Nicolet College already offers many of its classes in an online format.

It’s part of what kept enrollment increasing at the school throughout the pandemic, while enrollment dropped at many other colleges and universities.

Now the college is adding another program to its online roster – the tribal business management certificate.

Nicolet’s tribal business management program is designed to meet the needs of people who work in tribal government or in businesses related to a tribe.

It was the result of a collaboration between the college and the sovereign indigenous nations in Northeastern Wisconsin.

In the past, that program has existed completely in-person, with classes offered within tribal communities.

Now, the college plans to expand the program’s reach by offering online learning options.

It’s received a $30,000 grant to do that.

“Teaching it online will give students who are more distant from any of our tribal communities more access to those courses, but it brings challenges of recreating the cohort experience and the community connections we can make while teaching in a classroom in one of our tribal communities,” says Laura Wind-Norton, Nicolet College’s dean of university transfer and liberal arts, and the person managing this grant.

Wind-Norton says the grant will give the college more resources to grow the program while better serving its indigenous students.

The program is expected to go online in fall 2022.

Currently about 12 percent of students at Nicolet are racial or ethnic minorities.

That’s compared to about 5 percent of the general population within Nicolet’s district.