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Welcome to Your Life-Changing Journey at UTTC
By Dr. Phil Baird, Vice President, Academic-Career-Technical Education
6 October 2011

      Hau Mitakuyapi – Greetings All My Relatives!

Dr. Phil Baird

      To the students and staff of the campus community, I offer a warm handshake and welcome you to our education family for the 2011-12 academic year.

      You may have heard this before but it’s definitely true when I say that your important educational journey coincides with a time of historic change here at the college. We have been busy about the task of doing what you are now dedicated to – making improvements and getting better.

      Here’s what we’ve been up to.

      In August, our educational programs received an exceptional endorsement when the college’s accreditation was renewed and extended for our degree-granting programs, both campus-based and online. Along with that, for the first time in the college’s 42 year history, came the OK to offer baccalaureate degree programs exclusively on our own.

      In terms of new offerings, we now have the Pre-Professional Native American Workforce Leadership degree plan. This focuses on creating an academic pathway credential toward our associate and baccalaureate programs. It contains a mixture of general education, workforce, leadership and technology coursework with a Native American studies emphasis.

      For the new and existing academic programs, the college has made preparations to take students through an enhanced postsecondary experience to ensure quality learning as well as address important student needs. This will be done through campus and student services.

      For example, the Career Guidance and Student Retention offices will continue to evolve under new leadership, guided by strategies that we know will promote success “when the student desires and seeks such success.” The Career staff will teach the Career Success course.

      Through the College STEPS project, supported by Wal-Mart these past 18 months, student retention was assessed and revised pathways were established for enhancing college readiness.

      Important changes have been approved by President Gipp for pre-college coursework, which, ideally, will motivate students to focus on academic success at the certificate, associate and baccalaureate levels.

      UTTC’s Tribal Land Grant Program introduced an exciting development and colorful addition to the south campus: Dragonfly Garden. As a result of a successful on-line voting campaign over the summer, the college received free fruit trees that are hardy for the northern Plains. A planting ceremony took place September 13 in the garden and you can expect to see the “fruits” of this labor next year.

      When I say you have embarked on a life-changing journey at UTTC it comes hand-in-hand with new and exciting developments on the campus and in our academic, career and technical programs, and support services. Your commitment to work hard is matched by our promise to continually upgrade our offerings and services to support your college success here at United Tribes.

      Have a great and productive year at Tribes!


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