NWIC Offers College Prep And Indigenous StudiesNov 15th, 2006 | By tcj | Category: 18-2: Traditional Wisdom Our Strength, Tribal College News
Summer education opportunities abounded on the campus of Northwest Indian College (NWIC, Bellingham, WA) with a college prep program and a tutorial collaboration for high schoolers and the annual Indigenous Studies Symposium.
There was little time to bask in the sun, hang out with friends, or lounge around the house for 65 Indian students, ages 15-18 years old, who took part in a summer program offered by NWIC. Organizers hope that the students were not only inspired to go to an institution of higher learning but were also prepared to succeed there.
Cheyenne Ballew (Lummi) liked the fact that he rubbed elbows with college students while learning more about biology.
High school students could enroll in two of the following NWIC summer classes: science education, English/reading, cultural arts, Lummi language, drama, and physical education. Participants either earned credit toward their diplomas or retrieved credits needed to complete their required courses.
Three graduates of the NWIC Oksale (means Teacher in Lummi) Teacher Education Program were recruited to teach in the summer program. All three hold a teacher certification in Washington state, a master’s degree, and are in the process of earning their principal’s credentials.
NWIC also collaborates with the Ferndale High School’s WASL Academy, which provides Lummi students with daily tutoring at the academy. Four tutored students re-took the math section of the WASL, a state mandated assessment, this summer.
“Over 60 students will receive tutoring in basic skills throughout the coming year,” says Sharon Kinley, director of the Coast Salish Institute at NWIC. “Ultimately, we want them all to pass the WASL.”
Indigenous scholars converged on NWIC July 27-29, 2006, to honor the work of the late Vine Deloria, Jr., one of the nation’s foremost authors and intellectuals. Topics ranged from sovereignty to spirituality and religion. Deloria authored 25 books, produced numerous other writings, and received many awards throughout his lifetime. “Any time you are focused around thinking of Vine, you are going to draw interest from many walks of life,” says NWIC President Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota).
Rissa Wabaunsee, NWIC vice president for Instruction, adds, “This type of forum for Indian scholarship adds to our efforts to preserve and enrich Native American studies in higher education.”
For more information, contact Aaron Thomas, director of public relations at NWIC, (360) 392-4211.