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The United States Department of Education has awarded Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College cooperative funding under the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions program. The NASNTI program provides grants and related assistance to Native American-serving, nontribal institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native American and low-income students.

NEO’s 2,040 square-mile, three-county primary service area – Ottawa, Craig, and Delaware counties – has a total population of 88,298 people, 30 percent of whom are Native American. The counties are home to 10 tribal jurisdictions.

In the fall of 2021, Native American students represented 29 percent of the college’s overall enrollment. NEO offers degrees and certificates in 38 transfer and occupational programs.

“NEO is very excited with the announcement of the NASNTI Title III grant award,” said NEO Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Dustin Grover. “This grant will allow the college to improve services to students while presenting a unique opportunity to work with another institution in Oklahoma on U.S. Department of Education initiatives.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NEO expanded online and hybrid class offerings and added real-time remote classes using Zoom videoconferencing technology.

NEO was awarded $1,596,013 over five years as the lead institution for the $2,749,977 grant, a two-initiative project to develop a robust virtual campus. The partner institution, Carl Albert State College, was awarded $1,153,964.

Carl Albert State College President Dr. Jay Falkner said, “This grant establishes a tremendous opportunity for collaboration and partnership with institutional colleagues across the state represented by our two colleges; but more importantly, it provides new and innovative means to serve our tribal students in multiple ways, creating pathways for student success and greater outreach. We are proud to enter this endeavor with our partners at NEO.”

“Partnership opportunities such as the NASNTI program allow the two colleges to develop and provide meaningful resources to underrepresented populations,” said NEO President Dr. Kyle J. Stafford. “College graduates earn more money on average over their lifetime. Together, we can extend that advantage to generations of new students and their families.”

The first initiative is titled “Strengthen Faculty Capacity to Provide Effective Virtual Campus Instruction.” Institutions will develop new onboarding modules to orient faculty to virtual campus teaching. It will establish a faculty resource repository, and each institution will provide training in cultural responsiveness, Universal Design for Learning, teaching with technology, interaction and engagement in virtual courses, and using Open Educational Resources.

The second initiative is titled “Address Gaps and Weakness to Provide Efficient Virtual Campus Student Support.” Institutions will integrate new or redesigned student support into the coaching and mentoring systems and develop student orientations to virtual learning. NEO will develop online support to align with Universal Design for Learning, address students’ social and emotional needs, and ensure virtual support is interactive.

For more information, please contact NEO Administrative Assistant for the VP for Academic Affairs, Sam Hoover, at sam.hoover10@neo.edu or 918-540-6203.

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