Elizabeth McKay Freeburg, Ed.S., Ph. D.
Director of Continuing and Distance Education
State Authorization Specialist
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Slagle Hall 102
Vermillion, SD 57069
The mission of the Division of Continuing & Distance Education (CDE) is to extend the academic resources of the University to the citizens of South Dakota, the region, and beyond so students can complete their educational goals. The Division of Continuing and Distance Education provides students the opportunity to obtain a degree, advance credentials, or simply learn more about a topic of interest through credit and noncredit instruction. The University of South Dakota is approved by the Higher Learning Commission (https://www.hlcommission.org/) to offer face-to-face to Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Yankton, South Dakota. For a list of degree programs, please contact CDE@usd.edu. Moreover, the University offers 34 undergraduate and 66 graduate programs (12 undergrad - 3 programs pending approval SU22) robust online degree and certificate programs facilitated by the Division of Continuing and Distance Education. Face-to-face field experiences and study abroad courses are extended throughout South Dakota, the United States and at select international locations. Furthermore, the Division of Continuing and Distance Education at the University of South Dakota also oversees Customized and Contract Education and Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Students are entitled to certain consumer protections, and USD is obligated to comply with certain state regulations, in the state in which they live while taking any USD course. This permission process is called “State Authorization” and includes any traditional, online, or hybrid program, or any course involving learning placements, outside South Dakota. A learning placement includes an activity such as internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, proctoring, etc.
To ensure any educational programs and/or learning placements a student is considering outside South Dakota have state authorization, and that a student is able to pursue these opportunities, the student should review the authorization map located at https://www.usd.edu/about-usd/state-authorization.
Admission into a distance education course or program is granted at the time of initial acceptance into the course/program and is dependent on availability in the state where a student lives at the time of admission. If a student moves to, or lives in, a different state after admission to the course/program, continuation within the course/program and Federal financial aid will depend on the availability of the course/program within the new state where the student lives. Whether military personnel stationed outside the state of South Dakota may enroll or continue in a USD distance education program is based on where military personnel are stationed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify USD’s Registrar of a change in location. Students are to send their new address to firstname.lastname@example.org from their USD email account and include their USD STUDENT ID number in the email.
International students are advised to understand and be apprised of the rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in the country in which they live; particularly: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs. If a student is considering enrolling in an online program, please check to ensure the online degree will serve its intended purpose.
Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification
The educational curriculum for an academic program may or may not meet educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If a student plans to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of the program, they should review that state and program on USD’s Licensure-Track Programs webpage at https://www.usd.edu/about-usd/licensure-and-certification-pass-rate.
Student Resources and Complaints
As of April 1, 2021, the University of South Dakota has no previous, current, nor pending adverse actions related to distance education that has been taken by an accreditation agency or state entity within the last five years.