University of Sioux Falls Accelerated Degree Completion Program Academic Information

USF’s Accelerated Degree Completion Program (DCP) is designed for adult students who want to earn a college degree while working, raising a family or pursing other personal interests. In many cases, transfer credits help you finish your degree even faster.

Four BA majors are currently offered through DCP:  Accounting, Business, Health Administration, and General Studies; three AA degrees:  Accounting, Business Administration, and General Studies; and four Certificates:  Accounting Professional, Accounting Specialist, Business, and Social Media Marketing.

The goal for the DCP student is to be able to complete 12 credits during the fall and spring semester with the student only taking two classes at the same time.  Most 3-credit classes are 8-weeks in length, so students take two classes the first half of the semester and two classes the second half of the semester.  Classes required for the major are completed in the fall and spring semester, and liberal arts/general education courses are completed during the summer term (students typically enroll in about 6 credits for the summer term).  

Accelerated classes use special instructional techniques chosen for their ability to help students learn and retain large amounts of information. Students do much of their learning on their own, often on the job, so that required classroom time is shortened. Courses taught in an accelerated Degree Completion Program meet for about half the amount of a traditional face-to-face class. This means that students complete a significant amount of work outside of the classroom. Study times vary from class to class and student to student. Normally, students can expect to spend approximately 15 to 20 hours a week outside of class, reading, working on class projects or writing papers.

Accelerated classes require highly-motivated students. This means students take responsibility for their own motivation and do not blame the materials or the instructors. Students in accelerated classes should be in the workforce so they will have work and life experiences to bring to the table.

We want you to be successful; a key to being successful in college is knowing what type of learner you are. Typical learner characteristics that foster success in an accelerated format include the following:

• Self-motivation
• Self-direction
• Ability to work independently
• Effective time management skills

• Students are expected to be in all on-campus classes unless work, illness or emergency circumstances prevent their attendance.
• It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of any absence (including illness) in advance of class if at all possible. Some class activities are hampered significantly if attendance is not full.
• The DCP attendance policy allows one absence per 8-week course.  The instructor can set the attendance policy at their own discretion for classes less or more than 8 weeks.
• Students are expected to participate in all activities in online classes.  Assignment due dates are set for each week.
• Students are expected to check course portal before an online or on-campus class begins because there may be an assignment due on Day 1 of class.

• Do not wait until a class begins to order textbooks.
• For information and help getting your textbooks, please go to the "3. Get Ready for Your First Class" page.

• Assignments are due as stated by the instructor. If work is not turned in on time, full credit may not be received. Credit is awarded at the discretion of the instructor.

On occasion, students may find it necessary to re-take courses in the Degree Completion Program under the following situations:
• A student missed more than one class meeting in a course.
• A student’s cumulative grade point average for the major falls below a 2.0 or 2.5 for Health Administration.
• A student fails a course.
• A student receives a grade below C- in any course pertaining to their major.

The student must contact the Registrar’s Office (605-331-6650) directly to drop/withdraw from a class. Please check in with the Financial Aid Office (605-331-6623) before dropping or withdrawing from a class as it could affect your financial aid.

Students who find it necessary to withdraw either temporarily or permanently should be aware of the following policies:

• A student must submit an Online Withdrawal Form (found on the Forms Page) to the Degree Completion Program Office. The withdrawal form should state the last date of attendance, the student’s plan to re-enter and how future payment will be handled.  

Refunds to institutional charges are calculated based on the class drop date as recorded in the Registrar’s Office.  Students are responsible for notifying the Registrar’s Office when they intend to drop a class; drops are not processed automatically.  Lack of attendance does not constitute a drop.  Students are responsible for notifying the DCP program director when they intend to completely withdraw from the program.

The following refund schedule will apply to both a partial withdrawal (when a student withdraws from one or two classes, but remains enrolled at USF) and a complete withdrawal.

Each class has an official start date.  Day one of each class is the official start date, as listed in the academic calendar. Students enrolled in an on-campus class or an online class must drop before midnight on Day 10.

Drop on calendar days 1-10  [100% Refund]
Drop on or after calendar Day 11  [No Refund]
Full Semester Courses  [100% refund until Count Day, then prorated up to 60% of the semester.  No refunds after 60%.]

For students who begin attendance during a term and then withdraw or stop attending classes before completing 60% of the term, a portion of the total federal aid received (excluding work study) will need to be returned.  The amount which must be returned is determined by the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV Funds.  The amount to be returned is determined by dividing the number of calendar days completed in the term by the total number of days in the term.  Weekends and holidays are included in the number of days, but breaks of five or more consecutive days are excluded.  This regulation also specifies the order in which funds are to be returned to the financial aid programs from which they were awarded.