Members of the Higher Learning Commission review team were thanked April 20 at the close of their site visit to United Tribes Technical College.

Native American College Approved to Offer Bachelor’s Degrees


United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), in Bismarck, North Dakota is now a four-year institution offering three bachelor’s degree programs

UTTC has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer Bachelor of Science degrees in elementary education, business administration and criminal justice.

“This is a major accomplishment for us,” said David M. Gipp, UTTC president, in a statement. This is the first time in the school’s 42-year history it has been able to offer advanced degrees.

“We started out as a training institute and have graduated up the line,” said Gipp. “This step is further proof of our dedication to meet the demands of the job market and open the door for our students to gain the skills and education they need to create a better world for themselves and their families. We’re not just standing in one place. We’re building a place that’s better. A place of opportunity.”

The commission also approved the school’s continued offering of 17 associate’s degree programs, a certificate program and expanded the college’s approval to include delivery of all degrees online. The college currently offers six associate degrees online, but is working on developing more.

Before now, UTTC students graduated in bachelor’s programs through an agreement with Sinte Gleska University in South Dakota.

And UTTC is looking forward to the next milestone—doctoral degrees.

“Approval of the bachelor’s degrees is clearly a singular and historic achievement,” said Russell Swagger, UTTC vice president of Student and Campus Services. “I see it as a step toward master’s and Ph.D. programs and new levels of educational offerings for future generations of learners and leaders. It underscores the need for tribal colleges and the role they serve for tribal communities and the larger society.”

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