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The United States Department of Education has awarded Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College cooperative funding under the Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions program to provide support for online students.

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.

The grant award is $3,999,309 over five years. The lead institution of the cooperative grant, Carl Albert State College, will partner with NEO to facilitate the funding and services.

“This grant will allow us and our partners at Carl Albert to continue serving online students and to introduce new ways to support their academic success,” said NEO President Dr. Kyle J. Stafford. “We are grateful to the Department of Education for funding these initiatives.”

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

This fall, Native American students represent 13 percent of the college’s overall enrollment. NEO offers degrees and certificates in 32 transfer and occupational programs.

NEO has expanded online and hybrid class offerings and added real-time remote classes using Zoom videoconferencing technology. 

This project, “Supporting the New Majority,” will allow the two institutions to collaboratively strengthen academic and student support offerings, drawing on experience and expertise from each institution to jointly develop systems and services that will improve postsecondary success, persistence, and completion for underrepresented, underserved students.

“We are proud to partner with NEO for another year on an outstanding grant program,” said CASC president Jay Falkner. “A rising tide raises all ships, and we feel fortunate to have excellent working relationships with our fellow institutions; we can work collectively toward ensuring student success.”

Through initiative one, the two colleges will work together to strengthen faculty and staff capacity to use data to support best practices for virtual campus, online, hybrid, Zoom-based instruction, and services. 

Through initiative two, each institution will embed student support within its high-demand and high-risk virtual campus courses. Faculty and staff training will be coordinated each year on cultural responsiveness and best practices for supporting our virtual campus students. 

Additionally, both campuses will invest in technology, with NEO creating a faculty and staff resource center to implement virtual campus support. 

“I am excited for this project as it brings support and improved and new services full circle for our online learners,” said NEO Title III project director and coordinator for online learning Joy Bauer.

For more information, please contact Title III administrative assistant Misty Rhinehart at misty.rhinehart@neo.edu or 918-540-6398.

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