American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) was founded in 1973 by the presidents of the nation’s first six tribal colleges as an informal collaboration among member colleges.
AIHEC 1975 Board of Directors
By 1975 the first version of the Tribally Controlled Community College Act was introduced as Senate Bill 1017. The first U.S. Senate hearing, October 1975, established a congressional record and history for future legislation and was signed into law as the first Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act, December 1978, by President Jimmy Carter. The key justification for the law was: (1) geographic isolation of the tribes, (2) access to mainstream higher education opportunities lacking for tribal populations, (3) cultural disparities with mainstream or non-Indian society, (4) student success more likely when education offered locally and in community setting, (5) local control in providing higher education to tribal members, and (6) no local tax or state funding available to the schools. The law remains an authorization for the schools under the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
History of American Indian Higher Education
AIHEC Historical Timeline