Non-traditional students: What you need to know


Although starting a new school may be challenging enough, being a non-traditional student comes with its own set of challenges. Luckily, SDSU has resources and faculty to help returning adults transition back into school.

“Once admitted, [the returning student’s] next move is orientation,” said Adam Karnopp, Director of Orientation at The Union. Karnopp said non-traditional students have a “diversity of needs, wants and expectations [and] orientation is a good place to start.”

Attending either a one-day or two-day orientation during the summer months is your best choice. However, if you find yourself unable to attend, there is usually a one-day orientation on the very first day of the semester.

Starting spring of 2011, the SD Board of Regents approved a Bachelor of General Studies degree for returning adults who have earned 64 credits or more and would like to obtain a degree. Returning adults have a new “single-point of contact” within the College of General Studies, Student Services Facilitator Carey Kilmer. Kilmer helps students get prepared, from credit transfers to academic advising.

Kilmer said there are nine focus areas in general studies from which students can choose to successfully complete the program. These nine areas include: Allied Health, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Science/Engineering/Math, Technology and Wellness. Students need 128 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to successfully complete the program.

Kilmer assists adult and returning adult students, connecting them with the university and appropriate campus resources while helping them navigate through the admission and enrollment systems. She also provides general support for non-traditional students as they explore coming or returning to SDSU and as they progress through their degree program.

There are a variety of outlets for students to use in order to finish their general studies degree, Kilmer said.

“We offer this program on the main campus, online, and through the University Campuses in Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls,” she said. “One [graduate] will finish this spring, and a couple more this summer.”

Contact Adam Karnopp directly at (605) 688-6283 for orientation assistance and Carey Kilmer at (605) 688-4959 for assistance with completing your academic requirements.