Si Tanka, 3 Programs Receive Accreditation

Nov 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 16-2: Tribal College Research, Tribal College News

Si Tanka University (STU) received 5-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) in June 2004. The decision follows a comprehensive visit in February 2004 by a team of six to Si Tanka’s two campuses, one in Eagle Butte, SD, and the other in Huron, SD.

The team’s written report commended the university for its strong mission, which reflects the unique culture of a tribal college and incorporates the values of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. In addition the team cited STU’s “Spirit of Courage” retention model.

Other areas of strength noted by the review team included a mission-related university assessment plan; implementation of committees; strong buy-in of faculty toward assessment of learning outcomes; commitment to a multicultural environment; and implementation of a developmental program.

The NCA Higher Learning Commission recommended an annual monitoring report on institutional finances. The report noted other areas for improvement, including the need for mission-linked strategic planning; clarification of committee roles and functions; and development of the website. The next comprehensive evaluation will be held in 2008-2009.

Three of Si Tanka’s programs also were reviewed for accreditation over the past 14 months. In October 2003, the university’s athletic training academic program received initial 5-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs based in Chicago, IL. The next site visit will be prior to October 31, 2008. Several follow-up reports were required related to calibration of therapeutic equipment and student instruction from specialized medical personnel. Si Tanka is the first tribal university to have an accredited athletic training program.

In January 2004, the university’s 4-year nursing program received ongoing approval from the South Dakota State Board of Nursing. The team chair said the STU nursing program has the potential to become the national model for tribal universities.

In April 2004, the university’s teacher education program received 1-year accreditation from the South Dakota Department of Education. This program will undergo a focused visit in spring 2005.

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