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'Crash course' offers Native students pathways to degrees

August 13, 2010

For the first time Arizona State University hosted the 2010 Graduate Horizons summer workshop program for American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian college students and college graduates from across the nation.

Conducted by College Horizons, the annual pre-graduate summer program provides graduate college counseling with a particular emphasis on first-generation students and those from rural communities who may not have access to expert advising.

ASU's Graduate College hosted the 2010 Graduate Horizons program, which took place July 16-20, with events at Memorial Union, American Indian Student Support Services (AISSS), and Barrett, the Honors College.

Seventy students attended on the ASU campus, along with 55 faculty members, university representatives and American Indian educators. Faculty members partnered with students for individual advising. Small group workshops were divided into specific disciplines or programs, including business, education, health, arts, law, public policy and undecided/exploring.

During the four-day graduate workshops, students completed a statement of purpose, personal statement and a résumé or curriculum vitae. They also discovered test preparation strategies, financial aid resources and determined a graduate program of study and career opportunities.

“This program not only provides direct services to students on the graduate process, but also contributes to the capacity of Native Nations by developing a new generation of professionals with advanced degrees," said Carmen Lopez, College Horizon’s executive director and citizen of the Navajo Nation. "We were extremely proud and excited that Arizona State University hosted our program.

“Transforming higher education entails reaching out, beating the bushes in native communities, creating scholarship opportunities, and expanding access to education for qualified students,” said Peterson Zah, special adviser to President Crow on American Indian Affairs. “Hosting Graduate Horizons this year is one piece of the puzzle to complete our overall goals of getting more native students to graduate school. The program they put on was fantastic.”