Academic Advisor Helping Student with Registration.

Coyote Career Kickstart

Coyote Career Kickstart is a project funded by the US Department of Education for qualifying rural students. The program is more than just another group to join; it supports students with career design tools, professional practice opportunities, and an employment network for those who want to work while they are in college.

Kickstart Your Career

At the University of South Dakota, we are committed to helping you unlock opportunities in and beyond the classroom throughout your undergraduate years. 

The Kickstart grant bolsters that commitment by adding additional experienced staff whose time is dedicated to the concerns and needs of students from rural areas in our state, region and across the US. Whether your ideal is to live and work close to your hometown or to experience something completely new, we can teach you how to design a career path, practice professionalism and find an employment network appropriate to your future.

Eligibility and Requirements

If you will or have graduated from a rural US high school – as designated by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) – you are eligible to participate. For future students, your admissions counselor can tell you if your school meets the designation. Current students are welcome to email and we’ll let you know if you qualify.

There are no program requirements – just concrete benefits and a choice to earn a digital badge. What’s that? A digital badge is an indicator of accomplishment or skills that can be displayed, accessed and verified online.

Express your interest
in Coyote Career Kickstart

Use the button below to learn more about Coyote Career Kickstart.

Explore the Benefits

Build a career-orientated foundation and gather tools and relationships that will reduce the stress commonly associated with exploring and choosing a career path and entering the employment or graduate school search process.

meet our team

Our Kickstart team looks forward to visiting with both prospective and current students. For more information regarding the Coyote Career Kickstart program, please contact us at
Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Hackemer

Susan Hackemer

Assistant Vice President for Career Services & Student Success

Joshua Sanger

Career Counselor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ashlin Schoenfelder

Ashlin Schoenfelder

Director of Career Services
Bio Image for Faculty Member Buck Welch

Buck Welch

Kickstart Program Recruiter
A student doing field research reading a book.

Prioritizing Student Success

The University of South Dakota received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create a holistic model for student success, with a specific focus on rural students.

Read the Full Story

student success story

Success story Evan Sakry smiling.
My mentor has helped me with finding resources for job opportunities, putting together some short and long term goals, and has given some insights into how the business world works from his perspective. He also helped me with putting together my LinkedIn profile and gave me some suggestions for interesting reading material.

Evan Sakry

B.B.A. Accounting & Finance '21

Take the Next Step