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Contact Information

Rising Scholars Programs

Terry Piatz, Director



1200 S. Jay St.

Aberdeen, S.D. 57401


Phone: 605-626-7197

E-mail: Terry Piatz

The WolfPACT Scholarship
Guaranteed Scholarship
The largest guaranteed four year scholarship in the Midwest. Money you can count on. Get your ACT Score; find out your scholarship award. It's that simple!
Learn More!  
Rising Scholars Program at NSU
"NSU's dual credit course challenged me to produce college-level work and gave me the opportunity to know what a college-level class will feel like."

Rising Scholars student
Watertown High School, Watertown,S.D.
"The most beneficial part of taking a college class in high school was gaining a head start for college. I not only saved a large amount of money, it helped me decide on a college major."

Rising Scholars student
T.F. Riggs High School, Pierre, S.D.
"It is really nice to have those general [courses] out of the way for college. I appreciated getting to take the more challenging college courses while still in high school."

Rising Scholars student
T.F. Riggs High School, Pierre, S.D.
Through NSU's Rising Scholars program, high school students can earn credit toward high school graduation and a college degree at the same time!

• Save money - up to 88 percent of self-support tuition
• Get an early start on college courses while in high school
• Graduate from college earlier
College-level courses in many disciplines are available through Rising Scholars, including mathematics, English, history, biology, chemistry, art, management information systems and speech communications.
Rising Scholars classes are taught at participating high schools
High school on-site classes are taught by qualified high school instructors who also are qualified as NSU adjunct faculty. Qualified instructors will have a master's degree in the course discipline or a master's degree plus 15 graduate credits (18 credits in fall 2017) in the course discipline.

NSU and high school Rising Scholars instructors will meet regularly and work collaboratively to develop and implement curriculum. NSU faculty also support and evaluate the high school Rising Scholars instructors. Rising Scholars Program instructors also complete annual discipline-specific professional development.

Credits are Transferable
RSP credits are accepted by all South Dakota regental universities and most institutions outside the state. Students are responsible for consulting with the institution of their choice regarding transferability of credits earned. The final course grade will appear on an NSU transcript. Students can request an official transcript at Transcripts and Diplomas or print an unofficial transcript through WebAdvisor.

Students may choose to take the AP exam in addition to receiving college credit from NSU.


Qualified students should follow these easy steps to register:

  • Complete and submit the NSU Rising Scholars Registration Form. Upon submission, a confirmation message will be sent to the email address listed in the email address field.
  • Print the registration form, sign, get a parent/guardian signature, and deliver to your high school Rising Scholars teacher/coordinator. The high school is responsible for submitting the registration form to NSU.

For more information or help with registration, contact NSU Rising Scholars Director Terry Piatz or a participating high school.   

High school on-site 2016-17 course offerings
Art 121 - Design I 2D - 3 credits
BIOL 151 - General Biology I - 4 credits
BIOL 151L - Biology Lab - 0 credits
BIOL 153 - General Biology II -4 credits
BIOL 153L - Biology II Lab - 0 credits
CHEM 106 - Chemistry Survey - 3 credits
CHEM 106L - Chemistry Survey Lab - 1 credit
ENGL 101 - Composition I - 3 credits
ENGL 210 - Introduction to Literature -3 credits
HIST 121 - Western Civilization I - 3 credits
HIST 122 - Western Civilization II - 3 credits
HIST 151 - U.S. History I - 3 credits
HIST 152 - U.S. History II - 3 credits
Math 102  - College Algebra - 3 credits
Math 123 - Calculus I - 4 credits
SPCM 101 - Fundamentals of Speech - 3 credits

High School Census Dates/Withdrawal Dates

Eligibility Requirements
A Rising Scholars-eligible student must be a:

High school junior eligible to enroll in a high school in South Dakota who meets one of the following requirements:
  • Has achieved an ACT composite score of 24 reflective of the 70% percentile; or
  • Ranks in upper one-third of their graduating class; or
  • Has earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale;


High school senior eligible to enroll in a high school in South Dakota who meets one of the following requirements:
  • Has achieved an ACT composite score of 21 reflective of the 50% percentile; or
  • Ranks in the upper one-half of their graduating class; or
  • Has earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale;


Must have taken one of the assessments below and achieved the required score(s):
  • 10th Grade ACT Aspire Summative Assessment – (score 434 or higher)
  • ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills – (Score 86 or higher AND elementary algebra – Score 76 or higher)

Registration in English and math courses will require placement according to ACT/SAT/ACCUPLACER/SmarterBalance test scores.

Math Index Score Calculator
Beginning fall 2016 the South Dakota Board of Regents requires placement for Math classes be based on a minimum Math Index (MI) Score. The MI is a calculation of students ACT Math score and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Below is an MI Calculator, provided as an initial “unofficial” indicator of students placement eligibility. Enter the ACT Math score and current CGPA in the corresponding fields below. Next to each Math Course there is a Yes/No field. Where the response is “YES” indicates the student may be eligible for placement. The official MI calculation will be completed by NSU at time of registration.
MI Score Calculation
Rights and responsibilities
Rising Scholars students have all rights and responsibilities of NSU students. For more information, see the NSU Catalog and NSU Student Handbook.

For direct access to detailed information, see the topic links below:

Academic Advising
Academic Grievance
Academic Integrity
Academic Load (Course Load)
Consequences of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
Grading Standards
Non-Academic Complaint Policy

Cost and Payment

Students are responsible for paying tuition for Rising Scholar courses. Rising Scholars students pay $40 per credit hour ($120 for a 3-credit course and $160 for a 4-credit course). Tuition payments are due no later than published fall/spring census dates. Payments may be submitted via SDePay (electronic check or credit card) in a student's WebAdvisor account, or mailed to NSU Finance Office: 1200 S. Jay St., Aberdeen, S.D. 57401.

Students/high schools are responsible for textbook and lab costs.
Rising Scholars Program Evaluation
Participating students may provide feedback on the Rising Scholars courses and program. Student feedback is crucial to help ensure the program meets participating students' educational needs. When you receive the notification to participate in the evaluations below, please respond.

1. A student evaluation is available for every course. The course evaluations are administered by participating high school administrators.

2. High school graduates who participated in Rising Scholars courses will receive a survey within one year after high school graduation. The survey will be announced via email to the personal email address provided on the Rising Scholars registration form. The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey provides feedback critical to guiding Rising Scholars program improvement, and assesses student satisfaction with the program.  

3. Randomly selected Rising Scholars students will receive a survey four years after high school graduation. The four-year survey feedback is needed to evaluate long-term benefits to Rising Scholars participants.

Course Cancellation and Enrollment Levels
Rising Scholars classes may be cancelled prior to the individual Rising Scholars course established Census Date. More than 50 percent of the students enrolled in the high school class must be registered for college credit. Classes are subject to minimum enrollments (eight students).

Disability Services
Individual high schools participating in the NSU Rising Scholars program are responsible for providing disability services required by students enrolled in Rising Scholars Courses. Students will need to follow their high school's disability services policy.

The Rising Scholars Program is not associated with the Advanced Placement (AP) program or the NSU Center for Statewide E-Learning.