Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College Continues to Grow and Plans for 2011


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The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford continues as a vibrant two-year institution of higher education for students. 

The Fall 2010 enrollment figures reflect students from 18 tribes as well as non-tribal members, and three new programs for the tribal college were recently approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.  They are: Associate of Science in Children’s Teachers; Associate of Science in American Indian Studies; and Associate of Science in General Studies. 

The additional programs complement the current Associate of Science Degree in Tribal Administration.  President Dr. Henrietta Mann has tirelessly researched and surveyed the needs of the community to design viable course information specific to each degree. 

Vice President Alden Whiteman collaborates with many surrounding communities to offer courses via interactive video, affording students an opportunity to learn without leaving their home communities.  Along with offering courses off site, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College successfully schedules classes during evening hours permitting students the distinct opportunity to work while attending college. 

The upcoming Spring 2011 schedule, planned by Dr. Mann, offers an academically strong listing of language, history, culture and art taught by veteran faculty.  Specifically, the course listing includes Cheyenne Language II, Arapaho Language II, Advanced Cheyenne and Arapaho Constitution, Native American Women, American Indian Belief Systems, American Indians Today, Literature of the American Indian, Tribal Government II, Office of Management and Budget Circulars, and Video Story Telling.  

Fluent Cheyenne and Arapaho language speakers—Ruth Whiteskunk, Carol Joyce Bullcoming and Charles Sleeper—lead the courses assisting interested learners in preserving these priceless native languages that are unique to this land.

Don Tofpi, 30-year veteran of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, teaches the Office of Management and Budget Circulars course, which offers students years of knowledge and experience on proper procedures regarding contracting programs and services from the federal government. Tofpi has held many key federal positions and remains active in tribal government keeping his information up-to-date. 

Don Ahshapanek, retired, teaches the Tribal Government course.  Dr. Ahshapanek, Nanticoke/Delaware Tribe, holds a PhD in Botany and Microbiology and has served as professor in higher education communities such as Emporia State University and Haskell Indian Nations University.  He also has held positions in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Jennifer Whiteman, graduate of the London School of Economics, offers a vibrant study of constitutional and parliamentary issues for students wherein they explore and critique the process of government law formulation and procedures.  In addition to Whiteman’s degrees in sociology and economics, she currently is studying law. 

Billy Williamson, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes media production manager, offers cinematography students a hand-on experience producing, editing and finalizing film projects.  Williamson holds 13 Addy National Awards and 12 Telly National Awards for television.  He has an extensive production list of movies, television commercials, documentary and federal contract productions and network television episodes. 

Whiteman, Cheyenne Headsmen, is scheduled to teach American Indian Belief Systems.  The course is specific to Native American spiritual traditions of which Whiteman is well versed.  His research interests are tribal gaming and applied leadership.  He offers students first-hand information regarding traditional leadership and helps students discover the cultural history of American Indian belief systems, and their unfortunate suppression. 

Dr. Mann will guest lecture in all courses offered.  Mann, who is the founding president of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College, is a nationally-known educator with more than 35 years experience teaching at Montana State University, University of Montana, University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.  She leads the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College staff who “Invite Students to Succeed.”  

Enrollment for the Spring 2011 semester begins October 25 for freshmen and first-time students.  Interested students may contact Oveta Lira at the administrative offices at 580.774.3742 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule enrollment appointments or obtain information.  Gail Wilcox, administrative and admissions officer, assists students to complete all enrollment requirements. 

Wilcox said the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College, founded in 2006, is a cultural-based academic home and its doors are open to all as a higher learning place.