California Tribal College members

Our Mission

Guided by our Tribal Nations’ ancestral knowledge, California Tribal College creates educational, research, and economic opportunities while honoring Native ways.

California Tribal College members
Students at California Tribal College

Our Programs

California is home to the largest number of Native tribes in North America. As the first tribal college in the state, California Tribal College is serving the quality education needed by Native peoples.

Students at California Tribal College
Three female students at California Tribal College chatting with each other outdoors with books in hand

Campus Life

California Tribal College students are supported through education journeys in ways that meet their needs.

Three female students at California Tribal College chatting with each other outdoors with books in hand
California Tribal College Student holding diploma and smiling. On the back of her t-shirt are the words Born Leader

Our Impact

There are 36 total tribal colleges in 14 states across the US, providing a range of programs serving more than 160,000 Native students annually.

Completion rates for Native students at tribal colleges are more than double those for Native students enrolled elsewhere. Higher retention rates have resulted in over 80% of students completing degrees and certificate programs.

California Tribal College Student holding diploma and smiling. On the back of her t-shirt are the words Born Leader

Academics. Culture. Community. Family.

“There is nothing more important for Native people and our tribal futures than the education of our young people.”

- Marshall McKay, Tribal Chairman, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

What drives us?

Our goal is to increase college enrollment for Native Americans in California. This will decrease unemployment, increase opportunities and economic benefits for a better standard of living for Native peoples.

Black icon of the map of California

California is home to almost 200 Native tribes and 12% of the Native peoples of North America with thousand-year-old cultures, languages, traditions and homelands.

Black Icon of a student sitting and studying

Today, education is vital for Native people to sustain their language and culture, strengthen sovereign governments and build thriving businesses.

color icon for future growth California Tribal College

Despite the need, Native Americans are among the least represented in higher education in California and more than half drop out after their first year.

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The gap starts even earlier, as they also experience low high school graduation rates; and when they do, meeting basic college requirements can be challenging. 

The California Tribal College is closing higher education gaps by incorporating tribal cultures and languages and focuses on the professional needs that tribes have in governance, law, protecting culture and resources and business management.