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Colleges Remain on the Path to Student Success at the 2017 Tribal Colleges and Universities Governance Institute for Student Success (GISS)

After three years, Tribal Colleges and Universities demonstrate their commitment to their students and Tribal communities. Board members and presidents from twenty-three (23) Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) around the country actively participated in a two-day governance institute focused on data-informed decision making and student success in Orlando, Florida, October 7-8, 2017.  Sponsored by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the GISS-TCU was the third institute for the Tribal Colleges and Universities funded by the Lumina Foundation.

Participants

During the institute, attendees included trustees and regents, chancellors and presidents of the 23 TCUs present, AIHEC leadership and other TCU staff such as vice presidents, institutional researchers, and other college or tribal community members or executives.  For two days, they worked together and pledged continuing learning and sharing good policy ideas with each other to improve their colleges and universities.

Participating colleges included both two-year and four-year colleges from 11 different states including:

  • Alaska: Ilisagvik College, AK (4-year)
  • Arizona: Diné College, AZ (4-year), Tohono O’Odham Community College
  • Michigan: Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College,
  • Minnesota: Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Leech Lake Tribal College, Red Lake Nation College, White Earth Tribal and Community College
  • Montana: Chief Dull Knife, Fort Peck Community College, Little Big Horn College, Salish Kootenai College, Stone Child College
  • Nebraska: Little Priest Tribal College, Nebraska Indian Community College
  • New Mexico: Institute of American Indian Arts, NM (4- year), Navajo Technical University (4-year)
  • North Dakota: Sitting Bull College (4-year), United Tribes Technical College (4-year),
  • Oklahoma: College of the Muscogee Nation, OK
  • South Dakota: Oglala Lakota College (4-year)
  • Wisconsin: Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College

Presentations

Led by ACCT’s Executive Vice President for Research, Education and Board Leadership services, Dr. Narcisa Polonio, attendees engaged in a variety of activities including identifying success strategies for specific students, taking a board self-assessment, exploring decision making and planning for student success policies.   Participants learned about the critical aspects of being a high performing board, how to monitor their student success data, and reported out their findings when working collectively.

Katherine Page, AIHEC’s Research and Policy Associate presented each college’s data, highlighting the Scorecard developed for the TCUs and the five agreed upon key AIMS indicators for measuring student success:

  • First-year retention
  • Successful completion of Developmental Math
  • Successful completion of Developmental English
  • Successful completion of College Math
  • Successful Completion of Native American Studies

Much of the data had mixed results for the colleges but also showed that there have been gains in students successfully completing developmental math, previously a low point for many students.

Accreditation and Student Success

This particular TCU institute promoted looking at solutions to improve student success. During the institute entitled Future Forward, Dr. Robert Bible, President of the newly accredited College of the Muscogee Nation (CMN), and Dr. James King, Regents Director of Institutional Effectiveness for the College, spoke about lessons learned as they became accredited.

College of the Muscogee Nation President Dr. Robert Bible left, and Regents Director of Institutional Effectiveness for the College, Dr. James King, presented on the accreditation activities of their college.


Additionally, Dr. Robert Martin, President of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) addressed questions and accreditation guidelines.  He has served on national accrediting boards.

On the second day of the institute, Pearl Brower, President of Ilisagvik College in Barrow, Alaska, shared successful retention strategies regarding cultural competence fostering student success that have helped her college move the student success needle. Through external partnerships and community connections, institutional indigenization prioritizing Inupiaq culture, language, values, and traditions in the curriculum and administration became part of the College’s strategic plan.

According to one trustee participant, “All the material covered will help me as my duty as a Board member.”  Significantly, a few attendees assessed the overall impact of the institute, and noted that “gaining personal growth as a trustee” and discovering that the Tribal Colleges were “moving in the right direction.”  Most indicated a great deal of learning about board roles and responsibilities. One person even indicated that “Everything that was presented was a learning tool.”


Leander “Russ” McDonald, President of United Tribes Technical College and Laurel Vermilion, President of Sitting Bull College, put their heads together to work on student Success as Koreen Ressler, Vice President of Operations at Sitting Bull leans in.

Word Diagram

At the end of the institute, participants were asked for one word that summarized the institute for them. The word diagram to the right collects the results of their comments.

