Keweena Bay Begins Distance Education

May 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 11-4: All Our Children Are Special, Tribal College News

Dr. Art Puotinen, Provost, Suomi College; Debra J. Parrish, President, KBOCC; and Susan LaFernier, CEO, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Keweena Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) recently received a technology gift from neighboring Suomi College. The gift includes distance learning classroom equipment that enables interaction between two or more sites linked by fiber optic cable. The system is equipped with cameras, speakers, VCRs, video monitors, a fax machine, and computers with high speed Internet capability. This equipment will allow KBOCC to broadcast its course offerings that don’t require hands-on instruction to 15 different sites in the Copper Country Intermediate School District, according to KBOCC President Debra Parrish. The tribal college is located in Baraga in far northern Michigan on the L’Anse Indian Reservation. Students at the Baraga site can be seen on the television screens, and instructors and students can be seen at another site, allowing for full interaction between the classrooms.

Suomi College is a private college founded by Finnish Americans. Its main campus is located in Hancock, Mich., thirty miles from the L’Anse Reservation. The distance learning classroom was originally installed in 1995 to link its main campus in Hancock to the extension site in Baraga. The technology will allow KBOCC to eventually expand its course offerings and to enhance scheduling flexibility. The tribal college expects to bring its courses on-line as early as summer 2000. Keweena Bay was accepted as the newest member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium in October 1999.

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