Presentation College has officially announced that it will be closing its outreach campus on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D. next May 2014 with a plan in place to teach out all remaining students currently enrolled at the site before closing. This decision was made by our Board of Trustees at the October 16, 2013 meeting.
“There were many deciding factors that went into this decision,” said PC President Dr. Margaret A. Huber. “We feel that the Presentation Sisters’ and the college have accomplished the mission in Eagle Butte and have provided a great service over the past three decades since the campus opened.”
The Eagle Butte Campus opened in 1980 after the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe approached the Sisters about developing a nursing program in Eagle Butte to help with the ongoing healthcare needs on the reservation. Throughout its 33 year history Presentation College graduated 170 nurses from the Eagle Butte Campus, making the mission an overwhelming success. Several other fields are represented in the total Eagle Butte alumni cohort of 186.
As a testament to PC’s success, Ziebach County, which is where Eagle Butte is located was ranked 65th out of 66 counties in the number of persons per registered nurse in 1980 and by 2010 the county was ranked 28th in that category.
PC is still committed to Native American education and will continue to build the scholarship fund so that Native Americans can attend college at the Aberdeen Campus or take courses through PC’s online virtual campus.
“We are still very much dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to Native Americans,” said Huber. “We are just going to be offering those opportunities in a different capacity now.”
There has been a gradual decline in applications, admissions and registered students over the past six years at the Eagle Butte Campus, which also went into the decision to close the site.
When the Presentation Sisters began the mission in Eagle Butte in 1980 it was the only accredited college in the region; however, since that time, Oglala Lakota College has established itself in the area and offers Native Americans special tuition pricing that makes a degree program at our Eagle Butte Campus less appealing.