Oglala Lakota College is a four-year, co-ed institution that found its beginnings in 1971. One of the premier tribal colleges in the United States, Oglala Lakota offers both graduate and undergraduate programs. Its undergraduate population of about 1500 students is composed of 69% female students and 31% male with about equal proportions of full-time and part-time undergraduates. The student population is diverse in terms of age, background and race. A large number of programs of study are offered, with most students concentrating in liberal arts, construction trades, education, conservation and administration.
Governed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and located on the tribe’s reservation, one of the goals of Oglala Lakota College is to train tribe members for employment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Though it is quite a young institution, it is growing. The fall semester of 2009 the institution marked its highest enrollment to date.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to nine of Oglala Lakota College’s 11 campuses, is historically important as the site of the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, in which hundreds of innocent Native Americans were killed en route to a Sioux reservation. The reservation was also the site of a 1973 conflict between the FBI and members of the American Indian Movement.