CLOQUET, MN – Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) is honored to share Achieving the Dream (ATD) awarded FDLTCC the 2024 Leah Meyer Austin Award. The Leah Meyer Austin Award signifies a college’s adoption of practices and strategies leading to a student-focused culture, notable increases in student outcomes, and reduction of equity gaps.  The announcement was made at ATD’s annual DREAM conference, which brought over 2,000 community college leaders, faculty, and student affairs staff to the Orlando World Center Marriott.

“The Leah Meyer Austin Award is meant to recognize deep commitment to equitable student success and whole-college transformation that is inspirational to and emulative for other Network colleges,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of ATD. “At every level of the institution, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has demonstrated an unwavering devotion to their students and their student success work, no matter what challenges they encounter…”

FDLTCC joined ATD in 2017 among a cohort of Tribal Colleges that entered the Network through Project Success, a U.S. Education Department and Ascendium Education Group-funded initiative to support TCUs in student persistence, retention, and financial management. As a result of the intense commitment to student success demonstrated by its leadership, faculty, and staff, FDLTCC earned Leader College status from ATD in 2021. 

“Receiving the Leah Meyer Austin Award from ATD is an immense honor,” said FDLTCC President Anita Hanson. “As a unique institution, we never forget the mission on which our college was founded by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and our core values that have guided us to put our students first. I see those same values in the work of all the Tribal Colleges and Universities that are part of the ATD Network, and so, really, this award isn’t so much ours as it is a recognition of the collective hard work in which Tribal Colleges across the country are engaged.” 

ATD is a national organization committed to increasing the success of community college students. The Leah Meyer Austin Award is ATD’s highest recognition given annually to a college in the ATD Network. To learn more about ATD and the Leah Meyer Austin Award, please visit


I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.

My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.