SBC Finds Partner That Encourages College Dream

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-4: Tribal College Leadership and Vision, Tribal College News

Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND) is the first tribal college in the United States partnering with College for Every Student (CFES), a nonprofit organization based in Vermont committed to raising the academic aspirations and performance of underserved youth.

The CFES approach emphasizes mentoring, active school-college partnerships, and student leadership programs. It is designed to help students improve academic performance and attendance, develop personal and academic goals, and ultimately ensure that they graduate from high school and succeed at college.

In the past, there was very little mentoring in the high schools or middle schools on the Standing Rock Reservation, but this is changing. Last fall (2008) semester, the tribal college began collaborating with Standing Rock high schools and middle schools using the CFES Program.

Ronya Hoblitt, SBC vocational counselor, says CFES will provide training for each person involved. SBC and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have teamed up to offer assistance to high school seniors interested in dual enrollment. Shannon Cameron, tribal education director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, says the tribe will pay for tuition/books/fees for high school seniors who are in good academic standing, are enrolled members of the tribe, and who are attending their second and final semester of high school.

Jackie Yellow, Standing Rock High School gifted and talented coordinator, summarized the CFES initiative, “We are trying to plant more hopes and aspirations in their young minds. Kids here have always thought of college as unattainable, but with our cooperation as educators, we hope to see all of our Native students pursue post-secondary education.”

For information, visit http://www.collegefes.org/ or call Ronya Hoblitt, SBC vocational counselor, at (701)854-8038; Shannon Cameron, SRST tribal education director, at (701) 854-7525; or Jackie Yellow, high school gifted and talented coordinator, at (701) 854-3730.

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