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USD's New Program Prepares Students for Workforce and Provides Networking Opportunities

Work Scholars program students sitting together studying. They both wear USD face coverings. Work Scholars helps students learn valuable career skills, build a professional network and find on- and off-campus jobs.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota, in collaboration with the Alumni Association, has created the Works Scholars program to provide undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to find on- and off-campus jobs, network with alumni and other professionals and participate in career building events.

“USD is committed to helping students connect with career opportunities early in their academic journey so that when they graduate, students are confident that they have the skills required by the workplace,” said Linda Halliburton, director of community and business partnerships at USD.

The Work Scholars program partnered with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls and the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company to employ students in a variety of fields. Students must be considered full-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA and commit to working at least 10 hours per week. They will also be able to participate in virtual Work Scholar activities and networking events each semester.

“Work Scholars can help build the region’s workforce by exposing students to careers and developing employment networks,” Halliburton said. “By getting students to work here early, we increase the odds that they will stay in South Dakota beyond graduation.”

Students in the Work Scholars program will also be paired with a USD alumnus who will act as a mentor throughout the year, offering advice to stay on track and get ahead.

“Work Scholars does more than match a student with a job,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “The program provides career building activities and meaningful mentoring that will be valuable to our students throughout their entire lives.”

To learn more about the program, visit


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News