A Brief History of Leech Lake Tribal College
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe established Leech Lake Tribal College by Tribal Resolution in July 1990. For two years, courses were offered in extension from the University of Minnesota at Duluth, Bemidji State University, Itasca and Brainerd Community Colleges.
In the fall quarter of 1992, The college had its first graduate of the Associate of Arts program 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 an increased student enrollment of 196. 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, Leech Lake Tribal College includes approximately 50 faculty, staff, administrators, and 200 students. Most of our students come from the Leech Lake Reservation. Approximately 5% of the student population is non-Indian. The college was accredited as a post-secondary Vocational School in 1993. The college was awarded candidacy status with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2002 for its associate degree programs, and continued candidacy in 2004. Full accreditation status was granted on September 26, 2006 for the maximum initial accreditation period of five years, with no focus visits required.