At Blackfeet Community College in western Montana, students enrolled in the institution’s cooperative education program don’t have to wait for their college years to pay off. Instead, they can now take part in a program that combines traditional classroom education with employment in jobs related to their field of study.
“I do not believe I could pick just one ‘exceptional’ teacher at Bay Mills Community College,” says President Martha McLeod in writing about the college’s eight-member staff.
Little Big Horn College President Janine Pease-Windy Boy has long argued that tribal colleges are far more than community colleges. Instead, they are also centers for community development and laboratories for the discovery of effective teaching strategies.
Gary Conti and Robert Fellenz of Montana State University argue that tribal colleges are centers for adult education.
K. Patricia Cross, the Elizabeth and Edward Conner Professor of Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley, offers some suggestions about what instructors can do in their own classrooms to “make teaching more professional, more productive, and more intellectually satisfying.”
Bill James, who teaches the Lummi language at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington, believes language is a key to understanding the tribe’s culture and a way to build self-respect among its members.