Black Hills State: Ranked 20th for best teaching in the Midwest

This achievement goes to show what goes into the staff and programs at Black Hills State, and what the future holds for the university.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:18 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Black Hills State University was ranked 20th among the 2022-2023 Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest, by the U.S. News and World Report.

This achievement goes to show what goes into the staff and programs at Black Hills State, and what the future holds for the university.

Black Hills State University opened its doors in 1883. Since then staff has strived to make it the best university the state has to offer. Embracing change and growth, especially in the last few years, has led them to the current ranking.

“Our faculty loves students, and I would begin by saying that. Students are really their priority, and they spend a tremendous amount of time getting ready for class, spending time in the classroom, and then working with students outside the classroom as well. They’re readily available for students, they really do spend a great amount of time and take great pride in their quality teaching,” says the university president, Laurie Nichols.

The U.S. News & World Report releases the list each year, taking into account 17 aspects of academic quality. Those include graduation rates, social mobility, and graduate indebtedness. The list seeks to help families find helpful information and factors when looking for schools.

Both faculty members and students agree that the professors and their teaching is what allows students to excel at Black Hills State.

“They’re pretty accommodating. With all the things that’s been going on in the past couple years, they’ve been really understanding,’ junior Destinee Heizelman said.

Black Hills State prides itself on its professors and teachers, not relying on grad assistance or adjuncts. This allows the professors to remain focused on their students and teaching, rather than conducting research.

The report follows the votes from Black Hills State peers across the Midwest as deans and other advisors rank the schools, leaving Black Hills well-respected among peers, and the students that attend the university.

“I really like a lot of my professors. There are ones that are like—I like how some of them give it to you straight. Professors give criticism in different ways, and I like how each of them give criticism for like pieces of work that you do,” explains Jade Menzel, a junior at Black Hills State.

“It is a small environment, but you will also get some of the very best teaching you can get in this state and in the region,” Nichols states.