May 10, 2016

Cankdeska Cikana Community College


Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Address: P.O. Box 269, Fort Totten, ND 58335
(701) 766-4415
Toll Free:

Location: Fort Totten, ND
Chartering Tribe(s): Spirit Lake Dakota Nation
Cynthia Lindquist
Land Grant College:

Enrollment:  185 (Fall 2014)

Associate degree programs

  • Automotive Technology
  • Business Administration/Accounting
  • Computer Applications
  • Construction Management
  • Dakota Studies
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Graphic Arts
  • HPER
  • HVAC/R
  • Liberal Arts
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Office Technology
  • Pre-Engineering
  • Pre-Nursing
  • Professional Driver Training
  • Science
  • Social Work

Non-degree programs/Certificates

  • Bookkeeper / Entrepreneurship
  • Carpentry
  • CDL
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Finished Carpentry
  • HVAC/R
  • Office Technology

The Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, a North Dakota tribal community comprised of nearly 7,000 members, chartered the tribal college in 1974. Originally named Little Hoop Community College, the Board of Regents officially changed its name to Cankdeska Cikana in May 1995 to honor Paul Yankton, Sr., a soldier and tribal member killed in action in World War II. Both a hero and an inspiration to his people, Yankton’s Dakota name Cankdeska Cikana translates to “Little Hoop.”

With an original staff of four and one instructor, the college offered its first classes in January 1975. Two years later, the first five students graduated from CCCC.

From these humble beginnings, Cankdeska Cikana Community College’s milestones include receiving its first round of funding under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistant Act in 1980 and acquiring unused Bureau of Indian Affairs buildings to house the college campus in 1984.

In February 1990, Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college earned Land Grant Status in 1994. Today, the college enjoys newly renovated campus facilities and the highest student enrollment in the college’s history.

A rural tribal college, CCCC serves the Spirit Lake Dakota Reservation, a small, lake-filled reservation in east central North Dakota. The college itself is located within the reservation in the small town of Fort Totten, with the closest metropolitan center of Grand Forks more than 100 miles to the east. 94% of the students and two thirds of the faculty are American Indian.

Over time, CCCC’s original focus primarily upon providing vocational education to tribal members has shifted toward graduating students at the associate’s degree level and transitioning them into bachelor’s degree programs at four-year universities. CCCC participates in the North Dakota University System Transfer Agreement. This allows its students to transfer general education credits easily to other institutions within the system, facilitating their progress toward a four-year degree.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College has received a $150,000 planning grant from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) through the American Indian Higher Education Consortium to participate in an advanced manufacturing network initiative. This initiative will establish a network of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) that will develop and implement associated academic programs, including workforce training through private sector and federal agency partnerships.

The goal of the initiative is to create economic and employment opportunities between industry and tribal communities through the design, manufacturing, and marketing of high-quality products. The advanced manufacturing initiative will provide American Indian college students with technical skills and the opportunity to utilize those skills in their home communities.

“The new alliance with the Department of Energy and the tribal college system is innovated development that will have a variety of potential applications,” states CCCC president Cynthia Lindquist. “Tribal college students need diverse paths that contribute to the vitality of our communities. We are collaborating with Sioux Manufacturing Corporation in Fort Totten as the program is designed and developed,” President Lindquist explains.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College will begin the advanced manufacturing course series in January 2016 with a class entitled, Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing. The course will provide a survey of the major topics, technical skills requirements, and career opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Lab work will provide students an introduction to product design and production using 3D software and printers.

American Indian Tribal Colleges
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