The Community/Continuing Education Department began as the Adult Education department in 1973. The major component of the department was GED testing. In the years that followed the department grew to include community education, life coping skill workshops, adult basic education and GED tutoring. The name of the department was changed from Adult education to Community/Continuing education. This was translated into Lakota Language as "Tiospaye Iciyohikeya Wounspe", which means community and continuing education, which serves in the spirit of the mission and purposes of the College.
Community education is a philosophical concept that serves the entire reservation community by providing for all of the educational needs of its community members. It uses the local resources to serve as the catalyst for bringing community efforts to bear on their needs. In addition to the effort to develop a positive sense of community, improve community living, and develop the community process toward the goal of self actualization.
The Community/Continuing Education Department offers a program responsive to the needs of the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation. The department tutors are responsible for preparing students for taking the GED tests. The instruction provided for the student is on an individualized basis and set up to meet the individual needs of the student. Tutoring is provided at the local college centers. The majority Community/Continuing Education Department tutors are bilingual and live in the community they serve. The department offers life long learning through life coping skills workshops, and continuing education.
Career counseling is another feature of the department. Each student completes a Career Occupational Preference System interest inventory. This inventory assists the students in the selection of a career, and allows them the opportunity to pursue this career choice.