American Indian Students
NSU receives $2.2 million grant to expand support services for American Indian students
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Northeastern State University a five-year, $2.2 million grant to support American Indian students.
Sara Barnett, director of the NSU Center for Tribal Studies, said the grant will allow the center to offer a more comprehensive set of services to improve student’s academic performance.
“Overall, the goal is to increase the retention and graduation rates of American Indian students,” Barnett said. “These grants provide the institution with additional resources and opportunities for students that we hope will increase their academic and career success. With the budgetary challenges we continue to face in higher education, these grants are critical for us to expand on the services we offer our students.”
Barnett said the plan is to hire three additional full-time staff, four part-time student positions, two in Tahlequah and one each in Broken Arrow and Muskogee, supplemental instructors, peer mentors and support students doing research.
She added funding will also support professional development for faculty and staff, expansion of the current library holdings, the use of Open Educational Resources and increase accessibility of course materials.
The federal funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Program. This program provides funding to Native American-serving, nontribal institutions to expand its capacity to serve American Indian students.
The primary goals of the program include increasing retention of first year and transfer students, improving the academic performance and retention of American Indian students, increasing immersive-learning opportunities for American Indian students, enhancing co-curricular and student programming to improve retention and graduation rates and expanding professional development and training opportunities for faculty and staff.
Barnett said the grant is funded through September 30, 2026.
As of Fall 2021, approximately 33% of NSU students identify as American Indian and represent more than 30 different tribal nations.
Since 1990, the Center for Tribal Studies at NSU has been a central resource for American Indian students seeking academic support, a communication bridge between tribal nations and the university, enhanced student experiences and a way to enrich the cultural heritage of the Northeastern State University community.
For more information about the Center for Tribal Studies visit https://offices.nsuok.edu/
About Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University is Oklahoma’s immersive-learning institution offering workforce-ready degrees at campuses in Tahlequah, Broken Arrow and Muskogee, as well as online. From its humble beginnings as the Cherokee National Female Seminary and through its evolution as a teacher’s college and present-day comprehensive university, NSU is proud of its role to provide a quality, affordable education in Green Country and to serve the educational, cultural and workforce needs of Oklahomans.