Full Scholarships Available to Students in Early Childhood Education Programs

Starting in the fall semester, students who transfer to or already are enrolled in one of two early childhood programs at Pittsburg State University will be eligible for full scholarships, to be provided through a $600,000 contribution made by three Oklahoma tribes.

Full scholarships now available to students in early childhood programs

Starting in the fall semester, students who transfer to or already are enrolled in one of two early childhood programs at Pittsburg State University will be eligible for full scholarships, to be paid for with an annual $600,000 contribution three Oklahoma tribes will make through 2023.

To be considered for the Tribes Scholars program, students must apply by June 7 and must already have completed at least 45 credit hours at any higher education institution, including community colleges throughout the region.

“The goal is that each student receives $7,000 to $9,000 per semester for two years,” said Amber Tankersley, who coordinates PSU’s early childhood programming, part of the Family & Consumer Sciences Department. “The intent is that it covers everything. This is all about removing barriers.”

When sophomore Hannah Robertson, of Quapaw, heard the news at a meeting held for current early childhood students, she cried.

“I was in tears. I tried to hold it together in front of everyone else, but I’ve been so overworked and stressed, I’ve been praying for something to come along,” she said.

Robertson, who works 35 hours a week as a nail tech while juggling her course load as an Early Childhood Unified major, has struggled financially and emotionally during the pandemic.

“Getting this scholarship would help tremendously because I could focus on my education and my goal, which is to work at a tribe childcare center after graduating,” she said.

The partnership between the Miami Tribe, Ottawa Tribe, and Shawnee Tribe and PSU was prompted by a shortage of childcare providers in the Four State Area, largely due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has had an overwhelming effect on the American economy and few businesses have been more impacted than those who provide childcare,” said Carol Essex, who directs the Child Care Development Fund, a federal grant program, for the Ottawa Tribe.

The passage of the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) provides the resources necessary to respond to the Covid-19 health emergency; funds are to be used for a variety of activities related to preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19.

Tracy Beckwith, CCDF Director for the Miami Tribe stated:  “Operating a tribally licensed child care center we understand the importance of having available, high quality, affordable child care  and that cannot be overstated.” Diana Baker, CCDF Director for the Shawnee Tribe added, “Parents want to know their children are in a safe, healthy learning environment while they are at work. Particularly during the Covid-19 crisis those parents deemed essential workers were dependent on reliable child care to continue work.”

Offering scholarships to those who enroll in or already are enrolled in PSU’s Early Childhood Unified or Child Development programs was a way to boost the number of qualified, reliable childcare providers in the near future, Essex said.

In addition to full scholarships, students will have to intern or job shadow in a variety of childcare settings with the hope of encouraging them to consider operating their own family childcare homes or centers when they graduate.

“This is such a unique and life-changing opportunity,” said Tankersly. “It’s an opportunity for students to go to school for free, and then we’ll wind up having some great early childhood professionals in the workforce. We are completely in awe and dumbfounded — it’s incredible.”

Recipients will be chosen by the end of June. They must maintain full-time status; part-time students taking a minimum of six hours would be eligible for partial assistance. Recipients must meet residency requirements in one of 41 counties in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma.

Students need not be a member of the Miami, Ottawa, or Shawnee tribes

Via Pittsburg State University

Back

More News

May 6, 2024

Introducing ta'saawanwaatoweeyakwe ("Where We Speak Shawnee")

Welcome to ta’saawanwaatoweeyakwe! This new blog series is dedicated to the Shawnee Language Immersion Program’s happenings and language preservation work. To kick things off, we’re highlighting SLIP’s new Master-Apprentice Program.  Log in to SLIPstream to read this post in saawanwaatoweewe [the Shawnee language]. Need to register for SLIPStream? Email a copy of your tribal ID to shawneelanguage@shawnee-tribe.com. In […]

Read More
May 6, 2024

SHAWNEE NATIONS PARTNER WITH STATE OF OHIO TO DEVELOP GREAT COUNCIL STATE PARK

Ohio’s 76th state park is just weeks away from welcoming visitors. Great Council State Park, just north of Xenia, was once known as Oldtown, one of the largest-known Shawnee settlements in the region. More than 400 families and more than 1,000 people called Oldtown home from approximately 1777 to 1780. Their stories directly intersect with […]

Read More
May 3, 2024

KIWIITAMAAKONAAKI HOKIMAAKI - MELO'KAMI 2024

Messages from the Chiefs – Spring 2024 / / Chief Barnes discusses tribal tags in Oklahoma and defeating OK SB 1907, while Chief Baldridge highlights Shawnee leader’s roles and efforts, past and present.

Read More
May 2, 2024

ACTIVE FOR AUTISM SPECIAL OLYMPICS BENEFIT 5K RACE

On April 13, Golden Mesa Casino was the presenting sponsor of a 5K race in Guymon, OK. About 20 team members from the casino and the Shawnee Tribe Gaming Commission participated as runners and event volunteers, helping to raise nearly $6,000 to benefit local Special Olympics athletes.

Read More
May 2, 2024

Tribal Leadership Gathers To Discuss Workforce & Economic Development

In late March, Shawnee Tribe Second Chief Roy Baldridge and Councilman Keni Paul Hood (Seat 7) convened with more than 70 tribal leaders in Stillwater at a tribal summit on workforce and economic development hosted by the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business and Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. “This being the second year that […]

Read More
Apr 26, 2024

Paint the Town Blue

Shawnee Tribe Indian Child Welfare participated in the Peoria Tribe’s “Paint the Town Blue” initiative as a part of April’s Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Local muralist Jessica Stout painted the murals pictured below at the Tribe’s Downtown Miami location.

Read More
Apr 26, 2024

GAMING COMMISSION GROWTH PROMPTS MOVE INTO NEW OFFICE BUILDING

Since January, the Shawnee Tribe Gaming Commission are the new residents of 314 Northridge Circle in Guymon, OK. Commission staff moved out and began setting up the new office space in under a week, without any interruption to the operations of the Golden Mesa Casino. “Our staff was growing, and our building wasn’t,” said Gaming […]

Read More
Apr 3, 2024

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER TRAINING:

DOMINANT AGGRESSOR DETERMINATIONS On March 27, the Shawnee Tribe & Native Alliance Against Violence co-sponsored a Domestic Violence Training event titled Dominant Aggressor Determinations. The training event was held in the Shawnee Tribe’s Community Building and had over 30 attendees, mainly law enforcement officers and DV victim advocates. “The event was successful, and we received […]

Read More
See All News