Oyate News - News For The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Community

The Sisseton Wahpeton College


Last updated 2/8/2021 at 10:42pm

The Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC), a tribal college located in Agency Village, South Dakota, was established to serve the Lake Traverse Reservation. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SWO), formerly the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, granted the charter to create the institution in 1979 to serve the educational needs of tribal members and the people of the surrounding communities. Tribal leaders realized that education was critical in addressing the high unemployment rates, poverty, and other social and economic conditions affecting the reservation. Education provides the opportunities, knowledge, and skilled workforce required for community-based economic development.

In 1980, SWC began receiving federal funds under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act. With this limited funding based on the Indian Student Count (ISC), the college was able to establish a few basic programs. Although the college receives no financial support for non-tribal members from the federal government or the State of South Dakota, SWC maintains an open-door policy and low tuition rates for anyone seeking an education. Over the course of its existence the college has been successful in securing both federal and private grants.

As a 1994 Land Grant Institution, the college has access to additional financial resources from the federal government, including the USDA Endowment that provides funding each year to SWC in lieu of the grants of land given to the 1862 institutions. Additionally, other grants from the federal government, notably the Department of Education's Title III TCCU Program, have been transitioned to a more stable formula-based format.

As President of Sisseton Wahpeton College, I am excited to begin sharing some of the many exciting things that are taking place at SWC. The college has an extensive, relevant, and varied list of educational programs for Lake Traverse. We are pushing to increase our programming to begin offering baccalaureate degrees, but we must advance through the many miles of red tape first. Since the onslaught of COVID 19, we have discovered new ways of delivering education that adds flexibility to a hybrid of face to face and zoom video conferencing. Student Debt forgiveness and cost of attendance relief are two financial aid resources that SWC now offers and we hope to continue this for years to come.

Sisseton Wahpeton College is here to serve you for your academic and career and technical education. We will soon have a new website to assist us in marketing all we have to offer. I invite you to visit us in person or virtually at http://www.swcollege.edu. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Toksta ake!

Dr. Lane Azure

President, Sisseton Wahpeton College


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