Here is a list of Internships, Events, and Other Scholarship Opportunities.
- The Center for Indigenous Health Research at the University of Washington in collaboration with Northwest Indian College and AIHEC has been conducting an alcohol and drug needs assessment of all TCU communities across the United States and Canada. The attachment provides an update on the study’s current status and contact details for more information about the study.
- The U.S. Department of the Interior today announced two important steps in the ongoing commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to Native Americans. Today, Interior announced the publication of a draft plan and a request for comment on implementing the potential Cobell Land Consolidation Program. Additionally, Interior announced that the first meeting of the Commission established to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of Interior’s trust management of Native American trust funds is set for the first week of March. The Cobell Land Consolidation Program will not be implemented until all court approvals are final; however, Interior has prepared the draft plan to continue the tribal consultation on the development of the program. In May, 2011, the District Court allowed representatives of the United States to communicate with Cobell class regarding to the land consolidation component of the settlement. Since then, Interior has conducted seven regional government-to-government tribal consultations on the issues.
- In accordance with the $3.4 billion Cobell Settlement, a $1.9 billion land consolidation fund is to be used to purchase fractionated interests in trust from willing sellers to benefit tribal communities and aid in land consolidation. Up to $60 million of the $1.9 billion will be set aside to provide scholarships for post secondary higher education and vocational training for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Today’s publication in the Federal Register opens a 45-day comment period on the draft implementation plan that seeks to remedy the proliferation of thousands of new trust accounts caused by the increasing subdivision or “fractionation” of trust and restricted fee land interests through succeeding generations. The draft implementation plan proposes a voluntary buy-back and consolidation of fractionated trust and restricted fee land interests that would occur over a 10-year period after the Cobell Settlement becomes final.
- The first meeting of the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform is scheduled for March 1-2, 2012 in at the Interior Department in Washington, D.C. More information on the Cobell Trust Land Consolidation Program can be found at: www.doi.gov/cobell.
- AIHEC AIMS UPDATE: AIHEC has received complete reports from all TCUs! Thank you!!! Earlier in January, AIHEC sent TCU a list of items from the completed AIHEC AIMS report needing clarification or correction. These clarifications and corrections are due to AIHEC on February 10, 2012.
- Native Vote – Every Vote Counts: AIHEC is helping “Native Vote,” a nonpartisan campaign launched by NCAI, encourage American Indians to exercise their right to vote. To get involved in Native Vote, go to: www.nativevote.org and sign-up, register for webinars, download toolkits, and more. If you are interested in hosting a webinar or event on Native Vote for your campus or community, contact Jamie Gomez at NCAI (email@example.com). We are hoping that we can organize a “NativeVote Coordinator” at EVERY TCU, who can work more closely with the national organization on non-partisan voter registration and awareness campaigns. The Indian vote will be important this year, so please help us ensure that our people vote! If someone at your college is interested in being a Native Vote Coordinator, please contact Carrie Billy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jamie Gomez at NCAI (email@example.com). Remember, our goal is one coordinator from EVERY TCU!
- NEW AIHEC INDIGENOUS EVALUATION FRAMEWORK PORTAL: We are pleased to announce that AIHEC has launched a new and comprehensive Indigenous Evaluation Framework (IEF) portal. Go to http://indigeval.aihec.org (or the AIHEC website) to learn more about the IEF. (Click on “documents” in the tab to see the book contents.) The Framework is a wonderful, TCU-developed tool for evaluating and planning in a way that engages all stakeholders and is truly relevant to the community. The Framework curriculum incorporates Indigenous epistemology and core tribal values into an evaluation framework that honors place, community, individual gifts and tribal sovereignty. AIHEC’s creative director, Kay Heatley, did an exceptional job on the website and the IEF workbook (which is available on CD).
- The NCAA’s “Champion” Magazine has published a 10-page feature article on Tribal College athletics and an accompanying video! To view the article in NCAA’s Champion Magazine, go to: http://catalog.proemags.com/publication/3f57f0a9#/3f57f0a9/38 and see the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBQXFpl0z4w. The article highlights the Montana TCUs and includes beautiful photos, including Little Big Horn College’s new $10.2 million Platinum LEED Certified health and wellness building – a tremendous accomplishment led by President David Yarlott. The initial idea for the NCAA story and assistance in making it a reality, came from TCJ Managing Editor, Laura Paskus, who contacted the NCAA’s communication’s regarding the Montana Tribal Colleges Basketball League.
- Deadline approaching for TCJ Student Edition: Each year, the winning entries of our writing and cover art competitions are featured in the fall issue of Tribal College Journal. The TCJ Student Edition provides the students with incentives, exposure, and material for their resumes. We encourage students to submit their best work (proofread and edited) for consideration. We prefer that instructors submit their students’ work, so we can have a contact name and email. The three categories include: Fiction, Memoir/Narrative, and Poetry. February 10 is the deadline for the writing competition; April 13 is the cover art competition deadline. Each submission can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and must be accompanied by an entry form, which can be found online at: http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/2012-tcj-student-writing-contest.
