4
Questions Addressed in This Study

The committee was charged with addressing 125 questions related to the establishment of engineering studies in tribal colleges. The answers to these questions and the committee’s conclusions are based on expert testimony at the workshop, a review of the literature, and interviews with key stakeholder groups.

1. What unique qualities do American Indians bring to the practice of engineering?

Tribal elders and TCU faculty and administrators who participated in the workshop observed that American Indians were the first engineers in North America, noting a number of historic American Indian structural, mechanical, and agricultural achievements involving engineering principles, mathematics, science, and technology.

Today, although their numbers are small, American Indian engineers working in all sectors of the American economy have made significant contributions to the profession and have provided role models for tribal students. For example, several American Indian engineers have made contributions to the U.S. space program, most notably Jerry Elliot, a flight mission controller who worked for 58 hours straight to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts back to Earth from a damaged space module.

Unique qualities American Indians would bring to engineering include a holistic approach to problem solving and design, a commitment to sustainability, and a preference for a team-based, collaborative work style—qualities that U.S. businesses are increasingly looking for in their technical workforces. These qualities make American Indians potentially excellent members of engineering teams. In addition, American Indians could make a significant contribution to the culture of engineering. Most important, American Indian engineers are familiar with the needs of their communities and would bring an understanding of Native cultures and values to engineering projects on reservations.

A related question is what unique advantages American Indian engineers would have in the global marketplace? American Indians have a deep respect for Earth and believe they are accountable for the stewardship of Earth’s natural resources. This has led to a special emphasis in TCU STEM curricula on green engineering principles, renewable energy technologies, environmental science, and clean technologies, which would serve tribal students well both in working in their own communities and in the fields of engineering, such as environmental engineering, that incorporate these principles.

5  

Questions 2 and 3 in the Statement of Work were combined to form Question 2 in the report; Questions 4 and 5 were combined to form Question 3 in the report.



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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities 4 Questions Addressed in This Study The committee was charged with addressing 125 questions related to the establishment of engineering studies in tribal colleges. The answers to these questions and the committee’s conclusions are based on expert testimony at the workshop, a review of the literature, and interviews with key stakeholder groups. 1. What unique qualities do American Indians bring to the practice of engineering? Tribal elders and TCU faculty and administrators who participated in the workshop observed that American Indians were the first engineers in North America, noting a number of historic American Indian structural, mechanical, and agricultural achievements involving engineering principles, mathematics, science, and technology. Today, although their numbers are small, American Indian engineers working in all sectors of the American economy have made significant contributions to the profession and have provided role models for tribal students. For example, several American Indian engineers have made contributions to the U.S. space program, most notably Jerry Elliot, a flight mission controller who worked for 58 hours straight to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts back to Earth from a damaged space module. Unique qualities American Indians would bring to engineering include a holistic approach to problem solving and design, a commitment to sustainability, and a preference for a team-based, collaborative work style—qualities that U.S. businesses are increasingly looking for in their technical workforces. These qualities make American Indians potentially excellent members of engineering teams. In addition, American Indians could make a significant contribution to the culture of engineering. Most important, American Indian engineers are familiar with the needs of their communities and would bring an understanding of Native cultures and values to engineering projects on reservations. A related question is what unique advantages American Indian engineers would have in the global marketplace? American Indians have a deep respect for Earth and believe they are accountable for the stewardship of Earth’s natural resources. This has led to a special emphasis in TCU STEM curricula on green engineering principles, renewable energy technologies, environmental science, and clean technologies, which would serve tribal students well both in working in their own communities and in the fields of engineering, such as environmental engineering, that incorporate these principles. 5   Questions 2 and 3 in the Statement of Work were combined to form Question 2 in the report; Questions 4 and 5 were combined to form Question 3 in the report.

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities 2. What does incorporating cultural relevance into engineering studies mean? How can American Indian cultures be incorporated into modern engineering curricula?6 Ways in which TCUs currently incorporate cultural relevance into their STEM degree programs, including pre-engineering coursework, include: (1) using Native symbols in school logos and campus designs; (2) offering, and in some cases requiring, courses on tribal culture and language—for example, students in the Oglala Lakota College pre-engineering program must earn 25 credits in core courses, 34 credits of math/science (trigonometry, calculus I–III, university level physics I–II, general chemistry I–II [with laboratory work], and a technical science elective), and 15 credits in Lakota studies; (3) involving tribal elders in classroom teaching; and (4) providing facilities that can be used for adult education, boys and girls clubs, health clinics, assistance with small business development, and programs to reduce youth violence and delinquency and strengthen families, thus keeping tribal college students in touch with the needs of their communities. Crownpoint Institute of Technology, for example, has a new family center on its campus that not only supports students with children, but also provides a wide range of services to the surrounding Navaho community. TCUs are increasingly rethinking what incorporating cultural relevance into educational content and pedagogy means, that is, what “indigenizing” their institutions means. According to recent articles, more is involved than increasing the number of culturally based classes—more tribal history and philosophy classes, for example. TCUs must look and act less like the mainstream schools after which they were initially modeled in terms of curriculum and pedagogy. Tribal colleges are now working in a different social and political climate—one that accepts the value of culture and talks the muscular vocabulary of maintaining tribal “sovereignty.” Today’s movement toward greater indigenization does not reject past approaches to learning. Rather, it builds on the foundation the colleges helped create (Boyer, 2005). In the same article, Karen Gayton Swisher, president of Haskell Indian Nations University, an intertribal institution, discusses the critical role of tribal colleges in nation building on reservations. 3. What are the most effective ways of attracting and retaining American Indian students in engineering studies and motivating them to pursue advanced degrees? What are the most effective ways of motivating them to undertake careers in engineering? Attracting American Indian Students Individuals and organizations trying to attract underrepresented minority students to engineering are working against the prevailing trends, as fewer women and minority students, including American Indians, pursue engineering education. Although the number of B.S. degrees awarded in 2003 by U.S. engineering colleges increased to more than 75,000—9.3 percent more than in 2002—the percentages of women and minorities declined (EWC, 2004). 6   Tribal representatives attending the workshop felt that the second of these questions implies that Native perspectives are incompatible with modern engineering studies and should be rephrased, omitting the word “modern.”

