Leech Lake Tribal College
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|Location||PO Box 180 Cass Lake, Minnesota, United States 56633
|Campus||Rural 6945 Little Wolf Road PO Box 180|
Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) is a small, associate degree-granting, Anishinaabe college in Cass Lake, Minnesota, chartered by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Although most students enrolled at LLTC come from the Leech Lake Reservation and the surrounding reservations in northern Minnesota; approximately eight percent of students are non-Native. LLTC experienced an eight percent increase in student enrollment during AY 2009–10. In May 2010, LLTC honored 48 graduates, the largest class to graduate in LLTC’s history.
LLTC offers programs of study including:
- Liberal Education
- Liberal Education with a STEM Emphasis
- Indigenous Leadership
- Early Childhood Education
- Law Enforcement
- Building and Construction Trades, including Residential Carpentry and Construction Electricity
LLTC is located on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in north central Minnesota, three miles northwest of the town of Cass Lake. Four buildings have been completed on the new campus, and funds are being raised for construction of a fifth building, continuing the pattern of growth at LLTC.
- to provide higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values, language, history, and culture.
- to serve the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and surrounding reservations
LLBO established LLTC by Tribal Resolution in July 1990. For two years, courses were offered in extension from the University of Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji State University, Itasca Community College and Central Lakes College (then known as Brainerd Community College). In the fall quarter of 1992, LLTC began offering its own courses leading toward the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Applied Science Degrees.
The first LLTC student was Sean Fahrlander, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Anishinaabe Language and Culture in the spring of 1993. In 1994, the College was accorded status as a Land Grant Institution by the United States Congress. Also, in 1994, seventeen graduates completed their Associate of Arts degrees and Associate of Applied Science degrees. By the spring of 1995, the number of graduates had increased to twenty-four. The 2007–08 academic year saw record student enrollment; the 2008 graduating class was the largest in LLTC history.
The College moved classrooms and administration to the former Cass Lake High School building in the fall of 1994, resulting in greatly increased enrollment of 196 students. These students were enrolled in two-year Associate of Arts transfer degree programs, or in two-year technical programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree, or in one-year vocational programs. Today, LLTC includes approximately 70 faculty, staff, administrators, and 250 full-time students. Most of our students come from the Leech Lake Reservation and the surrounding Reservations in Northern Minnesota. In addition, approximately 8% of the students enrolled at the College are non-Native American.
The College was accredited as a vocational school in 1993. The College was awarded candidacy status with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2002, and awarded continuing candidacy status in 2004. After a final site visit in April 2006, the Higher Learning Commission bestowed full five-year accreditation on LLTC, further cementing LLTC's status as an educational leader, and providing a springboard to tremendous growth in the ensuing years. LLTC is currently in the process of applying for continuing accreditation. According to an article published on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 in The Bemidji Pioneer, a review team from the North Central Association will meet from October 4–6, 2010 with LLTC President Ginny Carney and other administration officials to study the college’s governing documents, strategic plans, marketing information, student enrollment, academic standards and other materials.
The LLTC is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), which is a community of tribally and federally chartered institutions working to strengthen tribal nations and make a lasting difference in the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives. LLTC was created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians. LLTC generally serves geographically isolated populations that have no other means accessing education beyond the high school level.
The LLTC is a member of the National Association of Land Grant Institutions. The LLTC receives its base funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the authority of the Tribally Controlled Community College Act (Title I, P.L. 95-471).
LLBO adopted the original LLTC Charter in 1999 and established an independent Board of Trustees; in 2002, the LLBO revised the LLTC Charter. In 2003, Leech Lake Tribal College separated from the LLBO and assumed its own accounting and human resources functions, and the LLBO formally transferred all bank accounts, equipment, and some property to LLTC. Also, the IRS granted 501(c)(3) status to LLTC as a non-profit educational entity. While separately incorporated today, LLTC still enjoys a vital relationship with LLBO, and receives about 11% of its annual funding from the Band.
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