Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College is one of four Land Grant Colleges and Universities in the state of Michigan. Michigan State University, originally chartered in 1855 as a state land-grant agricultural college, served as the model for the Morrill Act of 1862 which funded new colleges through grants of federally controlled lands to states and was redesignated as a federal land-grant institution in 1863. Bay Mills Community College, Saginaw Chippewa Community College, and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College gained designation under the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994.
The original Land Grant Act of 1862 and the Land Grant Act of 1890 established institutions of higher learning across the nation to teach practical subjects, summarized as “agriculture and the mechanic arts.” That summary now includes science, nutrition, leadership, youth activities, rural businesses, and other areas. Land grant status was extended to include historically black colleges and universities in 1890 and to tribal colleges and universities in 1994. Instead of a grant of federal land, the 1994 institutions receive endowment funds.
All land-grant institutions have a three-part charge, to:
• Democratize higher education and expand its opportunities based on merit, not social class or ethnicity (equity)
• Find practical applications for scientific research and technological innovations (research)
• Make public service an essential part of higher education’s mandate (extension)