Randy L. Nelson, Ed.D.

Professor, Education / Director of International Education

Dr. Randy Nelson earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and German at the University of Sioux Falls.  He later earned a Master of Arts in Selected Studies in English at Augustana University and then a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. He has also completed graduate coursework in Germany and Austria.

During his 28 years of teaching high school English and German, Dr. Nelson taught in South Dakota and Minnesota. As well, he spent a year teaching in the public school system in Berlin, Germany.

Over the years Dr. Nelson has developed a strong interest in international education. Besides teaching, he serves as USF's Director of International Education. In that role he assists F-1 nonimmigrant students, serves as the Principal Designated School Official for SEVIS and directs the Bridges English Language program. He also oversees USF's study abroad program.



  • B.A., English and German, University of Sioux Falls, 1979
  • M.A., Selected Studies in English, Augustana University (SD), 1993
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of St. Thomas (MN), 2011

Courses Taught

  • SDV 150 - Writing for Diverse Learners
  • EDU 329 - Secondary and Middle-Level Methods
  • SDV 151 - Oral Communication Development
  • EDD 716 - International and Intercultural Perspectives

Professional Memberships



  • Educational psychology
  • Educational leadership
  • Secondary-level pedagogy
  • International and intercultural education


Doctoral Dissertation:  Uncovering Disillusionment, Loneliness, and Psychological Abuse:  A Phenomenological Study of Exchange Student Experiences

Scholarships and Creative Work

  • Created and developed "Teacher Impact and Empowerment Training," a three-level pedagogy workshop. Workshops are offered each summer to Liberian educators.
  • Presented "WAEC Skills Empowerment for the English Classroom: A Seminar for Secondary English Teachers" at LICOSESS College of Education, Monrovia, Liberia, July 2023.
  • Presented "Cultivating the Competitive Edge: Rethinking the Administrator and Faculty Mindset" at the Liberian National Education Conference, December 2022.
  • Presented "Supporting the Divine Servant: Church Leadership Meets Humanity" at the International Outreach Ministries National Convention, Monrovia, Liberia, December 2022.
  • Wrote nine levels of instructional material titled "Learning Good English." This material was written to assist students in grades 1-9 at the Christian schools in Fendell and Ganta, Liberia.
  • Wrote "The Competent Writer: A Sequential Essay Writing Program for Senior-High Students" to assist English teachers in Liberia.

Service/Volunteer Work

Missionary for Education

Dr. Nelson serves as the Missionary for Education at International Outreach Ministries in Sioux Falls.  In that role, he travels to Liberia, West Africa, each year to teach pedagogy workshops to educators from multiple counties. He likewise conducts a seminar for Liberian senior-high English teachers to help them prepare students for the West African Examinations Council test. In 2022 he was the keynote speaker and a presenter at the Liberian National Education Conference.