In 1995, the Muckleshoot Tribal Council made a significant commitment to higher education in the Muckleshoot community by creating the Muckleshoot Training Center. Designed to provide business training for tribal members seeking employment in the newly created Muckleshoot Indian Casino, the center offered computer training and college-level courses through agreements with Seattle Central Community College and Regis University of Denver, Colorado.
As time went on, a high school completion/GED program, funded by the US Dept. of Education, allowed the Tribe to continue its longstanding commitment to the GED, and the training center became an official GED testing center in 1996. The testing center became computerized in 2014 through PearsonVue. In 2016 the High School 21+ (HS21+) program was added through a partnership with Renton Technical College allowing students an option for finishing their high school diploma.
Renamed Muckleshoot Tribal College in 1997, a partnership with Northwest Indian College was formed, as students continued to study for and complete the GED, pursue 2-year degrees, and receive introductory and intermediate training in a number of computer applications. Clover Park Technical College began offering its Office Assistant Training program through a federal grant in 2000 that offered wide-ranging technology opportunities through the Muckleshoot Occupational Skills Training (MOST) program. The M.O.S.T. program continues today through a partnership with Green River Community College. Also in 2002, Northwest Indian College initiated the Class of 2004, to provide 2-year Associate of Arts transfer degrees.
Over the years partnerships grew. The Evergreen State College established its presence at Muckleshoot in 1998 with the Reservation Based/Community Determined program, providing community members the opportunity for a four-year Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Antioch University began its First Peoples’ Program at Muckleshoot in 2002, offering a Master in Education, Bachelor in Education and teaching certification to community members. Grays Harbor Community College began offering an online associates degree in 2005.
Currently the Muckleshoot Tribal College houses the M.O.S.T. program, the GED/HS21+ programs, a Pre-Apprentice program through a partnership with Bates Technical College, and the Northwest Indian College. Continuing education and life skills classes are also offered throughout the year. Other programs and partnerships are currently being developed as the Muckleshoot Tribal Council’s commitment to higher education continues today.