processed through the institution’s own procedures for resolution of complaints. DSU enrolled students can submit non-academic complaints. Individual complaints can be submitted electronically using DSU Concerns and Feedback form. The submission will be processed and reviewed.

Any person may file a complaint with the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Regents to obtain a review and appropriate action on allegations that an institution governed by the Board:

•Violated South Dakota consumer protection laws;

•Engaged in fraud or false advertising;

•Violated South Dakota laws relating to the licensure of post-secondary institutions or programs;

•Failed to provide an educational program meeting contemporary standards for content and rigor;

•Failed to assign qualified instructors; or

•Violated one or more accreditation requirements.

Where the institution has not already considered and acted upon the complaint, the Executive Director will refer the matter to the institutional president for review and action. If the complainant challenges an institutional disposition of the complaint, the Executive Director will provide for an independent review and disposition of the allegations. The Executive Director may be contacted at: The Office of the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Regents, 306 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, South Dakota, 57501-2545; Phone: 605-773-3455; E-Mail: info@sdbor.edu.

§668.50(b)(3) State Complaint Processes and Contacts

Individual may submit complaints to the South Dakota Board of Regents the NC-SARA portal agency at 306 East Capitol Ave, Suite 200, Pierre, SD 57501; phone 605-773-3455; email info@sdbor.edu.   Contact agencies may be found below for enrolled students outside of South Dakota.

Accreditor Complaint Procedure
Institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools provides assurance to prospective students, parents, and others that an institution of higher education meets the agency’s clearly stated requirements and criteria. Institutional accreditation is the standard against which colleges and universities are evaluated for the quality of their education activities. The HLC is an independent organization founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The complaint process is designed to identify substantive problems with an institution’s ability to meet the Criteria for Accreditation. HLC’s policy on complaints provides a full description of the type of complaints that HLC will review. Instructions for filing a complaint.   https://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/complaints.html

Student Complaint Information by State and Agency                        

Contact Information for enrolled students outside of South Dakota

Students residing in other states while enrolled in a course offered by Dakota State University will utilize the institution’s internal complaint or review policies and procedures prior to filing a complaint with the state agency or agencies. However, if the complaint is not resolved through these processes, a student may use the following list to identify the office(s) in the state in which the student resides to which the complaint against any public institution in South Dakota may be filed. the appropriate state agency for the individual resident state. State Agencies and forms are found below. The contact information for each state is subject to change.

Student Complaint Information by State and Agency           
Oct 2018 update

Please note: Whenever possible this report used language provided by the state agency through the SHEEO Survey. In some cases, email correspondence and web site reviews were also incorporated.


Agency Name

Link to and/or Information about Complaint Process


Alabama Commission on Higher Education - Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning

Complaints for out-of-state institutions are referred to the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education (ADPE) for response. Please see the ADPE link below.

State Consumer Protection Offices: Alabama Office of the Attorney General  .

Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education - Office of Private School Licensing Division



Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education




Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education



Arkansas Department of Higher


http://www.adhe.edu/institutions/academic-affairs/institutional-certification- advisory-committee/

Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education



Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education


*note currently only for institutions regulated by BPPE. https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

*note that the CA AG Office may take complaints, but does not meet federal

requirements for the new July 1, 2018 regulations - if they take effect.


Colorado Department of Higher



Division of Private Occupational Schools



The Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher




Delaware Department of Education

The Delaware Department of Education will investigate complaints. Such complaints must be in writing and verified by the signature of the person making the complaint. Oral, anonymous or unsigned complaints will not be investigated. Until the web site is functional, please write or call for more information. The Delaware Department of Education; Teacher and Administrator Quality; John W. Collette Resource Center; 35 Commerce Way; Dover, DE 19904. The Delaware

Department of Education phone number is 302-857-3388.

