Learn & Earn

Go to college in Pierre.

At Dakota Wesleyan University, we want to make college work for you. The DWU Learn & Earn program is a different approach - earn a degree while getting paid.

Program Features

  • DWU comes to you. The program is located at the Capital City Campus in Pierre. 
  • 16 months. In just 16 months you will earn an associate degree and be working in a professional career.  
  • Hands-on. The 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 important.  
    Workplace Professionalism  
    Fundamentals of Business and Organizations 
    Fundaments of Organizational Management 
    Leadership and Communication 
  • Be ready for your next step. Upon completing the Learn & Earn program, you will be eligible to apply for full-time employment at a higher wage and/or work towards your bachelor’s degree.

Learn & Earn Admissions Requirements

We have a few basic requirements for the Learn & Earn program:

  • Graduate from an accredited high school or GED. 
  • Grade point average of 2.0 or work experience. 
  • ACT/SAT scores are NOT required for admission. 
  • After you apply, you will need to submit your high school transcript.  

We know that all students are unique. If you don’t meet one of these requirements, you will still be given individual consideration. Just contact us. 

Want to learn more about Learn & Earn?

Complete the form and an admissions counselor will reach out to you.

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Paying For Your Degree

Earning a degree is a great personal investment. There are a few common paths some of our students take to finance their education at Dakota Wesleyan University. 

The total cost for the Learn & Earn program is $19,000

DWU offers many ways to pay, including monthly financing plans with the business office. Plus, financial aid, scholarships, and income from your paid internship, can help with your tution payments.  

To learn more about paying for your degree, visit with your admissions representative and review scholarships and financial aid. 

Ready to apply? Start your application now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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. 

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 you to enroll in the Learn & Earn program and count a significant number of those earned credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Be sure to mention the courses you have taken to your admissions counselor.  

Is participation in an internship necessary?

Yes. All Learn & Earn participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the internship portion of the program. 

What if I don’t like my internship?

We make every effort to place you in an internship that matches your professional aspirations. However, a part of growing and maturing as a professional means that sometimes our aspirations change. If that’s the case, we will allow you to change internships at the end of a semester, if other internships are available. 

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

While DWU will not provide transportation, we will place you in an internship that matches your professional interests and is conveniently located. 

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

We believe that you will build a stronger resume when you remain in the same internship for the bulk of the program. However, if you change your mind about your professional path, we will work to place you in an internship that more closely aligns with your aspirations. 

What type of work will I be doing?

You will be doing work aligned with your career path. We will work with our internship partners to construct internships in such a way that your responsibilities grow over the course of the internship. All of this will align with your professional aspirations.

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. If you wish to continue working full-time, we may offer an online program for you.

Can I be dropped from the program?

Yes. You must maintain good academic standing to remain in the program and continue in your internship. Likewise, you must continue to perform satisfactorily in your internship to maintain it. 


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