Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.00
Liaison Kathy Johnson
Submission Date April 21, 2020

STARS v2.2

Black Hills State University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Deborah Liddick
AD of Facilities Services and Sustainability
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Center for American Indian Studies

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The Center for American Indian Studies formally partners with local high schools, tribal governments, and local nonprofits to organize and implement programs to benefit Native students working toward a college degree.

The Center for American Indian Studies was established at Black Hills State University by an act of the South Dakota Legislature in 1972. The mandate of the Center is to:
• Serve as the administrative unit for academic programs in American Indian Studies.
• To act as a coordinating and liaison facility for issues and programs dealing with Indian students
• To promote awareness of American Indian cultures, value systems, and social problems among both Indian people themselves and members of the larger society
• To assist the University in both recruiting and retaining students of American Indian ancestry
• To act as a liaison with tribal governments, tribal educational facilities, and American Indian organizations in the Northern Plains region when so requested
• To support, encourage, and seek funding for research and publication pertaining to all areas of American Indian culture, language, and heritage

Since its launch, the Center has thrived and grown into a long-standing program within the University. An Advisory Board governs the Center through planning, decision-making, implementation, and review and a mission to lead and guide efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate American Indian Students. Members of the Advisory Board include representatives from Academic Affairs, Institutional Research, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dean of Students, American Indian Studies Faculty, current students, representative from Sanford Underground Lab, and community members. BHSU supports the Center with two full-time staff and a campus office and meeting space.

The Center actively supports two student-led organizations, Lakota Omniciye (“a gathering, assembly”) and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Lakota Omniciye’s purpose is to develop and augment the Black Hills State University educational system to meet and specialize in the unique needs of American Indian students. This organization promotes fellowship among Indian and non-Indian students, and organizes an annual Cultural Awareness Week and Wacipi (pow-wow) in early April that is now in its 37th year. The Wacipi has attracted as many as 2,500 persons, making it one of the larger pow-wows in the state. This event is part of American Indian Awareness Week, a time dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture, featuring daily speakers and a variety of events at Black Hills State University. 2019’s American Indian Awareness Week featured the theme “American Indian Women: Leaders Across Communities and Disciplines” and brought women speakers to campus to explore a wide variety of topics relevant to rural South Dakota and the local Native American population.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national non-profit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional native values. The ultimate goal of AISES is to be a catalyst for the advancement of American Indians and Native Alaskans as they seek to become self-reliant members of society. AISES assists and supports Indian students who are preparing for careers in the areas of science, engineering, and technology.

The Center for American Indian Studies has a formal partnership with six other South Dakota Universities, including a tribal college, on the Jump Start program in fifty high schools across the state. High School students can contact a Jump Start Advisor to set up a personal visit. The Jump Start Advisor works with Jump Start students to make sure they successfully navigate everything from registering for Summer Bridge classes, to participating in orientation and campuses transition programming in the Living Learning Communities to connecting students with faculty, staff and other campus resources.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Gardens for Schools

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

BHSU worked with a local elementary school to provide materials, training and ongoing education for on-site gardens. We worked with Creekside Elementary to provide materials for raised beds (compost, soil) and held weekly gardening classes throughout the growing season. This partnership supports social equity and well being, economic prosperity and ecological health. We partner with the Spearfish Master Gardeners.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
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Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
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Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
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Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
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A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
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A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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