College of Menominee Nation
N 172 Hwy 47/55
P.O. Box 1179
Keshena, WI 54135
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
The College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) mission is to provide opportunities in higher education to its students. As an institution of higher learning chartered by the Menominee Nation, the college infuses this education with American Indian culture, preparing students for leadership, careers and advanced studies in a multicultural world. As a land grant institution, the college is committed to research, promoting, perpetuating and nurturing American Indian culture, and providing outreach workshops and community service. CMN’s vision is to serve as a center for lifelong learning, providing exemplary academic preparation and research.
In September 1992, the Menominee tribal legislature recruited Menominee tribal member Verna Fowler, Ph.D. to lead efforts to establish a college for the Menominee people and their neighbors. By January 1993, even before the tribal legislature could officially charter the school, CMN offered its first four courses to 47 newly enrolled students. In March 1993, the tribe officially chartered the college, making it the second tribal college in Wisconsin.
CMN received its Land Grant Status in 1994, becoming one of only three such institutions in Wisconsin. In August 1998, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredited CMN. The HLC granted 10-year accreditation in 2003.
Twenty years after her initial recruitment to CMN, Dr. Verna Fowler remains the college’s president.
Geographic Features and Challenges
Located on the Menominee Indian Reservation, CMN’s main campus in Keshena, Wisconsin, provides a small-school environment in a rural reservation setting. CMN also serves a major urban center with its satellite campus in Green Bay, 50 miles to the southeast. The smaller Green Bay campus provides students living in Wisconsin's third largest metropolitan area access to a tribal college education.
With campuses in two such different locations, educating distinct and diverse student populations, CMN serves not only 8,500 tribal members residing on the reservation, but also a significant number of Native students from other tribes and non-Native people as well.
Academics & Students
CMN offers programs for bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees in arts, science, and applied science, certificate, and diploma programs in 24 areas of study.
Nearly 600 students enroll at CMN each year, with half pursuing their studies part-time and half full-time. Native American students make up 68 percent of the student body and represent dozens of tribal nations. In fact, 30 percent of the student body identifies as Native, but from tribes other than Menominee. In 2006, 37 students attained associate’s degrees. In 2010, 36 students graduated with associate’s degrees, and an additional 72 students received certificates or diplomas.
To serve such a large and diverse student body at two campuses, CMN employs 51 faculty and 108 staff members; 55 percent of staff and faculty identify as Native American. Of the 159 college employees, 56 have earned a master’s degree or higher and 16 have attained terminal degrees.
Other Outstanding Accomplishments
Over the years, CMN has benefitted from strong strategic planning and stable, consistent leadership. Noteworthy programs include:
- The Menominee Language Project, funded with support from the Administration for Native Americans;
- The Sustainable Development Institute, a hub of environmental research that collaborates with various federal, tribal, and other post-secondary partners; and
- The U.S. Forest Service’s renewed commitment to the Center for First Americans Forestlands, an educational research center designed to nurture the use of sustainable forestry practices.