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Salish Kootenai College launches STEM Academy

News from Salish Kootenai College

PABLO — If you are a high school student looking for a step up on preparing for college, Salish Kootenai College is offering an exciting new education option in the form of the SKC STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) beginning in August 2017.

Funded by a SEPA grant from the National Institutes of Health, the Academy’s goal is to prepare Native high school juniors and seniors for entry into STEM college degrees and careers, particularly in the biomedical and biobehavioral fields. Designed in collaboration with local school districts to specifically meet the needs of Flathead Reservation students, the Academy will be held every afternoon throughout the regular school year and students will ideally attend for two full years.

Students enrolled in the Academy will have the opportunity to complete college level courses while earning between 30 and 50 dual enrollment credits over two years of enrollment in the Academy, applicable to both their high school diploma and future college degrees. A wide range of courses will be offered, particularly those focused on STEM. Academy students will also engage in conducting science research while working with an SKC faculty mentor. College and career readiness activities are other components of the Academy’s curriculum, rounding out a slate of services to ensure students’ success in college.

“This unique education experience will be rigorous and application will be competitive, but all interested Native American students finishing up their sophomore or junior years should apply,” said Dr. Regina Sievert, STEM Academy director. “Our faculty and staff are very supportive of students and their learning, but these are college level courses for which students may earn college credit, so they should be prepared to work hard.”

Students attending the Academy will gain foundational knowledge, college credits, research experience, and an understanding of what it takes to attend college, all while completing their high school graduation requirements.

“Our faculty and staff are very knowledgeable, caring, and skilled at mentoring young students. Starting your college career at SKC is an excellent start on the path to success for graduating from SKC or another college or university,” Sievert said.

There is no cost to students or their families for tuition, fees, or books for students who attend the Academy. Twenty student slots per year are available to Native American students (including first or second generation descendants) who live and attend school on the Flathead Reservation.

Informational meetings will be held at local high schools in the coming weeks. For more information please contact Regina Sievert via email at Regina_Sievert@ skc.edu or via phone at 406- 275-4995. The application deadline for enrolling in the Academy next fall is April 30, 2017. Applications should be submitted online. Application materials and further information can be accessed on the STEM Academy website, which will be operational starting March 29 at stemacademy.skc.edu.

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