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Quality Initiative

As part of the University's on-going accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), South Dakota State University has identified assessment of student learning as its Quality Initiative (QI). The QI is an important component of the institutional improvement process in the Open Pathway

Due to the focus on the assessment of student learning, SDSU applied and was accepted to the HLC Assessment Academy.

Membership Lists

List of Members - April 2018


  • Teresa Seefeldt, Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Wintrode Student Success Center

  • Linde Murray, Tutoring/SI Coordinator

Honors College

  • Sharon Smith, Associate Professor, English

Briggs Library

  • Nancy Marshall, Professor/Librarian

Graduate School

  • Kinchel Doerner, Dean, Graduate School

Continuing and Distance Education

  • Carey Kilmer, Assistant Director, CDE


  • Jason Zimmerman, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Department Heads

  • Will Prigge, Professor and Department Head, History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion
  • Van Kelley, Professor and Department Head, Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineering
  • Jason McEntee, Professor and Department Head, English

Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

  • Jana Hanson, Director, Institutional Assessment (Co-Chair)

Division of Student Affairs

  • Sam Jennings, Dean of Students

Students’ Association

  • Nick Lorang, Student, Biology and Communication Studies

Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access/International Affairs

  • Kas Williams, Acting Director

Professional Staff Council representative

  • Marj Thompson, Academic Advisor, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

Office of Academic Affairs

  • Mary Kay Helling, Vice Provost, Co-Chair

QI/Academy for Assessment of Student Learning Executive Team Members - May 2018

Dean of Students
Division of Student Affairs

Will Prigge
Associate Professor and Department Head
History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Teresa Seefeldt
Associate Professor
Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions

Sharon Smith
Associate Professor
English, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Assessment Academy Opening Session

  • Aug. 14, 2018 | 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | McCrory Gardens

Welcome to the opening session of the South Dakota State University’s Assessment Academy!

  • Today’s main objectives:
    • Provide insight into creating a culture of learning.
    • Provide overview of the assessment of student learning process.
    • Build an assessment community through engagement and network opportunities with others.
    • Provide overview of assessment workshops.

8:30-8:45 - Registration and Refreshments 

8:45-9:00 - Welcome (Mary Kay Helling, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Sam Jennings, Dean of Students; Kinchel Doerner, Dean, Graduate School)

9:00-10:30 - Keynote address (Susan Hatfield, HLC) “What does a strong culture of assessment look like?” 

10:30-10:45 - Break 

10:45-11:30 - Table Topics

11:30-12:00 - SDSU Assessment Academy Overview (Jana Hanson, Director of Institutional Assessment)

12:00-1:00 - Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:00 - Open session with Susan Hatfield (academic units): McCrory Gardens Room 110

2:00-3:00 - Open session with Susan Hatfield (co-curricular units): McCrory Gardens Room 110

Susan R. Hatfield, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, Communication Studies  
Winona State University 
Senior Scholar, Higher Learning Commission 

Susan Rickey Hatfield taught at Winona State University from 1981 until her retirement in 2015. While at WSU, she taught in the Communication Studies department, served for nine years as chairperson of that department, and also served for 14 years as WSU’s Assessment Coordinator. Currently, Hatfield is a senior scholar with the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy projects.

Over the course of her career, Hatfield has worked with numerous departments on developing and implementing plans to assess student learning at the program level. She also worked with programs as they prepared their professional accreditation portfolios for organizations such as ABET, AACSB and NCATE.

Publications include several book chapters and articles, as well as the book The Seven Principles in Action, which she served as editor and a chapter author.

She completed her undergraduate degree in education and Master's degree in organizational communication from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She earned her doctorate in communication theory from the University of Minnesota.

Hatfield is married to Tim Hatfield, Professor Emeritus at Winona State University.