Native American Student Advocacy Institute conference held at ASU addresses important issues facing indigenous students
Two heads are better than one. Gather a whole roomful of bright minds and there’s no telling what can be accomplished.
Arizona State University and the College Board hosted the annual Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) National Conference on ASU’s Tempe campus this week. The two-day conference brought together tribal leaders, community representatives and educational professionals from throughout the nation to collaborate and share strategies and best practices to close the educational gap in the American Indian community.
NASAI is sponsored by the College Board, a national non-profit organization devoted to connecting students to college success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board helps more than 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success.
The NASAI conference covered such topics such as financial aid, teaching strategies and facilitating the transition to a four-year university. ASU President Michael Crow addressed attendees and discussed ASU’s commitment to support, retain and graduate American Indian students.
Attendees at the conference also viewed an early screening of the video below — ASU students and alumni offer a greeting in their Native language and share their purpose and goals for the future.
Conference speakers included the Honorable Diane Humetewa, U.S. District Judge of Arizona; Shana Brown, teacher, author, curriculum designer; and Amanda R. Tachine with the ASU Center for Indian Education.
“ASU is honored to host this important convening of thought leaders from across Indian Country to address the important issues facing Indigenous students,” said Bryan Brayboy, special adviser to the president on American Indian initiatives at ASU.
There are 22 American Indian tribal nations in the state of Arizona. Through workshops such as the RECHARGE Conference, ASU provides Native American middle and high school students the tools and resources for a bright educational future, helping them to envision themselves at the university.
In the past decade, ASU has increased American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment by more than 30 percent, enrolling more than 2,000 students during the 2015-2016 school year. The university continues to evolve — and collaborate at events such as these — to increase the number of Native students enrolled in institutions of higher learning.
Once at ASU, there are a variety of resources to help students achieve their full potential and succeed through graduation. In May, 354 degrees were conferred to American Indian students, a number that ASU aims to increase as the university forges forward in providing an accessible, affordable, quality education and increase the social mobility of all the residents of Arizona.
Partipants at the Native American Student Advocacy Institute's annual national conference heard from a variety of speakers on important issues for indigenous students, including creating pathways to success, teaching teachers to teach from a Native lens and more.Photos by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Jim Montoya, senior vice president of higher education and international for the College Board, speaks to NASAI conference attendees Tuesday in Tempe.Photos by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Karen Francis-Begay is recognized for her efforts during the NASAI conference at the Memorial Union on Tempe campus on Tuesday afternoon. Francis-Begay is assistant vice president for tribal relations in the Executive Office of the President at the University of Arizona.Photos by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Bryan Brayboy, special adviser to the president on American Indian initiatives at ASU, introduces President Michael Crow at the conference. Brayboy, who is also President's Professor and Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice in the School of Social Transformation and director of the Center for Indian Education, called the event an important convening of thought leaders.Photos by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU President Michael Crow addresses the conference on the second of two days covering topics such as excellence and access in higher education.Photos by Deanna Dent/ASU Now