Fond du Lac Now Offers 4-Year Teaching Degree

Nov 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 15-2: Reclaiming Native Health, Tribal College News

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDL, Cloquet, MN) has become the only two-year college in the state that can offer a four-year degree. In May the Minnesota Legislature approved the college providing the bachelor’s degree in elementary/middle school education.

The college, tribe, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth laid the groundwork by successfully developing Gekinoo’imaagejig (The Ones who Teach). Through this collaborative teaching program, Fond du Lac demonstrated its ability to recruit, retain, and graduate American Indian students. “The tribe is committed to providing a culturally responsive curriculum that aims to increase the number of American Indians graduating with teaching degrees,” said Amy Bergstrom, director of the teacher education program. At the same time, the program offers culturally-grounded curriculum for non-Indians to better prepare them for the diverse classrooms they will be entering.

She credited the support of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, the Fond du Lac Tribal College Board of Directors, and the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe Indians tribal council. The first class of 16 students received their degrees from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in May; 14 of the graduates were American Indian.

Gekinoo’imaagejig has also developed an Ojibwe language teaching minor. The Minnesota Board of Teaching officially approved the language minor in January 2003. “This is a further indication that future teacher training will continue to be grounded in an Anishinaabeg epistemology while meeting all state and national teaching standards,” Bergstrom said.

For further information contact Amy Bergstrom, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, (218) 879-0739, abergstr@d.umn.edu.

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