Thursday, March 06, 2014

Peshlakai working to increase participation in tribal college dual enrollment programs

Peshlakai working to increase participation in tribal college dual enrollment programs

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXRep. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7), introduced a bill that would create the Tribal College Dual Enrollment Program Fund. The bill is intended to encourage more youth to participate in dual enrollment programs, which allow students to receive college credit for some classes they take at tribal colleges while they are still in high school.

HB 2601 would put $500,000 from the Arizona State Lottery Fund into this newly created dual enrollment fund. Tribal community colleges that offer dual enrollment programs, such as Diné College and Tohono O’odham Community College, could use money from this fund to offset the tuition and fees of the students participating in the program.

“This fund will help create an incentive for Native American students to start planning for and pursuing higher education sooner,” Peshlakai said. “Dual enrollment programs are a great way for our youth to begin preparing for the future, but the cost of these programs can create an obstacle.”

Peshlakai, an outspoken advocate for indigenous communities, said this bill also makes economic sense.
“We have to make sure our kids are ready for what the world has in store for them,” Peshlakai said. “Offering opportunity earlier may create a stronger and more focused interest from younger students. Getting a college education is becoming an absolute necessity. This bill would eliminate some of the financial barriers so that kids can start their college careers early, set goals, transition into four-year colleges and enter the workforce prepared. It is a domino effect that will benefit our economy.”

For a copy of the full bill, go to:


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