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Graduate School Community Engagement

IWOK Summer Academy

September 10, 2009

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Collaborating groups: Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Ford Foundation, Portland State University, Portland Community College
Contact: Se-ah-dom Edmo

The IWOK Summer Academy engages Native high school students in a college experience that provided exposure to the college environment with focus on the connection between education, academic study, and preparation for bachelor’s- and master’s-degree work.

Students stay on the Lewis & Clark campus and receive SAT preparation training (through Kaplan, Inc.), information about college preparation generally, culturally specific addictions prevention and treatment models, and mentorship from current college students, professors, and professionals. Students created culturally-based art projects exploring their goals for college and beyond, and heard from speakers on topics including the constitutional basis for Native rights to education and land. Visiting speakers included representatives from Lewis & Clark Law School, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and College of Arts and Sciences. Students were welcomed for visits at multiple Portland-area college campuses and were able to ask questions of admissions officers and other college staff.  

Over the course of the weeklong experience, students increased their SAT practice test scores by an average of over 100 points. In 2009, only 2% of Oregon SAT-takers were Native American (roughly equal to the percentage of Oregon’s Native population).

The IWOK Academy was made possible by the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the Ford Foundation of New York, Lewis & Clark, Portland State University and Portland Community College.

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