SSC NASNTI program awarded $2.25M federal grant

SSC
In this file photo, NASNTI Director Carol Parker (right) greets Miss Indian World Cheyenne Kippenberger (left) at a campus event on Sept. 20, 2019. The NASNTI program recently received a new grant focused on accessibility, computer science and Native American programming.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the Seminole State College Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions program $2.25 million in a new grant.

NASNTI will receive $450,000 annually for the next five years. With these funds, the grant program plans to expand SSC’s accessibility for disabled students, deepen the College’s computer science course offerings and extend programming and support for Native American students. The grant application process was spearheaded by NASNTI Director Carol Parker.

In an effort to bolster accessibility, NASNTI will focus on installing more accommodating seating, software and devices in an access lab located in the Dan Boren Library on campus. Through the grant, the College also plans to refine the remote learning experience for disabled students.

“I’m extremely excited about this grant. This will help us give these students more individual attention and additional tools to help them succeed,” Parker said.

Campus-wide professional development will also be offered for all employees on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 guidelines, which are formal plans developed to help students with disabilities receive the support they need.

The grant will also allow the College to offer more courses in the field the computer science, including programming, cybersecurity and esports. These new course offerings will help the computer science degree program meet modern trends in the field. All courses will be transferable to four-year universities in the state.

Through the new grant, NASNTI will also host more seminars and webinars focused on civics, professional skills, wellbeing and resilience. Additionally, Talking Circles will be held for Native American students. Talking Circles will focus on an issue students may be facing and discussions will be lead by a tribal member.

“The NASNTI program is a cultural cornerstone for the College. The program has been and will continue to be a tremendous resource to our students. We are very appreciative of our Congressional delegation, particularly Senator James Lankford and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice, for working with the U.S. Department of Education to bring these dollars home to Oklahoma,” President Lana Reynolds said.