UMass Boston will Manage New Mashpee Wampanoag Native Tribal Scholars Program
November 09, 2010
Office of Communications
For more information, contact Cedric Woods at 617-287-5784.
The United States Department of Education, through its Office of Indian Education Demonstration Grant program, has awarded the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe $1,198,263 to fund a pre-college initiative for 8th and 9th grade Native students in Massachusetts.
The program, called Native Tribal Scholars (NTS), is modeled on the highly successful Upward Bound program operated by the University of Massachusetts Boston for more than 40 years. This program was developed and will be operated collaboratively by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), and UMass Boston’s Institute for New England Native American Studies and division of American Support Services. This program will consist of both academic year and residential components.
After receiving word of the grant, Chairman Cedric Cromwell said, “We are thrilled to receive this grant and increase the resources available as we prepare our youth for college. This collaborative effort will provide many young people an opportunity to pursue their education and focus on leading successful adult lives.”
The purpose of the NTS program is to prepare low income, first generation Native Americans for post-secondary education. This will be accomplished by providing counseling, tutoring, and academic courses that are both challenging and nurturing.
The program will be comprised of counseling and tutoring services during the academic school year and a six-week residential summer program. These components will be directly managed by UMass Boston.
Dr. J. Cedric Woods, interim director of the Institute for New England Native American Studies at UMass Boston, said, "The grant received by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe from the Office of Indian Education is a perfect example of the type of tribal/Native community/university collaboration for which the institute was created. I am excited about this opportunity to work more closely with all the partners to increase the number of Native students who will be prepared for higher education."
In the six-week summer session, students will take courses in literature, composition, mathematics, science and computer science. Other program services will include assistance in choosing and applying to college; help with applying for financial aid and scholarships; personal, career and financial counseling; and workplace and college visits.
The program is designed on the same concept as UMass Boston’s very successful Upward Bound Program, now in its 45th year. On average, 90 percent of the Upward Bound graduates are accepted to at least one post-secondary institution annually and more than 70 percent graduate within six years. The Native Tribal Scholars program will use the same concept and curriculum design but with a concentration on Native American history, culture, and contemporary issues.
Student participants will not only attain stronger academic skills but will gain critical and analytical thinking skills, build positive and confident attitudes, and learn comradeship and resourcefulness.