Next Steps

ACCT and AIHEC are currently collaborating to procure funding for future GISS institutes.  For more information, contact:

Narcisa Polonio, Ed.D., Executive VP, ACCT, 202-276-1983 or  Norma Goldstein, Ph.D., GISS Director, ACCT, 202-775-6488.

GISS TCU 2017 cover slide v6

GISS – TCU 2.0 2016: Taking TCU Governance for Student Success to the Next Level

A second successful institute with over 90 participants from 26 tribal colleges/universities was held on October 7-9 in New Orleans, LA.  Colleges reported on progress made since the last institute, identified what was working (safeguards), challenges that still needed to be addressed (roadblocks and detours), shared success stories, and discussed how they will move forward.  A special focus was given to how some colleges are reforming developmental education.

In the post-institute evaluations, here is what a few participants had to say about their experience:

“I liked learning about what other colleges were doing to improve their programs based on their data.”

“I completely appreciated the individual assessment and statistical information for our college to compare with other Tribal Colleges.”

“I enjoyed learning how a Board can be very effective with the right tools.”

Regarding the most important learning:

“Different strategies on how to get your students to be successful”

“How to be data-driven,” and “The role of the Board vs Admin functions”

We are once again appreciative of the generous support from the Lumina Foundation and for ACCT’s outstanding partnership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), without which, this institute would not have been possible.

Participating colleges included:

  • Blackfeet Community College
  • California Tribal College
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Chief Dull Knife
  • College of Menominee Nation
  • College of the Muscogee Nation
  • Comanche Nation College
  • Diné College
  • Ilisagvik College
  • Institute of American Indian Arts
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
  • Little Big Horn College
  • Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Navajo Technical University
  • Nebraska Indian Community College
  • Northwest Indian College
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
  • Red Lake Nation College
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
  • Salish Kootenai College
  • Sitting Bull College
  • Stone Child College
  • Turtle Mountain Community College
  • United Tribes Technical College
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College

We are once again appreciative of the generous support from the Lumina Foundation and for ACCT’s outstanding partnership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), without which, this institute would not have been possible.

GISS Future Forward: Building the Board legacy!

Scenes from GISS-TCU 2016

Governance Institute for Student Success –Tribal Colleges and Universities (GISS-TCU1 – 2015)

Through its partnership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and support from the Lumina Foundation, the GISS-TCU provided 30 Tribal College and University (TCU) presidents and governing boards with training and resources to promote data-informed governance practices and policies that support student achievement and completion on October 17-18, 2016, in San Diego, CA.

Over 100 Native American participants from across the nation attended the GISS-TCU. Of this number, 52 were trustees/regents/directors, and 24 were presidents. The remaining participants were campus administrative staff, student representatives and community members—all focused on student progress, completion and success.

Over 100 Native American participants from across the nation attended the GISS-TCU. Of this number, 52 were trustees/regents/directors, and 24 were presidents. The remaining participants were campus administrative staff, student representatives and community members—all focused on student progress, completion and success.

In addition to following up on the progress colleges made in 2015, at this year’s TCU2-2016 institute in New Orleans, Tribal College & University presidents and governing boards will review key data points for beginning development of student success scorecards for their respective institutions. A board self-assessment will be administered to all board members of colleges that register; those that attended last year can compare results to last year’s analysis presented to them at the institute.

Participating colleges included:

  • Blackfeet Community College
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Chief Dull Knife College
  • College of Menominee Nation
  • Comanche Nation College
  • Dine College
  • Fort Peck Community College
  • Ilisagvik College
  • Institute of American Indian Arts
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
  • Little Big Horn College
  • Navajo Technical University
  • Nebraska Indian Community College
  • Northwest Indian College
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
  • Oglala Lakota College
  • Red Lake Nation College
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
  • Salish Kootenai College
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
  • Stone Child College
  • Tohono O’odham Community College
  • Turtle Mountain Community College
  • United Tribes Technical College
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College
  • Wind River Community College

Webinar – Introduction of GISS to TCUs (2015)

This short webinar introduces the first TCU Governance Institute for Student Success held in San Diego in 2015. The GISS –TCU2 in 2016 will follow up and offer new best practices for new and returning colleges.