Nṉee bi’at’e’ihii nłdzilgo ádanłzih. This phrase, crafted in the Apache language by members of our Board of Regents, translates into English approximately as, “Upholding the power of Apache wisdom & knowledge.”
Celebrating the Launch of the College
On August 14, 2017, San Carlos Apache College (SCAC) proudly celebrated its grand opening as one of America’s newest Tribal colleges. And what a truly spectacular launch it has been so far for the higher education institution of the Apache People. Driven by its bold dreams of becoming a world-class model for achieving educational excellence and student success, SCAC continues to chart its unique nation-building journey. It is also aggressively pursuing a teaching and research agenda to meet head-on the most urgent economic, environmental, health, and social advancement needs of the Apache Tribe.
Major Milestones in SCAC’s Brief History
- In 2014, the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council approved Articles of Incorporation for the College, and shortly afterwards selected the initial seven-member Board of Regents for the College. The Regents quickly pursued community input on the formation of the College, and made visits to other TCUs to learn about their programs and services, their start-up experiences, their challenges, and their successes.
- In early 2017, our College entered into a historic “Operating Agreement” with the Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC), which enabled the College to be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as an “additional location” of TOCC. The College is seeking to be independently accredited in about three years.
- In April 2017, the College hired its Founding President, who soon afterwards hired the first Vice President of Academic Affairs and other key employees, including two full-time faculty and fifteen part-time faculty.
- In 2017, by Resolution, the Tribal Council appropriated $2.5 million for operating expenses over a five-year period ($500,000 per year).
- The College opened its doors in Fall 2017 to 58 students and enrolled 65 students in Spring 2018—with indications of dramatically increased enrollment for the year ahead. The College is offering a wide range of courses in key areas, including Apache Language, Culture, and History; general and transfer education; developmental education, continuing education, and workforce development.
- The College’s Board of Regents recently approved a certificate program in Casino Gaming, an Associate’s degree in Business Management, an Associate’s degree in Business Administration, an Associates degree in Liberal Arts, and certificates in Social Services and Substance Abuse.
- In early February 2018, the College hosted a visit from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to assess its performance or impact as an “additional location” of TOCC.
- Throughout 2017-18, the College has continuously enhanced its working partnership with TOCC with an eye on ensuring that SCAC students’ various needs for success are fully met in a timely and supportive manner.
- The Tribal Council passed a Resolution requesting the BIE to make a determination on our College’s “eligibility” for TCU funding and other support opportunities. SCAC’s achievement of independent accreditation with the HLC—in about 3 to 5 years—will trigger this “eligibility study” by the BIE.
- In early 2018, the College submitted a completed application and payment to become an AIHEC member institution. AIHEC is scheduling a “site visit” to render a decision on the College’s membership application.
- During the week of February 11-15, 2018, the President of San Carlos Apache College (SCAC)—along with a San Carlos Apache Tribe delegation led by Chairman Terry Rambler—participated in the 2018 Winter AIHEC Meeting & Capitol Hill Visits, and in other key Capitol Hill meetings. The visits served to initiate discussions with members of Congress and federal government officials on strategies to provide federal funding to SCAC for the (critically important) first three to five years of its growth and development as a new TCU.
- In March 2020, we joined the many institutions globally who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by temporarily transitioning our courses to a fully online format.
- On June 5, 2020, we celebrated the achievements of the first graduating class of Apache College, honoring Bigcoat Antonio, Melissa Cosen, Arica Dosela, and Michelle Sneezy. The Commencement video is available for all to enjoy.