District of Columbia

Education Licensure Commission



Commission for Independent Education- Department of




Nonpublic Postsecondary Education




Hawaii Post- Secondary Education

Authorization Program











Idaho State Board of Education

https://boardofed.idaho.gov/higher-education-private/private-colleges-degree- granting/student-complaint-procedures/


Indiana Department of Workforce Development


Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education



Illinois Board of Higher




Iowa College Student Aid




Kansas Board of Regents



Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education


Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education



Louisiana Board of Regents





Maine Department of Education, Office of Higher Education Services



Complaints shall be addressed in writing to the Maine Department of Education, Office of Higher Education, Augusta, Maine, 04333, with specific facts and allegations and signed by the complainant. The school shall be notified of any

complaints which are to be investigated. For more information, please contact Mr. Ángel Loredo, the Higher Education Specialist - Angel.Loredo@maine.gov.


Maryland Higher Education Commission

http://mhec.maryland.gov/institutions_training/Pages/acadaff/acadaffairsdepartm ents.aspx


Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure Office of Private Occupational School Education

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/dpl- lp/schools/students/information-for-students.html

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education



Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory





Minnesota Office of Higher




Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation



Commission on Proprietary School and College




Missouri Department of Higher


https://dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION- reviseddraft.pdf


Montana University System, Montana Board of  Regents



Nebraska Department of Education, Private Postsecondary Career Schools


Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary




Nevada Commission on Postsecondary


New Website Coming Soon! Per Kelly Wuest in Nevada (kdwuest@nvdetr.org) the new site will be up soon: www.cpe.nv.gov Only SARA portal information available at this time.

New Hampshire

Department of Education, Division of Higher Education, Higher Education



New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Center for Occupational Employment



Office of the Secretary of Higher Education


New Mexico

New Mexico Higher Education Department


New York

Office of College and University Evaluation


Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, New York State Education Department


North Carolina

The University of North Carolina Board

of Governors



The North Carolina Community College System (Office of Proprietary

School Services)


North Dakota

North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education


North Dakota University




The Ohio Board of Regents


Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools



Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education


Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education

http://www.okcareertech.org/about/state-agency/policies/policies-and- disclaimers/comments-or-complaints-policy

The Oklahoma Board of Private Schools

A Form is available by request to the OBPVS Staff but is not required. Unless a safety or other issue requiring an in-person investigation is alleged, a “Student,” complaint will be accepted and sent to the institution for a response that may then be forwarded to the complainant for further input. Nora Ann House, Director, 3700

N. Classen Blvd., Ste. 250, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, phone 405/528-3370, FAX

405/528-3366, nhouse@obpvs.ok.gov


Office of Degree Authorization



Department of Education Private and Career Schools


http://www.oregon.gov/highered/institutions-programs/private/Pages/private- postsecondary.aspx


Department of Education

http://www.education.pa.gov/Postsecondary- Adult/College%20and%20Career%20Education/Pages/Students-Complaints.aspx#tab-1

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Council on


NONE LISTED - in English http://www.ce.pr.gov/ Difficulty with google translate as well.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education


South Carolina

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education


South Dakota

Secretary of State (South Dakota Attorney General)



Tennessee Higher Education Commission

https://www.tn.gov/thec/for-students-and-families/transcript-requests-and- institution-complaints.html


Texas Workforce Commission


Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board



Utah Division of Consumer




Vermont State Board of  Education

http://education.vermont.gov/documents/postsecondary-program-complaint- resolution


Private & Out- of-State Postsecondary Education, State Council of Higher Education for  Virginia



Washington Student Achievement Council


Washington Workforce Training and Educ. Coord. Board


West Virginia

WV Higher Educ. Policy Commission

http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Student-Complaint- Process-revised.pdf


WV Council for Community & Technical College Education

http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Student-Complaint- Process-revised.pdf


Wisconsin Educational Approval Board



Wyoming Department of Education

http://edu.wyoming.gov/beyond-the-classroom/school-programs/private-school- licensing/

This document will be reviewed every 6-9 months.

*Based up on the SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers) “Compendium of (State Authorization) Laws and Regulatory Practices,” this summary was created with support from WCET’s (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) State Authorization Network. SHEEO and WCET collaborated in directing the work of NCHEMS (National Center for Higher Education Management Systems) in gathering, updating, and compiling the information.

