Educational Leadership Interns Tour Innovative Public Schools

November 4, 2016
University of South Dakota

More than two dozen interns in an educational leadership program at the University of South Dakota School of Education toured New Tech High School in Sioux Falls as well as Harrisburg High School as part of their exposure to innovative public schools.

The interns are participating in a year-long internship as principals, superintendents, special education directors or curriculum directors. The tours allowed them to talk with teachers and visit classrooms while learning about project-based learning and leading innovative school change.

Students at the schools led the tours and encouraged the interns to interact with the student groups.

Diana Messick, internship director at the School of Education, says USD and the Sioux Falls School district have had a partnership with New Tech High since its beginning in 2010. New Tech is a nationally-recognized demonstration school for the New Tech network of more than 150 schools across the country. At Harrisburg the students could see a mass customized learning environment.

The internship lasts from August through May. Messick says there will be another visit opportunity in the spring.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


USD’s School of Education is transformative in preparing students both inside and outside the classroom. Its research- and practitioner-based programs train future educators, counselors, leaders, fitness and sport-related professionals for successful careers. The school focuses on a comprehensive learning experience, lifelong learning and developing professionals grounded in best practice. The school’s divisions include counseling and psychology, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, and kinesiology and sport science.

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