The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College (CATC) is the result of extensive planning by the Education Authority of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU).SWOSU serves as a partner with CATC as it progresses through its initial developmental stages as a tribally-controlled institution of higher education.
Once CATC becomes a fully operable and autonomous college, it will apply for Associate Membership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).Following that it will file a letter of intent to pursue Regular Membership in AIHEC, which when approved will make CATC eligible for federal funding and capable of competing for federal grants and other educational resources. CATC will join an approximate 35 other AIHEC tribal colleges and universities located throughout the United States and one in Canada.
CATC will then focus upon accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Universities. Once accredited CATC will manage federal student financial aid programs and its courses also will be accredited and transferable to accredited four-year degree granting institutions or other two-year institutions.
CATC personnel are working with various groups to develop associate's degrees and certificate programs. One initial program of study has been developed and approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, which will lead to an Associate of Science degree in Tribal Administration. This two-year A.S. degree was implemented in Spring Semester 2009 with some courses taught off-site through distance education. Students pursuing this degree will prepare themselves to work in the tribal environment, which is currently undergoing increased demands for individuals with administrative skills.
CATC is currently and temporarily located on the main campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, Oklahoma in the "Old" Science Building, First Floor, Suite 104 as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College Board of Regents and SWOSU on May 25, 2006.The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College held its opening ceremonies on August 25, 2006 and inaugurated its first president on April 3, 2008.