JUNE 28, 2006


Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribal College being established at SWOSU

Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribal College Board have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a tribal college on the Weatherford campus.

SWOSU President John Hays and Tribal College Board Chairman Lawrence Hart signed the agreement that is effective through May 31, 2009. The College Board is affiliated with the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribal College (CATC) is a two-year college that is in the process of applying for membership to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). The application will be submitted in July of this year.

After AIHEC recognition, the CATC will then seek candidacy status with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, probably in late 2008 or early 2009.

Hart said the CATC is committed to providing a quality educational experience for its students. To fulfill this obligation and to meet AIHEC and HLC requirements, the CATC requires the assistance of a partner institution to assist it by providing leadership and expertise. The board feels that these objectives can be advanced through the establishment of an articulation agreement with SWOSU.

Hays said SWOSU is committed to enhancing diversity and promoting multicultural education. SWOSU is actively working to increase the number of American Indian students enrolled in its programs and is striving to provide greater multicultural opportunities for its students and faculty.

In the agreement, both SWOSU and the CATC have responsibilities to fulfill on such matters as course offerings, faculty selection, academic standards, office space and other services. The CATC assistant dean will report to the SWOSU College of Arts and Sciences dean, Dr. Radwan Al-Jarrah.

“I consider the signing of this MOU to be an historical accomplishment for both SWOSU and the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes,” Al-Jarrah said. “At least in the initial stages, the success of the CATC will depend on the continuous and close collaboration between SWOSU on the one hand and the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes and the College Board on the other hand.”

Al-Jarrah said student recruitment for the college will begin this fall on the SWOSU campuses in Weatherford and Sayre.

SWOSU started an American Indian studies program in 2005. The program enables students to get an associate degree, minor, an option in the interdisciplinary degree, or certification in American Indian studies. Al-Jarrah said many Native American students have found the interdisciplinary degree at SWOSU to be a popular avenue of earning a bachelor’s degree.

Additional information is available by calling Al-Jarrah at (580) 774-7152.