Through NSU's Rising Scholars program, high school students can earn credit toward high school graduation and a college degree at the same time!
  • Save money - up to 88 percent of self-support tuition
  • Get an early start on college courses while in high school
  • Graduate from college earlier
  • College-level courses in many disciplines available, including:
    • Art
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Communication Studies (Speech)
    • English
    • Geography
    • History
    • Management Information Systems
    • Mathematics
    • Music

Many Rising Scholars courses are part of the NSU College of Arts and Sciences

What to Know about the Rising Scholars Program


Learn more about eligibility and the benefits of enrolling in South Dakota's only NACEP-accredited Rising Scholars program below and at Rising Scholars Student Information!


classes taught on-site at participating high schools

Rising Scholars classes are taught by qualified high school instructors who also are adjunct faculty members at Northern.



You can earn an NSU dual credit scholarship for taking NSU Rising Scholars courses! 



  • RSP credits are transcribed into the South Dakota regental system and will appear on an NSU transcript.
  • RSP credits are accepted by most institutions outside of the state.
  • If you will be attending a S.D. regental institution (NSU, USD, SDSU, DSU, BHSU, SDSMT), you do not need to order a transcript.  Your transcripts are in the South Dakota Board of Regents system.  
  • If you plan on attending a private or out-of-state university, you will need to order an official NSU transcript to be sent to that university.  Visit Transcripts and Diplomas to order.
  • If planning to attend a private or out-of-state university, students are responsible for consulting with that institution regarding transferability of credits earned. 
  • Please consult with your future advisor of applicability of credits earned for your program of study.
  • Students may choose to take the AP exam in addition to receiving college credit from NSU.


Become a Rising Scholars Instructor

To qualify, instructors must have a master's degree in the course discipline or a master's degree plus 18 graduate credits in the course discipline.


If you'd like to become a Rising Scholars instructor, please contact Terry Piatz for more information.


AccreditationNational Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

The NSU Rising Scholars Program is the only such program in South Dakota that is accredited by the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).  The Rising Scholars Program has met NACEP standards designed to ensure quality in the areas of curriculum, faculty, student services, assessment and evaluation.  Visit for more information.



The Rising Scholars Program is not associated with the Advanced Placement (AP) program or the NSU Center for Statewide E-Learning.