Northeastern State University welcomes Native American Support Center

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/21/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A newly created Native American Support Center has arrived at Northeastern State University.

The NASC is a federally funded program seeking to increase Native American students’ retention and completion of higher education. The center is open with services available on all three campuses in Tahlequah Muskogee and Broken Arrow.

An official opening will be held at the beginning of the fall semester.

With a five-year funding grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Title III office, the NASC was created to help Native American students combat barriers to a successful educational journey. The NASC is under the authority of the Division of Academic Affairs.

Though based within the Center for Tribal Studies, NASC branches are located in the John Vaughan Library in Tahlequah and on the Broken Arrow and Muskogee campuses.

Under the leadership of Director Mary L. Nordwall, the NASC will offer personal, academic and career coaching, peer tutoring and advisement, research and graduate school preparation, college success workshops, peer mentoring and cultural activities.

Joining Nordwall are Marsey Harjo, academic intervention specialist; Jade Hansen, advisement and career specialist; and Shelly Dreadfulwater, outreach coordinator for all three campuses.

With the center’s guidance, Native American students can embrace the challenges that can make their college journey a success and help them become successful professionals.

“All students can learn, but it depends on the faculty to stimulate and challenge them in their academic work,” Nordwall said. “The NASC will work to model, facilitate and enhance student motivation and support through preparing them for research and finding their own answers or solutions to their goals.”

Motivational speakers, both Native and non-Native will also be a part of the inspirational mix for students thanks to collaborations with faculty, staff and local, state and national American Indian leaders.

“Our cultural component includes traditional artistry in two- and three-dimensional arts, music, language (Cherokee/Creek) classes for credit, tribal law/politics, song, drumming and dance,” Nordwall said. “Being Native myself inspires me to share this with all American Indian students. I want them to research their own cultures’ richness and to share with other tribes and non-Natives on the three campus settings of NSU.”

For more information, email nordwall@nsuok.edu.

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