2013 to 2020

Contents page 1  
Mission Statement
Institutional Background

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Sisseton Wahpeton College Strategic Plan

Contents page 2
Institutional Core Values
Core Institutional Goals
Vision and the Strategic Plan Process
Strategic Planning Process Model 
Strategic Imperatives 
Strategic Goals 
Goal One: Provide Higher Education Programs that Contribute to the Economic and Social Development of the Lake Traverse Reservation 
Goal Two: Increase the Number of Students on the Lake Traverse Reservation Pursuing and Completing Programs in Higher Education 
Goal Three: Enhance the Fiscal Stability of SWC to Support Future Growth 
Goal Four: Increase Leadership, Professional Capacity, and Accountability throughout the Institution 

Institutional Background

The Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC), a tribal college located in Agency Village, South Dakota, was established to serve the Lake Traverse Reservation. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SWO), formerly the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, granted the charter to create the institution in 1979 to serve the educational needs of tribal members and the people of the surrounding communities. Tribal leaders realized that education was critical in addressing the high unemployment rates, poverty, and other social and economic conditions affecting the reservation. Education provides the opportunities, knowledge, and skilled workforce required for community-based economic development.
In 1980, SWC began receiving federal funds under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act. With this limited funding based on the Indian Student Count (ISC), the college was able to establish a few basic programs. Although the college receives no financial support for non-tribal members from the federal government or the State of South Dakota, SWC maintains an open-door policy and low tuition rates for anyone seeking an education. Over the course of its existence the college has been successful in securing both federal and private grants. As a 1994 Land Grant Institution, the college has access to additional financial resources from the federal government, including the USDA Endowment that provides funding each year to SWC in lieu of the grants of land given to the 1862 institutions. Additionally, other grants from the federal government, notably the Department of Education’s Title III TCCU Program, have been transitioned to a more stable formula-based format.

 Pursuant to the authority vested in the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, by its Constitution and By-laws adopted by the members of the Tribe on August 1-2, 1966 and approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on August 25, 1966, and last amended effective November 15, 2006, particularly by Article VII, Section 1 (a) and (h), to provide for the health, education, welfare, and such other services for the betterment of the Tribe, the Tribal Council of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation ratified the Charter of the Sisseton-Wahpeton College ("SWC"), a non-profit corporation, duly adopted by a ¾ majority vote of all members of the Board of Trustees at a special meeting on October 9, 2007.


A. The name of the non-profit Corporation shall be the Sisseton Wahpeton College.

B. The period of duration of the non-profit Corporation shall be perpetual.


The SWC shall exist for the charitable purpose of providing and maintaining a high standard of higher education and continuing education to the members of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation and others within the historical lands of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. The purposes of the SWC for the benefit of the Tribe and all tribal members are as follows:

A. Primary Purpose:

(1) To provide educational programs and/or to establish and operate an education institution at the post-secondary level on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

B. Ancillary Purposes:

(1) To do everything and anything necessary, proper, advisable or convenient for the accomplishment of the purposes set forth above, which are not forbidden by law.

(2) To achieve the above purposes the SWC may borrow money, accept donations, contract and generally do each and everything necessary that a non-profit corporation may do under the Internal Revenue Code.


Article I - Purpose
Article II - Board Of Trustees Responsibilities

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Sisseton Wahpeton College Board of Trustees Bylaws


The Sisseton-Wahpeton College (the “College”) Charter requires the Board of Trustees to adopt Bylaws that are consistent with the Charter. It is understood by the Board of Trustees that the terms of the Charter control and are superior to these Bylaws. The Bylaws establish the responsibilities, qualifications, and procedures of the Board of Trustees. The Bylaws also address the officers and meetings of the Board of Trustees.


Section 1. Responsibilities and Powers. In addition to those responsibilities and powers identified in the Charter, the Board of Trustees shall exercise the following responsibilities and powers:

A. Approve policies and procedures for the effective governance of the College;

B. To establish and adopt policies and procedures that distinguish the roles, authorities, and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees;

C. To ensure compliance with applicable accreditation standards;

D. To hire and to terminate the President/Chief Executive Officer, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Chief Financial Officer of the College;

E. To evaluate the president;

F. To determine the college mission based on recommendations from the governance system;

G. To act as a channel of communications from the community to the college;

H. To require and monitor budgets and annual audits;

I. Comply with all College, Tribal, and Federal policies, regulations and laws that govern the College;

J. May be required to assist with events.

Section 2. Stipends. The amount of a stipend for a regular or special meeting will be determined on an annual basis. The total amount of available stipend money shall be included in the College budget.
Section 3. Expenses. A Board member may be reimbursed for legitimate expenses when authorized by the Board of Trustees, however, expenses shall be limited to training or conference fees, travel and per diem expenses that are related to the                                        Board member’s duties to the College.

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