U.S. West Provides $2 Million to Support Colleges

Aug 15th, 1991 | By | Category: 3-2: The Persistence of Native Peoples, Tribal College News

In the largest corporate gift ever to tribally controlled colleges, a $2 million package of support was announced this summer by the U.S. West Foundation.

The two-year effort by the Denver based foundation will help the colleges strengthen curriculum development and student transfer programs. A smaller grant to the American Indian College Fund will be used to support its campaign to raise $10 million in the next two years.

In addition, it was also announced that the Wieden & Kennedy advertising agency of Portland, Oregon will launch a multi-million dollar, pro-bono advertising campaign for the college fund with financial assistance from the U.S. West Foundation. Wieden Kennedy are best known for their Just Do It Nike ads.

In announcing the grant, U.S. West President Richard D. McCormick challenged the belief that the federal government is meeting the needs of Native Americans. “That perception is wrong,” he said. “The problems of Native Americans are the most severe of any minority group.”

“We feel it is time to give something back to the Indian,” McCormick said. “The tribal colleges are the answer to maintaining Native American cultures while teaching them to succeed on or off the reservation.”

A total of $732,000 will be distributed this year alone by the foundation to 19 tribal colleges. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 will be used by the colleges to develop transfer agreements with four-year institutions, provide distance learning classes and promote accreditation efforts, among others.

Sisseton Wahpeton Community College President Gwen Hill said that the $50,000 her institution received for transfer programs will pro­vide more opportunity for students to continue their education at four-year institutions.

“The U.S. West support will allow us to coordinate our curriculum at four-year schools in the area,” said Hill. In addition, the college will be able to purchase career guidance material and support the cost of student visits to area institutions.

While the U.S. West initiative is the largest corporate grant to tribal colleges, it also is part of a growing commitment in the business community to support the colleges. Recently announced gifts to the college fund includes a $75,000 from the Exxon Educational Fund and an additional $75,000 from Philip Morris.

In 1990, the U.S. West Foundation also contributed $200,000 to four tribal colleges and $60,000 to the American Indian College Fund.

Grants to Colleges from the U.S. West Foundation

Blackfeet Community College, Browning, Montana: $50,000—to define, implement and test an institutional credit transfer process by completing transfer agreements with area four-year colleges and universities.

Crownpoint Institute of Technology, Crownpoint, New Mexico: $50,000—to develop credit transfer agreements with area four-year colleges and universities and to continue efforts to upgrade the institute’s accreditation status.

Dull Knife Memorial College, Lame Deer, Montana: $10,000—to assist with accreditation efforts.

Ft. Peck Community College, Poplar, Montana: $50,000—for a joint project with Little Big Horn College and Rocky Mountain College to provide for distance learning classes. Rocky Mountain will offer credited classes at Little Big Horn. Little Big Horn will offer classes in Native American culture at Rocky Mountain.

Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, Montana: $50,000—for a joint project with Ft. Peck Community College and Rocky Mountain College to provide for distance learning classes. Rocky Mountain will offer credited classes at Little Big Horn. Little Big Horn will offer classes in Native American culture at Rocky Mountain.

Navajo Community College, Tsaile, Arizona: $50,000—to support a bridge program with counseling and academic components to improve Navajo student transfer rates.

Nebraska Indian Community College, Winnebago, Nebraska: $50,000—to improve the college’s computer center as a key to successful student transfer opportunities.

Fond du Lac Community College, Cloquet, Minnesota: $50,000—funds to support review and revision of curricula for human services, natural resource technicians and other specialists to improve transfer opportunities.

Ft. Berthold Community College, New Town, North Dakota: $25,000—a continuation grant to strengthen the health sciences curriculum.

Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, South Dakota: $50,000—to support a transfer program focused on sophomore students with retention problems.

Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana: $50,000—to support a transfer officer who will develop an institutional transfer action plan including counseling, advisement and research.

Sinte Gleska College, Rosebud, South Dakota: $50,000—to hire a transfer coordinator to oversee a new advisement program, initiate a student tracking system and provide student services.

Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, Sisseton, South Dakota: $50,000—to develop credit transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Little Hoop Community College, Ft. Totten, North Dakota: $50,000—to support the review and revision of college curriculum to match course content to that of area four-year colleges and universities.

Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, Washington: $12,000—$10,000 to upgrade libraries at two sites to comply with recent accreditation reports and $2,000 in technical assistance to clarify the college charter.

United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, North Dakota: $25,000—continuation program to enhance the computer learning center and develop data on student transfer.

Standing Rock College, Ft. Yates, North Dakota: $25,000— Continuation funding for a grant officer dedicated to development activities in support of student transfer.

Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, North Dakota: $25,000—continuation support to implement an alcohol and drug abuse curriculum that will be transferable to four-year institutions.

Stone Child Community College, Box Elder, Montana: $10,000—for faculty, staff and board development in conjunction with the national accreditation process.

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