Graduate Studies Department


Four Directional Conceptual Framework Model

The Oglala Lakota College Graduate Studies Department incorporated Lakota values and concepts in efforts to maintain and strengthen the Lakota culture within Individuals and communities. The four directional conceptual framework model evolved by integrating the concepts and symbols of the Lakota Mental health Model (Bear Shield, et al, 2000), medicine wheel, and the Oglala Lakota College Logo. The Four Directional Model is the framework for all program (s) within Graduate Studies Department.

Wounspe na oitancan un wolakolkiciyapi meaning learning Lakota ways of life in community through education and leadership is the philosophy for the Four Directional Conceptual Framework Model incorporating Oyate IkceTatuye Topakiya Wocicala Hena Wopasi, meaning measuring knowledge of the four directions to capture the capstone experiences for the program. The Four Directional Conceptual Framework model demonstrates the unique organization of the overall institutional structure of shared leadership and shared vision of the Oglala Lakota College correlating with the programs.

The Four Direction Model also known as the Lakota Mental Health Model was developed from Bear Shield et al. (2000) who utilized cultural indicators to measure human development. These indicators assist in determining the disposition of the candidate and their capabilities of acquiring content knowledge, pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills, decision making, and the importance of stewardship within organizations as the candidate move towards completion of the degree. The four dimensions of measurement include: 1) Wiyohpeyata (West) 2) Waziyata (North) 3) Wiyohinyanpata (East) 4) Itokagata (South). All four directions correspond equally to the four stages of growth, which include spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional components of development. These stages balance an individual. Therefore, the Four Directional Conceptual Framework Model is grounded in the Lakota world view and cannot be separate from the intellectual component of human development. This world view is utilized in this Four Directional Conceptual Framework Model which demonstrates educational excellence and high standards within the program.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Graduate Studies Programs is Wolakota within professionals as they continue in their training to become leaders and managers; Lakota leaders who will live, preserve, and continue the Lakota way of life for coming generations.

Mission Statement

The Graduate Programs are committed to the belief that the leaders and managers, who will take the Lakota into the 21st century, must have a foundation in; Lakota language, spirituality, belief, values, thought and philosophy. Delivery of the curriculum is guided by the principle that Lakota leaders work for, with, and among the people, rather than for personal or material gain. The rigor of the program will be a source of pride for dedicated professionals. Our graduate candidates strive to demonstrate Wolakota, excellence and confidence as they translate theory into quality practice.

Purpose of Graduate Program

The purpose of the Graduate Program (s) of the Oglala Lakota College is to develop individual management and leadership skills that are harmonious with Lakota values. Further, the knowledge base of the Graduate Program(s) is designed to produce candidates with expanded intellectual application, independence in reading and research, using critical thinking skills in decision making, and ability to design and implement change through strategic planning.


To graduate leaders who are sage managers/leaders in the Lakota community.