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Five USD students receive Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Nineteen South Dakota college students have been awarded a state scholarship that supports new teachers who serve in critical-need teaching areas. Gov. Dennis Daugaard today announced the first recipients in the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Program. Five are University of South Dakota students.

“The goal is to encourage high school graduates to obtain their teaching degree in South Dakota, then remain here and contribute to the state and its citizens by working in a critical-need teaching area,” Gov. Daugaard said. “We have 19 very deserving future educators in this program, who will give back so much to South Dakota students and communities.”

Scholarship recipients agree to remain in South Dakota and work in a critical-need teaching area for five years after college graduation. If terms of the agreement cannot be met, the scholarship converts into an interest-bearing loan. Subject areas of critical teaching need are determined by the South Dakota Department of Education, based on data collected from local school districts.

The teaching scholarship may be awarded to a student for up to two years, with the maximum annual award not to exceed the cost of tuition and general fees for 30 credit hours at a South Dakota public university. The program is open to all accredited postsecondary institutions in South Dakota that offer degrees in elementary or secondary education and that agree to participate.

USD students receiving the scholarship are Alex DeVries of Lennox, S.D.; Alison Petrik of Yankton, S.D.; Tucker Tornberg of Centerville, S.D.; Erin Tounsley of Pierre, S.D. and Brooke Vandersluis of Le Mars, Iowa.

The scholarship program, created by the 2013 South Dakota Legislature, is administered by the South Dakota Board of Regents. For more information, contact the Regents’ office at 605-773-3455 or send an email to


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News