SD colleges make list of top schools for indigenous students

Black Hills State University was named one of the Top 200 Colleges for Indigenous Students by Winds of Change Magazine, published by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. The major criteria for selection include a university’s supportive Native community and statistics on degrees. (photo courtesy Black Hills State University)

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Five colleges in South Dakota made the list of the top 200 colleges for indigenous students by Winds of Change magazine.

The magazine picked the top 200 schools by sifting through U.S. Department of Education data. They focused on statistics on degrees, graduation rants and enrollment.

In a story about the top schools, the magazine stated: “We look for colleges that have a good, and good-sized, indigenous student support community, and we focus on those that graduate a good percentage of their Native undergraduates.”

South Dakota schools on the list are:

• Black Hills State University
• Oglala Lakota College
• Sinte Gleska University
• South Dakota State University
• University of South Dakota

Winds of Change magazine’s list of 200 top schools for indigenous students is alphabetical by state. The schools are not individually ranked.

Rochelle Zens, assistant director of the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU, said BHSU boasts a strong American Indian Studies major, minor, and student center.

“At the BHSU Center for American Indian Studies, indigenous students are able to connect with their peers, receive one-on-one advising sessions, study in a group setting, and participate in the Center’s activities,” says Zens.