South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Academically, it depends what you're going for- Of course! All schools have their specializations. I love my Sociology major, but the faculty is lacking in quality professors. However, I've noticed that change over the past year or so with more students on campus.
You have to remember that the people who normally write these reviews are angry students who had a terrible an ABNORMAL experience at SDSU (or for any college for that matter!). So, keep in mind, College is what YOU make of it. Don't rely on a website to tell you how the college is...including our rival school the University of South Dakota...as much as I turn my nose at that school-it is a wonderful school and anyone pursuing majors in Business, The Medical Field, or Law....it's a given- it's great.With that said, GO JACKS!
To begin my story, the University of Minnesota was absolutely despicable. The students in my classes were arrogant and self-absorbed, the campus was WAY too large (50,000+ people in the middle of Minneapolis), crimes or bomb threats were being reported almost once every week, the faculty were barely approachable (and many of them had a hard time speaking English), and advisors were absolutely no help (they stuck me in wrong classes and didn't care). I got the general feeling that I was just another source of money that could be used towards building up their athletic program (as opposed to spending the money on better professors, buildings, materials, and happiness). I had had enough after only a few weeks, and I made up my mind that I would transfer colleges.
During the fall semester, I started to tour other colleges and came to the South Dakota State University. I was impressed almost immediately with how friendly everyone was and how comfortable it felt here. The admissions office seemed deeply concerned and showed me support all the way through the process of transferring from the U of M. The EE professor that gave me a tour - not a silly, fifteen-minute tour - but a one-hour plus tour of the engineering facilities that got me interested in the program here (they really want students to feel comfortable with the college). Even during the tour, students that I hadn't even met before were greeting me and showing support for me. It was just an all-around joyous experience. A few days after the tour, I received a letter from the professor that gave me the tour that said that I could receive a research grant for a project that I had only briefly mentioned to him during the tour! He still asks me about it!
After visiting all the colleges, it was a no-brainer to come here. The other colleges in the area just didnâ€™t feel right. Yeah, they had most things a college is â€œsupposedâ€ to have: a football team, large buildings, flashy colors, trees, etcâ€¦, but none of them had a good, friendly aura surrounding them.
So, my first year started. The professor that gave me the tour tracked me down to help me register for classes. He spent almost a full two hours talking with me about classes, teachers, and what I should do (compared to the three minutes I got with my advisor at the U of M). Classes began, classes ended. Second semester classes began, and classes are about to end, again. I have almost nothing but good things to say for the classes here, but Iâ€™ll continue that in the next paragraph.
The classes at SDSU are far smaller and engaging than the classes at the U of M. Calculus II, for instance, at the U consisted of a lecture of around 200 students and a study group of about 40 students. At SDSU, the Calc II class consists of 20 students taught directly by the professor to facilitate better discussion, questioning, and learning. The Physics lecture at the U had 300+ students. At SDSU, 25 students are in a Physics lecture, which makes it far less intimidating. All of my classes at SDSU are smaller and taught directly by faculty members, not TAs, GTAs, or others like at some other colleges.
That brings me to my next point, the professors. The professors here are wonderful. Almost all my professors know me on a first-name basis. Sure, there are some here and there that you try to avoid like in high school, but all of them are knowledgeable and helpful and will help you get the most out of your college education. If I have a question on math, for instance, I could just stroll into the professorâ€™s office, sit down, and spend the next thirty or so minutes discussing how to correctly solve the problem.
The professors here also have a sense of humor. Many of my professors joke, laugh, or smile all the time (when something isnâ€™t bothering them, of course â€“ such as a late student). I donâ€™t know how many times my Physics professor has made an example of how to use physics to properly kill your roommate, or to shoot down a UFO, or just to make fun of himself. It helps ease the stress of college work in general.
And then we have the campus. The campus is rather spread out to leave large spaces for grass, trees, plazas, and open space for room to breathe/relax (as opposed to the U, where most of the available space was cemented over or had a building on top of it). The historical district has the buildings that you would normally â€œexpectâ€ to see at a college, such as the Campanile, the Administration buildings, Solberg Hall, Wecota and Wenona Halls, Woodbine Cottage, and many others, just to name a few. The â€œAcademic Coreâ€ part of campus contains the buildings that most students will see. NFA, Rotunda, Crothers Engineering Hall, the Student Union, Briggs Library, Athletic complex, and the Performing Arts Center are all rather new buildings that contain the majority of the classrooms. The administration is always renovating older buildings or building new ones (around four new buildings are currently under construction), so the campus is always kept in good shape. The campus gets enormous amounts of donations and support from the state of South Dakota, alumni, and the city of Brookings to help maintain the integrity of the campus and the happiness of the students.
The Undergraduate Residence Halls on campus are mainly clustered in the southeast corner of the campus. Mathews Hall contains the Honors and Engineering houses and is the quietest dorm out of any on campus. Brown and Pierson are adjacent to Mathews and contain the more â€œnormalâ€ students. Binnewies and Young are, what you could say, the â€œpartyâ€ or â€œjockâ€ dorms, as they are closest to the Athletic Complex. The newest dorm on campus, Caldwell, contains suite-style dorms for second and third-year students. The dorms in the northwest corner of campus are reserved for apartment-use or agricultural majors. So, there is plenty of diversity on campus, ranging from nerds and eggheads, to jocks and hicks.
I have never felt out of place here at SDSU. The campus made me feel welcome and I couldnâ€™t be happier with my choice to come here. My friends at other colleges are usually complaining about bad professors, a crappy class, or all-around dislike with their colleges. I just smile and laugh to myself and think, maybe they should come to SDSU to see how much better it could be for them here.
SDSU is no Ivy League college by any means, and I donâ€™t want it to be. Itâ€™s not included in the â€œTop 50â€ national universities, and it doesnâ€™t receive many awards, but it doesnâ€™t need to. SDSU does, however, give students a quality education and make them feel comfortable and happy throughout their college career, which I think is what a good college should do. So even if you want to come to SDSU for a semester, a year, two years, or stay here for your Doctorate, Iâ€™m sure you wonâ€™t be disappointed. Just sit back, be comfortable, grab an ice cream cone (made right here on campus, by the way), and be happy. After all, you donâ€™t want to be miserable throughout your entire college career.
* Just as a side note, donâ€™t judge my review based on grammar, punctuation, or cohesiveness. I am an engineer, after all.
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