Rising Scholars Program

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:
    • Biology
    • English
    • History
    • Management Information Systems
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Speech

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.

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 and be prepared to provide a current CV and official transcript.


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 met NACEP standards designed to ensure quality in the areas of curriculum, faculty, student services, assessment and evaluation.  Visit www.nacep.org for more information.



students: how to Register

Qualified students should follow these easy steps to register:

  • Complete and submit the NSU Rising Scholars Registration Form. Upon submission, a confirmation message will be sent to the email address listed in the K12 email address field within a few days.
  • Print the registration form, sign, get a parent/guardian signature, then deliver to your high school Rising Scholars teacher/coordinator. The high school is responsible for submitting the registration form to NSU.

For more information or help with registration, contact Terry Piatz, Rising Scholars director; Matthew Perreault, assistant director of admissions operations and transfer coordinator; or a participating high school.



Credits are Transferable

RSP credits are accepted by all South Dakota regental universities and most institutions outside the state. Students are responsible for consulting with the institution of their choice regarding transferability of credits earned. The final course grade will appear on an NSU transcript. Students can request an official transcript at Transcripts and Diplomas.

Students may choose to take the AP exam in addition to receiving college credit from NSU.



Math Index and challenge index Score Calculator

The South Dakota Board of Regents requires that placement for math classes be based on a minimum Math Index (MI) Score. The MI is a calculation of students' ACT Math score and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Below is an MI Calculator, provided as an initial “unofficial” indicator of students' placement eligibility. Enter the ACT Math score and current CGPA in the corresponding fields below. Next to each math course there is a Yes/No field. A “YES” response indicates the student may be eligible for placement. The official MI calculation will be completed by NSU at registration. A Challenge Index score may be calculated by coordinators if the student does not have an ACT score.  See your school coordinator or Rising Scholar personnel for details.


MI Score Calculator



Course Cancellation and Enrollment Levels

Rising Scholars classes may be cancelled prior to the individual Rising Scholars course established Census Date. More than 50 percent of the students enrolled in the high school class must be registered for college credit. Classes are subject to minimum enrollments (eight students).



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