College of the Muscogee Nation
Address: 1200 Highway Loop 56, P.O. Box 917, Okmulgee, OK 74447
Phone: (918) 549-2800
Location: Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Chartering Tribe: Muscogee Nation
President: Robert Bible
Land Grant College: No
Enrollment: 189 (Fall 2014)
Associate degree programs
- Native American Studies
- Police Science
- Tribal Services
- Mvskoke Language Studies
The College of the Muscogee Nation (CMN) was created by an act of the Muscogee Nation Council. Located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, the capital of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the college was organized to serve Muscogee Nation Tribal members and residents. Governance for the college is provided by a five-member board of regents of Muscogee citizens that meet monthly.
Currently, the college offers a variety of general education and Tribal-specific courses through a formal agreement with Oklahoma State University.
The College of the Muscogee Nation has been working with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in hopes of attaining full accreditation. A candidate since 2012, the college has made steady progress toward accreditation since it began the pre-application process eight years ago.
Established in 2004, CMN serves an average student body population of 200 students, a majority of which are Muscogee (Creek) citizens. The college is founded on the idea of preserving the past and cultivating futures for Native American students. Ninety percent of the college’s faculty and staff are American Indian, mostly citizens of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
Accordingly, CMN has incorporated Native culture and language into the design of its core values, curricula, strategic plan, and its campus environment. The college currently offers four associate’s degree programs, in tribal services, Native American studies, gaming, and police science.
The college began its journey down the road to accreditation 10 years ago. The process started in earnest in 2008, with HLC’s “initial accreditation” requirement, which consists of two parts. First, an applicant must pre-apply by submitting several documents to ensure that the institution is eligible for accreditation. Once that condition is satisfied, the applicant must demonstrate that it is able to meet the specific criteria for candidacy, as devised by HLC.
CMN overcame these hurdles, completing an extensive self-study that addressed HLC’s criteria for candidacy. Following a site visit and an appearance before HLC’s Institutional Actions Council, the commission’s board of trustees awarded CMN the status of “candidacy for accreditation” in November 2012.
Next came the “candidacy” phase— a four-year time period when institutions are expected to maintain HLC’s candidacy criteria and progress towards the fulfillment of the commission’s full accreditation criteria. During that time, CMN earned regular membership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and became eligible to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title IV financial aid and from the American Indian College Fund.
In 2013, CMN began working on another self-study, which seeks to meet HLC’s candidacy criteria, as well as federal compliance requirements. The college has worked to demonstrate its efforts to implement a plan for the assessment of teaching and learning outcomes and to update its strategic plan.
While seeking to satisfy HLC’s requirements, the college’s academic affairs office has worked diligently to create a framework for an assessment plan that incorporates Muscogee cultural values. The result is an extensive report entitled “Preserving the Vision of Our Ancestors: An Educational Legacy,” which outlines the college’s core values of vrakkueckv (respect), fvtcetv (integrity), mecvlke (responsibility), eyasketv (humility), and hoporenkv (wisdom), and acknowledges the importance of the Muscogee language.
An HLC site review team evaluated the CMN campus in 2014. The college will again interview with HLC’s Institutional Actions Council in Chicago. The council will then make a recommendation to HLC’s board of trustees who, in turn, will make a final determination on the college’s status of “initial accreditation.”