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Same degree: 4 faculty members share their experiences teaching at BHSU-Rapid City

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, August 9, 2018/Categories: Academic Affairs, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Faculty, 2018

Four esteemed faculty members at Black Hills State University share their perspectives on teaching at Black Hills State University-Rapid City.

1. You’ll earn the same degree at BHSU-RC

No matter where you take classes (Rapid City, Spearfish or online), your BHSU diploma will be the same: from a master’s-level state university with a network of more than 23,000 alumni worldwide.

“Ultimately, BHSU-RC provides another accessible option for people who aspire to learn and grow their intellectual and professional selves,” says Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services. “The course schedule at BHSU-RC allows people who have work or family commitments during the day to pursue their higher education goals.”

BHSU holds one graduation ceremony each semester that includes all students from all locations. The end result (a college diploma!) is the same, no matter the steps or location you took to get there. And that includes students who’ve transferred some credits from another college! Many students graduate with a combination of credits from BHSU, transferred from another college, and online.

2. You’ll have the same teachers at BHSU-RC

Steve Babbitt, world-renowned photographer and professor of mass communication, was recently awarded the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service in Arts Education. He is one of many professors that teach at both BHSU and BHSU-Rapid City.

“I support my students in both locations by being available to them before and after class and by stopping by BHSU-RC on Saturdays (a darkroom work day) in order to make sure there are no problems or questions,” says Babbitt. “I enjoy the different types of students, different attitudes, and different motivations between the two campuses.”

Dr. Barbara Looney, assistant professor of management teaches managerial communications both in Rapid City and in Spearfish. More of her students in Rapid City are a bit older and already working, but she says there is one stark commonality between all BHSU students: “they plan to use their degree pursuit to advance their career positioning.”

3. You’ll have the same classes at BHSU-RC

With a second location of BHSU in Rapid City, students have access to additional courses in the location that is most accessible and convenient to them.

“My classes at BHSU-RC are exactly the same rigor and quality as the BHSU Spearfish campus,” says Ellis.

As a top 5 percent business school as accredited by the AACSB, Looney says courses at BHSU must offer the same focus and course content regardless of location.

“Our face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes must provide students the same content, requirements and engagement. We work hard to adhere to this standard,” says Looney.

Looney adds that students arrive to classes at BHSU-RC often after completing a full day of employment. They readily bring their working lives and issues into course discussions, enriching the learning and teaching experience for all.

Dr. Wei Song, professor of marketing, says the work experience BHSU-RC students bring into the classroom helps them understand course materials in a different way and bring up great discussion points.

“I’ve noticed BHSU-RC students have a very strong learning motivation with specific goals,” says Song.

Fall classes begin Aug. 20. It’s not too late to register. Visit or call Admissions at 605-642-6343 today.

About BHSU-Rapid City

BHSU-RC is located at 4300 Cheyenne Blvd. on the east side of Rapid City with easy access from I-90. The University has a large network of alumni living in the region and has a business program in the top five percent of business schools worldwide.

BHSU offers several associate degrees and certificates that can be completed without leaving Rapid City. Bachelor’s degrees at BHSU-RC include: business administration, corporate communications, elementary education, general studies, history, history education, human services, political science, psychology, social science teaching, and sociology.

Learn more at

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