Feb 24, 2024  
Graduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2021-2022 
Graduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About DSU


Dakota State University or specific programs offered are accredited by the following agencies:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
    230 S. LaSalle St. - Suite 7-500
    Chicago, IL 60604-1413 • (312) 263-0456 • 1-800-621-7440
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Division of Education of the South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • State Approving Agency as programs eligible for veterans benefits
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Mission Statement

The Legislature established Dakota State University as an institution specializing in programs in computer management, computer information systems, and other related undergraduate and graduate programs as outlined in SDCL 13-59-2.2. A special emphasis is the preparation of the elementary and secondary teachers with expertise in the use of computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process.

The Board implemented SDCL 13-59-2.2 by authorizing undergraduate and graduate programs that are technology-infused and promote excellence in teaching and learning. These programs support research, scholarly and creative activities and provide service to the State of South Dakota and the region. Dakota State University is a member of the South Dakota System of Higher Education.


Degrees are authorized at the associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctorate levels.

The following curriculum is approved for the university:

  1. Undergraduate Programs
    • Associate degree programs are approved in health information technology, business management, network and security administration, software development, web development and general studies.
    • Baccalaureate programs are approved in health information administration, business, computer game design, digital arts and design, education, English, information systems, artificial intelligence, computer science, network and security administration, cyber security, mathematics, analytical science and general studies.
  2. Graduate Programs
  • Master’s degree programs are approved in education, information systems, cyber operations, health informatics and information management, analytics, computer science and business administration.
  • Doctorate of Philosophy degree programs are approved in information systems, cyber defense, cyber operations and computer science.

Strategic Plan

Mission:  Dakota State University provides learning that integrates technology and innovation to develop graduates ready to contribute to local, national, and global prosperity.

Vision:  Building upon its distinctive mission, DSU will become: 

  • The university of choice for those seeking a student-centered institution that offers innovative programs grounded in teaching, research, technology, scholarship, and service excellence.
  • An academic community that serves as an economic engine in local, national, and global markets.
  • A campus recognized for its achievements in continuous quality improvement.

Values:  At Dakota State University, we value

  • Student Success.
  • University-wide Excellence.
  • Distinction in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.
  • Academic Freedom and Integrity.
  • Diversity, Respect, and Inclusion.
  • Change and Continuous Improvement.
  • Community, Collaboration, and Communication.
  • Technology and Innovation inside and outside the classroom.

Goals and Initiatives:

Educate to Inspire:  Dedicated to Academic Quality and Excellence.

  • Offer innovative and robust academic programs that link to our mission.
  • Advance inquiry, scholarship, research, and creative activity.
  • Provide opportunities for experiential learning within the curriculum.
  • Infuse innovative technology in the delivery of academic programs.
  • Support clear and defined learning outcomes to ensure that DSU graduates are competitive in their fields.

Grow to Thrive:  Dedicated to Student Access and Success.

  • Optimize undergraduate and graduate enrollment.
  • Recruit a more diverse student, faculty, and staff population.
  • Support a quality co-curricular educational experience.
  • Create a campus environment that supports student engagement and learning.

Innovate to Transform:  Dedicated to Continuous Improvement.

  • Focus on maximizing cost-effectiveness and supporting the development of new resources to support the university’s mission.
  • Through continuous quality improvement, DSU will evaluate university-wide processes to promote a student-friendly environment.
  • Create a campus culture that promotes transparent decision making, effective communication, and shared governance.
  • Improve brand awareness regionally, nationally, and globally.

Collaborate to Lead:  Dedicated to Internal and External Partnerships.

  • Develop a robust University Advancement program that increases resources for scholarship, facilities, and faculty/staff development.
  • Expand industry, government, and K-12 partnerships to enhance the student educational experience.
  • Increase alumni involvement through university-wide programs that engage both current and former students.

Campus Diversity and Inclusion

Mission statement

Dakota State is committed to building an inclusive and diverse university community. Every student, faculty, and staff member, -whatever their race, gender, age, ethnicity, cultural heritage or nationality; religious or political beliefs; sexual orientation or gender identity; or socioeconomic, veteran, ability status, or other identifiable statuses -has the right to inclusion, respect, and voice in the DSU community. Further, all members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold these values and actively foster full participation in university life.

