American Indian Higher Education Consortium
AIHEC was founded in 1972 by the presidents of the nation’s first six Tribal Colleges, as an informal collaboration among member colleges. Today, AIHEC has grown to represent 35 colleges in the United States and one Canadian institution. Unlike most professional associations, it is governed jointly by each member institution.
AIHEC’s mission is to support the work of these colleges and the national movement for tribal self-determination. Its mission statement, adopted in 1973, identifies four objectives: maintain commonly held standards of quality in American Indian education; support the development of new tribally controlled colleges; promote and assist in the development of legislation to support American Indian higher education; and encourage greater participation by American Indians in the development of higher education policy.
To become a member of AIHEC, a college must be chartered by a federally recognized tribal government, governed by American Indians, and have a majority of students who are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe. Additionally, in order to become a full voting AIHEC member, an institution must be either accredited or a candidate for accreditation, as determined by the regional accreditation agency of jurisdiction. The process involves meeting a number of rigorous standards the association has established in areas such as curricula, administration, finance, and institutional resources. To deal with a variety of diverse institutions, the NCA focuses upon how well each is meeting its own chosen mission. Accreditation is important to the students who need national grants and who want to transfer. When a college or university is accredited, the institution becomes eligible for more federal programs, students have more access to financial aid, and their credits can transfer.
CATC will be applying for accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Members of AIHEC are required to be accredited or candidates for accreditation.
For more information about AIHEC, you can to its website: http://www.aihec.org