BHSU and The Indian University of North America of Crazy Horse Memorial complete first summer partnership

The first cohort of students to attend The Indian University of North America (IUNA) of Crazy Horse Memorial during the new partnership with Black Hills State University recently completed the annual summer program.  

The two summer semester undergraduate academic programs offered, 7TH GEN® First-Year and 7TH GEN® Upper-Level, saw a total of 25 students this year. 

Dr. Joshua Rudnik, director of IUNA of Crazy Horse Memorial, is pleased with how the new partnership with BHSU played out during its inaugural summer. “They [BHSU] really made us feel like family. We’ve been able to work really closely with individuals on campus and everyone has been very helpful,” Rudnik explained. 

Aimed at preparing Native students for success in college, the 7TH GEN® First-Year Program recruits and accepts high school graduates who meet the program's regular or probationary admission requirements. Accepted and enrolled students can earn up to 12 credit hours. The partnership with BHSU provides the accreditation needed to make these credits transferable to a college, university, or technical institute of the students’ choice. 

“We are not accredited ourselves, so that’s why we rely on our academic partners to provide that accreditation, and since we first started this partnership in December, BHSU has been nothing but great to us,” Rudnik added. 

Whitney Rencountre, the new CEO of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and a BHSU alum, said the partnership brought their program additional benefits beyond academics. 

“All four of this summer’s Resident Assistants either recently graduated or are currently attending BHSU,” Rencountre said. “So not only were we able to partner with BHSU staff and professors but with some BHSU students as well who could serve as role models for our students.”  

Students enrolled in the program live on a campus near Crazy Horse Memorial where they attend classes, build community, and visit cultural sites important to Native American history.  

BHSU Instructor of Behavior Sciences, Dr. William Cockrell, said the experience of teaching for this summer program is unique. “The environment is different. It feels more like a home rather than me just lecturing to students in a classroom. You really develop deep connections.”  

The semester for the 2022 summer program ended Aug. 6. Applications for the 2023 7TH GEN® First-Year summer program are available now at