Vision statement

Dakota State University aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas - an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard.

Dakota State University’s History

Dakota State University was founded in 1881 as Dakota State Normal School, the first teacher education institution in Dakota Territory. Its mission was to recruit and educate young adults to become teachers for the growing communities in the region.

Over the decades, the university’s programs of study have evolved. In 1888, commercial studies were added, the forerunner to today’s majors in the College of Business and Information Systems. Humanities courses were added throughout the years as well, now gathered under the College of Arts & Sciences. Future elementary, secondary, and special education teachers continue to study in the College of Education.

Along with these program additions, there were several name changes, including Dakota Normal School, Eastern State Teachers College, General Beadle State College, and Dakota State College.

The biggest change for the university came in 1984, when the South Dakota Legislature and the South Dakota Board of Regents changed the mission of Dakota State to include and emphasize computer technology and information systems. The purpose of this legislative action was two-fold: it addressed economic development in the state, particularly in reference to the growing banking and financial services industry; it also added a technology focus to all program offerings.

To fulfill this mission, DSU faculty developed leading-edge computer technology and information systems degree programs. Several program developments led to new graduate degree programs, so on July 1, 1989, the South Dakota Legislature changed the name to Dakota State University, to reflect the expansion of the university’s degree options.

Dakota State University’s innovative curriculum led to national recognition. In 2004, DSU was one of ten colleges in the country named a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency. The university now has CAE distinctions in cyber defense education, cyber defense research, cyber operations, and is a CAE regional resource center.

Additionally, DSU is one of a few universities in the country that partners with the NSA National Cryptologic School, through which NSA military and civilian employees are able to finish undergraduate and graduate degrees in cyber operations. Dakota State also has articulation agreements with the Community College of the Air Force; students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree in Cyber Leadership and Intelligence, or take general education courses.

DSU has also focused on applying computer technology to traditional academic fields, leading to the development of unique, technology-focused degree programs in business, English, and art, to name a few. Traditional majors in the College of Business and Information Systems, such as accounting and finance, are infused with technology; new, technology-focused business programs of study include computer information systems and health information administration. English students major in English for New Media; fine arts students major in three specializations under the Digital Arts and Design degree, computer graphics, digital sound design, or production animation. All of DSU’s education majors receive a technology endorsement upon graduation.

To increase student access to the technology-centric programming, Dakota State University was the first university in the state – and one of the few in the country – to implement a wireless mobile computing initiative by providing all students with computer notebooks in 2004. This Wireless Mobile Computing Initiative continues today: all on-campus students receive a laptop when they begin their studies.

For 18 of the last 21 years, Dakota State University has seen steady increases in enrollment. Many are on-campus students, but to reach broader audiences, including non-traditional, rural, and international students, the institution began offering distance course options in 1989. Several undergraduate programs and all DSU’s graduate programs are now offered online.

Whether on campus or online, graduates of DSU programs enjoy enviable status in the national marketplace with an overall 99% placement rate, and in many programs that number is 100%.

In 2019, Dakota State’s leadership in all things cyber continued to rise with the opening of the Madison Cyber Labs, a research, development, and economic opportunity facility that is the first of its kind in the area. Work that will take place in the 40,000 square foot MadLabs building will drive innovation and ideas from DSU into the South Dakota economy, the Great Plains, and the nation, and draw talent to the state and region.

From its start as a small college on the prairie, Dakota State University is on an inspirational and world-changing trajectory to be a forward-thinking, innovative, technology-fueled organization. In the future, Dakota State will continue to foster true innovation and active engagement in teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and service.

Equal Opportunity

Dakota State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal educational opportunity in all student services and in all staff and faculty employment actions, without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

Institutional Administration

Governance and Organization of the University

Dakota State University is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents and operates under the policies and regulations of the Regents. The President is the chief executive officer of the University. The principal officers of the University are the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Business & Administrative Services, the Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs, Vice President for Human Relations, Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement.  The general faculty oversee the policies and regulations governing academic and student affairs of the university. Committees are elected or appointed to address matters of importance to students and the faculty.

