Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College
13466 West Trepania Road
Hayward, WI 54843
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
The mission of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College is to provide, within the Indian community, a system of post-secondary and continuing education with associate degree and certificate granting capabilities. In carrying out the mission, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College curriculum will reflect Ojibwe culture and tribal self-determination. The college will provide opportunities for individual self-improvement in a rapidly changing technological world, while maintaining the cultural integrity of the Ojibwe.
LCOOCC’s curriculum reflects identified needs and interests of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa by providing academic, vocational, adult basic education, cultural, and community programs. The primary purpose is to meet the needs of the Indian population and maintain an open door policy.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board chartered the college in August 1982. LCOOCC offered its first classes that academic year, primarily through the volunteer efforts of part-time instructors. LCOOCC granted its first certificates of completion in June 1985. It granted its first Associate of Arts degree one year later.
The 1990’s witnessed rapid growth for the fledgling college. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC) granted full accreditation of all programs in February 1993. LCOOCC received Land Grant Status approval in 1994, in legislation passed by the U.S. Congress within the Tribal College Act Endowment Amendment. In 1998, the HLC granted an additional eight years of reaccreditation to the college.
Geographic Features and Challenges
LCOOCC offers classes and programs at its main campus in Hayward, Wisconsin and three additional outreach sites. The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Reservation in northwestern Wisconsin hosts the main campus. The Lac du Flambeau Outreach Site is located 90 miles east of the Hayward campus on the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Reservation. The town of Hertel, 40 miles southwest of Hayward on the St. Croix Chippewa Reservation, hosts the St. Croix Outreach Site. The college’s newest outreach site, located in the off-reservation town of Washburn 60 miles northeast of Hayward, represents the consolidation of former Bad River and Red Cliff sites.
Geographically, its service area covers over 275,000 acres and nearly 25,000 enrolled tribal members. The newest outreach site in Washburn has also increased the number of non-tribal members enrolling. Such a large service area presents some significant challenges for a small college such as LCOOCC. Each remote site serves a very distinct community. The pool from which to draw college faculty and staff is limited, as are the funds the college can commit to recruitment, salaries and ongoing professional development.
Academics and Students
LCOOCC offers six Associate of Arts degree programs, four Associate of Applied Science programs, six Associate of Science programs and eight certificate programs. To facilitate students’ transfer into baccalaureate programs, the college has developed articulation and transfer agreements with several four-year institutions including the University of Wisconsin-Superior, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, College of St. Scholastica and National American University. An additional agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Stout is in development.
LCOOCC enrolls nearly 500 students each year at its four sites. Fifty-seven percent enroll full-time. Non-traditional students make up a large part of the student population with Native Americans representing 73 percent of the student population, and students over 25 years old representing 64 percent of all students. Female students outnumber male students 69 percent to 31 percent, respectively.
The college employs 17 full-time faculty and 46 part-time faculty to teach. Academic outcomes have remained steady, with 57 student attaining an associate degree in 2006 and 54 earning associate degrees in 2010.
Other Outstanding Accomplishments
Academically, LCOOCC’s accomplishments reflect its growth. Most courses have undergone curriculum revisions to reflect various aspects of Ojibwe culture, customs, and traditions. The college offers more courses through distance education using the Interactive TV network and online course offerings. The number of students in online courses continues to increase. Outcomes of such activities include national recognition by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and in partnerships benefitting students such as its extensive internship program with the National Science Foundation.
The college received further recognition from the City of Hayward and National Chamber of Commerce Association for its educational and cultural contribution to the local community and economy.