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities Communicating What Engineers Do John Brooks Slaughter (2003), president of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), has observed: We have failed in many ways to tell the story about engineering. It is a sad reality that over the past few years too few young people, both minority and non-minority, are choosing to get on the pathway of engineering as a career pursuit. Sadder still is the fact that many of them are robbed of the option to even consider entering the field before they have left high school. Teachers and advisors of K–12 students (including parents and tribal elders) can be critical influences in attracting children and young people to careers in engineering. First, they can provide descriptions of a wide range of engineering fields so that children understand what engineers do and can relate engineering to creating, helping, and sustaining their communities. Second, they can provide culturally relevant role models by inviting American Indian engineers and engineering students into the classroom to talk to students and illustrate engineering concepts through age-appropriate games and experiments. Third, they can make use of culturally relevant resources provided by organizations, such as American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and American Indians in Science. Because tribal elders are so important to Native communities, they could also be effective in informing K–12 students about how engineering training and skills can help their communities. This might require designing workshops to educate tribal elders about the broad range of engineering disciplines and environments in which engineers work. Academic Preparation Programs for all minority students that have been shown to increase the likelihood that students in STEM majors will continue their studies share the following features (Campbell and Hoey, 1999): They work with teachers and parents, as well as children. Teachers have high expectations of students. Courses are rigorous, and academic support is provided. Resources are available to help students get into college, such as SAT preparation, visits to colleges, information on financial aid, and financial support for taking fee-based exams. They provide hands-on learning. NAEP science achievement scores were higher for nine-year-olds who used equipment like meter sticks, scales, and compasses in class (Campbell et al., 2002). In general, students who had participated in hands-on learning activities outperformed other eighth-grade students on the NAEP mathematics test (Wenglinsky, 2000). Achievement differences between white and Native students were smaller for students who had participated in a hands-on, outdoor-based science curriculum (Zwick and Miller, 1996). Programs for pre-college girls that combine hands-on activities and role models through mentoring, internships, and field trips tend to make girls feel more self-confident and more interested in STEM courses and careers

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities and break down sexist attitudes toward these fields (Campbell and Steinbrueck, 1996; Clewell and Darke, 2000). Students have access to computers. NAEP mathematics achievement scores were higher for 17-year-olds who had access to computers while learning mathematical principles and solving mathematical problems than for those who had no access to computers. TCUs are faced with the formidable task of working with K–12 systems on their reservations to develop prerequisites—engagement, capacity, and continuity—for student success in the sciences and quantitative disciplines (Jolly et al., 2004). Piquing students’ interest (engagement), ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed (capacity), and providing ongoing, progressive lessons and classes in science and quantitative disciplines (continuity) are all essential factors of student success. Anecdotal information gathered from conversations with TCU faculty and administrators indicates that personal relationships with other students, teachers, and counselors in tribal high schools are critical to improving the academic preparedness of the students who might be recruited to TCU programs. TCUs that provide summer programs and weekend academies have as long as four years to work with students, parents, and communities and to bring them onto TCU campuses to provide opportunities for them to interact with faculty and other students. All of these efforts can increase the likelihood that students will come to college better prepared to undertake STEM and other coursework. TCUs are uniquely positioned to teach students about the relevance of engineering to their lives and their communities. Demonstrating how engineering can improve the quality of life for American Indians (e.g., relating engineering to nation building) could motivate students to pursue engineering careers in their tribal communities and, perhaps, elsewhere. Outreach Programs National outreach programs to K–12 teachers and students that focus on academic excellence in the STEM disciplines have also been shown to improve student educational outcomes (MESA, 2005). The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program is a college preparation program intended to increase the number of college bound students from ethnic minorities and low-income families, as well as first-generation college students, who are eligible to enter a degree program at a college or university. As members of MESA, middle school and high school students participate in hands-on activities related to mathematics, engineering, and science, as well as college-preparation workshops that build strong academic skills and inform students about college and career opportunities. In addition, MESA provides individual academic guidance and student evaluations throughout the school year, promotes life skills, provides information for parents, advises parents and students about financial aid, provides role models from institutions of higher education and the business community, and sponsors special events, such as competitions, campus visits, and field trips. The MESA Success Through Collaboration (STC) Program, which specifically targets American Indian students—especially students living in remote areas—works collaboratively with American Indian education centers, departments of education, individual educators, and industry. MESA STC is located at more than 10 sites around the country, including several that serve students from reservations (MESA STC, 2005). Unfortunately, the MESA STC Program in California was eliminated at the end of 2004 because of state budget cuts.

