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      Tribal college receives full accreditation

      Students attending the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College are starting the school year at a now fully accredited college.

      The tribal college was notified of their accreditation in early July, and students can now reap the benefits.

      â??We now meet the standards of other universities around the country,â?? explained KBOCC President Debra Parrish. â??So, it shows that we have credibility, and we can align our courses with other institutions.â??

      Students will be able to more easily transfer credits to other Michigan institutions, and the college will receive more funding for scholarships.

      The long process begins with a four-year self study to qualify for accreditation candidacy, and an additional four years to meet the assessment of student learning standards.

      The KBOCC has also been able to purchase the old Baraga County Memorial Hospital in Lâ??Anse where they will be able to expand their campus.

      â??Weâ??re also establishing a fine arts program, a Native American studies program, as well as some certificate training, such as the federal CNA program, and possibly culinary arts,â?? Parrish said.

      Since the old Baraga County Hospital was purchased by the KBOCC in April for just one dollar, nine new classrooms and additional office space have been installed. In October, the second phase will begin, and they will be installing a new library and fitness center.

      The school plans to continue expanding its programming and hopes to be recognized as a credible institution in the tribal community and the Michigan community as well.

      â??We, as a tribal college, try to offer unique programming to our students,â?? Parrish said. â??We offer Native American studies programs where students can actually learn about their identity, learn about their history, and learn about the culture of the community.â??