Executive Administration

  President Jose’-Marie Griffiths
  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Interim Richard Hanson
  Vice President for Business and Administrative Services Stacy Krusemark
  Vice President for Student Affairs, Interim Amy Crissinger
  Vice President for Institutional Advancement Jon Schemmel
  Vice President for Human Resources Angi Kappenman
  Vice President for Research and Economic Develoment Ashley Podhradsky

 Academic Administration

  Dean, College of Arts and Sciences David Kenley
  Dean, College of Business and Information Systems Dorine Bennett
  Dean, Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences Pat Engebretson
  Dean, College of Education Mark Hawkes (interim)
  Dean, Graduate Studies Mark Hawkes

Library Staff

  Jan Enright Director of the Karl Mundt Library
  Mary Francis Reference Librarian, Associate Professor
  Ryan Burdge Archivist

Graduate Faculty

KATIE Anderson (2014), Instructor of Reading and Language Arts

      B.S., University of South Dakota
      M.S., Black Hills State University
      Ed.D., Walden University
RICHARD I. AVERY (1998), Professor of Mathematics

B.S., University of New Hampshire
M.A.T., University of New Hampshire
M.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

KRISTEL BAKKER (1998), Professor of Biology

B.S., South Dakota State University
M.S., South Dakota State University
Ph.D., South Dakota State University

DORINE BENNETT (1987), Professor and Dean of the College of Business & Information Systems,  RHIA, FAHIMA,

B.S., Dakota State University
M.B.A., University of South Dakota
Ed.D., University of South Dakota

STACEY L. BERRY (2010), Professor of English for New Media

B.A., Austin State University
M.S., Northern Illinois University
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

DAVID BISHOP (2016), Associate Professor of Information Systems

       B.S., Western Washington University
       M.S., Dakota State University
       D.Sc., Dakota State University 

JUSTIN BLESSINGER (2003), Professor of English

B.A., Tabor College
M.A., Emporia State University
Ph.D., University of South Dakota

BRAMWELL BRIZENDINE (2018), Assistant Professor of Computer & Cyber Sciences

        A.A., Walla Walla Community College
        AAAS, Walla Walla Community College
        B.A., Washington State University
        M.S., Dakota State University
        Ph.D., Dakota State University

YEN-LING CHANG (2010), Associate Professor of Finance

       B.S., National Cheng Chi University
       M.B.A., National Cheng Chi University
       M.S., Iowa State University
       Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington

DALE DROGE (1992), Professor of Biology and Academic Coordinator for Math and Science

B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

OMAR EL-GAYAR (2000), Professor of Information Systems

B.S., M.S., University of Alexandria (Egypt)
M.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa
Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa

KARI FORBES-BOYTE (2005), Professor of Geography

B.A., California State University, Sacramento
M.A., California State University, Chico
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

MARK GEARY (2006), Associate Professor of Education

B.A., University of Central Florida
M.A., University of Central Florida
Ed.D., University of Central Florida

ROBERT GIRTZ (2017), Assistant Professor of Business & Economics
       B.S., St. Cloud State University
       M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
       Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University

TOM HALVERSON (1999), Associate Professor of Computer Science

B.A., University of Minnesota-Morris
M.S., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Iowa

MICHAEL HAM (2013) Assistant Professor of Cyber Security/Network & Security

       B.S., Dakota State University
       M.S., Dakota State University
       D.Sc., Dakota State University

MARK HAWKES (1999), Professor of Instructional Technology, Dean of the Graduate Studies

B.S., Brigham Young University
M.S., Brigham Young University
Ph.D., Syracuse University

ROBERT J. HONOMICHL (2009) Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems

B.S., Dakota State University
M.S.Ed., Dakota State University

VIKI JOHNSON (2006), Assistant Professor of Sociology

B.A., Dickinson State University
M.S., North Dakota State University
Ph.D., University of North Dakota

STEPHEN KREBSBACH (2000), Professor of Computer Science and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Ph.D. CS

B.S., Moorhead State University
M.S., Moorhead State University
Ph.D., North Dakota State University

