Gritts, U.S. Department of Education program analyst and Cherokee
member, and Jackie Swain, SKC Financial Aid Director, help
out with the give-away to honor founding academic members
who served over 15 years at TCU institutions across the nation.
(Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO Hundreds of tribal college and university administrators
met last week at Salish Kootenai College campus for a four-day Tribal
College University Summer training focused on campus effectiveness
through better collaboration of academic and student services to
enhance tribal college student success across the nation.
The annual event started at SKC over three decades ago and has
been ongoing since, according to John Gritts, U.S. Department of
Education program analyst and Cherokee member.
Gritts said he and former SKC President Joe McDonald along with
others started meeting in the early days to figure out "how to do
things better for the students," and the meeting turned into major
trainings that grow each year at the SKC campus.
"This annual event is designed for all levels of administration
across all of our campuses and focuses on intercampus effectiveness.
We believe that the presentations discussions, and interactions
participants engage in will strengthen student success work," said
Carrie Billy, American Indian Higher Education Consortium President.
"We are pleased to be a part of such an important meeting,"
said Marcia Boyd, Director, Minority Serving and Under Resourced
Schools Division U.S. Department of Education. The "institutional
effectiveness" theme is highly appropriate as a campus recipe for
assessing the current status, designing and change process, creating
goals and implementing change, said Boyd.
"It is imperative that American Indian students at all levels
of the educational system receive a high quality education that
prepares them for whatever future they envision," said Sandra Boham,
Boham said, "It is a challenge with the current climate of continually
being tasked with doing more with less." Tightening budgets, public
misconceptions, and a changing political and economic climate are
just a few of the challenges that tribal colleges face, Boham said.
A few agenda items included: keynote address by Ron His Horse,
former TCU president and Tribal Chair of the Standing Rock Sioux
Tribe, "Relation within TCU's"; morning circles; respondent from
academic and student perspectives; best practices; group reports;
reflections and comments; how to develop a housing program; cost
of attendance; nuts and bolts of residence life; "Flipped Classrooms:
definition, concept, and implementation;" effectively using data;
new cash management; college websites essential information; fraud
and abuse in federal education programs; distance education; policy
and procedures; and more.
The closing ceremony on Thursday afternoon at the People Center
grounds recognized and honored founding members of the annual conference
and individuals who served TCU's for 15 years or more.
The late Bill Hay, financial aid officer at Sinte Gleska University,
was honored as a founding member and his service for decades to
tribal college students.