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Native students preparing for college through Seventh Gen summer program

The Crazy Horse monument in March 2012. When finished, it is expected to be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. It is <a href="http://crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy-horse-memorial-facts/">the largest mountain</a> carving in progress.
Matthew Staver
/
Landov
The Crazy Horse monument in March 2012. When finished, it is expected to be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. It is the largest mountain carving in progress.

A new partnership between Black Hills State and the Indian University of North America expands a student support program. This summer, it gave 25 undergrads a chance to jump-start their college careers.

Joshua Rudnik, director of the Indian University at Crazy Horse Memorial, said the program helps teenagers take the next step.

“Seventh-gen summer program here at Crazy Horse is for high school students who have just graduated and are looking to move into higher education," Rudnik said. "During the summer they participate in their first semester of college. They earn twelve credits - those are general education credits.”

Along with classes, students live on a small campus and work a credit-eligible internship at the memorial.

Rudnik said the experience goes beyond the classroom.

“So it’s a busy summer, not only with the classes but the twenty hours they work," Rudnik said. "In addition to the classes and the internship, we have a co-curricular program that seeks to explore culturally significant sites here in the Black Hills.”

Rudnik said the new partnership will provide some Black Hills State professors for classes and help students connect.

“Well, if you’re looking into getting into college, our program is a good start," Rudnik said. "Not only do we provide your first semester of college with those twelve credits, but we also have a pretty strong student advising and student success team that will guide you through the process of entering college.”

Applications are closed for the summer 2023 program. Rudnik expects them to reopen in the coming months.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering education, healthcare, arts and culture.