College Fund Provides Learning Center at LLTC

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-4: Tribal College Leadership and Vision, Tribal College News

Tutors and staff “really” enjoy the homey atmosphere of the Learning Center. From left are: Charles Dolson (Red Lake Band of Ojibwe), Marilyn Meisenheimer, TRIO director; Tallie Large (Comanche); Deborah LeClaire, Learning Center director; LeAnn Dick (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe); and Kelly Beaulieau (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe). Photo by Mark Lewer

Through an American Indian College Fund’s Wisdom of the People Grant, Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC, Cass Lake, MN) has finally realized its dream of having a Learning Center. The center is known as Nando-Gikenjige Wigamig (“A Place Where Someone Learns”). The Learning Center opened in September 2008 and has already outgrown its space as 300-450 visitors a month crowd into its small room.

The center has established a homey atmosphere with plants in the windows and free coffee, tea, and toast. With only vending machines providing food at LLTC, a piece of peanut butter toast can hold students over and make a study session successful.

The center employs two professional tutors for math and writing as well as six students. After tutoring for a semester, peer tutors are ready to present monthly workshops in areas such as career and educational opportunities, resume building, and study skills.

Six computers are available for students to check email, search the internet, or work on other school assignments. Recently, a construction trades student expressed appreciation for getting help last semester on basic computer skills, which readied him for his Computer Skills Class this semester.  The center offers an alternative learning environment from the quiet library.

For the students who have utilized the Learning Center, earned a 3.0 or higher, and had exemplary attendance in all classes, the Wisdom of the People Grant offers a chance at a significant scholarship worth $500-$1000. One scholarship applicant wrote about the center, “There is no need to struggle with your work because they can help you. After all, we are in college to learn something we do not know!” Another applicant concluded, “The help and discovery I received from the Learning Center is what defines a learning center.”

For more information, contact the director of the Learning Center, Deborah LeClaire, at for more information.

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