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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo unite to ensure success of Native American students

New Mexico State University and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo have agreed to combine their efforts to increase enrollment and the academic achievement of Native American students.

Gov. Arturo Senclair of Ysleta del Sur, lower middle, signs a memorandum of understanding with New Mexico State. Back row left to right: NMSU American Indian Program Director Don Pepion, Assistant to the NMSU President Christina Chavez Kelley and Education Director of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Luis Nunez. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Gov. Arturo Senclair formalized the relationship by signing a memorandum of understanding at 9:30 a.m. today, Oct. 9, at the Tribal Judicial Court, 9241 Socorro Road.

"I want to thank New Mexico State for providing this opportunity for our kids," Senclair said. "Education is a priority for us and funding is always a challenge."

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is the fifth tribe to sign an agreement with the university. Formalized agreements have already been made with the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo of Cochiti, the Pueblo of Zuni and the Jicarilla Apache Tribe.

The collaboration between the university and the tribes will help address retention and recruitment issues, and ensure the academic success of Native American students.

To achieve success, NMSU and the tribes will work together to attain several goals including working with state legislators to establish tuition waivers for members of the tribes; conducting educational workshops and other appropriate events at New Mexico State and in tribal communities for tribal members, and developing an American Indian student tracking system that provides an annual report of data and findings.

There are more than 470 Native American students enrolled at New Mexico State. Students are able to participate in a variety of activities including the United Native American Organization (UNAO), the Native American Business Student Association (NABSA) and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Students are also able to complete a minor in American Indian Studies, an academic resource for information and understanding about American Indian peoples.

For more information on the agreements, contact Don Pepion (505) 646-3193.