Entangled Solutions develops an environment to merge rural strengths
Small, rural colleges find themselves at a major crossroads today. They face an imperative- and an opportunity to align their classic strengths with shifting student demographics and a new economy. To aid financially, Entangled Solutions, a pioneering innovation consultancy for higher education, has donated $2 million in in-kind consulting support to Fort Lewis College (FLC), a 108-year-old public liberal arts college. As one of just six federally-designated Native American-serving, non-tribal institutions in the United States, FLC will get a multi-million-dollar focus on continuing the rural college’s enrollment and financial growth, helping the college preserve its mission while meeting the needs of students and a changing a labor market.
“With support, we believe that Fort Lewis College can serve as a lighthouse example for the renewal of rural colleges in postmodern America. We congratulate President Stritikus and his team for their winning bid- and their commitment to the spirit of innovation that has always defined higher education,” said Paul Freedman, CEO of Entangled Group
Creating an atmosphere to breathe enrollment
Although the project has yet to kick off, leaders from Fort Lewis College and Entangled aim to attract additional students to its rural campus started expanding online programs and building partnerships with employees and industry.
President of Fort Lewis College, Dr. Tom Stritikus, states “Growing expectations of value coupled with more options have rendered the higher education market vastly more competitive. To enhance our social impact mission of serving Colorado and Native students, we must find new ways to reach students and build a sustainable foundation for the future.”
Under the leadership of Dr. Stritikus, faculty and staff at FLC have already begun to expand enrollment and increase revenue, notably securing accreditation for new online programs. Last year, faculty and staff set a direction for FLC and now engagement with Entangled Solutions will bring critical expertise and experience to accelerate the pace of change and best serve the graduates entering the workforce.
History of serving the best
For more than a hundred years, Fort Lewis College’s focus on serving indigenous people through the creation of the Native American Tuition Waiver program. In 1910, in exchange for receiving ownership of the land from the federal government, the state of Colorado agreed to waive tuition for Native American Indian students, an agreement Colorado honors to this day. Located in close proximity to the Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Apache, and Navajo Nations, FLC is a major driver of social and economic advancement for regional tribal communities.
As the Four Corners’ stronghold of academic excellence, Fort Lewis College has built the trust around blending small class sizes, creating engaged faculty, and birthing opportunities to help students earn college degrees and ultimately chase dreams.
FLC’s successful bid was the result of a competitive, national RFP process that included a thorough evaluation of the college’s student outcomes, financial stability, strategic plan, and existing leadership team.