White Earth Professionalizing Teacher AidesFeb 15th, 2002 | By tcj | Category: 13-3: Sustaining Our Future, Tribal College News
White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC) in Mahnomen, MN, has received a four-year, $800,000 Para Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is being used to train American Indian teacher aides. Only two percent of the teachers on the White Earth Reservation are Native American while the students in the schools on the reservation are primarily Indian.
Under the grant, students will complete their associate degrees in para-education at WETCC and may continue on to Moorhead State University for a four-year degree in special education. Helen Klassen, president of the tribal college, expects the program to train 15 enrolled members each year to become aides. Dr. Sandra Parsons, education department chairperson who wrote the grant, said, “It will be advantageous for our children to have an enrolled member who has additional training as advocate, mentor, and role model. The ultimate goal is to keep our children in school.”