Leech Lake Tribal College

Published on May 26, 2012 by Amy

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Leech Lake Tribal College
Leech Lake Tribal College

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.
Offered programs of study include:

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  • Liberal Education
  • Liberal Education with a STEM Emphasis
  • Indigenous Leadership
  • Business
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Law Enforcement
  • Building and Construction Trades, including Residential Carpentry and Construction Electricity
  • Basis

    Leech Lake Tribal College provides higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values.


    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 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.

    LLTC is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the National Association of Land Grant Institutions. The College 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) 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.

    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. The 2007-08 academic year saw record student enrollment, and the 2008 graduating class was the largest in college history.

    Source: wikipedia

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