College Dismissal Advisor – South Dakota

Students do not attend colleges and universities in South Dakota just to be removed because of misconduct that leaves them suspended or expelled. However, the time spent earning a degree at a four-year university can be fraught with challenges such as academic rigors, peer pressure, and transitioning into adulthood. Even honest, hardworking students of good character can land themselves in front of their school's disciplinary board and be threatened with the end of their academic careers.

Disciplinary boards at South Dakota colleges and universities do not hesitate to address misconduct by suspending or expelling students for violations of their codes of conduct. The grievance process is a fast-moving, complex procedure that can end a student's opportunity to earn an education if they are not prepared with an articulate argument against alleged misconduct. The process and subsequent sanctions are overwhelming, but that does not mean you have lost your chance to remain in school.

Students and their dedicated parents are often uneducated on how a college dismissal advisor may have mitigated the course of action taken by a school administration and fail to retain professional assistance until the institution levies severe punitive measures. Regardless, the opportunity for redress is available. College dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can ensure that students in South Dakota are protected against seemingly uncompromising school disciplinary boards and can remain focused on their studies.

Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions

The codes of conduct at South Dakota colleges or universities will list the various charges—academic misconduct, non-academic misconduct, Title IX violations— for which a disciplinary board can suspend or expel a student. The code of conduct includes the guidelines that explain the situation in which students can appeal those decisions.

There are usually a limited number of situations that grant a student the right to file an appeal. South Dakota State University explains in its code of conduct that students may appeal disciplinary decisions if the following criteria are met:

  1. Due process: The accused must demonstrate that the investigative or hearing process did not follow the procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct. The appellate board will also review allegations of bias or conflict of interest with anyone involved during the grievance process that would have “substantially or materially” affected the findings and outcome.
  2. Excessive sanctions: The appeals board may consider student grievances if the sanctions can be proven unreasonable based on the findings of the allegations and the disciplinary board's determination of responsibility.
  3. Incorrect conclusion: Appeals will be heard if it is proven that the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing regarding whether the violation of the school's code of conduct was incorrect.
  4. New evidence: Evidence that emerges following the determination of responsibility must have been undiscoverable during the review process, unknown to the accused, and would have “substantially or materially” affected the findings and outcome.

School administrations do not provide much time after the grievance hearing's determination of responsibility for a student to appeal a suspension or expulsion. A college dismissal advisor can assist you in reviewing your school's specific appellate rights and procedures to ensure you do not abandon the limited opportunity.

Generally, the timeframe to file an appeal is between two and ten days, but it varies from school to school. South Dakota State University, for example, gives students five business days upon written notification of the disciplinary board's sanctions to file an appeal. Black Hills State University, on the other hand, offers students three business days.

Once the school's appeals review board concludes its review, it may move forward with the following:

  • Affirming the finding
  • Denying the appeal
  • Modifying the consequences
  • Reopening the case
  • Reversing the discovery and punishment

Once the appellate body hands down its decision, it is final and cannot be reversed. Students may become emotionally overwhelmed with the end of their academic careers once they cross that threshold.

They may also be asking themselves:

  • Has new evidence emerged that was not available before?
  • How can infringements on due process and conflict of interest be proven?
  • Was a suspension or expulsion warranted for the code of conduct violation?

Students do not have the tools necessary to manage these situations. Therefore, they may believe there is no defense left. A student is typically given 24 hours to leave campus once they are suspended or expelled. Even though the appellate period remains active, they will not be able to review pertinent facts about how the school administration investigated and carried out their case.

Retaining the assistance of a professional college dismissal advisor will give you the confidence that just because your South Dakota college or university has given up on you, that does not mean you should. You have the opportunity to fight back with a robust defense.

Separation From Studies

South Dakota school administrations may seek to suspend or expel students to protect their public reputation, academic or otherwise. At South Dakota State University, if a student does not complete 67 percent of their credit hours, they risk losing their federal financial aid eligibility. If students are not eligible for financial aid—even if they or their parents can pay the semester costs—the school will separate them from their studies. Dakota Wesleyan University may dismiss a student through a “temporary termination” and “exclusion from enrollment” from the school pending formal grievance procedures, which is not appealable.

Institutions of higher education in South Dakota sometimes misappropriate the authority to suspend or expel students. They may fail to consider a student's extenuating circumstances.

Some unfortunate circumstances that may affect a student's academic performance or behavior on campus are:

  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Hard transition to campus life
  • Injury or illness of an immediate family member
  • Overwhelming course loads
  • Physical or emotional trauma

You need professional help to keep you in the classroom and preserve your academic record. If your South Dakota school disciplinary board does not consider these situations in their determination of responsibility, your college dismissal advisor can utilize them to lessen sanctions.

Respectable students may derail their academic and career goals unless an experienced advisor challenges their school's punishments. Students and their parents must remember that the process governing disciplinary action is not similar to a court of law. The U.S. Constitution does not bind colleges and universities in South Dakota and elsewhere to protect student due process rights when addressing misconduct allegations.

Schools desire to protect their public reputation, and the odds are stacked against a student when faced with sanctions from a major collegiate institution. College dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento understands when disciplinary boards overstep their authority and knows how to negotiate with college administration officials to defend his student clients.

What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion?

When a South Dakota school suspends or expels a student, it can also obstruct their ability to continue their education at another college or university. For example, any student expelled from Northern State University will be ineligible for readmission and permanently trespassed from the school's grounds, off-campus property, and events. Since schools require transfer students to disclose other programs they attended, admission personnel will view them as less attractive candidates and may not offer them a chance to enroll.

Suspension and expulsion will also impact a student's financial aid eligibility. Mount Marty University requires any student suspended or expelled before 60 percent of the enrollment period has passed to return all or a portion of the federal funds they received. If a student must reimburse federal loan providers for any unearned amount of financial aid, it will cause long-lasting economic hardship and severely impede opportunities like:

  • Applying for auto, business, or home loans
  • Having good standing with credit reporting agencies
  • Obtaining scholarships or grants for school

The consequences are not only financial. Former students must disclose suspensions or expulsions from school on various forms like:

  • Behavioral counseling licenses
  • Federal security clearances
  • Financial trading and brokerage certifications
  • Law enforcement and first responder applications

What Can Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Do For You?

Local South Dakota lawyers will often begin their student defense with litigation against the school. This long and arduous course of action is rarely necessary, and such shock and awe tactics are unlikely to provide the student a chance to stay in school. Novice attorneys may vaunt their criminal trial experience to persuade students. Nevertheless, courtroom competency does not translate into the diplomacy needed to negotiate with sanctioning body members for a more positive outcome for the student.

The goal for diligent students and their supportive parents is prompt, private, negotiated relief from suspension or expulsion, not complex legal proceedings. You can achieve this by contacting college dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento immediately to preserve your academic and professional future.

Instead of relying on aggressive schemes, Joseph D. Lento has, time and time again, brokered favorable resolutions with South Dakota schools' Office of General Counsel (OGC) on behalf of the suspended or expelled student. He relies on the relationships he and his team have built with representatives of college and university internal OGC to become a barrier that protects students from losing their academic careers. Lento and his team strategize to reveal positive options to disciplinary and appellate boards that serve both the student and the institution far better than suspension or expulsion.

Call 888-535-3686 to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you or a loved one from their South Dakota school or seek relief through their online consultation form. Your academic future depends on it.

Contact Us Today!

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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