Native American tribe members across Oregon and throughout the country will be able to earn college degrees via Oregon State University’s online programs, per a new outreach measure implemented by the school.
The measure is a joint effort between Oregon State Ecampus, the school’s top-ranked online education service, and OSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity. The aim is to offer Native American communities easier access to higher education and improve graduation rates.
“We value and acknowledge our moral and ethical responsibility to Native Americans, who are the original stewards of this land, and are pleased to advance our mission of service by partnering in developing distance education programs that align with tribal goals,” said OSU President Ed Ray.
According to a recent report published by the National Center for Education Statistics, 19 percent of Native American and Alaskan Natives were enrolled in college nationwide in 2016, the lowest sum rate of enrollment among all ethnic groups surveyed. From 2010-2016, Native American college enrollment dipped 28 percent nationally.
Oregon State Ecampus provides online education across the country and internationally. The service thrives on student connectivity and online engagement, a major reason why OSU has been ranked in the Top 10 for online education the past five years running by U.S. News and World Report.
Ecampus Director of Student Success Marleigh Perez will work as principal contact liaison for each Native student accepted to an online degree program. Additional Ecampus success coaches will work with Native students in a one-on-one capacity to help navigate the academic terrain.