From Helga;

How did Noem finish four years of college in a little more then a year?

Noem was sworn in January 2011. She says she juggled a full course load last spring (2011) while at the same time finding her way around DC and she finished her classes by the fall of 2011. Earned her degree by December 2011. “Kristi Noem who in December of 2011 received her college diploma while serving her first term in office.” Enquiring minds would like to know how a person earns 2 years of college credit from spring to fall of 2011 (6-7 months)? And at the same time being a full time congress woman (South Dakota’s only congress person) traveling back and forth from DC to SD and around to various states fund raising.

For now the real point is she says she went to college for two years, 1990-1992, so that means she had 2 years left before she could get a degree. Apparently it never dawned on her while she was running the farm, having children, and then getting elected to the SD legislature that she might finish her college degree. (I could be snarky and add racing around the state getting tons of tickets). So 20 years later when she gets elected to the US House she decides she needs that piece of paper? I wonder how the heck she can get 2 years of college credits in less then a year? The last Washington Post story says one way she earned her degree was to “rack up intern credits”.

According to local press, one way the South Dakota Republican earned her degree was to rack up “intern credits.” We’re pretty sure her interning experience was vastly different than that of most fresh-faced college kids — she probably didn’t have to fetch coffee for the boss or subsist on a diet of 25-cent-wing nights and pitchers of beer at the Capitol Lounge.

The Post also points out;

Noem, 40, dropped out of college when she was 22 to run the family farm after her father died. She took courses here and there but life — marriage, kids, business, politics — kept her from finishing until now.

How? “I did a lot of homework on flights,” she told us Wednesday. The freshman Republican juggled a full course load and her new congressional duties last spring, then finished up her classes this fall. Her staff only scheduled her at must-attend events at night and often heard her protest, “I have to work on this paper! It’s due tomorrow!” Noem was studying the Eastern European financial crisis while debating the U.S. debt ceiling. “I think it really benefited me as a person intellectually.”

She gets elected as a US Congress woman and she gets credit for that, at least that is the way it looks to me. Too bad everyone else that works one or two jobs and goes to college at the same time doesn’t get credit for their jobs. Everyone else has to actually go to classes, take tests, pay for the classes with loans that she voted NO on because she thinks doubling the interest rate is just fine. It really just boils down to what classes did she take and how many credits did she get from those classes.

She says she went to Northern in Aberdeen, SDSU and Mount Marty in Watertown. Often times schools do not accept all the credits of other schools. So how many credits did she start with?

Representative Noem graduated from Hamlin High School in 1990 and has lived in the area her entire life. Kristi began her college education at Northern State, later transferring to SDSU and taking classes at Mount Marty in Watertown as well. The unexpected death of her father required Kristi to return to the family ranch full time. In recent years, Kristi has continued to pursue her degree in Political Science by taking classes at SDSU.

She is the only congress person of the state and she gets college credit as an intern. So how did she do it as a first term US House Rep and can other college students do that too? Who did she intern for, (certainly not herself), what papers, projects did she have to write for the internship, who graded them and who decided and approved how many credit hours she got for interning. If she got intern credits just because she’s a US House rep then she received selective treatment.

By l3wis

44 thoughts on “Did Noem get special treatment attaining her college degree? (H/T – Helga)”
  1. Among my gripes: coasting through on this special treatment, Noem chooses to walk in the bigger, flashier spring graduation ceremony and co-opts the “senior speaker” position, denying some real hard-working undergrad the opportunity to speak to his/her fellow students.

  2. Good point Cory, not only did she get special treatment, she denies another student, who worked for their degree, an opportunity to address their peers.

  3. Everything about this reeks…

    Who is this woman? Sarah Palin’s sister from another mother? Sarah went to at least four schools to graduate, Kristi also four schools. It looks like it took four years to go through 3 colleges. In four years she was still a second year student, so she gives up and uses the excuse of tragedy to drop out.

    20 years ago you would have needed 124 or 128 credit hours to graduate from USD. As I understand you now must have 128. How do you get at minimum 64 credit hours with no class time? A student is able to test out of some prerequisite courses; I know this because I did. These test used to be pass-fail without adding or deleting from GPA. These tests only allowed you to move past coursework you could prove minimum knowledge of. Hard tests but accredited standards not all takers passed.

    20 years ago, credits did not transfer very easily, so out of the 64 credits she may have accumulated at most, maybe 50% would have transferred, leaving her with maybe 32 credits usable at USD. What this means is she actually needed 96 credits from USD to graduate. I want to see the transcript where she collected 96 credits and graduated with a grade point average (GPA) over 3.0. The only way this could be done is by receiving an honorary degree.

