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UTTC accredited to add three new online programs
9 December 2004
More Information, Leah Woodke, 701-255-3285 x 1339, lwoodke@uttc.edu

BISMARCK, ND - United Tribes Technical College has received accreditation to offer three additional associate degree programs online, expanding the college online degrees to five. The new online degree programs are Health Information Technology, Elementary Education and Nutrition and Food Service.

      "The training provided in these areas is critically needed in Indian Country," said UTTC President David M. Gipp. "We know that it's unrealistic to expect working people to quit and go to school. Online programs allow them to continue working as they gain access to training that allows them to grow in their job skills and contribute more effectively in their communities."

      UTTC became the first tribal college in the nation to receive accreditation for online degrees one year ago when it received approval for its Early Childhood Education and Injury Prevention programs.

      "We believe this confirms the quality of our programs," said Leah Woodke, Director of UTTC Online and Distance Education. "Because of the rigorous standards required for accreditation, we know that we're offering quality online programs."

      The Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools granted approval for the new programs December 6. An analysis by the NCA staff said United Tribes is positioned to "take a leading role in online delivery among tribal colleges."

      UTTC online courses and programs have evolved specifically to meet the needs of tribal students, said Phil Baird, Dean of Vocational and Academic Programs. The college declined the use of pre-packaged online programs and coursework and designed its own technology platform for both academic instruction and student support services.

      "We believe UTTC's programs are credible because our online coursework and platform were developed from a teacher's perspective," Baird said. "We felt it was very important that our IT systems and courses meet both the needs of our students and the standards expected of higher education institutions in the country."

      "It is gratifying to know that NCA has validated our efforts as meeting those needs," Baird said.

      Accreditation has the added benefit of triggering approval for student financial assistance.

      "Once an authorizing agency, with a respected reputation such as NCA, issues program approval, it opens the door for financial aid for students to study online," said Woodke.

      NCA Associate Director Robert R. Appleson notified the college of the approval. The Chicago based organization has accredited UTTC through the year 2011. The college offers 17 Associate of Applied Science programs and eleven certificate programs, and maintains a branch campus at the Owens Valley Career Development Center, Bishop, CA.

      Information about UTTC online and campus based programs and courses can be found at the website www.uttc.edu. Registration is open for Spring Semester classes, which begin January 6.


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