Innovation Implementation: Next Steps
To further this work we have asked Arthur Taylor, Tribal Liaison, to build on the foundation provided by the established Tribal Advisory Boards. The advice from the boards can help inform the work of our administration, faculty, and staff to recruit, retain, and enhance the transformational learning experience for our students. One of the suggested next steps is to enhance student-to-student mentoring to improve student learning and retention. This can be done with upper-division University of Idaho students mentoring new students as well as our University students mentoring and recruiting Native high school and tribal college students. This important work can be guided from the Native Student Center under the leadership of Steven Martin. Some of this work can be dovetailed with our dual enrollment and distance education programs so that college experience and opportunities are more available to tribal students in high schools.
Another important component of this proposal is the enhancement of a Native Classroom experience in which representatives from Tribes come to our campuses to work with classes or co-curricular groups, or students and faculty travel to Tribal locations in order to learn from the Native communities. A variety of important topics could be addressed such as Tribal sovereignty, state and federal law, natural resource management, economic development, history, health care, art, and Native epistemology and philosophy, to name a few. These are important topics relevant to a broad range of our students, faculty, and staff.
Other topics suggested in this proposal will require additional resources. For example, a grant has been submitted to establish a bridge program to bring Native students to the Moscow campus in the summer to help them transition to the University. Additionally, this spring a National Science Foundation planning grant was used to bring Native leaders from around the country to Moscow to discuss their needs and how graduate education and research could help address some of their ongoing challenges. That work is expected to result in significant additional research grant applications. We encourage this work to continue through the existing leadership of Native faculty and staff, their colleagues across the University, as well as the Office of Research and College of Graduate Studies.