Oglala Lakota College

Enrollment Management Plan:

Recruitment, Retention, Persistence, & Completion

November 1, 2013


List of Tables 3

List of Figures 4

Introduction 5

Challenges in Recruitment, Persistence, Retention, and Completion 14

Enrollment Management Conceptual Framework 15

Approach to Enrollment Management 18

Methods and Analysis 20

Enrollment Management Department, Committee, and Stakeholders 25

Strategic Action Plan 26

References 31


Table 1. OLC Online Survey of OLC Faculty – May 2005 7

Table 2. OLC 2005-2006 Four, Five, Six-year Graduation Retention Rates 7

Table 3. OLC 10 Year Enrollment Summary Of Entering Freshman 19

Table 4. OLC 6-Year Retention Rates By Entering Freshman Cohorts 20

Table 5. OLC 2010-2012 Retention Rates 21

Table 6. OLC Completion Rate for Past 3 Years 15

Table 7. OLC Logic Model for Analyzing Recruiting and Attracting Students 27

Table 8. OLC Logic Model for Analyzing Retention 28

Table 9. OLC Logic Model for Analyzing Persistence 29

Table 10. OLC Logic Model for Analyzing Graduation Rates 31

Table 11. OLC Strategic Action Plan 32

Table 12. OLC Implementation Process Timeline 38


Figure 1. Oglala Lakota College Student Gender Statistics (AIMS/AKIS, 2012) 14

Figure 2. Oglala Lakota College Student Age Distribution (AIMS/AKIS, 2012 15

Figure 3. Oglala Lakota College Student Marital Status/Dependents (AIMS/AKIS, 2012) 15

Figure 4. Oglala Lakota College Student Family Income (AIMS/AKIS, 2012) 16

Figure 5. Oglala Lakota College Student Financial Aid (AIMS/AKIS, 2012) 16

Figure 6. Overall Reading/Writing Pass Rates in Foundational Studies 17

Figure 7. First Time, Full-Time, Degree Seeking Students in Foundational Studies RW 17

Figure 8. Overall Math Pass Rates in Foundational Studies 18

Figure 9. First Time, Full-Time, Degree Seeking Students in Foundational Studies Math 18

Figure 10. Oglala Lakota College Wolakolkiciyapi Model 16


The need for an Enrollment Management Plan and Policy was reaffirmed by the Enrollment Management Committee in August of 2013. The Enrollment Management Plan and Policy was determined as the best course of action for Oglala Lakota College, to ensure that all components of recruitment, enrollment, persistence, retention, and completion are addressed and continually reviewed. Thus this plan remains a working document. The Enrollment Management Policy is:

Enrollment Management Policy

Oglala Lakota College will develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a comprehensive enrollment management plan that includes student recruitment, retention, persistence, and completion. The Oglala Lakota College implements enrollment management through a holistic approach that fully embraces student recruitment, persistence, retention, and completion.

This document will provide a history of Oglala Lakota College’s retention efforts, review of ongoing progress, current challenges, and Enrollment Management approach.

Oglala Lakota College Retention History

In 1971, Oglala Lakota College was established as a chartered organization under the Oglala Sioux Tribe to provide quality education to the Lakota people. The Oglala Sioux Tribe believed that “Lakota control of education is also control of its destiny” (OLC, 2001). The application of Tribal Sovereignty through education for tribal members by tribal members has been a guiding principal in the Tribal College Movement. With this understanding, Oglala Lakota College was intentionally designed with an open door policy and a decentralized system to ensure equal opportunity and access for native and nonnative people on the Pine Ridge Reservation and surrounding communities.

From the time of inception, Oglala Lakota College has provided a wide range of educational opportunities from community service offerings, various certificates, to undergraduate and graduate degrees (OLC mission 2006). These efforts called for specific strategies to build a more rounded student emphasizing the four purposes of OLC to meet diverse needs: tribal, academic, culture and community.

The Oglala Lakota College vision and mission were enhanced in 2012 as part of continuous improvement practices to better address the needs of our stakeholders. The vision of Oglala Lakota College is to Rebuild the Lakota Nation Through Education. The Oglala Lakota College mission is to educate students for professional and vocational employment opportunities in Lakota country. The College will graduate well-rounded students grounded in Wolakolkiciyapi-learning Lakota ways of life in the community-by teaching Lakota culture and language as part of preparing students to participate in a multicultural world.

