Magazine article University Business

A Voice for Native-Serving Institutions

Magazine article University Business

A Voice for Native-Serving Institutions

Article excerpt

When it comes to underserved student populations, one group is often left out of the conversation: American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has launched a new consortium to address the needs of these populations, powered by a three-year, $990,000 Lumina Foundation grant.

Amy Rochat, coordinator for evaluation policy and data at WICHE, was part of the consortium team from the start. While at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Rochat realized that other minority populations--Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans--all had consortia that addressed their issues.

"Native American, non-tribal institutions, or NSIs, did not have a unified voice and were often overlooked in national policy forums, yet these institutions serve more than 90 percent of the American Indian and Alaskan Native students in higher education," Rochat says.

NSIs differ from tribal colleges, or TCUs, which are on native-nation land and have nation-to-nation status with the federal government, she says. …

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