If a student is not able to contact the appropriate agency in his or her state of residence, please contact the Offices of the South Dakota Board of Regents and assistance will be provided. Contact Information: 306 East Capitol Ave, Suite 200, Pierre, SD 57501; phone: 605-773-3455; e-mail: info@sdbor.edu

California: Pursuant to the terms of the proposed Federal State Authorization Regulation, institutions must document the complaint process for the students they have taking their distance courses in each state (Dowd & Poulin, 2018; Program Integrity and Improvement, 2016).  However, in the state of California, there is no complaint process for students because there is no board that governs public institutions (Dowd & Poulin, 2018; Public Policy Institute of California, 2016).  The only board governing higher education is the BPPE- the Bureau for Private Postsecondary education which accepts complaints for postsecondary private institutions (Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education, 2018; Public Policy Institute of California, 2016). Although the Attorney General of the State can receive complaints, there is no regulation assigning that role to them (Dowd & Poulin, 2018).  Moreover, the Office of the California Attorney General has consistently rejected this obligation, which would likely result in the Department of Education rejecting this action (Dowd & Poulin, 2018).  Since California is not a SARA state, students in California do not have a process to avail themselves of to address complaints (Dowd & Poulin, 2018).

Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education. (2018). How to file a complaint.  Retrieved from, http://www.bppe.ca.gov/.

Dowd, C. & Poulin, R. (2018). State authorization for distance ed federal regulation to be implemented on 07/01/2018. Retrieved from, https://wcetfrontiers.org/2018/04/19/state-authorization-for-distance-ed-federal-regulation-to-be-implemented-07-01-2018/.

Program Integrity and Improvement. (2016), 34 CFR 600. Retrieved from, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-19/pdf/2016-29444.pdf.

Program Integrity and Improvement. (2016), 34 CFR 668. Retrieved from, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-19/pdf/2016-29444.pdf.

Public Policy Institute of California. (2016). Higher education in California. Retrieved from, http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_0416HEBKR.pdf.

Consumer Protection

Allegations involving violation of consumer protection laws may also be filed with: Office of Attorney General Division of Consumer Protection 1302 E Hwy 14 Ste 3 Pierre, SD 57501 Phone (605) 773-4400 1-800-300-1986 (in-state only) Fax (605) 773-7163 CONSUMERHELP@STATE.SD.US  ONLINE COMPLAINT FORM 


§668.50(b)(4) & §668.50(b)(5) Adverse Actions Initiated by a State Agency

Dakota State University online education programs have no previous, current, or pending adverse actions initiated by any state agencies as of March 14th, 2018.

§668.50(b)(5) Adverse Actions initiated by an Accrediting Agency

Dakota State University (DSU) online education programs have no previous, current, or pending adverse actions initiated by any accrediting agencies Higher Learning Commission (HLC) DSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). There are two tracks to accreditation with the HLC. DSU follows the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) process. Our participation in AQIP reflects an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and to organizational learning and development. The AQIP process works in tandem with our existing strategic planning and project review processes. It provides a framework that focuses on data analysis and the achievement of its published goals and objectives. The alternate accreditation review process is every ten years. With AQIP, our accreditation is reviewed yearly in cycles and culminates in a Reaffirmation of Accreditation at the end of a seven-year cycle.   State of Accreditation Status for DSU

§668.50(b)(6) Refund Policies

Dakota State University follows the refund policy published by the South Dakota Board of Regents. For additional information review the DSU Tuition Refund and Withdrawal Policy, Return of Title IV Funds and South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 5:7Related Information

DSU Accreditor Higher Learning Commission  

Programmatic/specialized accreditation information.

Undergraduate and Graduate, tuition information and fee schedules.

General information about DSU Financial Aid office and services.

Individual Disclosures

§668.50(c)(1)(i) Prior to prospective student enrollment - determination of student home state PLC pre-education requirements.

§668.50(c)(1)(ii)(A) Each enrolled and prospective student - Adverse Actions initiated by a state or accrediting agency - 30-day notification

§668.50(c)(1)(ii)(B) Each enrolled and prospective student - Program ceases to meet PLC pre-education requirements - 14-day notification

Individual Disclosure Acknowledgment

§668.50(c)(2) “For a prospective student who received disclosure under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section and who subsequently enrolls in the program, the institution must receive acknowledgment from that student that the student received the disclosure and be able to demonstrate it received the student’s acknowledgment.”

