Newman University honored 20 Native American students from seven high schools in the Wichita area at a recent banquet for their participation in a program designed to keep them in school and consider a career in the sciences.
The semester-long program, called the Newman Native American Scholar Program (NNASP), is designed to encourage Native American students to stay in high school and to pursue higher education by making learning a fun and rewarding experience. The program is offered primarily to Wichita and Sedgwick County Native American high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, and is designed to strengthen students' pre-college science, mathematics and English skills.
"The dropout rate for Native Americans is the highest compared to any other racial or ethnic group," said Newman Professor of Biology and NNASP Director Surendra Singh, Ph.D. "This program is designed to plant dreams of higher education and ultimately a successful career for participants by showing them the need and opportunities for Native Americans in science and health professions."
During the semester, each student selected an individualized project in the biological, health or physical sciences, then conducted a literature search, performed laboratory and field experiments, collected data, analyzed results, drew conclusions and wrote a paper in a scientific format. Students were also encouraged to present their papers at the annual Kansas Junior Academy of Science meeting. The class met for two hours each week and included instruction and supervision by Singh as well as other members of the Newman faculty and guest lecturers.
Newman University waived the $1,426 tuition, and program recipients received a $100 academic stipend and an identification card giving them library privileges and free admittance to Newman extra-curricular events. Students also received two hours of college credit. The NNASP is sponsored by Newman and supported by a grant from the Wichita Public Schools.
For more information about the program, contact Singh at 316-942-4291, ext. 2117 or Toll-Free 877-NEWMANU (639-6268), ext. 2117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants in the 2013 Newman University Native American Scholar Program are listed below, by high school.
Wichita East High School
Wichita Heights High School
Wichita North High School
Wichita Northeast Magnet High School
Wichita Northwest High School
Wichita South High School
Wichita West High School