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All About Honors

Mission Statement

The Mission of Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College at South Dakota State University is to provide talented, motivated students with a personalized, engaging, distinctive academic and enrichment experience that will position them for success as lifelong learners and leaders.

Vision Statement

We will provide the rigor, opportunity and community necessary to equip our graduates with the skills and ethic to go into the world reaching under-served audiences, elevating those around them and using their gifts in service of others.

We serve as an engine of opportunity to elevate, enrich and enliven the student experience at South Dakota State University.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Effectively communicate ideas and beliefs with clarity, civility and respect.
  • Analyze and integrate multiple sources of information and demonstrate applications of critical thinking.
  • Articulate personal values, beliefs and self-identity.
  • Articulate the value of diversity, inclusion and equity.
  • Demonstrate professionalism in a variety of contexts.

Guiding Values

  • Academic quality - The Honors College represents the university’s highest academic ideals. Honors students practice higher order thinking skills in rigorous academic environments, guided by passionate, committed teachers and scholars, and characterized by excellence in pedagogy and mentoring.
  • Collaboration, integration and broader view - The Honors College engages in strong, trusting relationships with partners on and off campus. Rich new perspectives are developed that enhance the academic experience of our faculty and students through involvement in regional, national and international organizations, and by promoting participation in nationally and internationally recognized fellowship, internship and scholarship programs.
  • Diverse perspectives and multidisciplinary approaches- The Honors College values, embraces and supports diversity in all its forms. By encompassing diverse people, cultures, disciplines, ideas and experiences, the Honors student’s education is enhanced. With a classic interpretation of the role of the university and a campus-wide presence, the Honors College values and encourages diverse, collaborative academic pursuits.
  • Engagement, service and leadership development - We foster and support well-rounded educational approaches that develop whole persons and empowered citizens. Opportunities for student involvement on campus and in the community, in addition to targeted leadership development and service-learning experiences, are encouraged.
  • Community - The Honors College develops and maintains respectful, caring, trusting, collegial relationships between faculty and staff members, students, administrators, and community partners. These relationships are characterized by transparency, integrity, openness, dialogue, growth, accountability, kindness and mutual support.
  • Wellbeing- We promote the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff. We seek to create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported in all aspects of their wellbeing—physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, financial and beyond.
  • Innovation and experimentation- The Honors College provides leadership and support for wise risk-taking and creative, progressive, responsive approaches to teaching, learning, student development, and scholarly pursuits. We assess what we learn and leverage these lessons in a spirit of constant program improvement.
  • Global perspectives-Honors students and faculty demonstrate global awareness and cross-cultural competence. These perspectives are infused throughout the Honors curriculum and fostered through development of and participation in international travel/study/work/service programs.
  • Research, scholarship and creative activities -Through successful completion of Honors coursework and independent study projects, Honors students are exposed to the scholarly life, taste the excitement of discovery, and are well prepared for advanced study. Honors faculty are leaders in research and the scholarship of teaching and learning whose experiences are shared on campus, nationally and internationally.
  • Ethics and integrity- The values of ethics and integrity are prized in the Honors College. Students and faculty strive to give honor and to be honorable human beings. The ethics of the Honors College are embodied in the Honors Student Ethic.

Honors Staff