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities An example of a MESA STC activity is the Canoes Institute—a five-day retreat featuring an interdisciplinary curriculum for fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade teachers that focuses on the traditional canoes of Washington state. In this culturally based curriculum, the emphasis is on mathematics and science with supplementary instruction in language arts and health education; the curriculum is aligned with essential academic learning requirements. The Canoes Institute demonstrates how a cultural tradition can provide a rich foundation for classroom learning. Retaining American Indian Students in Engineering Although the number of American Indian students enrolled in colleges and universities has increased dramatically in recent years, the lack of persistence, low graduation rates, and low overall academic success rates of these students are matters of great concern (AIHEC, 1999). It has long been known that many American Indian students attending mainstream institutions of higher learning encounter difficulties (Astin et al., 1996; Pavel et al., 1994; Swisher, 1990). Barriers that inhibit educational achievement cited in the literature include poor academic preparation, poor motivation, irrelevant educational practices, insufficient parental support, social-psychological frustrations manifested in low self-esteem, and inadequate financial support (Falk and Aiket, 1984; Lin, 1985). A lack of financial resources has been consistently identified as a major factor in the attrition rate of students of color in STEM majors (Mohrman, 1987; Mortenson, 1995; Rodriguez, 1993; Rotberg, 1990). In addition, family responsibilities, which are more common among minority students than white students, frequently create conflicts with academic commitments (Rodriguez, 1993; Tinto, 1993). Several approaches have been shown to reduce the attrition rate of minority students: College and career orientations—extended orientation programs, including intensive pre-enrollment, on-campus experiences and continuing first-year advising programs—have been shown to increase retention for all students; however, the impact is greater for African American and Hispanic students (Erickson and Strommer, 1991). The NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program encourages students to pursue careers in mathematics, engineering, technology, and science. REU participants are more likely than non-REU undergraduates to attend graduate school in quantitative disciplines and sciences (Lewis, 1991). Enrichment programs using field-related materials run by engineering and science departments for undifferentiated student groups are particularly effective for students from underrepresented minorities and women because these programs are not stigmatized as remedial or for minorities only (Bonsangue and Drew, 1995; Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Cultural conflict is the most frequently identified contributor to poor academic achievement and attrition among Native students (Carney, 1999; Hornett, 1989; Huffman, 1995; Lin et al., 1988; Scott, 1986; Swisher and Deyhle, 1989). Cultural isolation, alienation from the dominant students and faculty, and cultural conflict all contribute to limited access and poor academic achievement of Native American students, who often feel they have to choose between maintaining their “Indianness” and adopting the dominant culture (Huffman, 1995). Another form of cultural incompatibility is the lack of relevance of the curriculum (Lippit and Romero, 1992). Some difficulties experienced by American Indian students can be traced to

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities curricula that do not use examples or put problems in contexts that are relevant and meaningful to American Indian learners (Cole and Denzine, 2002). Seymour and Hewitt examined the undergraduate experiences of non-minority and minority students, including American Indian students. The authors found that the problems of minority students that were not shared by white males could be traced to conflicts between cultural values, family roles, educational socialization, community obligations, and career expectations on the one hand and the values and demands of college science and engineering on the other. The authors argue that unless broad programs that provide “minority support” (including advising and mentoring) are based on the needs and perspectives of particular student groups, they do not improve retention rates. Helping students confront and resolve these conflicts requires culturally specific understanding (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). An American Indian student who was interviewed for the study illustrates these problems, especially the difficulty of attending a school far from family and the reservation community (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997): Speaking from my traditional background, you have to sacrifice many things from that tradition in order to come to school, to get an education. That’s a big problem for me. It feels the longer I stay here, the more I’m being cut off from those ties. That’s why I want to return after I graduate; to go back to get in touch with what I may, or may not, have lost. The authors’ conclusions about why some students survive provide further insight into the cultural barriers encountered by American Indian students attending mainstream schools (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997): The survival of some students, but not others, despite similar problems, depends partly on their acquisition of particular attitudes and strategies. Whether they find sufficient academic and personal support (from institutional, faculty, peer, and other sources) to sustain their motivation and morale is critical. Their interest in the discipline must also be strong enough to survive a pedagogical style dictated by weed-out objectives. Students must develop a perspective which sufficiently insulates them from loss of self-confidence. Cultural conflicts are not always severe enough to cause American Indian students to drop out. Some find ways to accommodate mainstream perspectives without letting go of their traditional ways. An American Indian participant in the workshop explained that he accomplished this by thinking of his development as a series of “concentric circles.” The widening ring of circles represented “new perspectives and experiences added to the core values and experiences of my tribal upbringing.” He said he came to the realization that he did not have to choose between the two, that education was an additive process that “kept my core culture intact.” Providing options for tribal students to complete a four-year engineering degree entirely within the TCU system would give students an undergraduate experience that does not force them to choose between academic success and cultural norms and values. A TCU-based engineering program is one of several approaches to accomplishing this goal.

