Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has been awarded $1,047,244 from the United States Department of Education through the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Title III Grant Program.
The renewed grant award covers one year beginning October 1, 2015, and carries the option for continued renewal through 2020 on an annual basis as long as grant objectives are satisfactorily met.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will use the grant funding to support its Strengthening the Institution efforts in the areas of distance learning technology and delivery, Ojibwe language immersion, Nandagikendan Seek to Learn Academies, the campus recording studio, and financial literacy and education services for students.
“It’s always a great day when we learn an external funding source recognizes the outstanding work we do on campus and throughout the communities we serve, and then supports our effort with grant funds,” said Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College President Larry Anderson. “Receiving a grant award like this helps to validate the mission of our college and assists us to continue moving forward with strong academic programs and excellent student services. It also provides opportunities to develop new programs, strategies, and services to meet the needs of our students, and the needs of our region.”
The U.S. Department of Education announced on August 28 the award of more than $50.4 million in grants to support American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities in a dozen states. Under the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program, the formula-based grants help eligible higher education institutions increase their self-sufficiency by providing funds to strengthen their academic quality, management and overall fiscal stability.
In addition to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, other Minnesota higher education institutions receiving funds through the grant program include Leech Lake Tribal College and White Earth Tribal and Community College. In Wisconsin, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward and College of Menominee Nation in Keshena also received grant awards.
“Tribal institutions serve a valuable role for American Indian students,” said William Mendoza, executive director, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. “As accredited institutions, tribal colleges are unique. In addition to functioning in a similar fashion to community colleges or small, public four-year schools, they support the preservation and revitalization of Native languages and serve other cultural needs of their students. They deliver instruction in culturally appropriate ways, thereby promoting tribal culture and academic achievement.”
To qualify for funding, institutions must meet the federal definition of the term “tribally controlled college or university.” That is, they must be formally controlled, or have been formally sanctioned or chartered by the governing body of an Indian tribe or tribes. No more than one institution shall be recognized with respect to any individual tribe.
As demonstrated by President Obama’s Executive Order on Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities, the Obama Administration continues to work to improve the programs available at tribal colleges so that Native students are well prepared to compete for the high-skilled, quality jobs of today and tomorrow. Last year, President Obama announced the launch of Generation Indigenous (Gen I), a Native youth initiative focused on removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunities to succeed.
More information on Tribal Colleges and Universities can be found at the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education’s website.

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