Sinte Gleska Develops Master’s in ManagementAug 15th, 2005 | By tcj | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Tribal College News
Dreams of obtaining higher education don’t just stop at a bachelor’s degree anymore on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Thanks to the demands of a more complex society and higher standards of living, Rosebud tribal members are seeking more education to gain better paying jobs and greater influence over their personal destinies.
In response, faculty and staff at Sinte Gleska University (SGU, Rosebud, SD) are developing a master’s degree in management to train those ambitious students who cannot afford to leave the reservation for extended time periods to obtain the degree elsewhere.
The degree will train students to develop businesses, obtain leadership positions, and improve current programs on or off the reservation. Because it is a multi-disciplinary degree with a multi-cultural focus, the steering committee envisions recruiting students specializing in almost any subject area.
The new degree is the logical next step in the growth of the university and the tribal nation, according to Schuyler Houser, director of special projects at the Scott Bordeaux Leadership Institute at SGU. In its 35-year history, Sinte Gleska University has become accredited to offer master’s degrees in education and in human services, as well as 35 bachelor’s and associate degree areas. The result has been the growth of a highly educated workforce on the Rosebud and expansion of services and community growth.
“We have worked hard over the past 30 years to provide the training needed to sustain the workforce on the reservation, but now it’s time to look to a future where our people are in those management positions, shaping the future of our tribal nation,” said Lionel Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota), president of Sinte Gleska University. “This way we ensure that the Sicangu Lakota Oyate will be here 100 to 200 years from now.”
The pilot course for the new degree will be a class in leadership taught by Houser and former Rosebud Tribal Education Director Sherry Red Owl Neiss. It will be offered in fall 2005. SGU is conducting a needs assessment and organizing an advisory board of local business leaders, tribal program leaders, and other community members.
The new degree will have to be approved by the regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, within the next few years. The university hopes to award diplomas to its first group of management graduates by 2008.