Oglala Lakota College (OCL) features college centers in each of the nine reservation districts throughout the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Oglala Lakota College is chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribe. There are now 11 college centers providing college classes to students on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rapid City area, and the Cheyenne River Reservation. The College’s mission is to provide educational opportunities that enhance Lakota life. These opportunities include community services, certificates, GED, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.
Oglala Lakota College was one of the first tribally controlled colleges in the United States. The concept of a tribally controlled college is that it be sanctioned by an Indian tribe, governed by a Board of Trustees made up of tribal members; and meets the needs of reservation people in their pursuit of higher education. Oglala Lakota College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which is a member of the North Central Association (NCA). NCA granted continuing accreditation for all existing degrees, the Master’s degree in Lakota Leadership/Management, and an added Master’s degree emphasis in Educational Administration. The programs in Elementary Education and in Nursing are fully approved by the state of South Dakota. Graduates of the elementary education program are certified by the South Dakota Division of Education, and graduates of the nursing program are permitted to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination to become Registered Nurses. Bachelor of Social Work was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in Spring of 2010.