- Draft for Review: National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy: the second draft of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, is now available for review and comment: www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/participate.php. Many tribal governments and organizations are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on species, habitats, and ecosystems that are vital to their cultures and economies. They understand the need to adapt. For example, the Swinomish Tribe in the Pacific Northwest, which depends on salmon and 35 shellfish, has developed the Swinomish Climate Change Initiative. This effort seeks to assess local impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and prioritize planning areas and actions to address the impacts of climate change, and can serve as an example for other tribal governments. Tribal consultation sessions, public meetings and webinars are available through February (go to links below for dates and locations). Tribes are encouraged to participate in these sessions and provide comments about the strategy. Deadline for comments: 3/5/12. Tribal consultation sessions: http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/tribal-consult-sessions.php. Public Workshops: http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-workshops.php. Online Webinars: Will include a short presentation and an opportunity to provide oral comments or ask questions. Register early as number of phone lines is limited.
- Dept. of Education Increases Penalties for Late Audit Submission: To participate in federal student aid programs (Pell, loans, etc.), the U.S. Department of Education requires all institutions of higher education to submit annual audits. The attached link was posted on the “Information for Financial Aid Professionals” website this week, regarding increased penalties for non-submission. Specifically, firm and swift action will be taken for late annual audit submissions. Please read the following link carefully and share with your Fiscal Offices. (John Gritts discussed this at AIHEC’s fall 2011 board meeting. If you have questions, please contact him at 303.844.3148.) http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/011712SchoolElectronicNotificationCitingPastPerformance.html
Advocacy & Outreach
- President’s FY 2013 Budget release delayed: The President’s FY 2013 Budget Recommendations will be delayed until Monday, February 13, 2012, the first day of the AIHEC Winter Meeting. The required press events and “unveiling” speeches have led several senior officials to cancel their participation in our meeting, but we believe we will have several days of good meetings and discussions for you when you arrive in DC. (See below.)
- Title III – Exciting News! We are THRILLED to report that ALL of the TCUs have submitted their “Annual Progress Reports” for your TCU Title III grants! TCUs were the first group of institutions to achieve 100 percent compliance this year! Congratulations! This is especially exciting news because only three years ago, TCUs had achieved only 50 percent compliance by the submission deadline! We commend each of you and especially your staff for getting your reports submitted in timely fashion. Keep up the GREAT work – this kind of achievement does not go unnoticed among the Department’s senior staff.
- Speaking of the Title III program… Have you submitted your Application for Eligibility for the TCU Title III program? If not, why not make it your goal to get it in TODAY! If you do not think you need to submit, take this test: (1) Is your institution an ACCREDITED (or candidate) TCU? If your answer is YES, then you MUST submit. If NO, then you can wait until you are accredited.
- BIE-Education MOU “Roundtables” (Indian Education Executive Order): As part of our Winter meeting, AIHEC has requested that Interior and ED officials hold a SPECIAL TCU Roundtable Discussion with TCU presidents, students, and board members on Monday, Feb. 14, 2012 (first day of our winter meeting) so that federal officials can hear directly from you about concerns, ideas, challenges, and opportunities for working together to improve American Indian education at all levels and, in particular, to strengthen TCUs so that you can work more effectively with your students and communities.
- President Obama’s Plan for Higher Education Cost Containment & Productivity: Last Friday, President Obama made a speech about rising college costs and higher education value (productivity), in follow-up to his State of the Union address. A summary can be found here. Briefly, the President’s plan would: (1) Adjust the focus for the Perkins Loan and Work-Study programs to prioritize institutions that contain net tuition increases, serve needy students, and provide “good value” and “quality” education. Sounds great for TCUs, except most of you do not participate in the federal loan programs. (2) Establish a “Race to the Top” program for higher education of $1 billion per year for five years to be used in states whose public institutions make systemic changes to improve and contain net tuition increases. States receiving money would be required to maintain their pre-existing appropriations to support public higher education. Again, sounds great for TCUs IF tribal colleges are included (we need a carve out, not to be forced into the state plans). We are working on this with the White House right now. (3) Create a $55 million competitive program for institutions to test “breakthrough” strategies to increase productivity and learning. Don’t mistake this for a “new” program with new money. It most likely is not. It is actually a prioritization of existing FIPSE funding, and all funded FIPSE applications this year will probably focus on this. (4) Establish an apparently federally-maintained “Scorecard” for institutions to report key data, which students can use to help select colleges. (4) Increase the Pell Grant maximum award from $5,550 to $5,635 for academic year 2013-14, maintain the current interest rates on subsidized loans (interest rates are scheduled to double this summer and extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit. No specific details have been released, and little of the Obama plan can become law without Congressional action. We cannot guarantee action on anything before this fall’s elections, but there is sure to be plenty of talk about elements of the plan. We will continue to work over the next several months to ensure that TCUs are included where you should be included and exempted where you should be exempted.
We will discuss the President’s plan during our winter meeting. But you might be interested in knowing these facts, regarding the cost of higher education and the need to provide affordable, high quality education (without tuition increases): TCU tuition rates are among the lowest in the nation. Your tuition ranges from $30/credit to $240/credit. Average tuition is $100/credit hour, or about $2600/year (with fees), compared to a national average at 2-year colleges of $2,963/year (tuition and fees). In 2011-12, public 4-year colleges charged, on average, $8,244 in tuition and fees for in-state students.