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University ranked for serving Native American students

Posted on Oct 27, 2010
A magazine includes UW-Superior among the top universities nationwide for serving Native American students.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior ranks among the nation's top 200 universities and colleges for serving Native American students, according to the newest edition of Winds of Change, the magazine published by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

To compile "The 200 List," the magazine used U.S. Department of Education statistics on enrollment and graduation rates over the past four years. It sought universities with "the nucleus of a good American Indian community for support, with a focus on colleges that graduate a good percentage of their Native undergraduates."

UW-Superior officials said the ranking reflects the work the university has done in recent years to connect with Native American students and communities.

"UW-Superior has a long history of working with Native American students to help them achieve their goal of a university education. This ranking reflects the continuing hard work of a lot of our faculty and staff members," said Interim Chancellor Christopher Markwood. "It also serves as an incentive for us to push for further improvements in how we serve our students."

Preliminary figures for this fall show UW-Superior has 104 Native American students enrolled. That's the university's largest number in 10 years. The number includes students taking courses online through the university's Distance Learning Center.

Admissions Director Tonya Roth said Native American students appreciate UW-Superior's personal service and small classes as well as the opportunity to earn a degree online through the Distance Learning Center. Students also have opportunities to share their culture with the community through activities such as the annual student-organized spring pow wow. 

UW-Superior offers a First Nations Studies program that includes an academic minor with courses in Ojibwe language and Native American culture, history and law. Its First Nations Studies Center and its Multicultural Affairs Office offer academic assistance as well as social support for Native American students who are away from their families and communities.

"We've worked hard to meet both the academic and social needs of Native American students who choose UW-Superior as their academic home," said Chip Beal, diversity coordinator and an assistant professor in the First Nations Studies program. "Native American students coming onto this campus have places they can go to for help and for support knowing they will receive services to meet their immediate and long-term needs."

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (www.aises.org/) works to increase representation of American Indian and Alaskan Natives in engineering, science and other related technology disciplines. Its Winds of Change magazine is the only American Indian-published, nationally distributed full-color magazine focusing on career and educational advancement for Native people.

News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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