Budget increased for higher education scholarships

08/23/2013 08:59 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilors on Aug. 12 approved a budget modification that added slightly more than $1 million to the Cherokee Nation’s fiscal year 2013 budget for higher education scholarships.

Education Services senior advisor Dr. Neil Morton said the additional $1,034,000 would fund an extra 500 scholarships, mostly for college freshmen who are given scholarships last because upperclassmen are funded first.

“I am very excited to be able to award scholarships to students that submitted a complete application,” Mandy Scott, CN College Resource Center director, said. “The scholarship advisors worked hard to make sure all students turned in all required documents. It is a good feeling knowing that the Cherokee Nation cares about helping students continue their education.”

Tribal Councilor Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he liked the fact that so many students qualify for the scholarships.

“I appreciate the problem that you’re having because you got more students, you need more money. That’s a good problem to have,” he said.

When Hoskin asked why Education Services wasn’t funding the freshman first, Morton said budget restrictions and procedures of funding upperclassmen before freshmen were the reasons.

Morton said Education Services funded approximately 250 new students for the spring semester, which is 200 more than the department normally funds.

The approved budget modification was expected to take effect immediately so that Education Services could fund those additional scholarships this academic year. All freshmen who have a completed application on file and are eligible would be funded, Morton said.

“This year we wound up with needing to fund 850 new (CN scholarship) students,” he said. “Actually 835 are new and 15 are continuing.”

The students who received scholarships during FY 2012 attended colleges or universities in 31 states and Washington, D.C. And 80 percent of those students attended 35 colleges or universities in Oklahoma, Morton said.

The number of freshmen scholarship recipients for FY 2012 represents about 22 percent of the number of high school seniors who are Cherokee and residing in the CN jurisdictional area. Several students go into vocational, technical education before entering college.

There are currently 190 graduate students who receive scholarships.

The five universities that have the largest number of students receiving CN scholarships are Northeastern State University with 631 students, Oklahoma State University with 328 students, Rogers State University with 192 students, University of Oklahoma with 189 students and the University of Arkansas with 135 students.

Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts asked if Education Services would be keeping track of how many freshmen drop out of college or continue on with their education.

“With our new computer system, we can finally get an accurate dropout rate and also what they do after they graduate,” Morton said.

During the 2010-11 academic school year, the CN lost more than $500,000 in scholarship money after losing 318 CN scholarship recipients.

Morton said although Education Services is trying to get its hands on the number of dropout students, the dropout rate has declined. Now, when students apply for scholarships, they are assigned a CRC counselor who helps monitor the students.

“There was a time we were losing students, the greatest number of students at the end of the first year,” Morton said. “If we keep them during the first semester, chances are we’re going to keep the majority of them, vast majority of them.”

For more information, call 918-453-5000 or toll free at 1-800-256-0671 or email collegeresources@cherokee.org. To view and apply for scholarships or create a profile, visit https://cherokeenation.academicworks.com/.


918-453-5000, ext. 6139

About the Author
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter.    

In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.
TESINA-JACKSON@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000 ext. 6139
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter. In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.