    Receiving Intern credits while you are the boss of the office? Who was supervising her? The Koch Brothers? Speaker Boehner? Who wrote the performance review students were required to present in order to receive the credits from the granting department dean?

    What USD intern did the paperwork Kristi read than signed to earn her credits? What is the quid pro quo being performed here?

    So, something is a bit smelly in Vermillion and possibly Pierre. Who on the Board of Regents, in the USD administration, at the political science department and the registrar’s office who approved this scheme to make Kristi out to be super human? I know what it takes to earn 60+ hours in one calendar year to graduate and it was an amazing year. If Kristi did 64 to 96 credit hours in one year and could prove it there might be some respect for her effort. Every time she mentions her ‘achievement’ she will degrade USD and what is left of her integrity.

  4. It is also ironic that Noem is getting her degree from where her former opponent, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin,is an adjunct faculty. Wonder if Noem took any courses from her.

    The bothersome question is the matter of how the credits were actually earned. If she was noth there to attend classes, what kind of special arrangements were made for her? How many internships can you take for credit (where I went to school, you were only allowed one) and who were her supervisors. I thought she took the internship through USD but was working on her degree at SDSU.

    It would seem like it’s to make her transcript public. The public, after all, is her employer.

  5. Politicos get ridiculous perks like this all the time. Ronald Reagan needed to appoint an American Indian adviser to the BIA. He was introduced to gentleman named Dave Anderson who among other things was big in brokering deals for Indian gambling and now happens to own a small chain of barbecue restaurants called Famous Dave’s. Anyways Dave Anderson, although successful in business, had no degree. To have this advisory job they needed him to have a degree. I’m sure Reagan made some special requests. Dave Anderson then earned a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard… but has no undergrad.

  6. Testor 15, I’m behind everything you said in your comment, except this:

    “so she gives up and uses the excuse of tragedy to drop out.”

    The death of a parent, and probably the chief income procurer, is not an excuse.

    Just leave that out, because it it petty and small of you, but the rest all holds up very well. It does stink rancidly.

  7. I agree somewhat with you Bishop, death of parents and taking care of the estate is a huge task . . . if that was the case. (I was always told that she got pregnant by her husband before they got married) and that is why she dropped out. Not sure if that is true, but I will say, no one has ever denied it to me. I will also add that I don’t care if people are procreating out of wedlock. Who cares. But you know how small town SD is.

  8. The whole thing with Kristi dropping out of college to “run” the family farm, is she comes from a fairly large family and as well to do as they are they could have hired a farm hand or two, so that she could finish school. Also as far as using raising kids, working on the farm, etc. as an excuse not to finish. I know lots of single mothers that work full time, go to class full time, and raise their kids. At least she had a husband to help her, and lived on the same farm as the rest of her family, therefore having built in day care. Plus the fact that she also uses politics as part of her excuse, maybe she should have forgot about politics until she had her degree. I also thought interns did work for a boss, not for themselves. As far as that goes WE are Kristi’s bosses, we should have had to inspect and approve her intern work.

  9. My apology for being very blunt with my statement: “so she gives up and uses the excuse of tragedy to drop out.” It is a small part of a discussion of someone who uses excuses and people to rationalize behaviors. Now she builds a political justification story to sway voter’s sympathy. It is part of the story of her life. Again if my wording was blunt, it was not to demean or hurt. It was to illustrate a collective of actions she has taken, she does not want to to touch or question.

  10. You are wasting your time on this? Did you all not graduate from college and are pissed that someone, i.e Noem or basically any high profile athlete, skated through? We still need garbage people and waitstaff, get out there and get it done and stop crying in your cheerios.

  11. Noem is all about gaming the system.

    Her farm has several farm hands. Sometimes someone should ask her how many they have. I was told 14 people work for the Arnold’s.

    I know they were married before she dropped out of school because her dad was at the wedding.

  12. It is entirely possible that Noem decided to drop out of school because she was pregnant before her dad died and all these years later it was convenient to use that as an emotional tear jerker when running for Congress.

    I will say I am very tired of Noem saying “my dad died” everytime she’s interviewed or when she gives a speech. I know if it was my dad who died tragically I wouldn’t want to bring it up every 15 seconds.

  13. Great post. I’m sure Noem cheated to get her degree.

    She’s a hard worker and she’s one of those people who will screw anyone over to get what she wants but she will always feel it is someone elses fault for her not getting everything she wants.

  14. As far as her previous credits go, I’ve had people at work tell me that credits they earned 20 years ago are no longer valid, and they need to take those classes over to finish their degree.

