MILWAUKEE — Marquette University and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in Hayward, Wisconsin, have announced a comprehensive partnership that establishes a clear path for students from the tribal college to attend Marquette, as well as future educational opportunities for students at both institutions.

The Guaranteed Admission Agreement is a cooperative program partnership which allows LCOOC graduates to transfer to Marquette to continue their college education in select colleges. The agreement was signed on Wednesday, May 18, in a ceremony in Hayward and included the announcement of a gift by the Eck Family Foundation to endow a scholarship for one LCOOC student each year to attend Marquette.

Robert J. Eck is chair of the Marquette Board of Trustees and his wife, Kim Eck, is a volunteer ambassador and leader of the Marquette Mentors program.

“This is a tremendous and innovative partnership-building agreement between Marquette and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College that has the opportunity to benefit students at both institutions,” said Brian Troyer, dean of admissions at Marquette. “We are excited for our first partnership with one of Wisconsin’s tribal colleges to make Marquette’s transformative Catholic, Jesuit education even more accessible, including by easing the financial burden. At the same time, we are looking at partnerships with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in other areas, including through our accelerated and specialized advance study pathway programs and unique learning experiences.”

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College’s mission is to provide Anishinaabe communities with post-secondary and continuing education while advancing the language, culture, and history of the Ojibwe. LCOOC is a nonprofit Ojibwe tribal college celebrating 40 years of education in 2022. It is an open-door institution that is proud to serve American Indian students. LCOOC welcomes non-native students and celebrates a diverse student population at each of its locations.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our graduates and will also be good for our recruitment of younger students that are interested in the prospect of attending Marquette in the future,” said Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College Provost Lisa Munive. “Many of our students have not left Hayward and thinking about transferring to another institution is a scary thought. Marquette has a sense of home. Our students will not lost be in the shuffle. They will be well taken care of and successful. That is important for me.”

As part of this agreement, Marquette and LCOOC will explore additional opportunities for students at both institutions, including:

  • Study abroad terms at the LCOOC campus for Marquette students
  • Access for LCOOC students to attend Marquette’s Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C.
  • Accelerated degree programs within the Graduate School of Management
  • A health professions pathway for LCOOC and its local area high schools
  • Support for a LCOOC Milwaukee center in partnership with other local organizations

“Our family is thrilled to be a part of this empowering partnership,” Bob and Kim Eck said. “We saw a wonderful opportunity to extend Marquette’s mission and improve lives by expanding access to education for students at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College.”

LCOOC students enrolled in this pathway program will benefit from Marquette’s resources from the beginning. Each student will have access to peer mentorship and an academic adviser immediately following their high school graduation to ensure their path to Marquette is clear, Troyer added. They will also have access to campus libraries, student organizations and intramural sports.

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