SKC Offers Education, Health Courses

May 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 9-1: Honoring Our Native Knowledge, Tribal College News

Salish Kootenai College will join this fall with Western Montana College of the University of Montana to provide a four-year degree in elementary education. Western has agreed to grant full college credit for SKC’s two-year graduates, who will then take Western classes during their third and fourth years on site at SKC.

The program is designed to get more Indian people into education as a profession, according to SKC Vice President Gerald Slater. Less than 4 percent of the 475 teachers at public schools on the Flathead Reservation are Indian. In the future, he says, SKC may develop its own four-year elementary education program. SKC already offers bachelor’s degrees in human services and environmental science. In 1977, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes chartered the college, which was at first just one small room with less than 10 students. Now it serves nearly 1000 students.

SKC marked its 20th year by making distance learning history. Dr. Lori Colomeda of SKC presented a seminar on breast cancer to Rovaniemi College of Health in Finland. A medical ecologist and a nurse, Colomeda is an expert on Native women and breast cancer. This fall she will be teaching a distance learning course on Personal, Community, and Tribal Health. It will be broadcast to other tribal colleges via the American Indian Higher Education Consortium satellite system.

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