MBA Graduates to Take Entrepreneurship Home

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Tribal College News

This summer, five business instructors from four tribal colleges will graduate from Gonzaga University with Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Funded by the Theodore and Vivian Johnson Scholarship Foundation, faculty members from Salish Kootenai College, Fort Peck Community College, Blackfeet Community College, and Diné College have worked the last three years toward the degrees with a specialization in American Indian Entrepreneurship (MBA-AIE).

The Johnson Foundation, Gonzaga University, and the instructors themselves designed this new program to address economic development in Indian Country. With the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained in the MBA-AIE Program, these teachers will return to their schools and students. They will share their new ideas to promote tribal entrepreneurship, enhance resources management, and strengthen local economies.

The next class of participants will include tribal leaders, managers, and other instructors who will, with full financial support from the Johnson Foundation, spend six weeks during the next three summers on the Gonzaga campus taking classes and attending workshops. Courses taken at distance by computer during the rest of the years will complete the degree requirements. Native American leadership, team building, and business issues unique to Indian Country complement the usual curriculum.

“Enrichment, commitment, and acknowledgement all add up to a rejuvenated enthusiasm in my teaching and personal life, which is the most valuable thing I have gotten out of the program,” says second year student Alfred DeRoche, (Blackfeet) an instructor at Salish Kootenai College. “Gonzaga University provides quality instruction and an environment that puts people first. This spirit is something I hope to incorporate into my work with students.”

The Theodore and Vivian Johnson Scholarship Foundation has supported both economic development and higher education for many years. Native American entrepreneurship has benefited from the foundation’s partnership with many tribal colleges; students in tribal colleges receive foundation scholarships on an annual basis.

For additional information or application documents contact Stacey Chatman, Program Coordinator, School of Business Administration, Gonzaga University, AD Box 9, Spokane, WA 99258, (800) 986-9585 or email

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