AUGUST 29, 2008

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Southeastern Ranks Seventh in Nation for Native Americans Receiving Baccalaureate Degrees

Southeastern Oklahoma State University ranks seventh in the nation for producing Native American Baccalaureate degrees (all disciplines combined), according to Diversity Issues in Higher Education magazine.

In addition, Southeastern ranks number 1 in percentage of Native American graduates among the top-20 Native American degree granting institutions.

The annual top-100 rankings of 2006-07 minority graduates were published in the June 12, 2008, issue of the magazine.
Southeastern also ranks high nationally in a number of other disciplines, including, psychology, second; education, fourth; biological and biomedical sciences, sixth; English language and literature/letters, eighth; computer information sciences and support services, 10th; and social science and history, 23rd.

“We are proud to be recognized nationally for our efforts in producing Native American graduates, who are such a vital part of our student body,’’ said Southeastern President Michael D. Turner. “We have a number of programs in place to assist our Native American students. And we are very fortunate to have the outstanding support of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation. Both of these organizations have contributed significant resources to the university to ensure a bright future for all of our students.’’

The student population at Southeastern consistently has a Native American enrollment of 28 to 30 percent, and in 2007-08, 25 percent of all Southeastern graduates were Native American.

Southeastern’s Native American Center for Student Success hosted a reception for graduates May 7. Chris Wesberry is the group’s advisor, Jana Lou Callaway handles the NAEIE grants, Jerrod James is the Choctaw peer advisor ,and Amy Gantt oversees Chickasaw retention.

Southeastern’s 2007-08 graduating classes included 159 Native Americans, with 67 in the fall 2007 and 92 in the spring 2008.

For more information concerning Native American programs at Southeastern, call 580-745-2376