Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

Strategic Plan

A strategic vision for Dakota State University

Dakota State campus
Beautiful vantage point to take in the Dakota State University Campus

Dakota State University’s strategic plan begins with our mission, vision, and values.  These build a framework for our university goals.  It builds on our strengths and focuses our attention and commitment on the most pressing issues we are distinctively positioned to address. As an important initiative, DSU continuously seeks to advance student success through highly engaged, high-impact educational practices.


Strategic Plan

The ADVANCE strategic plan began in 2022 and will continue to evolve through 2027 and beyond. We will consider our strengths and challenges as we bring stakeholders together to move our University forward. Our strategy focuses on quality, research, engagement, athletics, and student success.

Full overview of our 2027 goals and vision

The ADVANCE strategic plan began in 2022 and will continue to evolve through 2027 and beyond. Foundational goals are operational priorities which already exist and will continue in the future.

  • Ensure Financial Stability
  • Strengthen Regional and National Relevance
  • Enhance Ability to Recruit and Retain Talent
  • Increase Student Enrollment
  • Enhance Student Success
  • Maintain Higher Learning Commission Accreditation
  • Ensure Responsible Stewardship of State Resources
  • Strengthen Risk Management Process

Pillar, Goal, & Milestones Defined


A pillar is a focus area over the next 5 years which will raise DSU to a greater performance and accomplishment. This document outlines five pillars.


A goal defines measurable direction for a change.


A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.


Computing and Information Technologies (CIT) include any computers, storage, networking and other physical or virtual devices, infrastructure, architecture, processes, and policies to create, store, secure, access, use, analyze, exchange, manage and govern all forms of electronic data and their enabling technologies. This definition applies at multiple scales: personal, organizational, community, state-wide, national, and international. DSU’s educational and research activities address all aspects of current, emerging, and future CIT/Cyber Security.

The term Cyber has more recently been used as a generic description for all aspects of Computing and Information Technologies. This term has been associated with the variety of applications areas: Cyber Security, CyberSpace, CyberHealth, CyberAgriculture, Cyber Physical Systems, etc. Cyber Security is a focus within CIT and Cyber that deals with strategic threat assessment, protecting and securing the CIT/ Cyber Technologies and data from criminal or unauthorized access. The security approaches range from off ensive (Cyber Operations) to defensive (Cyber Defense and Network Security).

Pillar 1: Increase Student Success

Earning a college degree develops opportunities in life. It prepares students, both intellectually and socially, for their careers and personal lives. This means higher skilled careers with higher pay, but it also leads to overall happiness, stability, and community engagement.

Dakota State strives to ensure students complete their degrees efficiently and are prepared to enter the workforce ready to make a diff erence immediately. This is good for students and good for South Dakota.


2027 Milestones
  • 40% of students will graduate in 4 years.
  • 60% of students will graduate in 6 years.
  • 80% of full-time students will be retained after their first year.
  • 100% of students will be hired in their fields within 6 months of graduation.

Pillar 2: Improve Engagement, Governance, & Communication

Talented, high-skilled, committed, and student-centered. These are DSU employees. As the
university rapidly transforms into a national center for cyber and cyber-intensive education, it
must ensure employees are empowered to advance the interests and reputation of the university.


  • Improve employee access to critical data.
2024 Milestones
  • Select employees will have access to real-time-financial dashboards.
  • Employees will have access to an internal communications portal.


2027 Milestone
  • More than 50% of employees will feel engaged and are enthusiastic about their work.

Pillar 3: Grow Scholarship, Research, Intellectual Property, & Economic Development

DSU is a powerhouse on the prairie which is quickly making its mark in research and scholarly
work. Its faculty, staff , and students are actively engaged in applied research which creates dynamic opportunities for everyone involved. DSU continuously seeks out ways to leverage its highly specialized cyber talent to protect the state, region, and beyond.


  • Increase the productivity of research and scholarly activities.
2027 Milestones
  • Faculty will increase their peer-reviewed publications and creative works output by 10%.
  • Research and Economic Development will have generated 10 new research jobs.
  • The number of staff participating in sponsored research will increase by 25%.
  • Sponsored research will have $12 million in annual expenditures.
  • Faculty participating in sponsored research for the first time will increase by 50%.
  • The number of students participating in sponsored research will increase by 25%.

Pillar 4: Elevate Athletics

Trojan athletes are dedicated and push their physical limits and mental endurance daily. Student athletes pour their concentration, leadership, and teamwork into their team and carry it into their classrooms and professional careers. With more than 500 student athletes and a new Athletics Events Center under construction, there’s never been a better time to be a Trojan.


  • Increase the number of athletics programs.
2026-27 Milestone
  • DSU will have 18 athletics programs.


2027 Milestones
  • DSU student athletes' average GPA will be 3.0.
  • 14 DSU athletics teams will be named NAIA ALL Scholar Teams.

Pillar 5: Increase Sustainability & Resilience

The heart of DSU is its students. DSU will continue to live out its mission, leveraging challenges into opportunities, and continue to make the university prosperous and its graduates successful.


  • The Beacom College will be equipped to double its number of graduates in
    select programs to 400 annually.
  • Execute the Trojans Unite Comprehensive Campaign.

2027 Milestones

  • The number of graduates in computer science, cyber operations, and artificial intelligence will increase by at least 10%.
  • DSU’s Trojans Unite Comprehensive Campaign will raise $250 million.
  • DSU enrollment will exceed 3,700 total students.