SKC Creates Indigenous Math/Science Institute

May 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-4: The Many Faces of Leadership, Tribal College News

Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in Pablo, MT, created the Indigenous Math and Science Institute (IMSI) in December 2001.  The department began as the All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ANLSAMP) in 1995.  This program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and serves the 32 U.S. tribal colleges and universities in the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, as well as 20 state and private institutions of higher education in a 12-state region.  Its goal is to increase the quality and quantity of American Indians receiving baccalaureate degrees and graduate degrees in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET).  The department grew to include preK-12 activities and began receiving funds from other sources.  With the expansion in focus and funding sources, SKC recognized the need to form a department that included all these activities.

There are two primary divisions within the Indigenous Math and Science Institute (IMSI): college level programs and preK-12 programs. The college programs include the NSF Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship program, which promotes full-time enrollment and degree achievement in computer science, engineering, and mathematics to Native American students attending ANLSAMP institutions.  The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scholarship offers scholarships specifically for tribal college students in the science, math, technology, and engineering fields.

The preK-12 programs include the NSF-funded Rural Systemic Initiative, which is designed to reform science, mathematics, and technology instruction and learning on the Flathead Reservation. The NSF Leadership Development for Master Teacher grant increases student achievement by providing high quality standards-based curricula.  The NASA-funded Native Earth Science Curriculum Project develops and disseminates culturally-competent curriculum specific to NASA’s Earth Systems Science.  The NASA Northern Rocky Mountain Tribal Pathways to Academic Excellence is a summer program to prepare students for their first high school algebra course. It is a joint effort between the Nez Perce Tribe, SKC, and the Idaho Space Grant Consortium.  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases planning grant addresses culturally competent science education on diabetes.

For more information, contact Jaymee Johnson-White, program manager for the SKC Indigenous Math and Science Institute, at (406) 275-4800 or email <>.

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