Rural Development Grants Improve TCUs

Feb 15th, 2010 | By | Category: 21-3: Tribal College Faculty, Spring 2010, Tribal College News

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the agency has selected 22 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in nine states to receive a total of $4.7 million through the USDA Rural Development Tribal College Grant program.

“This funding will help tribal colleges make much-needed infrastructure improvements so they can continue to provide job opportunities for local residents and spur economic development,” Vilsack says.

USDA Rural Development Tribal College Grants are provided to land-grant institutions for education and outreach to provide essential services to Native American communities and to help meet residents’ needs.

In North Dakota, for example, United Tribes Technical College

(UTTC, Bismarck, ND) will receive a $220,000 grant to help remodel and expand the college’s cafeteria. The facility was built more than 40 years ago and does not meet the needs of the current student body, which has increased 173% since 2002. The project will expand the facility by 3,500 square feet and double the number of people that can be served. There also will be more space for food preparation, serving, cooking, and storage. The college will replace small appliances with more energy-efficient ones.

The White Earth Tribal & Community College (WETCC, Mahnomen, MN) plans to use a $199,500 grant to purchase and renovate a building the college currently rents. The renovation will include improving accessibility, replacing interior doors, upgrading bathrooms and the electrical system, and expanding classroom space. Also, new vestibules will be added to increase energy efficiency.

In 2008, Salish Kootenai College (SKC, Pablo, MT) used a $272,350 USDA Rural Development grant to add three classrooms to an existing art building to accommodate increased enrollment. USDA Rural Development funding has played a significant role in upgrading and expanding facilities on the campus, which has helped boost enrollment. In past years, USDA funds have helped pay for a performing arts center and a wellness facility at the college and for renovating a day care center, as well as paving and infrastructure work.

The other recipients are:

  • Ilisagvik College (IC, Barrow, AK): $220,000 grant
  • Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC, Sells, AZ): $220,000 grant
  • Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC, Cass Lake, MN): $219,625 grant
  • Little Big Horn College (LBHC, Crow Agency, MT): $220,000 grant
  • Fort Peck Community College (FPCC, Poplar, MT): $220,000 grant
  • Fort Belknap College (FBC, Harlem, ND): $220,000 grant
  • Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC, Lame Deer, MT): $220,000 grant
  • Blackfeet Community College: (BCC, Browning, MT): $220,000 grant
  • Stone Child College (SCC, Box Elder, MT): $220,000 grant
  • Little Priest Tribal College (LPTC, Winnebago, NE): $85,000 grant
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC, Fort Totten, ND): $220,000 grant
  • Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, Belcourt, ND): $220,000 grant
  • Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND): $220,000 grant
  • Bay Mills Community College (BMCC, Brimley, MI): $220,000 grant
  • Oglala Lakota College (OLC, Kyle, SD): $220,000 grant
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC, Sisseton, SD): $220,000 grant
  • Northwest Indian College (NWIC, Bellingham, WA): $220,000 grant
  • College of Menominee Nation (CMN, Keshena, WI): $220,000 grant
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC, Hayward, WI): $220,000 grant

For further information on rural programs, see USDA Rural Development’s website at

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