Partnership Opens Options for Native Students

July 7, 2011

Peninsula College and The Evergreen State College Announce a New Higher Education Option for Native Students on the Olympic Peninsula

College Partnership to Enhance Education for Tribal Communities on the North Olympic Peninsula

Building on Evergreen's twenty-year history of providing higher education opportunity and access through its Reservation Based Community Determined Program in Western Washington, Peninsula College and Evergreen recently announced a new partnership to serve prospective student populations from all five Tribes on the North Olympic Peninsula including the Hoh, Quileute, Makah, Jamestown S'Klallam, and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribes.

In an effort to serve smaller and often more isolated Native communities, the Higher Education Coordinating Board of Washington and Evergreen's Board of Trustees recently approved aggregating services for students pursuing college degrees from several tribes at a central location. Peninsula has agreed to host The Evergreen State College Reservation Based Community Determined Program at the Longhouse "House of Learning" on the Peninsula College campus.

The program provides the same curriculum and structure as the other five reservation based sites that are currently active in Quinault; Muckleshoot; Nisqually; Tulalip; and Port Gamble S'Klallam.

The move derived from discussions with Peninsula College's Tribal Education Partner representatives and individual council representatives. The goal of the partnership is to create a Bachelor's degree cohort of 12 upper division (juniors and seniors) students to begin in the Fall of 2011.

Peninsula College will begin the Reservation Based Associate of Arts (AA) Degree Bridge Program in Fall of 2012, which will serve first-and second-year Peninsula College students through a combination of on-line and face-to-face classes. The AA degree will be tailored for transfer of credits into the upper division of the Reservation Based Community Determined Program or direct transfer to other institutions around Washington.

Peninsula College and The Evergreen State College are in the process of visiting Tribal Council representatives and tribal education department representatives on the North Olympic Peninsula to provide more information about these programs.