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Student Life and Development
Gallup StrengthsFinder Campus Ministry
Student Support Services Student Discipline

Campus Life Website

At DWU, college life is about more than taking tests and reading books; the development of the whole person is an essential part of a college education.  Student activities, or cocurricular activities, give students the chance to learn important life skills outside of the classroom.  Through a variety of activities, individuals can explore their interests, make new friends and learn more about themselves.  Cocurricular activities are important in developing a student’s full potential in college.  Students develop and apply leadership skills, such as the ability to analyze, organize and communicate, in activities outside the classroom.  These experiences are also important in career preparation, as future employers often consider on student involvement during college.

Under the direction of the director of student life, all programs and services are offered as a cooperative venture by students, faculty and staff.  Student participation is encouraged in planning and evaluating programs and services in the Student Association Senate and through student participation in faculty/administrative committees. 

Opportunities for involvement include:

  • Student Association Senate;
  • residence hall leadership;
  • Student Ministry Council;
  • Student Activities Board;
  • intercollegiate athletics;
  • intramural athletics;
  • Multicultural Committee; and
  • other organizations.

See www.dwu.edu/studentsenate/organizations.htm for a complete list.

There are many support systems at DWU to assist students throughout their college careers.  They range from personal to academic, including:

For more information about any of these services, see the DWU Student Handbook at www.dwu.edu/handbook.

Intercollegiate Athletics
As a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, DWU offers the following varsity sports:

Men’s baseball
Men’s football
Men’s wrestling
Men’s and women’s basketball
Men’s and women’s cross country
Men’s and women’s golf
Men’s and women’s soccer
Men’s and women’s track and field
Women’s softball
Women’s volleyball

More than 335 students participate in DWU intercollegiate athletics.  The team nickname is the Tigers and the school colors are royal blue and white.

Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC)
The GPACis an alliance of 11 private, faith-based liberal arts colleges and universities located in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.  Its mission is to provide an intercollegiate athletic experience for its student-athletes, consistent with the purpose of Christian higher education.  The GPAC is an affiliated conference of the NAIA.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
The NAIA currently administers programs of intercollegiate athletics at more than 330 fully accredited colleges and universities of moderate enrollment.  The fundamental tenet of the NAIA is that intercollegiate athletics is an integral part of the total educational program of the institution.  As the country’s oldest collegiate sports governing body, the NAIA has been a leader in addressing important issues such as racial integration, women’s sports championship programs and improved academic eligibility requirements.

Champions of Character
All DWU student-athletes and their coaches take a pledge to become Champions of Character.  This initiative of the NAIA brings formal emphasis to character development through respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.  By taking the pledge, DWU athletes and coaches agree to follow a code of ethics established by the NAIA and adapted to fit DWU.

  • Respect: Information delivered by public address announcers at Dakota Wesleyan events is neutral and information based, and a Champions of Character announcement is read at the beginning of each contest.
  • Responsibility: DWU reports graduation rates from an IPEDs Report and lists at least two objectives to increase the university’s graduation rate.
  • Integrity: A Coaches Code and Code of Ethics are presented and signed by all athletic staff and administrators. All DWU student-athletes receive, read and sign a Champions of Character pledge. They are asked to uphold the code.
  • Servant Leadership: Student-athletes are asked to participate in at least one community service activity.
  • Sportsmanship: A policy of no profanity in practice and game competition is established.

Top of pageGallup StrengthsFinder®
Individuals are always stronger when they have their successes and strengths clearly in mind.  To help students achieve success and an understanding of their personal talents and strengths, Dakota Wesleyan University has students complete the Gallup StrengthsFinder® inventory.  Staff and faculty will work with students to help them use the results of the inventory.  The insights gained from the StrengthsFinder® inventory may help students choose a career path, select extracurricular activities and develop strategies to deal with the challenges of daily life.

Top of pageCampus Ministry
Campus ministry at Dakota Wesleyan University supports the university’s mission and serves as a link to the United Methodist Church.

Campus ministry is open to all members of the campus community.  The office, historically served by a United Methodist pastor of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, seeks to offer an ecumenical ministry by affirming the diversity of faith experiences, understandings and backgrounds while maintaining a grounding in the biblical witness and heritage of the Christian faith.  The office provides ministry opportunities for the university, often in partnership with Student Ministry Council (SMC) and other aspects of student life.  The campus pastor oversees the SMC; is available to the DWU community for spiritual leadership, guidance and care; and regularly teaches courses.

Top of pageTRiO Student Support Services (SSS)
The program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The goal of TRiO Student Support Services is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. This student support services project is 100 percent federally funded by the department of education.

Funded through a federal TRiO grant, SSS provides program participants with tutoring, mentoring, counseling, disability services, multicultural activities, educational workshops, financial literacy training, career and graduate school planning, and other resources designed to enhance students’ education and enable them to achieve a baccalaureate degree.

Developed for the express purpose of giving students the best possible chance to succeed in college, SSS incorporates professional mentoring by professional/trained staff which includes advice and assistance in course selection, registration and four-year graduation plans, connection to appropriate support resources, and midterm and final grade reviews to encourage good academic standing.

Peer tutoring services are available in many disciplines through group or individual sessions with certified tutors. For writing assistance, professionals and tutors in the TRiO Writing Center are available to assist program participants in all stages of the writing process.

Our peer-to-peer mentoring program offers freshmen the opportunity to be matched with a successful junior or senior student. Peer mentors help new college students acclimate to the DWU campus by providing social opportunities and educational workshops throughout the year.  Peer mentors foster healthy peer relationships and create a positive learning community.

Counseling is available for short-term needs.  Individual and group counseling services provided by the campus counselor include support in coping with the pressures and problems of college life, group educational sessions and individual counseling.

Specialized assistance is provided for students with physical, psychiatric, and/or learning disabilities through facilitation of appropriate resources. Documentation of the disability is required to initiate services.
Multicultural activities support education and celebration of diverse backgrounds.  Adapting to a new community or environment can be a struggle, so we offer activities and programs that encourage respect, understanding and support of cultural diversity.

Academic and career advising is available to assist with goal setting and exploration.  Program participants use career assessments and other diagnostic and learning tools to understand their strengths, motivation and abilities.  Participants may explore career options and research graduate school possibilities.
The resource sharing program provides program participants access to student development books, test preparation materials and laptop computers.

Direct financial assistance though the TRiO Student Support grant scholarship may be available to TRiO SSS participants who are federal Pell grant recipients and meet scholarship requirements.

Eligibility is based on first-generation status (neither parent graduated from college with a baccalaureate degree), income level determined through federally stated guidelines, and/or a documented disability.  Staff members determine eligibility through an application process.  Students who are not accepted into the TRiO SSS program may receive support through the Center for Talent Development.

Top of pageStudent Discipline
The university aims to provide an educational environment that allows each student to develop his/her abilities to the fullest.  Discipline in an educational setting is not meant to be punitive, but part of the educational process.

In cases where action by a student or group of students prevents other members of the campus community from realizing their objectives, it is the duty of the community to respond in an appropriate manner.  Due process is established and followed in all cases.  Students should know the policies and procedures outlined in the DWU Student Handbook.

With respect to particular personal matters, students electing to attend DWU must assume specific responsibility.  In any connection with the university, the student is expected to refrain from illegal use of alcoholic beverages or drugs, gambling or any other behavior adverse to the atmosphere of the university.

Students must comply with the behavioral and residential standards of the university to graduate.

Dakota Wesleyan University
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Mitchell, SD 57301
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Last updated: 9/5/12