Study: Leech Lake Tribal College No. 1 community college in U.S.

By Barry Amundson on Aug 21, 2017 at 4:02 p.m.

CASS LAKE, Minn. — Leech Lake Tribal College in northern Minnesota had some good news on their first day of classes Monday, Aug. 21.

The Cass Lake college was named the best community college in the U.S.

The study by personal finance website WalletHub ranked more than 700 college and technical schools across the U.S. based on affordability, student-faculty
ratio, graduation rates and job placement.

The Cass Lake college currently with 190 students this fall semester was established by tribal resolution by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in July 1990.

The college had a campus in Red Lake on that tribe’s reservation until this past spring when they split off on their own.

The school offers such classes as forestry ecology, law enforcement, Ojibwe language, carpentry, Anishinaabe studies and tribal administration. Its liberal
education programs with an emphasis on sciences are the most popular.

College marketing specialist Ryan White said the school was ranked 54th in the study last year so moved up quite a ways.

College president Pat Broker said categorically she can say they are doing a lot of things right at the campus, but she said it boils down to the students.
She said she is amazed by their resiliency and perseverance.

As for the cost factor, Broker said they try to get as many students as possible to be debt free after completing their two-year programs through keeping
tuition low, financial aid and help from the tribe.

“This is just fantastic news,” she said.