Disclosure Requirements of Other States:

Florida -6E-1.0032

Fair Consumer Practices (advertising of expected salaries for graduates, making claims that are up-to-date with citations of the source of such claims, where and what other disclosures are required, as well as a list of institutional catalog requirements.  Also, notification if program doesn’t make the graduate eligible to take required professional examination in that field or practice regulated professions; also, licensure and accreditation status.

North Dakota - 15-18.1-17

Compliance with professional board registration and certification requirement. A postsecondary educational institution shall give written notification to potential students applying for enrollment in a course or program that customarily leads to professional registration or certification of the status of the course or program compliance with the registration or certification requirements of the appropriate professional board in the state. A postsecondary educational institution shall give written notification to all students enrolled in a program or course that customarily leads to professional registration or certification of any change in the status of the course or program compliance with the registration or certification requirements of the appropriate professional board in the state.

Massachusetts - 940 CMR 31.04 (7)
False or Misleading Statement Regarding Employment Opportunity and 940.31.05 In 2014, the Massachusetts Attorney General updated and amended 1978 regulations 940 CMR 3.10 with 940 CMR 31.00, specifically addressing for-profit degree-granting and non-degree granting institutions, including those that have no physical presence in the state but deliver distance education to Massachusetts residents.

Oregon - ORS 583-030-0035(8)

Standards for Schools Offering Degree Programs in or from Oregon (d).    Where a degree or certificate implies preparation for a specific occupation, the school shall explain clearly the true relationship between its curriculum and subsequent student qualification for occupational practice, including employment rates in the field and graduates’ success rates in passing licensure examinations if applicable.

Wisconsin - EAB 5.03

Misrepresentation of extent or nature of accreditation or approval. (3)   A school shall not falsely represent that a program has been approved by a particular industry, or that successful completion thereof qualifies the student for admission to a labor union, similar organization, or apprenticeship program, or for the receipt of a state or federal license to perform certain functions.

Professional Licensure/Certification (PLC) §668.50(b)(7)

Pre-education requirements

The curriculum for a number of degree programs at Dakota State University (DSU) have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in South Dakota and prepare students to sit for licensure exams in South Dakota. The various licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state and distance students with intent of returning or moving to any state other than South Dakota should be aware of the unique requirements for that state. Students seeking to establish licensure outside the state of South Dakota can find information pertaining to the licensure requirements in their state at the following location: www.BORInstitution/licensure. You are encouraged to engage with an academic advisor prior to beginning any online academic program that would lead to licensure, in order to best understand the licensure program in your intended state of residence.

Whenever possible, Dakota State University (DSU) will provide students information regarding whether our curriculum aligns with the requirements of your state licensing body.  However, we highly recommend that you contact the appropriate licensing boards for your intended profession and the DSU department advisor BEFORE you begin a program.  You can contact your department advisor or call 605-256-5049 or e-mail online@dsu.edu. DSU is working to comply with these requirements and will provide up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Programs that may lead to licensure/certification include, but are not limited to: Professional Accountancy, Elementary Education, and Elementary Education/Special Education.

Professional Licensure and Certification links and resources:

Teacher licensure requirements vary depending on state laws and may include several factors, such as:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program
  • Submission of transcripts
  • Completion and clearance of a background check
  • Passing of required entrance exams and basic skills tests
  • Application fee
  • Exam fees

DSU Office of Online Education with the assistance of the College of Education is creating a state list of requirements for teacher licensure in other states.  We will be posting our findings soon. Note: Listed requirements are current and are subject to change at any time, even during enrollment.

Students seeking to establish licensure outside the state of South Dakota can find information pertaining to the licensure requirements in their state in the following listing below. You are encouraged to engage with an academic advisor prior to beginning any online academic program that would lead to licensure, in order to best understand the licensure program in your intended state of residence. Call College of Education 605-256-5177 or email online@dsu.edu for further resources. Note: While we do our best to give you accurate and up to date information about your state requirements, we are not infallible. State requirements change frequently. It is your responsibility, and in your best interest, to double check certification and licensure requirements with your state’s Department of Education.