JUN LIU (2012), Associate Professor of Information Systems and Graduate Program Coordinator for MSA

         B.A., Nanjing University, China
         M.S., University of Arizona
         Ph.D., University of Arizona

JAMES MCKEOWN (1989), Lecturer of Computer Education

B.S., South Dakota State University
M.A., Teachers College / Columbia University
Ph.D., University of Iowa

SCOTT MORSTAD (2017), Assistant Professor of Accounting & Business Law
B.A., Augustana College
       J.D., University of South Dakota

GABE MYDLAND (1998), Associate Professor of Education

B.S., Augustana College
M.S., South Dakota State University
Ph.D., University of South Dakota

JENNIFER NASH (2005), Associate Professor of Science Education

B.S., Minnesota State University, Mankato
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

CHERIE NOTEBOOM (2009) Professor of Management Information Systems and Graduate Program Coordinator for Ph.D. Info Systems

B.S., South Dakota State University
M.B.A., University of South Dakota
E.D., University of South Dakota
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Omaha

AUSTIN O’BRIEN (2015), Associate Professor of Computer Science

      B.S., South Dakota State University
      M.S., South Dakota State University
      Ph.D., South Dakota State University

CHRIS OLSON (2006), Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems

B.S., Dakota State University
M.S., Dakota State University
Ph.D., Northcentral University

JEFFREY PALMER (1991), Professor of Mathematics

B.A., Bemidji State University
B.S., Bemidji State University
M.S., Washington State University
Ph.D., Washington State University

INSU PARK (2014) Associate Professor of Information Systems

         B.C., Hanyang University
         M.S., Hanyang University
         Ph.D., State University of NY, Buffalo

ASHLEY PODHRADSKY (2012), Professor, Associate Dean, Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences

B.S., Dakota State University
M.S., Dakota State University
Ph.D., Dakota State University

MICHAEL ROACH (2002), Assistant Professor of Economics
       B.S., University of South Dakota
       M.B.A., University of Sioux Falls
       Ph.D., Capella University

RONGHUA SHAN (1998), Professor of Computer Science/Information Systems and Graduate Program Coordinator for MSIS

B.E., Zhejiang University of Technology, Zhejiang, China
Post Graduate Diploma - China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing, China
M.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

KEVIN SMITH (2013), Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and Program Coordinator for MSET

       B.S.Ed., Dakota State University
       M.Ed., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
       Ed.D., University of Memphis

MARK SPANIER (2015), Assistant Professor of Cryptography
  B.S., North Dakota State University
       Ph.D., North Dakota State University

RENAE L. SPOHN (2012), Assistant Professor of Health Information Management, RHIA, CPHQ, FAHIMA, FNAHQ, and Program Coordinator for MSHIIM

         A.S., Colorado Technical University
         A.S., Dakota State University
         B.S., Dakota State University
         M.B.A., City University (Bellevue, WA)
         Additional study, Colorado Technical University

KEVIN STREFF (2002), Professor of Information Assurance and Program Coordinator for the MSCD

B.B.A., Dakota State University
M.B.A., Temple University
Ph.D., Capella University

JOSH STROSCHEIN (2013), Associate Professor of Computer Science

       B.S., University of South Dakota
       M.S., Dakota State University
       D.Sc., Dakota State University

DANIEL TALLEY (1996), Professor of Economics

B.S., University of Puget Sound
Ph.D., University of Oregon

DEB TECH (1999), Associate Professor of Marketing

B.A., Concordia Teachers College
M.B.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ph.D., Northcentral University

BRENT TULLOSS (2001), Lecturer of Information Systems

B.S., Dakota State University
M.S., Dakota State University

JACK WALTERS (2005), Professor of Management and Graduate Program Coordinator for the MBA

B.S., University of Pennsylvania
M.S., University of South Florida
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

YONG WANG (2012), Associate Professor / Senior Researcher

         B.S., Wuhan University, China
         M.Eng., Wuhan University, China
         Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

JULIE WULF-PLIMPTON (2016), Assistant Professor of Health Information
         B.S., Dakota State University
         M.S., Dakota State University