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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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SIPI and NMSU join forces for the academic success of Native American students

Business students who start a degree program at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute will have the opportunity to complete a four-year program at New Mexico State University.

ls at SIPI and New Mexico State have agreed to improve the process of transferring academic credits from the community college to the university.

To formalize the relationship, SIPI President Joseph Martin and NMSU Interim President William Flores will sign an articulation agreement at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at the SIPI campus, 9169 Coors Road NW, Albuquerque.

This agreement "will allow students who start a degree program at the community college to transfer to NMSU after two years of course work at SIPI, and then complete a degree at NMSU with a total of no more than 128 credits," said Kathleen Brook, associate dean of NMSU's College of Business Administration and Economics. "If students take the course work we've laid out, they won't lose any credits in the transfer process -- all SIPI credits will be applicable here."

Wilfred Beaupre, department chair for business and technologies at SIPI, said the agreement will let students know clearly what courses they will need to take at SIPI that will be accepted at NMSU.

"We are taking our business administration degree and making sure that it transfers 100 percent," said Beaupre. "We are working together to achieve common educational goals for Native American students -- that is our mission."

"This articulation agreement will better meet the business and economic development needs of American Indians and tribal communities by providing transfer of courses from SIPI's associate degree in business administration/tribal management into NMSU's bachelor's degree program," said SIPI President Joseph Martin.

Other than traditional associate degree courses in business administration, students will take classes in tribal law, tribal management, tribal leadership and tribal resource development at SIPI. Once they arrive at New Mexico State, students will major in general business and have the option to study tribal management, which will be done through internships in tribal enterprises. There is also the option of distance education for students who wish to stay in the area.

"The idea is to prepare Native American students to serve their tribes, pueblos or nations in a business capacity," Brook said. "They have often found that they've had to go outside their community to find people with the business skills necessary to oversee business operations."

New Mexico State University, which began in 1888 as an agricultural college and preparatory school, is a comprehensive institution dedicated to teaching, research and service at the graduate and undergraduate level. It is the only land-grant institution that is also classified as Hispanic-serving by the federal government and classified by the Carnegie Foundation in the top research category, Research-Extensive. Total fall 2003 enrollment for the main and branch campuses was more than 23,000.

A national Indian community college, SIPI is a 1994 land-grant institution and a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). The college is located at the center of New Mexico's agricultural and technological corridors and has a student body of more than 900 students from more than 100 tribes from across the country. SIPI has a retention rate of 80 percent, which is attributed to a strong educational pathway that addresses basic academic skills through technical and industry specific skills training as well as offering degree program options.