RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 22, 2013) - Residence halls at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology open today as students return to campus and settle in for a new academic year full of excitement and promise.
"Welcoming the newest Hardrockers and having all of our students back on campus is one of the best days of the year," said Mines President Heather Wilson, D.Phil. "We've been looking forward to this day for weeks!"
Classes begin Monday, Aug. 26.
Enrollment at the School of Mines is expected to increase, with the official headcount tallied the tenth day of classes and made public by the Board of Regents several weeks later. Overall enrollment last fall increased 4.9 percent compared to the previous fall for a total of 2,424 students. Last year's growth included a significant jump in new students - first-time freshmen, transfers and readmits - from 498 to 577, representing a 15.9 percent increase in this category.
New this year: The university has leased the privately-built Rocker Square II adjacent to campus for the entire year for occupancy by sophomores, who, along with freshmen, are required to live on campus. Rocker Square I opened a year ago and is occupied mostly by upper-class Mines students, though it is privately managed by Dream Design International, Inc. Technology Housing, LLC, which is owned by Mines alumnus Hani Shafai. The twin six-story buildings each hold about 120 people.
The School of Mines is developing a housing master plan proposal to address long-term student housing needs, which will be presented to the Board of Regents this fall.
Incoming freshmen orientation begins Friday with the 9 a.m. president's convocation and various activities throughout the day, including a picnic lunch in the quad and ice cream social with departments.
Part of the new student orientation schedule this year is an all-freshmen service project from 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Some 400 incoming freshmen will participate in clean-up, restoration, landscape and paint projects in neighborhoods and hillsides around the campus and for service organizations in Rapid City.
The community service initiative is part of a renewed university focus on its mission: to prepare leaders in science and engineering. It is through service that students will learn to lead, President Wilson said.
International students began gathering Wednesday and will continue their orientation today with teambuilding activities and sessions on topics such as U.S. classroom culture and an overview of student activities and leadership opportunities.
The "Keys to Registration" details Welcome Week and registration information.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls more than 2,400 students from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,696 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.