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities Motivating American Indian Students to Pursue Advanced Degrees and Careers in Engineering The committee did not find any research that could provide systematic, quantitative data on the educational trajectories of American Indian students to identify the key factors in persistence to advanced degrees. The testimony of workshop participants suggested that Native American students would be more likely to work toward advanced degrees if their undergraduate experiences were improved. Research is available that shows that the decision to seek an advanced degree in engineering appears to be related to students having an opportunity to do research as undergraduates (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Hands-on summer research programs, internships, and cooperative programs provide students with a practical idea of what engineers do and generate interest in engineering fields to which undergraduate students may not be exposed; in addition, research provides role models and mentors. Two-year TCU Associate of Sciences (AS) programs may not provide these kinds of experiences now, but they could provide them through partnerships with four-year institutions and/or industry. 4. What can tribal colleges offer American Indian constituencies that existing mainstream institutions cannot? TCUs offer culturally responsive education that includes: cultural literacy; self-reflective analysis of attitudes and beliefs; caring, trusting, and inclusive classrooms; respect for diversity; and a transformative curriculum that engenders meaning. These qualities are particularly important for educating children raised on reservations and others with strong links to tribal communities. TCUs also offer place-based education—programs that explicitly connect students with indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing and help them discover the relationship of this knowledge to modern sciences and social studies (Lipka et al., 1998; Sorensen, 2002). According to Rebecca Robbins, a Standing Rock Sioux and author of Tribal College and University Profiles (2002): TCUs are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance, in such a way as to encourage American Indians—especially those living on reservations—to overcome the barriers they face to higher education. The common goal of TCUs is to create a positive, student-centered environment that fosters self-confidence and success. TCUs provide an environment where Native students do not face the cultural conflicts they frequently encounter in mainstream schools. For example, the mission statement of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, Wisconsin, begins with the words, “For the first time, we do not have to make the painful choice between one culture and the other.” Research shows that all minority students need more peers, faculty role models, and mentors (Pewewardy, 2002). Most tribal colleges are located on reservations where students have access to tribal elders, American Indian faculty and staff, and family members who keep them in touch with tribal values, knowledge, ceremonies, and community needs. Reinforcing self-esteem, as it is understood in Native cultures, is one purpose of role models and mentoring for tribal students. TCUs also try to encourage resilience in their students—adaptation and transformation despite risk and adversity. Traditionally, resilience has been cultivated by focusing on four developmental areas: (1) spirituality—living according to the belief that all things are interrelated; (2) mental well-being—having clear thoughts; (3) emotional well-being—balancing

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities all emotions; and (4) physical well-being—attending to the physical self (Bergstrom et al., 2003). Thus, TCUs recognize, and take advantage of, tribal students’ ways of learning. 5. Do student and faculty exchange programs between tribal colleges and mainstream institutions, industry, and federal agencies give students an educational advantage? (italics show wording added by the committee.) Historically, the lack of financial resources and the lack of release time have been barriers to faculty exchanges between TCUs and mainstream institutions and/or industry. TCU faculties tend to have heavy teaching loads and few, if any, opportunities to engage in research. Exchanges could provide TCU faculty with research opportunities at four-year institutions and industry partners. Student exchanges would provide research opportunities for TCU students. Exchanges could also bring faculty with specialized expertise to TCU campuses. Loaned faculty, administrators, industry personnel, and engineers from federal agencies could provide expertise for capacity building, which will be necessary for the development of a four-year engineering program. TCU students would benefit from internships in industry and government agencies and from industry cooperative programs. Students from mainstream institutions would benefit from exposure to the TCU model of teaching and learning, especially if the program included courses that are not usually available in their own schools (e.g., green engineering) or work/study experiences on a reservation. It is not clear if TCUs would benefit from hosting undergraduate exchange students from mainstream institutions, but engineering graduate students would provide needed expertise and increase opportunities for TCU students to gain research experience. Exchanges and partnerships with other academic institutions would also provide opportunities for TCU faculty to improve their credentials. Several programs that have been developed to provide TCU faculty might be scaled up to address the TCU-wide need for faculty professional development (Phillips, 2005): South Dakota State University offers a “Prairie Ph.D.” to TCU faculty and staff that combines distance learning with intensive on-site sessions. Texas A&M and Texas Institute of Technology have a “Doc@Distance” Program that offers courses delivered via the Web, interactive television, and face-to-face meetings. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds a collaboration—the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance—that offers an online master’s program in community development with a specialization track in American Indian communities. Anecdotal information from discussions with TCU faculty and administrators emphasize the need for TCUs to find the “right” mainstream partner institution—an educational institution interested in reaching out to TCUs and establishing a reciprocal relationship. TCUs do not want to be solely on the receiving end of partnerships with mainstream institutions, although initially this may be unavoidable. Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC), for example, hires graduate students from North Dakota State University (NDSU) writing theses to qualify to teach part-time; some of these students have decided to stay on as full-time faculty after they finished their degrees. TMCC also provides opportunities for NDSU engineering undergraduate students to learn about its green engineering projects and is discussing with the university the creation of a satellite engineering program on its campus.

