Published on November 19, 2012 by Amy
Chief Dull Knife College (originally Dull Knife Memorial College) is a small, open-admission, Native American tribal community college and land grant institution. It is located on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, USA. Current enrollment is 141 students. More than half of its graduates move on to four-year colleges. The school has one main building.
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The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It is member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and American Association of Community Colleges.
The school is named in honor of Morning Star, who had been a chief of the Northern Cheyenne, and who is sometimes known as Dull Knife.
It was noticed that few Cheyenne who were attending colleges away from the reservation were actually graduating; many were dropping out and returning to the reservation. Theories were advanced that students were having difficulty adjusting to a culturally different environment; another that they were being subjected to racial discrimination. Cheyenne students often had family responsibilities, caring for children or elderly relatives, while the available educational institutions were located far from the reservation. Students from the tribe were not adequately prepared for rigorous academic work due to poor quality education and resources. These problems are shared by many tribes and the tribal colleges and universities movement began among American Indian educators to provide educational opportunities to Indian students that were tailored to their cultural and educational needs. Beginning with Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona in the Navajo Nation in 1968, tribal colleges were opened on many reservations
Chartered in September 1975 under the leadership of former tribal president John Woodenlegs, Dull Knife Memorial College originally operated in army tents training students in mining, construction and forestry for development in nearby communities. In 1975 funding for permanent facilities was granted by the BIA. In 1978, it began to offer academic courses leading to Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees, as well as vocational certificates. Associate degrees generally require two years of work over 6 semesters. As of 2009 tuition and fees for a semester of study was about $1,150. In September 2001, the name was officially changed to Chief Dull Knife College. It has proven difficult due to lack of funding to fully realize the cultural goals related to Cheyenne culture, but significant progress has been made. Enrollment is 85% American Indian with 90% of the students having a background of poverty. About 60% of Dull Knife graduates go on to a four-year college.