Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) was chartered by the Bay Mills Indian Community under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978. The Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act designation is important because it provides the college with annual funding through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The funding is based upon a formula which calculates the number of full-time equivalent Indian students (25 CFR §41.3(g)) that attended BMCC the previous academic year multiplied by the annual appropriation, which this past year was $4417.00 per Indian student. Included in Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (25 CFR §41.4(c)) is a requirement that those tribal colleges in operation for more than one year, must have a majority Indian students to continue to be eligible for funding. This is the only operational funding which we receive, which when combined with the tuition and fees paid by students keeps the college operating. All other grant funding received by the college is tied to the goals and objectives written into grants to secure funding, little of which can be used for instructors or operational support.
BMCC doesn't discriminate. Therefore, a significant percentage of our students, about 40%, are not Indian students. We receive no direct financial support either State or Federal for these students; this creates a difficult financial environment in which to operate. As the only community college located in Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula, we believe that it is in the best interest of every one to educate any student who wishes to attend our institution. Our tuition is low, and we have an open enrollment policy which allows a significant number of students to attend our college who may never have had the opportunity at a main stream or state public institution. We provide support in the form of tutoring and academic enrichment classes to improve the skills of our students, many of whom are single parents and have been out of school for a number of years. This has allowed many students to successfully transition into a college environment.
We now come to you and ask for your support so we can continue to carry out the educational role of serving our students wherever they are located. We have students enrolled from over 40 states, the Province of Ontario and armed services personnel located on bases in Spain and Germany. This is accomplished through the miracle of the Internet which allows those students who cannot make the journey to a college to complete a quality education in their own home. We still offer what was one of the first Early Childhood Education Degrees designed for Head Start teachers located in rural areas as remote as Alaska. We are also the only Tribal College acting as a Michigan Charter School authorizer under Michigan's State School Code. We have chartered 42 Public School Academies. These academies provide educational choices for students in the urban minority and/or low income community in which the academy is located.
We are asking that you make a $10.00 contribution so we can continue educating less fortunate students desiring a quality education, whether K-12 or college. The donations will be used to support: new language and building trades programs and plans for additional programs in the health and plastics industries; a faculty endowment to employ much needed additional full-time faculty; the need for additional scholarships; and finally building maintenance, repair and utility expenses.
Your support will make a big impact on the future of a family when the student seeking an education may be the first in the family to attend college and the family bread winner. Their success provides encouragement to the whole family. Your contribution improves the whole community because an educated individual is a benefit to all.