In 1982, a task force of educators and parents undertook the establishment of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, now Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College. A Needs Assessment and Planning effort was conducted in the summer of 1982 and the task force called on the Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct a feasibility study to determine the appropriateness of a tribal community college at Lac Courte Oreilles.
In August of 1982, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board chartered the college and provided it with Articles of Incorporation. Classes were held throughout the 1982 – 1983 academic year primarily through the volunteer efforts of part-time instructors.
LCOOC granted its first certificates of completion in the Community Health Educator program in June 1985. In May 1986, the college granted its first Associate of Arts Degree.
The College received Land Grant Status approval on October 5, 1994, in legislation passed by the U.S. Congress within the Tribal College Act Endowment Amendment. This Amendment was attached to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
In spring 2003, the Cultural Resource Center was completed with the grand opening in November 2004. In May 2007, the Library at LCOOC was completed and the grand opening was held in August 2007.
In 2011 the College dedicated a fully-equipped Nursing Simulation Lab to support instruction in Allied Health programs. In the fall of 2016, a new 6100 sq. ft. facility was dedicated, replacing a portion of campus that had been severely damaged during a fire in 2012. This new “600 Wing” addition contains a large Student Commons, a commercial kitchen, a study room, a classroom, and storage spaces and houses the College’s Extension programs and staff.
The College began the process to offer bachelors degrees in Human Services and Business Administration in the Fall of 2018, including a proposed name change to recognize the change in program offerings. A Master Facility Planning (MFP) process also began at this time.
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College formally changed to Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College with approval from the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board and the College’s Board of Regents in November of 2019.
The bachelor degrees in Human Services and Business Administration were fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission in May of 2020.
The college’s MFP was completed fall of 2020. The MFP resulted in a plan to expand the College’s
footprint. The College expansion is currently under way.