ED Awards More Than $50M in Grants to Tribal Colleges, Universities

September 2, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

books-1-1475290It’s early September and for most students across the country, that means it’s back to school time, not only for K-12 students, but those in higher education as well. With the help of some new federal grant funds, many tribal colleges and universities will be able to provide a richer educational experience this year.

The U.S. Department of Education last week awarded more than $50.4 million in formula-based grants to support American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities in 12 states. The Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program provides grants to help eligible institutions of higher education increase their self-sufficiency by strengthening their academic quality, management and overall fiscal stability.

“As accredited institutions, tribal colleges are unique,” said William Mendoza, executive director, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. “In addition to functioning in a similar fashion to community colleges or small, public four-year schools, they support the preservation and revitalization of Native languages and serve other cultural needs of their students. They deliver instruction in culturally appropriate ways, thereby promoting tribal culture and academic achievement.”

The grants promote President Obama’s mission to expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for American Indian and Alaskan Native children stemming from his 2011 Executive Order on Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Awards were made under this recent round of funding to 31 colleges and universities in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. We look forward to seeing how these institutions of higher education use these funds to give those in the tribal community a better future.

What is your reaction to these grants? Will they make a difference? Let us know.

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