NSF supports American Indian tribal college projects to improve math & science instruction

October 30, 2000

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made 13 new awards totaling some $13 million to improve science, mathematics and technology education in K-12 schools on tribal reservations in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Washington.

The grants, made through NSF's Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI), incorporate standards-based instructional practice with supportive policies and partnerships. This RSI effort is NSF's response to the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities-an effort to promote access to high quality educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged students while developing innovative linkages among the tribal colleges, elementary and secondary schools.

"Enhancing math and science instruction will help more young Native American men and women find a brighter future in an increasingly technological society," says Rita Colwell, NSF director.

"We believe local, individual projects such as these are the best way to address the needs of specific geographic areas and provide direct support during the process," adds Costello Brown, interim director for NSF's Division of Educational System Reform. "These awardees have made significant progress toward achieving many of the goals outlined in The White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities."

Individual award amounts will average $1,250,000 each for 10 implementation awards over a five-year period and $100,000 each for four developmental awards over a 12-month period. The awards begin during the 2000-2001 academic year. Recipients are Blackfeet Community College, Montana; Candeska Cikana Community College, North Dakota; Fort Belknap Community College, Montana; Fort Berthold Community College, North Dakota; Fort Peck Community College, Montana; Sisseton-Wahpeton Community College, South Dakota; Turtle Mountain Community College, North Dakota; Little Big Horn College, Montana; Northwest Indian College, Washington; Salish Kootenai College, Montana; United Tribes Technical College, North Dakota; Dull Knife Memorial College, Montana; and the Fremont School District, serving the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
RSI targets rural areas in economically disadvantaged regions of the nation that lack support and resources for reform of mathematics, science and technology education. Projects aim at sustainable, adaptable, and systemic improvements in schools and colleges. While the primary focus of projects is on providing leadership and support for educational reform in a rural region, effective projects also encourage discussions about how student achievement is tied to economic growth for the region. Projects work to bring together education, economic, and community leaders as partners in developing a comprehensive plan for community involvement.

Media contact: Charles Drum (703) 292-8070 cdrum@nsf.gov

Program contact: Costello Brown (703) 292-8690 clbrown@nsf.gov

For more information, see: http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/ESR/rsi.asp

National Science Foundation

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