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities With the right partner, student and faculty exchange programs clearly do give students an educational advantage by providing TCU students and faculty with access to education and research resources not available at their home institutions and assisting them in establishing social and professional relationships that can have a positive impact on their careers. These exchange programs can take the form of inter-institutional collaborations that do not require actually moving to the partner campus for extended periods of time. 6. What is the most appropriate model for the initiation, development, implementation, and sustainment of engineering studies at tribal colleges? Revising the Management Plan The following questions should be addressed in future iterations of the management plan: What kinds of outreach to tribal high schools will be necessary to prepare Native students for a four-year engineering program? Who will be responsible for outreach to high schools, and how will it be funded? A number of TCUs already have programs that focus on K–12 students and teachers. Based on these programs, best practices could be identified and scaled up as part of the planning for a TCU-based engineering program. Which TCU will house the first four-year engineering program? Should the selection be limited to the 11 TCUs in the working group? If federal funding is provided, an open competition among TCUs should be considered. Because the invitation to join the working group was issued by SKC, many stakeholders who provided information to the committee assumed that this is an SKC initiative and that SKC will, de facto, house the first program. Is a 2 + 2, 2 + 3, or 3 + 3 program the best model for TCU engineering studies? Which engineering degree program(s) should be offered? How much should the engineering program rely on distance learning? Can one TCU engineering program represent the interests of 34 TCUs? How can the working group gain buy-in by more TCUs for their plan? Do tribal leaders support this initiative? The committee heard from several stakeholder groups that there has been little participation by tribal leaders in meetings with potential funding partners. What partnership model, if any, should be adopted? A number of models were discussed during the workshop: TCUs working together toward a common goal; one or more TCUs forming a partnership with a federal agency; one or more TCUs forming a partnership with a mainstream academic institution—either in the region or, for limited purposes, elsewhere in the country; partnerships between a TCU and public employers; partnerships with other institutions that serve minority students; and partnerships with organizations that have a history of success in graduating minority engineers (e.g., NACME). The questions listed above presuppose that creating a TCU-based four-year engineering program in the immediate future is the best solution, but the committee recognizes that it may not be. At the same time, the committee recognizes that there may be opportunity costs in not

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities doing so. However, one reviewer of this report, and a great deal of anecdotal evidence collected from TCU faculty and administrators, suggests there may be greater opportunity costs for the other 33 TCUs if the plan is pursued. The reviewer, who identified him/herself as a local spiritual leader and healer, made the following comment: While I support some of the TCU efforts to become universities, I worry about the temptation if it means sacrificing the unique opportunity we now have in our hands. To do good and sound preparatory programs is something so very important. To have strategically located indigenous universities is also important. We can be effective preparing students in local transfer programs for engineering, science and mathematics. He goes on to ask: Does being an engineer mean moving away from home, trying to become an accepted part of white society, having to face the loneliness of being too distant for too long from the centering place for your heart? Creating an engineering program at one of the tribal colleges does not address this desire of most Indian youth to remain close to home. Alternative Approaches The management plan developed by the working group contemplates a four-year degree model, but alternatives are also possible, including strategies adopted by other TCUs and other minority-serving institutions, such as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). TMCC provides an illustration of an alternative approach. TMCC, located in rural North Dakota near the Canadian border, has three campus sites—the original facility, located in the village of Belcourt; a 145,000 square-foot facility opened in 1999; and a land-grant facility wellness center. The college plays an important role in the life of the reservation (home to 15,000 members of the Chippewa/Ojibwa people) by supporting tribal business development through the Center for New Growth and Development and by training workers for employment in local industries and careers in professional fields. TMCC offers a B.S. in elementary education, a number of associate degrees in the arts and sciences (including A.S. degrees in computer science, engineering studies, and mathematics), and some certificate programs. A new initiative is being planned that will focus on the health sciences. TMCC participates in the NSF Rural Systemic Initiative in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Program and Tribal College and University Program (TCUP). In addition, TMCC and the four other TCUs in North Dakota (Cankdeska Cikana and Fort Berthold Community Colleges, United Tribes Technical College, and Sitting Bull University) have established a strong pre-engineering/transfer program with NDSU. The partnership began in the early 1990s, when, as part of a math and science improvement program funded by DOE, an engineer from NDSU was brought to the TMCC campus. Subsequently, TMCC and NDSU submitted a proposal to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) that brought in almost $2 million to develop a program to improve STEM education at the five reservations. The following programs were funded by the ONR grant:

