It is my honor to take this opportunity to welcome you to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC). This unique institution was created through the vision of the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee, area community leaders, and numerous Minnesota legislators in the early 1980s. The dream of establishing FDLTCC became a reality in partnership with the State of Minnesota after the college was officially founded in 1987. Our beautiful campus was built in 1992 and this year, FDLTCC enters its 36th year of operation!
As the college’s fifth president, it is important for me to remember the college’s history, and to move forward the legacy of our previous leaders. The historic work of FDLTCC’s first president, the late Lester “Jack” Briggs laid the foundation and the path for which both President Emeritus Larry Anderson and the late President Emeritus Stephanie Hammitt followed by keeping student needs in the forefront, to follow our mission, to continue to grow college programming, and to ensure being a Union of Cultures – for what FDLTCC is known for – remains our priority.
Many who work at FDLTCC, including myself, are proud to work at the nation’s only institution that is both a Tribal college and state community college. Together, we offer higher education opportunities for our reservation and non-reservation communities in a welcoming, culturally diverse setting. EVERY student who walks our halls and enrolls in courses is given an opportunity to learn in an exceptional higher education environment that is rooted in the history, culture, and language of the Anishinaabeg.
The diversity of this institution is our greatest strength. Our graduates go out into the workforce with a deep understanding of the definition of respect and an appreciation for cultural differences. As a result of the exceptional education students receive at FDLTCC, our graduates improve their lives, the lives of their families, and make our communities better.
Another great asset of our college is the variety of accomplished faculty who teach our students. Our talented instructors include published writers/authors, researchers, musicians, artists, and experienced content experts in our many academic departments.
I firmly believe in a student-centered, holistic approach to education. Our staff and faculty are committed to providing students with support that is grounded in proactively identifying individual barriers and connecting students to campus and community resources as soon as possible to help them be successful. We cannot do this work without the commitment of students who reach out to our supportive staff or faculty regarding any concerns that arise.
I invite you all to join me this academic year, as we continue our work to improve the success of all FDLTCC students. As a student, you can do a few things; 1.) Attend your classes. Regular attendance and class preparation can lead to greater academic success; 2.) Remember to log into the North Star platform and create a profile. You can use North Star to raise your hand for assistance or communicate with staff or instructors, and 3.) Engage in college events, activities, and student clubs.
Again, welcome to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College! We are extremely happy you have chosen this special institution to start or continue your educational journey.
About The President
Anita Hanson is an authentic, passionate, and genuine leader with 28 years of progressive higher education experience working with faculty and staff to support a diverse population of students. She has served FDLTCC since 1994 in several capacities including her current role as acting president, a position she has held since November 2022 following the unexpected loss of President Stephanie Hammitt who served as interim president or president from 2018 to 2022.
Previously, Hanson served FDLTCC as vice president of student services and enrollment management during the fall of 2022 and the dean of student services from 2018 to 2022.
From 2008 to 2012, Hanson provided oversight of the student services department. In her eight years of administrative experience at FDLTCC, Hanson has actively led retention committees and given regular presentations helping to create campus-wide buy in to support student success. Hanson’s recent accomplishments include leading team efforts in strategic enrollment management initiatives which has improved student headcount in the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2023. She led large-scale student success initiatives including implementation of a holistic student support grant from Achieving the Dream (ATD) that has resulted in gains in course completion and student retention rates. Hanson co-authored the college’s ATD Leader College application leading to FDLTCC earning this status in spring 2022, becoming the first tribal college in the nation to achieve this status. She is currently leading a new strategic planning process for FDLTCC, working with internal and external stakeholders, Fond du Lac reservation leaders, and community business leaders to develop a common agenda to guide the college’s focus for the next three to five years.
Between 1994 and 2008, Hanson served FDLTCC in several capacities including faculty counselor and disability services coordinator where her responsibilities included assisting students with disabilities on documentation requirements and classroom accommodations. She also provided guidance for college and PSEO students with educational goals, academic advisement, and career and personal counseling. She served North Dakota State University as a disability specialist from 2012 to 2016.
An enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.