Oglala Lakota College is tailored to support student success by providing a college center in each district to deliver higher education opportunities closer to the student rather than expecting the student to go to the higher education facility such as a central campus. Each district center is rooted within the community to adhere to the social context of the community, and to meet the student’s geographical and socioeconomic needs by providing ease of access and an intimate student-centered environment.

The decentralized college system complements the Lakota social organization and the structure of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Oglala Sioux tribe has nine districts that make up the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. However, Oglala Lakota College has expanded the delivery of services to include urban native communities and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The decentralized organizational structure consists of one main campus Piya Wiconi, and eleven district centers including Eagle Nest, East Wakpamni, LaCreek, Pahin Sinte, Pass Creek, Pejuta Haka, Pine Ridge, White Clay, Wounded Knee, HeSapa, and Cheyenne River.

Student retention, persistence and completion is thus embedded within this unique social structure of Oglala Lakota College. Therefore, the locus of recruitment, retention, persistence, and completion is concentrated within our district centers. Consequently, it is a priority for each of our center directors and counselors to facilitate retention efforts by working directly and individually with students. Activities by center staff include follow up with students when classes are missed as well as nurturing and mentoring. OLC has determined that an immediate individualized approach is necessary to have immediate impact on student retention (Levitz, Beth, & Richter, 1998). This allows for rapid interventions by district staff. These processes are reliant on personal relationships, are essentially informal and therefore have not been historically documented in a formal written retention plan. Although not formally reported Oglala Lakota College has made efforts in student success since 1993, beginning with the Guide to Creating Student Success: in classes we know and love.

More recently, in 2004 Oglala Lakota College participated in the Building Engagement and Attainment for Minority Students (BEAMS) initiative that resulted in the development of a model that targeted retention as one of the four critical areas identified to “have a positive impact on students at the college” (DelRios & Leegwater, 2008. pg.41). The four critical areas were: student recruitment, advising and mentoring, retention, learning outcomes, and faculty development.

In 2005 the Faculty Development Committee conducted an online survey of OLC faculty to determine priorities and identify issues in relation to student learning. The response rate was “slightly under half of the full-time faculty responded to the survey” (OLC Bush Grant, 2005). The results of this survey are listed below:

Table1. OLC Online Survey of OLC Faculty – May 2005

/ Urgent / Important / Somewhat Important / Not Important / I Don't Know
Activities to Improve Student Retention /
/ 35% / 55% / 10% / 0% / 0%
Implementing Service Learning Opportunities /
/ 0% / 40% / 55% / 0% / 5%
Technology in the Classroom
/ 15% / 70% / 10% / 5% / 0%
Strengthen Remedial/Developmental Program /
/ 60% / 25% / 10% / 5% / 0%
Faculty Morale and Collegiality /
/ 50% / 30% / 20% / 0% / 0%
Teaching Skills to Promote Critical Thinking /
/ 60% / 35% / 5% / 0% / 0%
Improve Student's Core Competencies (Math, Reading, Writing) /
/ 65% / 30% / 5% / 0% / 0%
Relationship with Administration /
/ 60% / 25% / 15% / 0% / 0%
Becoming a University /
/ 20% / 35% / 0% / 45% / 0%

In 2005 OLC completed a fact book that reflected a six-year graduation rate of 3.8% and a retention rate of 13.5% to represent the years of 1999-2005. The low graduation rate sparked the development of retention strategies to increase the graduation rates.

The following table provides a four, five, and six year graduation/retention cohort to establish a baseline rate for the Oglala Lakota College in 2005. Retention rates for entering freshmen from a six year cohort (1999-2005) indicate the graduation rate was 3.8% in 2005. The current average graduation rate is 12% (see page 10 for table).

Table 2. OLC 2005-2006 Four, Five, Six Year Graduate/Retention Rates

2001 Entering Freshman / 211
2005 Graduates (4.27%) / 9
Currently enrolled (18%) / 38
2000 Entering Freshman / 167
2005Graduates (4.19%) / 7
Currently Enrolled (16.7%) / 28
1999 Entering Freshman / 221
2005 Graduates (3.8%) / 7
Currently Enrolled (13.5%) / 30

(OLC Fact Book 2005-2006)

The BEAMS initiative prompted the enhancement of the 2005 OLC student handbook and at the same time a 2005 retention plan was developed to focus on student retention issues such as travel, child care, personal issues, faculty involvement, and academic problems.

