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New Mexico State University

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NMSU to offer new doctorate for American Indian educators

In an effort to prepare American Indian educational leaders to serve American Indian students, New Mexico State University will begin offering an American Indian Education Executive Doctorate (AIEED) degree in the fall.

to be offered by the Department of Educational Management and Development in the NMSU College of Education, will provide a comprehensive and collaborative technique for earning a doctoral degree in educational administration.

"In order for American Indian children to be successful, we need to create more American Indian leaders in education to guide them," said Dana Christman, assistant professor in educational management and development.
Christman said the educational system has a history of serving American Indians poorly.

"To fix this and to make sure American Indian children are successful today, we need to create better educational leaders that can relate and can serve them better," she said.

NMSU President Michael Martin said the program is needed to improve American Indian education.

"If there is a place where we've failed it is in fully including American Indians in higher education," Martin said. "It is time for us to step up as partners to strengthen their faculty and improve education for their students."

The program's incentives include no tuition or fees, American Indian professors, active support from academic coaches and the ability to earn the degree through weekend, summer, distance-delivered and online courses.

"Pending funding we hope to use distance education courses and maybe interactive television, as well as having professors travel to the places where students live to make these courses available," said Gary Ivory, department head for educational management and development. "This way people from all over New Mexico will have the opportunity to take the classes."

The selection and admission process for the program will be in May and courses will begin in the fall.

Applicants for the 10 spots available must be residents of New Mexico, have a master's degree from an accredited institution and be a member of a federal or state recognized American Indian tribe or pueblo. In addition, they should have five years of educational experience in a public, private or federal PreK-12 educational organization, be committed to completing a four-year program of study and to serving American Indian students in PreK-12 education.

"Those of us in higher education need to commit to being partners in this effort and this is one way we can be of service to American Indians," Martin said.

For more information on applying for the AIEED program, contact Joy Hetrick, programs coordinator for educational management and development, at (505) 646-4050 or hetrick@nmsu.edu.

Bianca L. Granado
Julie M. Hughes
March 28, 2006