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Comanche Nation College in danger of closing

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Comanche Nation College is in danger of closing due to a lack of funds normally provided by the tribe.

April 2017, Comanche voters set the budget for the year and Comanche Nation College was not on that list.


The college president said the financial setback may possibly because they have withdrawn their candidacy for accreditation this year.


To remain open, they need about two million dollars for each year.


"It's highly possible that the college will be closed,” said President, Dr. Robbie Wahnee.

Comanche Nation College has been operating since 2002 and per Wahnee it would be devastating to the community and students if they should close down.

 

"We have a lot of students who have told us they wouldn't go to a different school,” said Wahnee. “They wouldn't try to get into college. They don't feel comfortable at other colleges where they are larger."

She believes the reason they were left off Comanche Nations annual budget list was due to their lack of accreditation.

At the same time, she thinks the school has more to offer even as they work to get reestablished.

“Our goal is that students have zero debt. Not everyone gets to leave there without debt but certainly, that's a plus,” said Wahnee. “Anytime that you close a facility that has those kinds of goals you're disadvantaging not only the community but the people that you serve and definitely the tribe. There are tribes across the united states that would love to have a tribal college. We have one in our backyard."

The college operates mainly on funds approved by Comanche voters during their annual budget meeting as well as grants from the national science foundation.

The funds leftover this year from the foundation will only allow them to stay afloat for three semesters.

However, even with this setback, Wahnee remains optimistic.

"Hope that we eventually get leadership to support the college or that are leadership would sit down and listen to us,” said Wahnee. “If any of those things could happen and they could happen before the end of summer, I feel strongly that we have a lot of the items in place, the criteria in place that we could attempt to reenter the process next Fall."

 

She also said besides appealing, if they are not included in the budget this year they will try and re-enter the budget planning process in 2018.

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