To complement the student initiatives, an OLC Faculty Handbook, and a culturally based faculty orientation, and faculty development sessions were created. The faculty orientation helped to guide faculty on differing methods of incorporating the Lakota perspective within the class room. In addition, Oglala Lakota College has conducted faculty development training sessions each semester, which is a practice that continues into the present day. Faculty handbooks, orientation, and development training sessions provide a strong foundation and common understanding throughout the college community regarding recruitment, persistence, retention, and completion.

In 2006 Oglala Lakota College created and piloted a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP was implemented in 2007. The vision of the quality enhancement plan was:

Vision: OLC will excel in recruiting, retaining and graduating students

Mission: OLC will develop and implement a comprehensive recruitment, retention, and completion plan.

Project Goals:

Goal 1: Develop student recruitment plan

Goal 2: Develop student retention ideas

Goal 3: Organize faculty and student orientation training

Goal 4: Brainstorm strategies for successful student completion/graduation

OLC selected several instruments to measure the effectiveness of the QEP goals for student engagement and retention including: National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) administered in 2005, Student Advisory Committee (SAC) survey administered in 2006 and 2008, Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) administered every spring semester for sophomores and exiting seniors, retreat surveys administered each year, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) gathered yearly, and Holistic scoring of student writing administered each semester from the 1990’s to the spring of 2011.

OLC utilized NSSE and SAC data sets as performance measures in directing the four project goals. SAC data collected for 2006 and 2008 revealed that students viewed center counselors as key personnel who are most helpful during their college career (27% for 2006 and 29% for 2008). Faculty and family were identified as equal factors in student success (20% in 2006, 28% in 2008). Based on these results OLC identified advising as a critical component in long-term retention.

Oglala Lakota College implemented and continually reviewed the general education curriculum to measure student learning. Through continual review, Oglala Lakota College has changed the general education measuring tools, and is currently using the Proficiency Profile.

In 2006, Oglala Lakota College identified that “Less than half of OLC’s students come to us with the skills they need to be successful in college. Moreover, OLC serves a large number of non-traditional students who need refresher courses and students whose primary language is Lakota who may need English language instruction. To address this need for specialized development of basic academic skills, OLC has launched a pre-emptive testing and placement program in reading, writing, and math” (OLC Bush Grant, 2006). In 2006, the Foundational Studies Department was created to assist with developmental education to oversee and institutionalize this process and administer placement testing such as Accuplacer.

Through these steps, Oglala Lakota College continued to stand by their belief that the teaching and learning process must continue to improve in order to increase OLC’s student retention rate. Therefore, Oglala Lakota College wrote a grant to the Bush foundation to support faculty development in the areas of retention. “OLC faculty’s primary role in the retention program will be to focus on improving retention at the Course level. We will target our efforts to enhancing developmental programs and engaging faculty across the institution in a continuous effort to reinforce students recently acquired core competencies” (OLC Bush Grant, 2006, pg. 3.)

The Faculty Development Committee has remained active and is funded through the Instructional Division office. Faculty members are provided financial support to receive terminal degrees, and professional development in teaching and advising. Faculty members attend instructional division meetings and faculty retreats. Faculty retreats focus on pedagogy while instructional division meetings focus on administrative tasks. Department chairs, center directors and counselors attend divisional meeting which are held annually and consist of procedural and policy updates. In addition, all staff meetings are held on a monthly basis at the main campus.

Faculty development, staff development, student support services, and financial aid opportunities have contributed to a 7% increase in graduation rates from 2005-2010. However, the Graduation Rates have remained constant at 12% for the past two years.

In 2008, Oglala Lakota College identified a need to motivate OLC community toward institutional vision” to address the need to work together and guide students in their Wolakolkiciyapi experience meaning Learning Lakota Ways of Life in community. Oglala Lakota College BEAMS Team created an Action plan with the following priorities;

Priority1. To develop an annual action plan for faculty development related to Wolakolkiciyapi development within class content.

Priority 2. To develop an out of classroom plan for student and faculty interaction as a part of OLC Community life.

Priority 3. Disseminate information about commitment to Wolakolkiciyapi