01/23/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. –An Indian Health Service scholarship workshop has been set for Feb. 10 at Northeastern State University’s Tahlequah campus The workshop will take place on the University Center’s third floor in the Morgan Room. IHS Area Scholarship Coordinator Keith Bohanan will act as the guest facilitator. IHS offers three scholarships to qualified Native American or Alaska Native candidates, those being the preparatory, pre-graduate and health professions scholarships. The preparatory scholarship is for qualified Native American and Alaska Native students who are enrolled in preparatory or undergraduate prerequisite courses in preparation for entry health professions school. The pre-graduate scholarship is for qualified Native American and Alaska Native students who are enrolled in coursework leading to a bachelor’s degree required for application to pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry and others needed by Indian health programs. The health professions scholarship is for qualified Native American and Alaska Native students who are enrolled in an eligible health profession degree program. For applications, visit <a href="http://www.ihs.gov/scholarship/" target="_blank">www.ihs.gov/scholarship/</a> The deadline for new applications is March 28.
01/21/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the 2015-16 academic year until Jan. 31. “The foundation is doing more than ever to help our Cherokee youth succeed academically,” Janice Randall, CNF executive director, said. “These scholarships can often be the deciding factor on whether a student attends college, and we are dedicated to making sure every student has the resources they need to succeed.” The foundation offers three differently funded scholarships: private, tribal and institutionally based. There are currently two institutions with Cherokee endowments – the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University. All applications are evaluated based on academic performance, financial need and community and cultural involvement. “The application process can be overwhelming to students, but our online system has been a wonderful resource for students to efficiently search and apply for scholarship opportunities,” Randall said. “We also encourage students to stop by the foundation office if they need assistance creating their profile.” Once students create an online profile, they have instant access to a one-stop shop for all CNF scholarships. The system also provides students with notices reminding them about upcoming scholarship opportunities and deadlines. Applications can be found at www.cherokeenationfoundation.org. In 2014, more than $125,000 in scholarships was awarded to 59 Cherokee students representing communities throughout the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction and at-large. For more information, call 918-207-0950 or email Janice Randall at <a href="mailto: jr@cherokeenationfoundation.org">jr@cherokeenationfoundation.org</a>.
01/19/2015 12:01 PM
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The 38th annual California Conference on American Indian Education will take place March 15-17 in Palm Springs. The conference’s theme is “Indian Education-Meeting the Challenge” and it will provide an opportunity to share traditional and academic teaching and learning. The conference goals are to honor the elders, who are revered teachers; to provide opportunities for networking among American Indian families, elders, tribal leaders, students and educators; to advocate academic excellence and educational opportunities for American Indian families, educators, tribal leaders and board members; and to recognize distinguished educators, parents and students. To download conference registration forms, visit <a href="http://www.ccaie.org" target="_blank">www.ccaie.org</a>. To register, visit <a href="http://bit.ly/CCAIE2015" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/CCAIE2015</a>. For more information, call Irma Amaro at 530-895-4212, ext. 109 or email <a href="mailto: irma.4winds@att.net">irma.4winds@att.net</a> or call Rachel McBride at 530-895-4212, ext. 110 email <a href="mailto: rachel.4winds@sbcglobal.net">rachel.4winds@sbcglobal.net</a>.
01/11/2015 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – The Center for Native American Youth is accepting applications for the 2015 class of Champions for Change from young Native Americans ages 14 to 22 who demonstrate leadership and service in tribal and urban Indian Communities, schools and programs. The CNAY is dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. The deadline to apply to the Champions for Change program is Jan. 12. For an application to be reviewed, one must submit a signed and completed application form, an essay or video describing one’s work to promote positive change and completed recommendation forms. Applicants must complete and submit the online forms necessary to apply. For the Champions for Change online application, visit <a href="http://goo.gl/yqDApF" target="_blank">http://goo.gl/yqDApF</a>. For the first adult recommendation form, visit <a href="http://goo.gl/5Z7rtz" target="_blank">http://goo.gl/5Z7rtz</a>. For the second adult recommendation form, visit <a href="http://goo.gl/GfWCZo" target="_blank">http://goo.gl/GfWCZo</a>. For the peer recommendation form, visit <a href="http://goo.gl/P3qcPi" target="_blank">http://goo.gl/P3qcPi</a>. One can also email, fax or mail applications to Josie Raphaelito, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036. Or email <a href="mailto: josie.raphaelito@aspeninstitute.org">josie.raphaelito@aspeninstitute.org</a> or fax 202-293-0525. For more information, call Raphaelito at 202-736-2905.
01/10/2015 04:00 PM
WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced Dec. 19 that the Bureau of Indian Education has received an additional $40 million as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. “It’s heartening that Congress and the Obama Administration are working together to ensure American Indian students attending BIE-funded schools receive a world-class education delivered by tribal nations,” Washburn said. “The Consolidated Appropriations Act takes a step in the right direction by addressing critical educational needs identified in the BIE Blueprint for Reform developed by the White House Council on Native American Affairs.” The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes an additional $19.2 million for school replacement over fiscal year 2014 funding levels. The school replacement funding completes the requirements for the school construction project started in fiscal year 2014 and covers design costs for the final two schools on the 2004 priority list. The agreement also includes an increase of $14.1 million for Tribal Grant Support Costs for tribally controlled schools, $2 million for the development and operation of tribal departments of education and an increase of $1.7 million for Science Post Graduate Scholarships. “This additional funding will help us to implement reforms, ensure tribal communities receive sufficient funding to operate their schools, and enable us to begin the longer process of replacing many of our dilapidated schools,” BIE Director Charles “Monty” Roessel said. “We have much work to do, but we are more determined than ever to work with Congress and tribal communities to reach our shared goal of improving educational outcomes for American Indian children.” Under an initiative of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who chairs the council, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, after consultation with tribal leaders, issued a Blueprint for Reform in June 2014 to redesign the BIE. Building on the Blueprint’s recommendations, Jewell issued a secretarial order to begin restructuring BIE from solely a provider of education to a capacity-builder and education service-provider to tribes. The goal of this transformation is to give tribes the ability themselves to provide an academically rigorous and culturally appropriate education to their students, according to their needs. The blueprint also made recommendations regarding the BIE’s budget, including that Interior invest in the school system’s infrastructure, including funding to support new school construction, and align its budget to support tribal self-determination by requesting and increasing tribal grant and Tribal Grant Support Costs for tribally controlled grant schools. The BIE oversees 183 elementary and secondary schools, including Sequoyah Schools in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, which are operated by the Cherokee Nation. BIE-funded schools are located on 64 reservations in 23 states, serving more than 48,000 students. Of these, 59 are BIE-operated and 124 are tribally operated under Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act contracts or Tribally Controlled Schools Act grants. BIE also funds or operates off-reservation boarding schools and peripheral dormitories near reservations for students attending public schools.
01/10/2015 12:00 PM
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Northeastern State University in Muskogee is preparing for its first group of students to enter the Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies Program that begins in January 2017. According to a NSU press release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates job opportunities for PAs are increasing faster than average. They are expected to see a 38 percent growth from 2012-22. Dr. Pamela Hathorn, NSU’s College of Science & Health Professions dean, said Oklahoma graduates approximately 70 PAs a year, which leaves only one PA for every 12,000 individuals in some counties. According to the release, the need for a PA program was identified at a regional healthcare summit at NSU-Muskogee in 2010, where health care leaders, providers and educators across the state came together to address the health care needs of the region. “Occupational therapy was at the top of the list and that is why NSU started with that program,” she said. “Also among the top contenders was the need for mid-level providers (PAs) in the region, so that was the next program on our list.” PAs compile patient data, preform comprehensive examinations, are involved in assessing and providing care and work with patients under the supervision of a physician. A master’s degree is required for entry level into this profession. “The basic didactic and clinical program for PAs is the same regardless of which area of medicine they work in,” said Hathorn. “A PA can work in pediatrics and then decide to change to orthopedics without having to go back to PA school to do so. This is one of the aspects that makes the physician assistant profession so appealing.” The PA program is a two-year program that includes one year of formal training and one year of clinical training. After completing the two years students will be required to pass a licensing exam by the state medical board. Hathorn said any major can apply for the PA program, but certain courses are required for admittance into the program. “The major doesn’t prepare them for their health professions program,” she said. “The prerequisite courses they had to take to apply to the program is what prepares them for the program and/or the admissions exam, in some cases.” The first PA class at NSU will only accept 16 students. “It’s harder to get into PA than medical school, part of that is because there are fewer seats in the state for PA versus medical school,” said Hathorn. “However, it is not unusual for competitive students to apply three times before being accepted into PA school.” For more information, visit www.nsuok.edu/MPAS or email <a href="mailto: prehealth@nsuok.edu">prehealth@nsuok.edu</a>.