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities Sunday academies for high school students at seven sites linked by an interactive video network (NDSU engineering faculty, including department chairs, participate in these site-specific programs) a summer program for college students and a summer camp for high school students scholarships for TCU students, who are also mentors in the Sunday academies a program to bring Native engineers, medical doctors, and other professionals to speak to tribal students and faculty These programs have been very successful. In 2004, more than 100 American Indian students were involved in STEM courses in the seven Sunday academies. In the summer of 2005, 18 TMCC students spent two weeks on the NDSU campus doing research in engineering, and 20 high school freshmen and sophomores attended the summer camp. In addition, one woman from the reservation received a B.S. in mathematics from NDSU and is currently working on a double major in civil engineering. Another woman was awarded a $20,000 scholarship from NDSU to continue her studies. The articulation agreement between TMCC and NDSU includes a common course-numbering system, common course content, and the use of the same textbooks. TMCC has weekly contact with the NDSU engineering department, and an engineering instructor recently spent his sabbatical at TMCC. The main difference between classes at the two institutions is that TMCC courses include presentations by spiritual leaders or tribal representatives that bring cultural elements into the classroom/curriculum. As a consequence of steady, incremental relationship-building with NDSU, TMCC now has 42 students enrolled in its pre-engineering program. Last year, with ONR funding coming to an end, the five TCUs approached DOE about participating in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DOE/EPSCORE). EPSCORE subsequently granted funding that will enable TMCC to provide research experience for the 42 students interested in engineering and provide funding for the other four TCUs to continue their high school programs. TMCC is involved in partnerships not only with other academic institutions, but also with tribal high schools and local industry. For example, the college is working with the local power company to develop a wind turbine project, which is under construction. TMCC’s wind turbines will generate energy for the campus, and the surplus will be sold on the energy market. North Dakota is also developing a statewide wind turbine project. One hundred turbines will be located only 40 miles from the TMCC campus, which will provide employment opportunities for graduates of TMCC engineering and technical programs. Another TMCC green engineering project, located on the largest TMCC campus site, is a geothermal heating and cooling system that draws water from 450 deep wells adjacent to the facility. Today, TMCC is in a position to “give back” to NDSU by involving NDSU engineering students in its green energy programs and inviting NDSU to establish a permanent presence on the TMCC campus. The college has also offered space for NDSU to put up a building. Both partners are enthusiastic about this plan and hope that it will lead to other joint endeavors. TMCC declined the invitation to join the working group to establish a four-year TCU-based engineering program because the school feels it already provides students with an opportunity to obtain a B.S. in engineering through its partnership with NDSU, a trusted local academic institution that has a strong interest in continuing the relationship. The college does not want to develop a full-time engineering program of its own, which they believe would be a huge, very expensive undertaking. Nor does TMCC feel a TCU-based engineering program on a distant

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities campus would be attractive to Native students from North Dakota, who have historically demonstrated that they want to stay in the area. Thus, distance would be a major barrier for them. The activities of TMCC indicate that at least one model for initiating, developing, implementing, and sustaining engineering studies at a tribal college has been successful, and this model represents an alternative to initiating a four-year engineering program at a TCU. There may be other, equally successful models, including strategies that have been used successfully by other minority-serving institutions. The selection of the most appropriate model for offering engineering studies to tribal students can best be addressed by an umbrella organization that represents all TCUs; an umbrella organization could survey TCUs and their constituencies to gather opinions on this question and provide an interface with funding agencies. New Models of Engineering Education Several recently established programs have adopted innovative approaches to engineering education. Two of these programs, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Smith College Picker Engineering Program, are described below. The Olin model, funded by a grant of approximately $460 million from the Olin Foundation, created a joint engineering/business curriculum, built on Carnegie-One faculty recruitment, an integrated partnership with Babson College; Olin aspires to be one of best boutique schools of engineering in the world. Thus, this model is not relevant to the proposed plan to develop a school of engineering at a TCU. Many other small colleges and community colleges that are expanding into new areas of engineering and technology programs might be better suited as models for incremental program development. The Smith College Picker Engineering Program is intended to redefine traditional engineering education. The program includes a rigorous plan of study that is integrated with the traditional liberal arts. The philosophy of the program is outlined on the Smith College website (2005): “The value of more liberally educated engineers, who typically bring strong communication and abstract reasoning skills to their work, has recently been acknowledged by the national engineering accrediting board, which has moved to give greater weight to the liberal arts in design curricular standards.” The undergraduate curriculum, which leads to a degree in engineering science, focuses on the theoretical and scientific underpinnings of all engineering disciplines. An integral and critical component of the program is a continuous emphasis on the use of engineering science principles in design. Workshop participants suggested that, rather than replicating mainstream approaches, TCU engineering programs “leapfrog” historic practices in engineering education whenever possible. For example, The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century, outlines necessary changes in engineering education—some of which (e.g., principles for green engineering and the importance of social context) would be natural components of engineering education at TCUs (NAE, 2004). 7. How can engineering studies be implemented so that continuous improvement is an integral part of the model? ABET’s educational objectives for programs in the 2005–2006 accreditation cycle (Appendix H), require ongoing evaluations and continuous improvement (ABET, 2005):

