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

DSU alumna returns for new degree

September 19, 2022

After earning two degrees from Dakota State in 2007, Lisa Olson returned to DSU as an online student to earn her elementary education (ELED) degree.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so I finally decided to go back and pursue my ELED degree in January 2020.”

“I love working with children and enjoy watching them learn about the world around them,” she said. “I also truly believe that it only takes one adult to make a positive difference in a child’s life.”

Olson earned bachelor’s degrees in graphic design and multimedia web development during her first time at Dakota State.  She knew that returning for a new degree, she would be in a professional community with excellent professors.

During her first year of online classes, Olson continued working at her previous job, but was anxious to get into the classroom. So, for the 2021-2022 year, she substitute taught full-time in the Tea Area School District while continuing her online classes.

“I would recommend substitute teaching to anyone pursuing a degree in teaching,” she said. “I learned so many valuable things and got to know many knowledgeable teachers and administrators. I loved being in the classrooms, experiencing the day-to-day action.”

The online education Olson is receiving has helped her build a solid foundation. Despite not being in face-to-face classes, Olson found her professors exceptionally helpful.

“Kindra Schneider and Jennifer Nash have been such positive influences for me throughout my program,” she said. “I feel that they both truly care about helping me to become the best teacher I can be.”

As a mom and full-time employee, Olson appreciates the flexibility offered through online classes. “I have a family and a busy schedule, so being able to take classes online is very convenient,” she said. “It enables me to complete things on my own time.”

After graduating in May 2023, Olson’s goal is to become an elementary teacher in Tea. She lives in Tea with her husband, Matt, their 9-year-old son, Drake, and their two dogs, Bella and Piper.

“I hope my story reaches anyone considering going back to school and shows them that anything is possible,” she said.


Contact Us

Jennifer Burris
Strategic Communications Coordinator
(605) 270-3816

Email Us