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Spring Semester underway
New students increase enrollment count
20 January 2006

'Helium Stick' activity
IT WON'T GO DOWN: New students attending orientation try carefully to lower a slender wooden stick. The icebreaker activity requires each to touch with fingertips as the group lowers it to the floor. Light as a feather, the stick almost always baffles participants because it seems like it wants to rise on its own, hence the name "Helium Stick." The activity teaches cooperation and communication. UTN photo Dennis J. Neumann.

BISMARCK (UTN) - Incoming students have swelled the ranks of undergrads beginning Spring Semester at United Tribes Technical College. A large number of new students arrived on campus for student orientation, registration and beginning of classes during the first week of January.

      One-hundred-sixteen new students enrolled for the semester, pushing the cumulative, unduplicated student count to 1,074 for the 2005-06 school term.

      "This is a goal we've been working toward," said Kathy Johnson, Director of Enrollment Services. "It means our growth plan is on track."

UTTC Counselor Carol Walker and students
UTTC Counselor Carol Walker right, leads one of the new student groups during orientation.

      Enrollment for the term cooncluded January 20, and the last day to add a class is January 27. A figure above 1,000 marks another significant enrollment increase and signals that the college expansion plan has reached a milestone.

      "We're now at the halfway point of our planned enrollment growth of 2,000 students," said David M. Gipp, UTTC president, in a speech durng orientation. "There's a tremendous need on the part of Native students who want to learn. It's an exciting time for us."

      Enrollment for 2004-05 was 885.

Second year student Tracie Packineau, left, answers questions for Dani Jo Perkins, center, and Holly No Heart, both of Bismarck. UTN photos Dennis J. Neumann

      The most popular program on campus is Licensed Practical Nursing, with 98 students. Sixty-nine students are enrolled in Small Business Management; followed by Criminal Justice, 64; Business Office Administrative Assistant, 53; Automotive Service Technology, 48; Early Childhood, 47; and Computer Information Technology and Health Information Technology, both 45.

      One-hundred-twenty-four students are enrolled in the Medical Transcription Program offered through the college's Exact Med Training program located off campus in downtown Bismarck.

      "It's very good that so many students are choosing United Tribes," said Gipp in a speech during student orientation. "But the challenge is now yours. With the people and programs here to assist you, there's no reason for not making it through. This is your opportunity to focus on yourself and your future."

Stephanie Bear
New Student Stephanie Bear (Skull Valley Goshute) Salt Lake City, UT, will study Small Business Management.

      Students attending come from over 70 different tribal nations around the country.

      "In the numbers here now, you're putting UTTC on the map," said Phil Baird, dean of Academic and Vocational Programs, to the new students. "Quite frankly a lot of people wish that Indians would just go away. With the challenges in funding that we face from the Federal Government, your performance in the classroom justifies the resources we receive. We will do battle in Congress, your responsibility is to do your best here."

      In addition to the 20 academic and vocational programs on campus, the college offers numerous online classes and five online Associate of Applied Science degree programs. UTTC also has a branch campus with tribes in Owens Valley, California. Non-Native students also attend the college.

      "We've put together a winning team for your success," said Russell Swagger, dean of Student and Campus Services. "The only limits you have are those you put on yourself. Everyone is here for a reason and it's up to you to find out what that your reason is."


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