Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November 2014

Southeastern to Offer Unique Master’s Degree in Native American Leadership

Beginning this January, Southeastern Oklahoma State University will offer a unique new master’s degree in Native American leadership.

The Master of Science in Native American Leadership recently received final approval from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The MSNAL, to be delivered online, is unique due to the fact that it offers a combination of Native American history and organizational leadership in one degree.

Co-directors of the project are Dr. Bryon Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs and graduate dean, and Chris Wesberry, director of the Native American Center for Student Success.

“Southeastern is recognized around the country as a leader in providing higher education opportunities and services to its Native American students," said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “This innovative new master’s degree certainly enhances the programs we have in place at the university. We
believe that the MSNAL will generate a great deal of interest to students."

Wesberry agreed, noting that several students inquired about the new program at the recent National Indian Education Association annual convention and trade show, to which Southeastern sent representatives.

“The MSNAL is a result of University faculty and staff working with tribal partners to develop a graduate degree that includes Native American topics and leadership concepts," Wesberry said. “Specifically combining the two areas into one degree was of utmost importance as we were developing the courses. With this degree, students are able to take courses such as Effective Communication Through Presentation, while also taking Geography and Treaties. The combination of historical and culturally relevant courses with courses focused on leadership skills is very unique."

For more information about the new degree program, contact Chris Wesberry at 580-745-2376.

In addition to the MSNAL, the State Regents also approved a new option for Southeastern’s MBA program in Native American Leadership. Students can now take targeted courses from the MSNAL program as part of this new MBA option.

For more information, contact Dr. Lawrence Silver at 580-745-3190 or Robert Howard at 580-745-2042 in the John Massey School of Business.

According to Diverse Issues In Higher Education, Southeastern ranks sixth in the nation in producing Native American graduates (all disciplines combined) in the baccalaureate degree category. This is the second year in a row that Southeastern has held this distinction.

Also in the baccalaureate category and for the fourth consecutive year, Southeastern ranks first in the nation in producing Native American graduates in engineering technologies and engineering -- related fields (occupational safety and health). The university also ranks number two nationally in graduates in physical sciences and communication, journalism, and related programs (Native American).

In the master’s degree rankings, Southeastern is number one for the fifth consecutive year in engineering technologies and engineering-related fields (occupational safety and health – Native American).

In addition, Southeastern recently received a $1.1 million (four-year) grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education. This Native American Excellence In Education (NAEIE) Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Grant will partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the
Chickasaw Nation. It will serve 12 Native American education majors pursuing degrees in early childhood and/or special education.

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