Spearfish resident Lorrie Keim is not a registered student of Black Hills State University; however, she is often on campus sitting in a classroom discussing Shakespeare, art, and history.

Keim is one of several community members who are taking advantage of the BHSU Visitor Pass program. The Visitor Pass, which is available for $100 per class, allows community members to observe a class on an available space basis. The program allows individuals to be in a class with BHSU students learning from the University’s outstanding faculty and taking part in in-depth discussions without the required assignments, term papers and tests.

Community members may take up to two classes per semester. BHSU courses at the University Center – Rapid City are also available for Visitor Pass attendees.

Ken and Vivian Couch of Buffalo Gap have been taking courses at the University Center for five years. The Couches, who are involved in community affairs, have focused their studies on political science. 

“It really has been enlightening to us,”Ken said of the Visitor Pass program. Not only have they enjoyed the learning,they have enjoyed getting to know the students and the professors.

“There are some really, really dedicated students there,” Ken said noting that most of them are working and raising a family while attending classes.  

With the Visitor Pass, the Couches are not required to complete the assignments; however, Ken and Vivian choose to participate in writing papers and giving oral presentations.

“The professors are really kind to us old people,” Ken said.“They have made us a part of the class and we appreciate that.”

Visitor Pass registration for spring semester classes begins Wednesday, Dec. 26. To obtain a visitor pass contact Johanna Best at 642-6044.The spring semester at BHSU begins Thursday, Jan. 10.

For more detailed information about the Visitor Pass or to browse a list of spring 2013 courses that are eligible see www.BHSU.edu/VisitorPass.