Once again, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been recognized nationally for its work with Native American students.
According to “Diverse Issues In Higher Education,’’ Southeastern ranks sixth in the nation in producing Native American graduates (all disciplines combined) in the Baccalaureate degree category. (Last year, Southeastern ranked 10 disciplines combined).
In the undergraduate category, Southeastern has 14 different fields represented in the national top 30. The University ranks number one in Engineering Technologies and Engineering related fields (Occupational Safety and Health).
In the graduate category, Southeastern is also ranked number one in Engineering Technologies and Engineering related fields (Occupational Safety and Health).
Each year, the magazine publishes its top 100 rankings of minority graduates. The report is based on preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education.
“It is a real honor for Southeastern to be recognized in this manner," said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “We have a number of programs in place to assist our Native American students as they work toward their goals. We are also fortunate to have partnerships in place with The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation that directly benefit our students."
In 2011, the University received a $2 million federal grant to enhance the academic success of its Native American students. The five-year Title III grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. This “Connect2Complete (C2C) Project” strives to bolster the retention rates and graduation rates of Native American students at Southeastern.
Currently, approximately 30 percent of Southeastern’s enrollment is comprised of Native Americans.
Also, the Southeastern Native American Center for Student Success provides advisement and assistance in accessing external funding for Native American students. The center houses staff from the Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program and the Chickasaw Nation Education Services and offers a College Success course for new freshmen.
Southeastern also offers a Native American Studies minor, Native American management option, and courses in Choctaw Language and Culture.
Each year, Southeastern partners with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to sponsor “Native American Visitation Day,” in which high school students experience the college setting.