The Origins of Presentation College

Presentation College has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (previously known as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) since 1971. Presentation College conferred a diploma on its graduates until 1966 when the College began to confer associate degrees in Arts and in Science. In 1990, the College was accredited to also offer four-year professional baccalaureate programs.

In 1980, the Cheyenne River Lakota Nursing School at Eagle Butte, South Dakota, a satellite of the nursing program of Presentation College, enrolled the first class of Native American students. In 1991, the name of the school was changed to Presentation College-Lakota Campus.

The athletics program began in 1995 and continues to grow and expand. The 1,200-seat Strode Activity Center was dedicated in 1998 as the home of Saints Athletics. The College participated in athletics at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III level until April 2013 when it became an approved member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Presentation College offers male and female students the opportunity to participate in a number of sports including basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball, and football.

A new student housing complex opened in 1999, featuring suites that are on a space-available basis, with private bedrooms, semi-private bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and Internet access.

Distance learning programs at the College were added in 2000 under the umbrella known as PC Virtual. PC Virtual currently includes distance-based programs in a variety of areas. The classroom work for these programs is offered completely online to students who reside in states where Presentation College has received state approval to operate.

In 2003, Presentation College-Fairmont Campus was opened in the community of Fairmont, Minnesota. In 2006, Presentation College offered programs within the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, area on the campus of Kilian College. The College moved its Sioux Falls offerings to an independent location in Sioux Falls in May 2013.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, the College completed a renovation of its chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology and athletic training lab facilities. During that time period, the College also invested in infrastructure and programming by constructing a practice football field with artificial turf and by expanding the Strode athletic facility to accommodate the addition of football as a conference sport.

In 2013, Presentation College opened a multi-million dollar student suites housing facility, as well as a new athletic training and wellness center with expanded space and high-tech exercise equipment. At the same time, a project to reconfigure the campus parking lots and open areas was begun. In 2014, the finished result was a beautiful  new campus green, with sidewalks, paths and trees.

Presentation College broke ground in 2014 for the new winter Dome, which was fully erected for the first time in early 2015. Each year in November, the Dome is inflated to provide indoor space for sports, intramurals, recreation and community activities. It comes down each April when teams begin playing outside again.

At the beginning of 2017, construction began on the Avera Simulation Center, a high-tech, hands-on learning center for students in Nursing, Athletic Training and other Allied Health Fields. The facility, containing 6 distinct simulation areas, and equipped with specialized equipment and interactive mannequins, opened in early summer.

During the summer of 2017, a new Welcome Center for visitors, alumni, prospective students and families was constructed at the entrance of the main building. “Saint Square,” a resource and service office for students, was designed on the second floor.  The Wein Gallery, containing display space for artworks, was renovated and re-opened in the Southeast Building.

Also in the fall of 2018, Presentation College launched its first-ever graduate program: a Master’s in Nursing with two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. The programs are designed with a focus on rural health care.

The College, in 1998, received the ABBY Award for Community Involvement; in 2002, the Outstanding Rural Health Program Award from the National Rural Health Association recognizing SEED (Skills Enhancement & Education Through Distance Learning). In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, the Corporation for National and Community Service named Presentation College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.