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities detailed, published educational objectives that are consistent with the mission of the institution and these criteria a process based on the needs of the program’s various constituencies in which the objectives are determined and periodically evaluated an educational program, including a curriculum that prepares students to attain program outcomes and that fosters accomplishments of graduates that are consistent with these objectives a process of ongoing evaluation of the extent to which these objectives are attained, the result of which shall be used to develop and improve the program outcomes so that graduates are better prepared to attain the objectives. Implementation strategies associated with setting up a TCU-based engineering program must include a plan for evaluating how well educational objectives are being met—both the educational objectives outlined in ABET EC2000 and the objectives established through discussions with stakeholders, such as other TCUs that have articulation agreements with the home institution, tribal leaders, and tribal elders. The evaluation plan might also include periodic benchmarking against other engineering educational institutions to identify best practices. Program evaluations can be helpful in many ways: by increasing or verifying the effect of services by improving the delivery system (e.g., showing how it can be made less costly and more efficient) by verifying if the program is working according to plan and pointing out new techniques that could improve it by verifying results that can be used for promoting services to the community by informing management, advisory groups, and funders about how well the program is doing in terms of meeting its goals by providing valid comparisons among programs (internal benchmarking) as a basis for deciding which ones should be cut, if that becomes necessary by examining and describing programs for replication elsewhere An ABET representative who participated in the workshop recommended that the working group employ a past ABET commissioner—ideally, a faculty member who has experience with ABET outcomes assessment and continuous improvement processes—who could assess the program from the point of view of an external evaluator. The ABET representative pointed out that outcomes A–K of the ABET criteria are required of all programs and that additional program criteria might also have to be met, depending on the degree offered; other, less specific criteria, such as the number and credentials of faculty, provide flexibility for programs (ABET, 2005). ABET already has begun to interact with TCUs through a recent workshop on faculty training to identify educational objectives and expected student learning outcomes. Most important, the ABET representative at the workshop indicated that the organization is very interested in further interactions with TCUs. TCUs’ goal-setting and evaluation processes will include a cultural component, which does not usually enter into the evaluations of mainstream institutions. TCUs are accountable to tribal councils, elders, business leaders, and stakeholder groups in their communities for meeting their

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities educational objectives. Thus, evaluations of tribal educational institutions must include measurements of outcomes in a cultural context (NSF, 2002). 8. Which financial strategies will enable tribal colleges to sustain engineering programs in the long term? Long-Term Strategy Appendix E outlines sources of federal funding available to TCUs. However, in the past, some funds that have been authorized have not been appropriated, and funds that have been appropriated have not been large enough to address the financial needs of TCUs. One question that was raised at the workshop was how the experiences of TCUs with funding sources compare with the experiences of HBCUs.7 It was suggested that a meeting be arranged between deans of HBCUs and deans of TCUs to explore this topic. One crucial difference between HBCUs and TCUs is that HBCUs have access to Title III funds, which have been an important source of their funding. The success of HBCUs shows the positive impact minority-serving institutions can have when they are adequately funded. HBCUs have withstood the test of time. Since 1865 they have been educating underrepresented minority students who have subsequently influenced society as a whole in the United States. Although HBCUs constitute only 15 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, they graduate 30 percent of all African American students who earn B.S. degrees in engineering and nearly 50 percent of African American students who go on to graduate school. Increased financial support for TCUs could have similar effects—strengthening the institutions, improving the prospects of corporate partnerships and government support, and increasing the likelihood of collaborations with majority institutions. The current administration in Washington, D.C. recognizes that TCUs, like HBCUs, are national treasures. On September 28, 2002, President Bush signed Executive Order 13021 (subsequently revoked and replaced by 13270) authorizing the continuation of the WHITCU (White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities) (see Appendix G for the complete text). The goals of WHITCU are to ensure that TCUs are recognized and have full access to federal programs that benefit other institutions of higher education. Thus, TCUs will be able to compete for federal funds, just as HBCUs do. Executive Order 13270 calls attention to the historic and unique role of TCUs in higher education; these institutions serve Americans who might not otherwise have access to educational institutions. The president stated: There is a unique relationship between the United States and Indian tribes, and a special relationship between the United States and Alaska Native entities…. Tribal colleges are both integral and essential to their communities. Often they are the only postsecondary institutions within some of our Nation’s poorest rural areas. They fulfill a vital role: in maintaining and preserving irreplaceable languages and cultural traditions; in offering a high-quality college education to younger students; and in providing job training and other career-building 7   Executive Order 999, 195, established 127 historically HBCUs. Ten HBCUs currently offer engineering programs—Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, and Tuskegee University.  

