Learn & Earn


The LEARN & EARN program will be located on a microsite campus in PIERRE.

  • 16 months

    The LEARN & EARN program offers a practical pathway to a PROFESSIONAL CAREER and ASSOCIATE DEGREE in 16 months.

  • Hands-on

    The LEARN & EARN program is an intentionally different college experience that connects learning to hands-on, real- world simulations, case studies and projects. Traditional academic assessments, like papers and exams, are limited.

  • Student Success Adviser

    A student success adviser guides and supports you on your journey to a professional career.

  • Earn a Paycheck and Relevant Certificates

    You will take classes in person and online while in a paid, professional work experience. Complete certificates that businesses and organizations find relevant.

Upon completing the Learn & Earn program, you will be eligible to apply for full-time employment at a higher wage premium and/or work towards your bachelor’s degree.

Examples of Customized Certifications:

Business Administration I and II
Social Media Marketing I and II
Project Management I and II
Foundations of Social and Human Services I and II
Data Analytics I and II
Insurance and Banking I and II


Can I utilize dual credit courses I have taken to substitute for portions of the Learn & Earn program?

While Dakota Wesleyan’s Learn & Earn program does not accept dual enrollment credits toward the associate degree, we do apply them toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree. 

Dakota Wesleyan views the Learn & Earn as an immersive, integrated learning experience.  Students will be asked to engage in a variety of communication, quantitative, and problem-solving tasks throughout the course of the program.  Students cannot be excused from engaging in those activities by virtue of having taken an English composition course or a public speaking course.  Students may, however, apply dual credit courses toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree through Dakota Wesleyan (i.e. once they have completed the Learn & Earn Associate degree).

Can I enroll in the Learn & Earn program if I’ve already completed 50 or 75 hours of college course work?

Depending on what those credits have been earned in, it may be possible for an individual to enroll in the Learn & Earn program and count a significant number of those earned credits toward a bachelor’s degree. 

If there’s a certificate that I want to complete, can I simply enroll in that portion of the program?

Dakota Wesleyan enrolls students to complete individual certificates on a “seats available” basis.

Can I “test out” of any parts of the Learn & Earn program?

Generally speaking, no. Dakota Wesleyan views the Learn & Earn as an immersive, integrated learning experience. As such, it is difficult to excuse students from particular portions of the program.

What if I don’t like my internship?

Dakota Wesleyan’s Learn & Earn program makes every effort to place students in internships that match their professional aspirations and that they will find challenging and fulfilling. A part of growing and maturing as a professional means learning what we find rewarding and satisfying in our work and what we find less rewarding and satisfying. Dakota Wesleyan is not averse to allowing students to change internships (provided it has additional internship openings available), but it encourages them to exit at the end of a semester.

Can I work during the day and take this online?

The short answer is “no.”  Dakota Wesleyan is seeking to provide a unique career preparation experience. Dakota Wesleyan encourages students who wish to continue working full-time to explore the many online programs available.

Can I work through the self-paced components of the program at a faster rate and complete the program early?

The short answer is “no.”  Dakota Wesleyan is seeking to provide a unique career preparation experience. While some students may compete particular components faster than others, this will not enable them to accelerate the time it will take them to complete the program.

If I’ve already earned a degree and want to complete a certificate, or if I’ve exhausted all my financial aid, are there scholarships available to assist with the cost of the program?


How are students admitted to the Learn & Earn program?

Students will submit an application and high school and any college transcripts. During one of the student events held onsite, students will be asked to attend to visit and learn about all the different aspects of the program.  Acceptance will be based on availability and potential.

Is participation in an internship required?

Participation in an internship is required.  All Learn & Earn participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the internship portion of the program.

What if I don’t have transportation to get to an internship?

Dakota Wesleyan will work with students to place them in internships that that match their professional interests and that are conveniently located. The university does not, however, provide transportation to internships.

Am I able to work at different places over the course of the Learn & Earn program?

Dakota Wesleyan believes that more and deeper learning occurs and that a student builds a stronger resume when the student remains in the same internship for the bulk of the program. However, if a student changes their mind about his/her professional path, the university will work to place the student in an internship that more closely aligns with the student’s professional aspirations.

Do I have to intern at one of the Learn & Earn partner companies?

Dakota Wesleyan is willing to explore alternative internship arrangements provided that such arrangements provide students with ample opportunities to achieve program learning goals and the alternative site has someone willing to agree to the university’s supervisory expectations.

What type of work will I be doing?

You will be doing work aligned with your career path. Dakota Wesleyan works with its internship partners to construct internships in such a way that a student’s internship responsibilities grow appropriately in breadth and complexity over the course of the internship.

Can I be dropped from the program?

Yes. Students must maintain good academic standing to remain in the program and continue in their internships. Likewise, students must continue to perform satisfactorily in their internships to maintain them.

Learn & Earn Admissions Requirements

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