Montana Colleges Promote Education DegreesMay 15th, 1989 | By tcj | Category: 1-1: From the Past, the Future, Tribal College News
Reservation-area schools need more Native American teachers. But, until recently, few Indians were earning teaching certificates.
Now, however, six of Montana’s tribal colleges are working to increase the number of Indian teachers. All have been awarded a federal grant to build on-campus teacher training programs.
Now in its second year, tribal institutions work with a state college or university to offer upper division education classes on each reservation. In addition, 80 Indian students will take summer classes next year at different state campuses.
The goal of the program is to increase opportunity for students at tribal colleges who want to earn a degree in education, said Ft. Peck College President James Shanley.
Until the program, tribal colleges in Montana—all focusing on two-year degrees—could not offer a complete education curriculum. Yet many students who were interested in teaching were unable to leave their reservations for the two to three years required to earn a certificate.
“Most of the students are a little older and many have families,” Shanley says. “It’s tough for them to get away.”
With the cooperative program, however, students can complete required course work on the reservation and during a brief summer term at a participating state college or university. Student teaching can then be completed at a school near their home.