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities programs to adults and senior citizens. Tribal colleges provide crucial services in communities that continue to suffer high rates of unemployment and the resulting social and economic distress. (U.S. Department of Education, 2002) Although Executive Order 13270 incorporates the spirit and purposes of Title III—to strengthen and develop educational institutions—it authorizes no funding for TCUs; the executive order currently in effect has not led to funding increases. Umbrella organizations, such as the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, might help TCUs increase their visibility and thus apply pressure to increase Title III funds for TCUs. It is critical that financial issues unique to TCUs—lack of state funding and failure of Congress to appropriate funds that have been approved—be addressed. TCUs need a great deal more federal funding to fulfill their unique mission. If it can be shown that a sufficient number of students are interested and qualified to participate in a four-year engineering program in the TCU system, then funding considerations should not force TCUs to choose between supporting a four-year program and providing two-year STEM and vocational programs. The small number of American Indian engineers likely to be produced by TCUs alone, or in partnership with mainstream institutions, will not greatly increase the national talent pool of engineers, but they will make a huge difference in Native communities, where most students report that they want to work. For years, India and China have been educating large numbers of engineers, and their investments are starting to pay off in rapidly improving economies. The same could be true for Indian reservations. For the prosperity of Native communities, the federal government must make a larger overall investment in education to create opportunities for indigenous engineering education. Near-Term Funding Strategies It is not clear how the working group will raise the large sum required to start up and sustain one or more engineering programs and, at the same time, fulfill the other goals of the management plan. The working group has had several meetings with federal funding agencies to present its management plan and financial needs statement. However, the committee believes that the implementation plan developed by the working group is overly ambitious. Although the cost of implementing engineering programs varies in terms of the type of program offered (e.g., computer vs. electrical engineering), the committee concluded that the financial needs statement developed by the working group greatly underestimates the cost of the undertaking. It seems unrealistic to think that, in five years, one pilot engineering program can be implemented while two more are being planned. Resources dedicated to planning the additional programs would be better used to increase the number of TCUs that offer associate degrees and improve STEM courses at schools that currently offer such programs. This would ultimately improve recruitment opportunities for one TCU-based engineering program. During the course of gathering data for this report, the committee learned that some stakeholders and constituency groups have expressed concerns that the large infusion of funds, especially federal funds, required for the proposed program would substantially reduce financial support for many other deserving tribal education programs and activities, such as language and cultural programs that are central to the dual mission of TCUs and efforts to improve STEM offerings and other courses that are essential to A.S. degree programs. 9. What are the most effective methodologies for teaching engineering at TCUs to meet the needs of Native American constituencies?

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities Learning and Teaching Styles Although there are many differences among the 562 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States, research suggests that they have some common ways of learning, teaching styles, orientations, and preferences: (1) a global, or holistic, style of organizing information (Backes, 1993; Davidson, 1992); (2) a visual style of mental representations of information (Morton et al., 1994; Rougas, 2000); (3) a preference for a reflective style in processing information (Nuby and Oxford, 1998); (4) a preference for collaborative approaches to tasks (Chavers, 2000); (5) and a preference for dialogue between teachers and learners in which prior knowledge and experiences are interwoven with new material to raise understanding to a higher level (Chavers, 2000). These orientations and preferences contrast sharply with traditional Western methods, which are highly structured and teacher dominated and follow a carefully planned routine (Tharp and Yamauchi, 1994). Cleary and Peacock (1998) outlined the needs of indigenous students in classroom practices: Teachers of indigenous students need to build trust; to connect with the community; to establish cultural relevance in the curriculum; to tap intrinsic motivation for learning; to use humor; to establish family support; to provide situations that yield small successes; to make personal connections with students; to use highly engaging, activity-based learning and, in some cases, cooperative learning; to provide role models; to be flexible, fair, and consistent; and to provide a real audience and purpose for student work. These teaching and learning styles are, of course, approaches that would benefit all students, not just American Indians. As many educators have pointed out, they are simply good pedagogy (Jolly et al., 2004; NRC, 2005; NSF, 2003). National Science Foundation Programs for Improving STEM Teaching/Learning in American Indian Communities For more than three decades, NSF has funded programs to improve STEM education in tribal educational institutions (for descriptions, see Appendix D). The NSF Tribal College Rural Systemic Initiative (TCRSI) supports the efforts of individual TCUs to improve the educational experiences of tribal students and teachers by offering STEM courses that meet national educational standards. Typical strategies/approaches of TCUs that have received funding from this program include assessments of student outcomes, professional development for K–12 teachers, and the promotion of parental and community involvement in the educational process (Robbins, 2002). The NSF TCUP provides awards for improvements in the quality of STEM instructional and outreach programs. The emphasis is on leveraging the use of information technologies at TCUs, institutions that serve Alaska Native students, and institutions that serve Native Hawaiian students (NSF, 2005). In 2002, five of the TCUs in the working group had TCRSI grants, and one was developing a proposal for a full TCUP grant. 10. Can these methodologies be applied to instill a concept of lifelong learning? Instilling students with the desire and skills to pursue lifelong learning and continuous improvement are key components of the mission of tribal colleges and of tribal cultures in general. Tribal elders are particularly good models of lifelong learning for tribal college

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Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges and Universities students. One way for tribal college faculty to model lifelong learning for students is to give faculty opportunities to increase their credentials.