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New Enrollments into Science Degree Majors on Pause at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University

LCOOU

Press Release


Effective April 24th, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University is suspending new applications for enrollment to the University Science Majors (Associates Degrees and Bachelors Degrees programs).


President Swagger met first with the Science Faculty and then with the entire full-time Faculty on April 17, 2024. This announcement comes after multiple conversations with the affected science faculty and staff of the University. This decision was difficult, but it was essential to address the needs of our students, the Science Degree programs, and the University.  The steps taken to address these areas of concern were deliberative, data-informed and reviewed with University faculty and staff. The Executive Council, reviewing the information, made the recommendation to the President to proceed in the best interest of current and future students, Tribal Nations served, and the University.


“We recognize the importance of the sciences, there are a variety of factors that impact this decision including low enrollment in the programs and budgetary considerations. Some courses run with as few as one student. Despite early indicators of low enrollment into the science programs, limited efforts were made to recruit new students specifically to those programs. Low enrollment into the science programs has been trending downward for a number of consecutive years. The University can no longer subsidize the program at risk of neglecting other needs and areas of growth. The University has limited resources and is experiencing enrollment decline consistent with the national average. We must make significant changes to the Science Majors now if we aim to attract students to the programs and generate enough income to improve and sustain a quality educational program. The jobs are out there in great volume and tribal leaders and organizations consistently ask for science major graduates. Right now, we are not producing the numbers of graduates in the science field to adequately meet the needs of the Tribes we serve.” said University President Dr. Russell Swagger.


The University is conducting a feasibility study of the Science degree programs and plans to have a determination made before mid-summer 2024. The feasibility study findings will help the University leadership determine next steps for the Science Program.

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