A new $2.4 million grant awarded to the American Indian College Fund by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help improve the road to college for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students.
The College Fund’s latest initiative to improve college-going rates of Native American students is a three-year, three-part program called the Native Pathways to College Project. The nonprofit organization — which offers scholarships, student success programs, and support for tribal colleges — is partnering with reservation-based high schools and tribal colleges on the project, beginning June 1.
The initiative comprises three components; the College Admissions Pathways, Transfer Pathways, and Pathways Bridge programs each address different stages of students’ journey through postsecondary education.
College Admissions Pathways will provide outreach to AIAN high school juniors and seniors and encourage their interest in college. It will also improve financial readiness and offer support throughout the admissions process.
Transfer Pathways is aimed at easing students’ transition from two-year tribal colleges to four-year colleges and universities, including mainstream institutions interested in improving diversity on their campuses.
Lastly, the Pathways Bridge Program will provide academic preparation to improve high school students’ admissions test scores and college readiness; this support will be delivered by tribal colleges.
“We are so honored at the College Fund to partner with our tribal colleges and with Native high schools to build a college-going climate for our Native students,” said College Fund President and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull in a press release. “Our commitment to Native students achieving postsecondary education is strengthened by our focus on responding to students and [their] families where they are at in their educational journey. We deeply appreciate and are pleased that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation shares our vision of college attainment for Native students.”