University of Mary receives grant to aid Native American Education

Tom Ackerman
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

University awarded $2.88 million in federal grants over five years for Native American education and training

Scholarship dollars are available for Native American students and teachers

BISMARCK — The University of Mary has been awarded two fully-funded grants from the Office of Indian Education’s (OIE) Professional Development Program worth $2.88 million over the next five years starting this fall semester 2021. The first grant goes towards scholarships for Native American’s wanting a bachelor’s degree in teacher education or special education completed in a fast track of three years. The second grant is scholarship money for Native American graduate students wanting to enter University of Mary’s online master’s of education (MEd) program.

This is the third time the University of Mary has received the grant, but the first time they’ve received the full amount possible from the federal government.

“We’re so excited, humbled, and honored to receive this scholarship funding again that has proven in the past to significantly benefit our Native American population,” said Dr. Carmelita Lamb, associate dean of the Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Mary. “Since this grant was just recently announced and only a few weeks before the start of the new school year, we need Native American students who just graduated from high school and are interested in these education programs we offer, to apply immediately to see if they qualify for the scholarship and then enroll. Because this scholarship is highly competitive and we are in a time crunch leading up to the fall start, we ask potential applicants to act quickly by contacting me, Dr. Lamb, at (701) 355-8186 or clamb@umary.edu.”

United Tribes Technical College is a key partner in these awards, thus UTTC bachelor’s degree graduates receive first priority for the scholarship if they enroll in Mary’s online MEd program to learn and to be trained as K through 12 administrators and special education strategists.

“The University of Mary is very proud of the partnership with our tribal members in the Northern Plains area,” added Lamb. “The benefits to all children in K through 12 is evident by the scholarship of these Native educators. We look forward to continuing our efforts to bring more Native American educators and administrators into our school systems across North and South Dakota.”

Lamb says, so far, the grants awarded to the University of Mary over the past years have benefited 110 Native American students, representing an 85 percent completion rate for the program.

Grant dollars by the year include $800,000 the first year (2021-2022), $800,000 in year two (2022-2023), $800,000 in year three (2023-2024), $240,000, year four (2024-2025), and $240,000 the final year (2025-2026).