  15. Nitpicking: She is our only representative, not our only congressperson. We have 3 of those.

  16. Not sure if Noem was married or not when she moved back home, but the rumor has always been she was pregnant, and that is why she dropped out of college (whether she was married at the time or not, don’t know, don’t care. I think people can procreate w/o being married).

    scott – You bring up something that I have heard from several people, there is a timeline on transferring credits. When I graduated from SE TECH with an Associates Degree, I could have went another couple of years to college and got a BA, the credits would have transferred, that was 1993. I am pretty sure they would not now.

  17. testor also brings up a good point, did Noem have to pay for a full degree even if she used intern credits.

    There is a lot of holes in this topic. Still waiting for someone in the MSM media to ask questions, but like Thune, she seems untouchable.

  18. Tom H.

    ” Nitpicking: She is our only representative, not our only congressperson. We have 3 of those.”

    I’m sorry to inform you, as sorry as I can be, she is our our only U.S. Representative. Johnson and Thune are US Senators. Two different congress chambers with very different responsibilities deemed by US Constitution.

  19. “Instead of working with Republicans to rebuild the economy, the president is ignoring the tough choices and trying to distract from the real issues.” Once again Noem and her ultra partisan collegial GOP friends in congress twist the truth.

    Forget the root cause of the troubles she brought up. The Bush era tax cuts, the collapsed economy caused by Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act deregulation scheme, Enron, Newt, John Roberts court, and general intransigence of the right wingnuts causing the economy to collapse. During this collapse, Mitch McConnell and his minions like our no mind Noem, have shut down the governments in more than 20 states. States like Wisconsin and Michigan have furloughed employees ore striped them of their contract rights. These actions have caused state and local governments to be the only part of the economy to not be stabilized. 20 months of private sector job growth and 20 months of government job losses due to the hate generated by the right wingnuts preaching TeaBagger madness.

    So Kristi, quit twisting the truth and be honest for the first time in your life. You, like Thune, is an opportunist who steps over everyone and South Dakota to gain another greedy foothold on power.

    As I said before, she will use any method to grab more power.

    Kristi, a death, a birth, a marriage, 3 or 4 colleges, a suspicious college degree and more are just part of your scheme to take power. A power you do not understand. The more I have studied your careers, the less I trust you. Kristi, you need a person running against you who would look at your schemes and clearly draw distinctions. Good versus your evil. You are a Sarah Palin equal in thought process and skill. Both owned and controlled by the Koch Brothers, FOX, TeaBaggers and other evils of the right.

  20. There are professionals in the SD Republican party? I have often thought they were just a bunch of dime store crooks.

  21. testor:

    I’m sorry to inform you, as sorry as I can be, she is our our only U.S. Representative. Johnson and Thune are US Senators. Two different congress chambers with very different responsibilities deemed by US Constitution.

    We have 1 Representative and 2 Senators. The term ‘Congressperson’ refers to either a Representative or a Senator. Thus, we have 3 Congresspeople.

  22. i’m sure argus will get on this as soon as their annual bike ride and ribfest is over.

  23. scott – on your point, I have heard that Ribfest is a very profitable event for the AL, heck, probably something that helps keep them afloat.

  24. Most schools won’t accept credits more than three years old and SD colleges are known for not accepting other schools credits even if they were from last year. Have to wonder if her major 20 years ago was political science. I read she graduated with a 3.6 grade point. How was that figured? Her stories of her challenges in academia vary greatly. Basically she was handed a college degree under the guise of actually going to school, writing papers, reading books and taking tests. College students and voters of SD should be told how she got it. Did she get 20, 30, 40 or 50 hours of credit for being a congressperson?

  25. It must be official, Boehner Tweeted :
    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) relayed his cheer via Twitter, writing: “Congratulations to recent @SDState graduate @RepKristiNoem. cbsn.ws/Jj4HNZ A wonderful accomplishment & truly inspiring story.”

  26. Jo, she might have received 128 hours credit for being a congress critter. “Graduating” with pomp and honorary degree. I read she is one of only a couple members of the House without a college degree. It was probably deemed important for the TeaBaggers to show how to get it done without showing up. Oh yea, just like her service in congress…

  27. This is ridiculous. it is impossible to get a job with the state of south dakota earing @ $13.00 per hour for many, many stupid positions without a degree, but yet she is allowed to be in congress without a degree? what a joke. special treatment

  28. what exactly makes her qualified to do anything she is doing? she lived on a ranch? ummm….. doesnt anyone else see this? any everyday Joe can now run for Congress? wow.

  29. Was doing some other research and came across this again and my mind got to working overtime. Maybe we should all start a campaign for Noem to release her college transcripts. lol

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