The Sisseton Wahpeton College is a part of a long history of education that has gone through many phases and changes since first contact with Europeans. Before America was a nation, Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands knew and practiced appliedsciences and lifelong learning. Their knowledge of the natural sciences astounded the learned Europeans who could not accept them as more than primitive savages. The Sisseton and Wahpeton have survived mission schools, boarding schools, andhundreds of educational laws and policies, and even being banded from their homeland to a reservation. Here in the northeastern corner of the state of South Dakota, the remnant of the two bands were allowed to retain a small triangular- shaped piece of land now known as the Lake Traverse Reservation. Here the elders of the tribe visualized a time when their own people would take control of the education of its youth. On August 7, 1979, this vision became a reality with the establishment of the Sisseton Wahpeton College. SWC received a needed financial boost in 1980 when federal funds were allocated through the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act. While these funds are about half the amount given the individual states for educational assistance, it was enough to get some basic programs established. In spite of a lack of adequate funding, and with limited resources, SWC continued to pursue the vision. In 1983, SWC was granted educational candidacy by the North Central Association's Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. SWC received initial accreditation in 1990. SWC has kept its doors open to serve anyone who desires and education. Even though the State of South Dakota does not provide any support for the non-Indian students who attend SWC, they are served along with tribal members. SWC has made enormous strides with several divisions. Academic programs include Business, Computers, Counseling, Dakota Studies, Early Childhood Development, Hospitality and Gaming, Mass Communication, Nursing, Nutrition, and General Studies. SWC provides such support services as Adult Basic Education, GED preparation and testing, Career Counseling, Financial Aid, Library Services, Learning Lab, and Tribal Archives. SWC had made its resources available to the tribe. The tribe is one of a few nationwide that has accepted the challenge to develop and administer welfare reform measures. SWC is a partner in this effort in providing basic education needs and job readiness training. As the tribe enters the new millennium, SWC will continue its mission to meet the ever changing needs of its tribal members.
Welcome to Sisseton Wahpeton College! Our mission and goal is to help you be successful not only in your pursuit of higher education, but in your current and future career as well. Each and every one of our faculty and staff are dedicated to your success. I congratulate you on the decision to pursue a higher education and we are honored that you have chosen Sisseton Wahpeton College as your partner in this incredible journey. It is our privilege to assist you as you work to accomplish your personal and professional goals.
Sisseton Wahpeton College is a comprehensive community college regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Many of our programs will prepare you to enter the workforce right away upon completion,
while others allow you to transfer seamlessly to one of our University partners. Either way, once you start here, you can go anywhere!
Sisseton Wahpeton College not only endeavors to serve each student, but to also serve all stakeholders in the region by providing a trained workforce and economic development activities. Higher education not only provides opportunities for students, it also supports the economic development of communities, tribes and regions.
At Sisseton Wahpeton College you will have the opportunity to expand your skills, your knowledge and your horizon while achieving your career goals. You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with new people from many locations and cultures. Sisseton Wahpeton College will provide you with opportunities to expand your mind, expand your goals, and expand your culture! We are excited to take this journey with you and look forward to supporting you along the way. Work hard, work smart and be completely committed and your educational experience will be amazing and truly rewarding! The education you receive at Sisseton Wahpeton College will establish a strong foundation for your career and your life.
Remember, once you start here you can go anywhere!
Randy Smith, Ph.D.