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Leech Lake Tribal College gets $100,000 Walmart Minority Student Success Award

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Leech Lake Tribal College has been selected by the Institute for Higher Education Policy to receive a Walmart Minority Student Success Award - a $100,000 grant to help build on LLTC's demonstrated successes in enrolling, retaining, and graduating first-generation college students.

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The grant is being made possible by a $4.2 million grant to IHEP from the Walmart Foundation.

Leech Lake Tribal College was selected as one of only 30 minority-serving institutions through a highly competitive application process to strengthen efforts to support first-generation students.

Five LLTC faculty members will attend the annual IHEP Summer Academy where they will be joined by representatives from 14 other minority-serving institutions to establish action plans to increase capacity, share ideas to better serve first-generation college students and develop partnerships with other colleges and universities.

"Leech Lake Tribal College is honored to be selected as one of a select few outstanding higher education institutions nationwide to receive the Walmart Minority Student Success Award," said LLTC President Ginny Carney. "This award will provide valuable resources for us to expand and enhance our efforts to help first-generation students achieve their full potential."

Research has shown that first-generation college students face unique and significant challenges in successfully navigating the academic and social transition to college life. Leech Lake Tribal College's Miikinaa (The Path) project will address those obstacles by engaging a cohort of 15-20 first-generation students in an intensive program involving faculty and peer mentoring, academic enrichment in their area of interest, leadership development, and cultural activities. Students will also be required to participate in retention activities.

"The institutions in our 2010 Minority Student Success cohort broaden and deepen the pool of MSIs committed to ensuring the success of the first-generation student success both at their campuses and beyond," said Institute for Higher Education Policy President Michelle Asha Cooper. "We are pleased to be working with them on programs that are sure to serve as models to all of higher education."

"At Walmart, we understand that education is critical to the lives and well-being of all Americans. We're proud to support giving that enables the success of first-generation college students," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation.

The Walmart Foundation grants support the existing work of minority-serving institutions to strengthen first-generation student success programs, with a special focus on classroom practices and the role faculty play in their students' academic success.

For details, visit the IHEP Web site at www.ihep.org/walmartminoritystudents.cfm .

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