Northern Oklahoma College announces its newest project to serve Native American as well as low-income students, made possible by a federal grant awarded last fall.
Funded by a federal grant through the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) program, the “Merging Tradition and Technology: Engaging Native American and Low Income Students to Complete College” project has identified “a wide variety of activities through three main initiatives,” according to Charlene Flanery, Title III project director for the NASNTI grant.
These activities will be implemented throughout five years, October 2016 through September 2021, she added.
The first initiative will revise 30 existing NOC online courses offered to meet Quality Matters certification standards. The six tribal centers within the college service area—Otoe-Missouria, Tonkawa and Ponca tribes and Kaw, Osage and Pawnee nations—will each be equipped with an access site designed to serve as a computer lab and interactive television (ITV) classroom.
The second initiative will develop high quality, interactive online services to support both on-campus and distance education students. These new services will be backed by a new data analytic tool allowing staff to access student-level data in real time in order to provide such benefits as online learning readiness assessment, financial aid advising, academic advising, degree mapping and transfer services.
The third initiative is to target Native American student success by establishing a Cultural Engagement Center (CEC) to provide student support services, cultural activities and professional development. Housed within the Vineyard Library-Administration Building at NOC Tonkawa, the center will open next fall.
Theodore “Ted” Moore has been employed as Native American Student Success Specialist to head the CEC, leading the development and piloting of culturally aligned individual coaching and other student support services. He holds a Master of Education degree from Oklahoma City University.
The CEC language resource library will provide resources to highlight Native American culture. Also on tap will be opportunities for NOC faculty and staff professional developmental training in strategies for supporting Native American student success.
The $1.75 million developmental NASNTI grant was awarded from the United States Department of Education, Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs over a five-year period. NASNTI grants are given to institutions of higher education having an enrollment of undergraduate students that is not less than 10 percent Native American students and are not a tribal college or university.
“The NASNTI grant provides greatly needed resources to assist NOC in developing services that will help create additional support services for students to succeed in reaching the academic goals at Northern,” NOC President Dr. Chery Evans commented.
For more information about the Merging Tradition and Technology project, please visit www.noc.edu/cultural-engagement-center.