Sitting Bull College
9299 Hwy 24
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
Sitting Bull College (SBC) is an academic and technical institution committed to improving the levels of education and training, economic and social development of the people it serves while promoting responsible behavior consistent with the Lakota/Dakota culture and language.
Its motto is "Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."
Its mission statement is, "Guided by Lakota/Dakota culture, values, and language, Sitting Bull College is committed to building intellectual capital through academic, career and technical education, and promoting economic and social development."
SBC commits itself to the highest educational standards. It has set institutional goals that include teaching students to communicate effectively, to employ critical thinking skills, to become leaders and community builders, to live in balance, and to study their culture.
College classes were first offered on the Standing Rock Reservation in 1968 through the Division of Continuing Education at Bismarck Junior College (BJC). Many of the inaugural classes were held in the Douglas Skye Memorial Complex which, at that time, housed office space for tribal government agencies.
In 1971, the director of the BJC Division of Continuing Education, representatives of the Standing Rock Community Action Program, and educational personnel from the Bureau of Indian Affairs held several meetings to plan for the development of a community college on the reservation. In November 1971, a Community College Committee (CCC) was formed with Tribal Council members from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and representatives from several tribal agencies, including Headstart, Community Action, and Public Health Services.
The CCC was formally recognized by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council on April 11, 1972 and began offering classes that same year, later that fall. Starting enrollment for the inaugural class was 95 students and included a total of eight course offerings. The CCC continued its development planning and because BJC already offered a variety of fully accredited academic courses and vocational programs on the Standing Rock Reservation, the CCC submitted a request to BJC to assist in the development effort on the Reservation.
In order to promote community support and interest among community members, the Standing Rock Tribal Council passed a resolution, changing the name of the Community College Committee to the Standing Rock Community College Board of Trustees. This resolution gave the SRCC Board of Trustees final authority over all matters affecting the institution, including administration of the college’s financial practices, development of academic programs and business relationships with state and federal government agencies.
Sitting Bull College began operating as Standing Rock Community College (SRCC) on September 21, 1973. On that date, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council approved a charter allowing SRCC to operate as a post-secondary educational institution at the associate degree level. At that time, there were three full-time employees.
A $100,000 Title III grant was used to fund the 1973-1974 academic year, which allowed the college’s Board of Trustees to double the number of classes offered from the previous year. In 1975, the BJC and SRCC partnership received a larger, multi-year Title III grant that allowed the college to continue its growth, including relocation to, at that time, a state-of-the-art Skills Center.
SRCC’s first graduation was held May 14, 1976, for the seven students who received associate's degrees. The degrees were granted through Bismarck State College.
The process of seeking accreditation for the SRCC began in 1975, with Candidate Status for accreditation granted in 1978 after a thorough evaluation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education. This status meant the college was recognized as now providing Higher Education services and that it could be ready for full accreditation within six years. SRCC eventually received full accreditation in 1984 and to mark this achievement, the college officially changed its name to Standing Rock College (SRC).
The college later received continued accreditation in 1987, 1991, and for a full 10 years in 1996. Again to mark their success and at the urging of many community elders and college administrators, on March 6, 1996, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council voted to amend the charter, changing the college’s name to Sitting Bull College (SBC).
SBC continued to operate out of the Skills Center in Fort Yates, North Dakota until breaking ground for a new campus in August 2000 along Highway 24, approximately one-half mile west of Ft. yates. Between 2000 and 2012, SBC raised more than $23 million to build a new $40 million campus.
Today SBC’s entire operations is now located on the new campus (July 2011), which includes a $83,000 cultural center, an 18-unit $1.3 million student-tamily housing complex, a $6.5 million Science & Technology Center, $3.2 million family support center, a $1.5 million public transit center, a $3.6 million entrepreneurial center, a $2.6 million student support center/library, a $1 million business office, a $1 million trades center, a renovated cultural center at the visitor's center, and a $1 million student housing complex, all powered by a large $980,000 and a smaller $100,000 wind turbine, whose maintenance have been incorporated into training in the wind turbine energy certification program.
Sitting Bull College also owns campus sites in McLaughlin and Mobridge, South Dakota.
Academics and Students
The school offers bachelor’s degree programs in:
Associate’s degree programs are available in: