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21 November 2013

UTTC Nursing Graduates Pass NCLEX Testing

      I am proud to announce that all of United Tribes spring nursing graduates passed their licensure exam and are now helping reduce the nursing shortage in the workforce! Now, during the 2013Ė14 academic year, the United Tribes Nursing Program has a 150 percent increase in the number of students. Students are training and learning in all of the nursing classrooms, labs and at clinical sites. Congratulations to all members of the hard-working teaching staff, who are ever-active in helping each of these students achieve their nursing education goals.

Ė Evelyn Orth, UTTC Practical Nursing Program Director

My Opportunity to Restart

By Ronald E. Rousseau, United Tribes Technical College Class of 2011

Ron Rousseau

      I doubt that many people knew that I was already 21-years-old and a college dropout when I enrolled at United Tribes Technical College. My story is probably not unique. But itís one that I tell because of the chance I had to start over.

      Growing up and going to high school, I didnít think I would go to college at United Tribes in Bismarck. It didnít appeal to me. I had heard that UTTC wouldnít get me a good job and that my credits wouldnít transfer. Iíd heard the school would turn me into a drunk and kick me out.

      These were rumors, of course, heard from older kids who had experienced the consequence of their own bad decisions. But what was said had a big influence on me and my choices. I wanted to make the right decisions.

      As it turned out, my first run at college proved to be the failure. I chose a big-name university, thinking the credits would transfer and thinking I could get a good job with a degree from there.

Thunderbird athlete Ron Rousseau

      But at the big university I skipped too many classes and didnít do my homework. I chose to get a fake ID to get into the bars. After failing my first semester, credits didnít matter; mine wouldnít transfer anyway because my grades werenít good enough.

      Little did I understand at the time that my path was being determined by my choices and decisions.

      When I got back home I was opposed to getting a college education. I failed to take responsibility for making the decisions that caused me to be a college dropout.

      Eventually I came to understand that it wasnít up to the college to get me a good job or make me into something, it was up to me to apply myself and make the right decisions.


      My chance to restart came with an opportunity to play basketball at United Tribes. I had the same goals for this experience: to provide me with an opportunity to get a great job and transfer my credits to where I wanted to go next.

Ron with wife Dorci and son Deron.

      But something had changed this time. I had found new purpose. I was determined to make the right decisions and apply myself in a positive way.

      United Tribes provided me with a great opportunity. I was fortunate to play Thunderbirds Basketball for one season. I had the challenge and reward of being in the Criminal Justice program, learning from experienced instructors. The faculty and staff inspired me to keep focused on the goals I learned to make.

      I remember sitting down at student orientation making a dream catcher with other new students and writing-down our goals. I learned that I had to set and reach smaller goals before achieving my overall goal of graduating, which I did in 2011. The experience has helped inspire me to work toward a bachelorís degree and to graduate school.

      I credit my experience at UTTC with helping me endure many challenges put before me in school and in the military. From the mountains in Afghanistan to where I am today, I am proud to say I am a graduate of United Tribes Technical College.

      What Iíve learned is not all students get the opportunity to walk through at graduation. I experienced it because I had a chance to learn from bad choices.

      As young Native Americanís we must never forget where we came from. We are the Seventh Generation of ancestors who gave their lives so we might have the opportunities we have today. An education is the strongest weapon we can have. Modern day warriors honor the sacrifices made for us when we make choices and decisions that help us succeed.

Ronald Rousseau grew up on the Cheyenne River Tribal Nation and joined the military on his 17th birthday. While at United Tribes, his South Dakota unit was activated and he met his goal to graduate in three semesters and one summer session. One week after graduating in 2011, he reported for a 12 month deployment to Afghanistan. Upon returning, he transferred to the Kansas National Guard. He is currently a student at Haskell Indian Nations University and will graduate in the spring with a Bachelorís Degree in Business Administration. He plans to go to law school. He is married with two children and another on the way.

Ė Rhonda Breuer, UTTC Career Coach


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