Ho-Chunk Tribe Hopes Change Sends More to College - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

Ho-Chunk Tribe Hopes Change Sends More to College

Email




by Associated Press

050614_Ho_ChunkMADISON, Wis. ― The Ho-Chunk tribal legislature has proposed a policy it hopes will encourage members to better themselves after high school.

The tribe wants to delay trust fund dividend payouts and tie them to achievements such as college, work and military service, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The tribe has a shortage of qualified professionals in fields including health care, IT, accounting and management.

“We’re hoping that the tribal membership considers putting incentives in there for our young people to explore options for postsecondary education,” said Adrienne Thunder, executive director of the Ho-Chunk education department.

In 2001, the tribe started requiring a high school diploma for 18-year-olds to collect their trust fund dividend payouts. This year’s graduates will collect about $200,000 each before taxes. It’s partly why Ho-Chunk high school graduation rates have increased dramatically in a generation.

The tribe declined to provide data about college enrollment and graduation rates through the years. But in a recent survey of 18- to 30-year-old Ho-Chunk members, 68 percent of respondents who said they started college at any level didn’t finish.

Kim Ramirez and Jose-Luis Ramirez, who is a native of Mexico, support further changing the policy about the dividend payouts, commonly known as “18 money.”

It will help keep the couple’s three children focused on long-term goals and allow them to avoid temptations that commonly trap 18-year-olds when the money comes in a lump sum.

Kim Ramirez dropped out of Black River Falls High School in 10th grade and now works in a factory, along with her husband. They want their children to work with their minds.

Related:  Phenomenal growth - Black Issues in Higher Education's sixth annual Top 100 rankings of minority baccalaureates - Cover Story

“She said she doesn’t want me to follow in her steps,” their daughter Deanna Ramirez said of her mother. She is finishing her sophomore year in high school and wants to go to college.

The Ho-Chunk also recently formed partnerships with University of Wisconsin System schools that they hope will boost enrollment. At UW-Eau Claire, a Ho-Chunk living and learning community will be established at a nearby property that formerly housed a Catholic priory in the fall of 2015. At UW-Madison, the tribe is in talks to join a partnership aimed at getting more American Indian youth on campus during their high school years to learn about technology.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Native Communities Get Help with Health Disparities BOZEMAN, Mont. ― Montana State University and its partners have received $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to address health disparities facing Native communities in Montana and Alaska. University officials say the new America...
Diverse Docket: Howard University Prevails in Title IX Suit Howard University has defeated a lawsuit by a former graduate student who claimed she was wrongfully denied readmission twice to the doctoral program in history. U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson rules in favor of Howard University. U.S. Distric...
California Federation of Teachers Calls for ED to Delist ACCJC as Accreditor A coalition of two California unions and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) filed a new complaint against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)—the accrediting body that oversees the California Community College ...
Illinois Community College Works to Reform Juvenile Offenders A program at an Illinois community college is working with youth at a local juvenile justice center to help prepare them for college or a future occupation. Elgin Community College (ECC), an institution located in the suburban Chicago area, piloted t...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *