| Program: || Native American Student Services, Phoenix College, Phoenix, AZ |
| Contact(s): || Patricia E. McIntyre, Counselor: (602) 285-7392 |
| Purpose: || To assist Native American students with both personal and educational needs |
During the 1970s, federal funding was given to colleges and schools with large Native American populations, to be used for counseling and other services. Although such funding is no longer available, the Phoenix College counseling department has maintained its commitment to the Native American community by providing students with the counseling services of a Native American counselor, as well as other related services, through its Native American Student Services (NASS).
The Native American counselor provided by the center works with all tribal government offices in the United States, especially with the Arizona tribes. The counselor assists with personal needs, tribal scholarships, tribal student requirements, personal development courses, and development of course work specific to Native American topics and issues. One of the most important issues for NASS is student retention, since Native American students have the lowest graduation rate of any population in the national educational system. Through NASS, Native American students receive academic support, social services, emergency food and transportation, mental health counseling, and scholarship and communication assistance. NASS aids students in making contact with friends and families on reservations, which often lack phones, by contacting the local trading post. NASS serves as a liaison between Native American students and the community in Phoenix, including landlords, the Phoenix Indian Center, the American Indian Health Center, and the Social Security Administration Office. NASS also helps students find suitable jobs in the community.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Phoenix College is one of the top ten universities in graduating Native American students. About 150 to 200 students seek the aid of the NASS counselor each month. NASS also retains an employee who speaks Navajo to assist in communicating with Native American students on campus, one-third of whom come directly to college from their reservations.